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  • Writer's pictureΓραμματή Μπακλατσή

Renovations and permits

When is a small scale license needed?



In recent years, after the economic crisis, many choose to buy a "cheap" house/apartment to reconstruct it, limiting the purchase cost in relation to the construction of a new modern residence. Also, to save the cost of the permit and supervision, they direct the repair directly to the contractor bypassing the engineer by issuing a small-scale permit or even no permit at all. But this can turn out to be a fatal event and cost them many times over, as happened recently with the collapse of the floor of an old building in Piraeus that was being reconstructed without the required permission from the town planning and resulted in the loss of one person's life and they are accountable today in court, the owner, the contractor and the engineer who issued a certificate that simple minor repairs would be made to the building, without having the responsibility of supervision. For this reason, citizens should be very careful and contact the competent engineer for the static control of the building and all work should be done with the required studies and engineer supervision.


What should we pay attention to when renovating a building?

In the renovation there are rules that must be followed, in order to protect both the property and the very lives of the tenants of the property.

Owners should therefore know the following:

A radical renovation involving the demolition of walls or beams requires the presence of an engineer. A wrong choice can put a burden on the building and cause great damage, while there is also a risk to the lives of the occupants. The central beams should never be tampered with, because they support the whole building.

Electrical and plumbing systems, which are old, need to be changed. It is better to remove them completely than to do repair work every time a damage occurs.

Changing the exterior of an apartment/apartment building requires a permit from the town planning department, as well as the consent of the co-owners.


Does the Renovation require a Building Permit?

No, in most cases. In particular, there are works for which a building permit does not need to be issued, nor approval for small-scale works, an electronic certificate is simply issued by an engineer in the event that approvals from other bodies or collective bodies are not required.

When is a Building Permit required?

As long as we have new building works such as: reinforcement of an existing building frame, change of layout that affects the statics of the building as well as when work is done to change plumbing and electrical installations, then a normal building permit (BUILDING PERMIT) is required. Unfortunately, many for reasons of economy choose to issue a Small Scale Permit without declaring the full volume of work. However, in the event of a complaint or inspection by Urban Planning, the building will be deemed arbitrary and fines will be charged.


What renovation works require a Small Scale Permit?

Exterior painting work or railing replacement or plaster repair or facade repair using scaffolding.

Cladding of facades and replacement of glass curtains using scaffolding.

Construction of a pergola with a surface area of more than fifty (50) sq.m. in uncovered areas, front gardens, ground floor terraces. On roofs, outdoor areas and open balconies, the approval of small-scale construction works is required, regardless of surface area.

Ventilation ducts and other facilities and constructions.

Internal arrangements, provided that the elements of the building's supporting organization are not affected.

Construction of planted roofs and planted surfaces.

Installation of external thermal insulation or passive solar systems on the external faces.

Maintenance and repair of roofs using scaffolding.

Construction of fireplaces with their chimneys on horizontal properties with residential use, as long as the static adequacy of the building is not affected.

Roof reconstruction, with submission of a statement of static adequacy from a competent engineer.

Installation of autonomous heating system.

Shelters and sheds.

Interventions in the facades of buildings to modify or open new openings, as long as the bearing body is not affected.

Installation works of Photovoltaic Systems, for the cases required according to special provisions.

Caution! When we do several works together and the budget of the works is over 25,000 euros, then a Building Permit is required.


What works are allowed without a permit, but with an engineer's certificate?

Small internal repairs or alterations that do not affect the statics of the building and do not change its facades.

Exterior painting or railing replacement or plaster repair or facade repair without the use of scaffolding.

Change or repair of floors and wall or ceiling coverings.

Maintenance, repair or modification or partial replacement of electrical and plumbing installations.

Replacement of internal or external frames and glass panes in the same opening.

Maintenance, repair of roofs without the use of scaffolding.

Small ground formations up to plus/minus 0.80 meters from the natural ground and paving.

Installation of air conditioners and wall-mounted gas boilers, installation of natural gas.

Installation of solar water heaters.

Installation or replacement of chimneys on the external faces of existing buildings, without the use of scaffolding, as part of the "Home Savings" program.

Replacement of external frames or installation or replacement of chimneys on the external faces of existing buildings without the use of scaffolding.

Placement or installation of equipment in buildings, such as wardrobes and pots etc.

Construction of stoves, ovens and fireplaces with their chimneys in uncovered areas of plots or fields.

Construction of a pergola with or without temporary surface shade up to fifty (50) m2, in uncovered areas, front yards and ground floor terraces.

Structures such as stairs, ramps, buttresses and terraces in uncovered areas of plots.

Installation of temporary shades, blinds, sheds and awnings.

Laying the floor of an uncovered space, provided that this does not exceed 1/3 of the uncovered space.


What happens when I knock down walls to change the layout?

In this case, a small-scale permit is needed from urban planning, as long as the elements of the supporting organization of the building are not affected. For the application, a survey, floor plan, photographs and a technical report are required - an engineer's certificate stating that the static structure of the building is not affected.

What should I pay attention to when I want to make an addition on top of or next to the old building?

First, the engineer examines whether the urban planning elements that apply today (remainder of construction, coverage, maximum permitted height, enforcement of greenery, distance from the boundaries, etc.) allow an addition to be made. In this case it will be necessary to issue a new building permit and then all the studies are required (topographical, architectural and static study, water supply and drainage study, fire safety and electromechanical installations study, study of the Regulation of Energy. Performance of Buildings (K. E. N. A. K.).

What is considered a radical renovation and what permit is required?

The radical renovation of a building refers to large-scale works and usually the budget of the required works exceeds 25,000 euros. In this case, a Building Permit is required and not a Small Scale Permit.

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