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Your current home is due to be renovated, the family is expanding and this asks for an extra room, you finally want to start using the attic … or you just bought a house which needs to be re-built. For the DIY’er this is a hobby, but for others this can turn into disaster… would like to address a few issues which you have to take into account.

Advantage of taking on the re-building project yourself

Taking on a re-building project yourself means that you can work at your own rhythm (for example during the evenings or weekends). The financial savings of doing the re-building yourself can be huge. In many cases even an architect is not necessary.

Re-building without an architect is possible, but only if the destination of the property does not change and if the structure of the premises is not changed. What you can do without an architect: fitting new windows or doors, installing a veranda, greenhouse or garage, or even a terrace.

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Contracting the work

Do not overestimate yourself. There will be moments where it is better to leave things to a professional. This will be the case for specialised installations, such as electricity and central heating. But even is you contract part of the work, and take care of simple things yourself, the final balance will still be cheaper.

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Town planning regulations

Do not take any risks. Never start building without a building permit. For small projects, where you do not need an architect, you can get a permit fairly easy at the local administration.

If you are not sure your project will be considered as small or large, consult the local official. For larger re-building projects you will need an architect.

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Specific loans

Do not underestimate re-building. Financially a re-building project can easily cost a few thousand euro. If you want to finance this amount, you can get a separate loan. In some cases it is even possible to withdraw again from an existing loan, which you already partly repaid. Should this be the case, the necessary formalities are minimal. In any case, consult you bank on this matter.

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VAT regulations

The VAT administration is fairly favourable for the re-builder. For re-building a residential property of at least 5 years old, carried out be a registered contractor, you enjoy a low VAT rate of 6% (instead of the usual 21%). This lower rate is not applicable to the surveyor or architect's fee. It is also not applicable to projects which are so large that they are almost a new construction.

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