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Building Renovations

The Italian real estate market consists mainly of residential buildings. Most of them, however, prove to be unsuitable, inefficient and deteriorated, thus determining their placement among the lowest energy classes. Renovation interventions of the current Italian building heritage are therefore inevitable: even small maintenance operations can lead to important advantages and benefits.

Many houses are historic or old-fashioned buildings, but it is equally necessary to intervene for modern constructions, both for standards that are no longer compliant, and for the renovation of the premises.

Making a building energy efficient and comfortable increases the market value and brings individual and collective benefits. We can divide the renovations into several categories and subcategories.

Maintenance interventions, necessary to maintain functionality and efficiency, are divided into ordinary and extraordinary.

Then there are the interventions of building renovation, new constructions and urban restructuring.

Renovation, construction sites. timelapse


The art. 3, paragraph 1, lett. a) of the Presidential Decree no. 380/2001 defines ordinary maintenance interventions as “building interventions that concern the repair, renovation and replacement of the finishes of the buildings and those necessary to integrate or maintain the existing technological systems in efficiency”.

These are the operations to maintain the efficiency of a plant. These are less invasive works, which essentially concern the interior of the house, but can also concern the exterior of it, as long as they do not modify the volume of the structure. These include, for example: bathroom renovation, renovation of flooring, replacement of plaster, painting of walls.

Finally, the replacement of fixtures (doors and windows, installation of armored doors and construction of passageways) is admitted in a non-explicit manner, as it borders on extraordinary maintenance works.

Ordinary maintenance operations, unlike those of an extraordinary nature, do not require building permits. Otherwise, according to the d. lgs. no. 42/2004, the building bound to the Superintendency of Architectural Assets could request authorisation.


The art. 3, paragraph 1, lett. b) of the Presidential Decree no. 380/2001 defines extraordinary maintenance interventions as “the works and modifications necessary to renovate and replace parts, including structural ones, of buildings, as well as to create and integrate hygienic-sanitary and technological services, provided that they do not alter the volumes and surfaces of the individual units real estate and do not involve changes in the intended use”.

These are building operations that involve important modifications to the structure of the building. Such interventions must be reported to the Municipal Technical Office, presenting a declaration of the start of the activity signed by the owner or by an authorized entity, and sworn by a qualified technician. Some examples: static consolidation works of the building, complete renovation of the toilets, complete modification of the water, electrical and/or sanitary system, construction and adaptation of ancillary works (emergency stairs, lifts, etc.), replacement of fixtures external doors and windows or shutters with shutters, with modification of material and type of frame, etc. However, this is not a very exhaustive list with respect to the cases contemplated.

Renovation, construction sites. timelapse


These are interventions that do not fall into the categories mentioned above, or even conservative restoration. They are works of complete revision of the existing building with modifications of shape, volume, surface, shape, intended use. The consistency of the building may vary, and, therefore, a new registration of the surfaces may be required.

The demolition and complete reconstruction works (“with the same volume and shape as the pre-existing one” – art. 3 d) of the consolidated text on construction by Presidential Decree no. 380/2001 as amended by Legislative Decree 301/2002) or the works that lead to the construction of a building different from the original.

Although the works described here can have a strong impact on the territory, they can be authorized not only with the more complex authorization to obtain, the building permit, but also with a simple Declaration of Start of Activities (DIA), art. 22 co. 3.a Presidential Decree no. 380/2001.

However, the Municipality and the Region have the right to personalize the request for authorizations on their own territory.