Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Step 1: The plans

It's quite a while since part of our roof fell in. We've talked to the insurance company about cover, we've applied for an "in principal" bank loan and I contracted a technical architect or aparejador to draw up some plans for the new roof. We paid 2,200€ for the plans with "VAT" at 16% on top. With the plans we can apply to the local Town Hall for planning permission and once they give the go ahead (and take the approx 300€ for their time) then the builders can actually start work. I have this horrid feeling that the work will get the go ahead just in time for the four week shutdown of the whole of Spain through August!

I read the plans this morning. The technical architect acts as a sort of foreman for the work. At each key stage he pops along to check that things are made from the right materials, put together properly etc. The thing that amused me was the Health and Safety section of the plans. It was as exhaustive as anything I've seen in the UK. Everything from hard hats, steel capped boots and first aid kits through disposal of the waste to the dimensions and construction of the scaffolding. But I know that when the blokes turn up to knock the roof down they'll borrow our ladders and, wearing shorts, they'll set about the roof with a lump hammer. Never mind, the contract says that any accidents during the work have nothing to do with us!

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