Do you still recognise our courtyard? I know that this might look pretty bad, but actually most of the difficult structural works have been successfully finished already in this area. The larger openings are waiting for the windows and the balcony is turning into a wardrobe. And none of these works could have been done without a building permission from the city. At the beginning of a renovation in Spain, one of the first and most important steps to take is to apply for the building license, “licencia urbanística”. In applying for this license, you will need to declare the planned value of the refurbishment or building works and pay tax accordingly in advance of the works and before they decide if your application will be approved or not. So don’t forget this part as it takes time and money. A good architect office can process this paperwork and calculations for you and I well recommend it too. There are two licences, one for normal renovations and another one for the extensions and structural works. With the smaller license, we were able to start works nearly straight away, within couple of weeks. For the structural changes and extensions we had to apply for another building permission. In our case we needed this license for the building of the room extension on the balcony, extra staircase, openings on the load bearing walls and for the exterior structures, such as the new garage and verandah. When I was initially looking for the right architect and construction company, many warned me about the refurbishment timetable I was planning to have, because this larger building license normally could take more than two months to be approved. Thankfully it didn’t. After three weeks we had the license to continue with our work and right on schedule. Apparently the license was processed in record time which goes to show how a good project management team and architect with local contacts can ease the otherwise difficult processes.