After two months work renovation an apartment in Barcelona’s Eixample district great progress has been made, and I’m delighted with the quality of the building work so far – more or less on time and on budget. Some people have asked me how I’m structuring the payments, and have warned me against handing over cash in advance. I’ve agreed a transparent payment plan with my builders that I find works very well, so I’ll explain it for the benefit of others looking at refurbishing a home in Spain.
We have agreed to approach the work and payments in two phases. Phase I starts with preparing the flat for building works, including tearing out the old kitchen and bathrooms, then installing all the insulation and finishing the walls, floors, ceilings, plumbing, wiring, aircon, heating, water treatment, and ordering all the exterior carpentry, and other bits and pieces.
Phase II will be installing the kitchens, bathrooms, lighting, carpentry, parquet flooring, seagrass fitted carpets, restoring the antique hydraulic tiles, painting all the walls, cleaning up and snagging.
We started the work on my Barcelona flat in mid-January, almost two months ago to the day, and phase I is about 70% done. Once a month my builders send me a detailed certification report for the work completed, and invoice me for that work alone. So I make monthly payments based on progress rather than handing over money in advance. I find this is a good way to structure the payments, as one never feels nervous about paying for work that hasn’t been done, and worrying if it will be done.
I did, however, make one payment in advance. When I signed my contract with the builders I made a one-off payment of 15% of the budget to help their cash flow at the start of works. That 15% payment is discounted from every monthly payment, so if the certification invoice is for €20,000 the final figure to pay is €17,000 after subtracting 15%.
It’s a transparent payment plan that keeps both sides happy. I would recommend it.