Renovation in Italy: Involvement in the Process

MD of Marche Homes Direct, Kevin Gibney explains the best level of involvement for people undertaking a renovation project abroad…


Q. As a UK resident, I will not be able to regularly check on the renovation work being done to my holiday home. How heavily should I be involved throughout the renovation process? Or can I completely rely on third parties to get the job done well from afar?

A. Ours is a property search and restoration business. The reader asks a question we field frequently. Our point of view is that the more the client is involved in the renovation process, the better the result. We welcome client involvement at all phases of the restoration.

Clearly, not all people can jump over to Italy with great frequency. In that case we hope to have clients here on the ground at least once during the four key phases of the restoration that I would define, in general terms, as follows: architectural and budget planning; selection of finish materials, such as flooring and bathroom materials; in-progress site review; and pre-finish phase, to allow for any last minute build changes. While we pride ourselves on our ability to tightly manage projects for absentee owners using the various technologies available to us today, there is still no substitute for the one-on-one interaction that fits with the investment level, the degree of client-customised work and the personal nature of the restoration process.

It’s a pleasant experience to connect on a personal level with the people running the project and restoring the house. No matter who manages a restoration project and no matter how competent they are, the reader is not advised to ever rely completely on third parties. We would also suggest that a centralised project management resource is critical to project success, as it’s just not practical for an absentee owner to manage multiple third parties from afar. A final comment is that the client must absolutely choose his project management resource and restoration team carefully.

Our experts are here to help with all your questions about Italy. Whatever you want to know, email your questions to, or write to our usual address – Italia! magazine, Suite 6, Piccadilly House, London Road, Bath. BA1 6PL.