Last update12:12:22 PM

Back You are here: Home Property Building and Renovating Build Your Own Home

Build Your Own Home

Building a home to your own specification used to be the stuff that dreams were made of, yet when news

spread of the availability of cheap land in Bulgaria, these dreams suddenly became reality. It wasn't long before property was being snapped up by designers, builders and dreamers alike as they built and renovated an ideal place to call home.

In order to buy land in Bulgaria, you will need to have your own Bulgarian registered private limited company. This is very simple to do, and is usually offered through estate agencies. You will need to have a company bank account set up to ‘prove' you have money, and temporarily deposit a minimum of 2 leva into the account.

After all the paper work is done you are free to take the money back out again. A solicitor with power of attorney can sort out the rest of the paperwork and registration details, which usually costs between 300- 600 leva.

Plots of land can be bought for prices from 15 euros and upwards per m2 depending on the region of your choice. Some plots are sold unregulated whilst others are sold regulated and with planning permission. It's better to avoid unregulated land, which is cheaper for a reason, as it can be time consuming and costly to legalise it ready for building. The minimum size for regulation is 300 m2 Land which already has permission to build is a safe bet, but you must go through the correct channels and ensure you get the necessary documentation secured and verified by a legal professional.

Your local municipality will advise you on the the possible footprints of the build, the position of the house and the amount of storeys possible. You also need to consider your land's proximity to the electricity and water sources and mains sewerage if available because charges for connection to these utilities depend on your location in relation to them and have become quite expensive to hook up in recent years.

If your plot is next to some existing buildings, then this will dictate where you can build your own house. There needs to be at least three metres either side of the boundary line before a new building can be constructed. Once you have an image of where your house can be positioned on the plot, you can consider the shape. Do you want a single storey, long house to ensure you have external facing windows in every room? Or would you prefer an ‘L' shaped design to close in a terrace area? Do you want a taller, double storey house with a balcony? Consider where your plot is in relation to the sun rising and setting, location to neighbouring houses and the available views to help influence your decision. After all, a long and low design is not a feasible choice if you are on the lower part of a hill either side of taller neighbours; it won't make for those breathtaking views you hear so much about! Your existing family, and indeed future family plans will play the most important part of this decision. According to family size and needs, you will need to calculate how many bedrooms you want, bathrooms on each floor, and garage spaces.

Many people have an idea of how their dream house should look or what it will contain, but find it hard to articulate this into the distinct images needed for plans to be drawn. To overcome this and to ensure that your builder has a clear plan to work from, you need to enlist the services of a qualified architect to listen to your brief and draw up official plans. It is the architect's job to ensure everything complies with the proper legislations, such as ceiling height, stair width, and structural security like the inclusion and positioning of lintels and the pitch of the roof in relation to the shape of the house.

Once plans are drawn up, they need to be submitted to the municipality architect, along with your company details, notary details and your personal identification numbers. The municipality sends this request to build on to the residing mayor and sometimes to your neighbours for ‘approval'. After approval, you will be given official plans for the build, which you can then take to the water and electric company with a request for amenities. This process usually takes around three months to complete.

The estimated size of your home, once detailed plans have been drawn and verified, will give you an idea of the markings and depths needed to build the footings of your house. Your region will also play an important part in footing depth. Some parts of Bulgaria have softer soil than others; especially in mountainous areas where underground springs can compromise stability. A structural specialist from a reputable building company, such as, will visit your site to devise a no obligation quote for concrete house footings according to the plans, and the suitability of the area. Once these initial footings are completed, the rest of the build can go ahead as planned. Choose carefully when employing your building firm to construct the shell of your house. Make sure you have a legally binding building contract and that all work is guaranteed. Once the outer shell is built and rendered, you may want to finish the interior yourself for a personal touch, or continue using your builders.

It takes a lot of planning and a lot of asking around for quotes to ensure you don't run into any pitfalls when building your dream home. Employing a good lawyer, translator and architect are a must as well as ensuring you have legal contracts with everyone you work with. Your Bulgarian dream home may be as little as six months away if you adhere to these guidelines for conscientious planning and meticulous organisation.