Building our home in Bucharest #2

As I was telling you in a first post, we left our new-bought-house in Bucharest almost untouched for one year: from time to time we went there in order to make some measurements and figure out what we wanted to do with our new property.

We wanted to move in because of the constant tensions with my parents-in-law, but regarding the state of the windows and insulation and the structure itself (it was built during the fifties) the house needed some major improvements. But what exactly did we want? How would the works cost? What was the local legislation? What were the steps to make?

Well, in order to answers all these questions and – in the meantime – go on building our company, we needed some months of intense research and decision-making.

First we came to the conclusion that the building needed to meet the anti-seismic rules, as Bucharest is in an earthquakes-area. Second we needed to make a new roof, a new plumbing and heating system, put electrical cables. We also wanted another room for our son. So, it was clear that we needed to build another level on top of the existing house. So, again, another study to improve the structure…

We made our way through the “architectural Romanian jungle”: we were abused by an architect who took our money and left us without any plan, but we did not have time to sue him in a corrupted country. We had difficulties in finding a “serious” architect and made plans for our house three or four times, as the offices of the mayor showed us new regulatory rules in urbanism. Maybe the clerks wanted some bribes, but it is not how we deal with public servants and we continued with the plans to meet the severe criteria.

Cristina even defended the case by herself in front of the commission, “abandoned” by the architect in the last minute. It was really an ordeal to get the final approval and finally begin the works with the selected building company.

So we began to bring workers in our house a few weeks before the official beginning of the works in April 2005, in order to do all the digging and move fast. Sure, we paid a fine because one of our neighbors denounced us, but that is part of the game.

The works had begun! We now had to worry about the money in order to pay for our dream to come true, but that is the subject of another episode!

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