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Building and alterations

One must apply for a building permit when planning to build a house, rebuild, build an extension or change a house. Building work may not commence until this permit has been issued.

Building permits

Building-permit application forms can be obtained from the building inspector of the relevant municipality. These forms can be obtained from the websites of the relevant local communities.

Local governments issue building permits after having obtained the opinion of the building committees and the building inspectors, who monitor compliance with all the regulations during the construction process.

Examples of construction work for which you need to apply for a building permit are:

  • Change in the way a house is used (its usage).

  • Patios, hot tubs and disk antennas.

  • Fences over a certain height, and concrete sheltering walls.

If the planned changes in the use of accommodation or any enlargements to it contradict the current local land-use plan, the planning committee of the local community must take the application up for consideration, which may prolong the period considerably before the case is concluded.

A building-permit fee must be paid for a building permit. Various other fees are levied in connection with construction work, such as road-building charges and charges for audits and certificates.

Other items

Building plots for new construction are allocated by the local communities, each of which sets their own rules regarding allocation of building plots.

Fire compensation assessment must be applied for within four weeks of new accommodation having been taken into use. The first assessment is free of charge.

Applications may be made for grants for the improvement and maintenance of buildings that are considered worth conserving. These are awarded by the National Architectural Heritage Fund, the Parliamentary Budget Committee and by some local communities.