Buying a house in the Netherlands can be challenging. If you can't find what you are looking for right away, don't forget that you could also consider doing renovation work. Or perhaps you have found your dream home, but you would like to make it more sustainable. Here is what you need to consider if you are looking to renovate your house in the Netherlands.
Building permits in the Netherlands
Are you planning on doing extensive work on your home? You may need to apply for a building permit.
Omgevingsvergunning (Integrated Environmental Permit)
If you are planning to make any structural changes to a building, for example adding a rooftop terrace or balcony, you will most likely need an integrated environmental permit (omgevingsvergunning). If you are not sure whether you need a building permit, you can check the Omgevingsloket website. You can also apply for a permit via this website. The cost of the permit depends on the estimated construction costs.
Please note that the processing time of your application may take up to eight weeks and once your permit has been approved, your plans will be announced in the archive of your municipality. From this moment, your neighbours will have six weeks to object to the planned renovations if they don’t approve.
Commissie Ruimtelijke Kwaliteit (Spatial Quality Committee)
Various municipalities require your potential permit to be assessed by the Spatial Quality Committee (Commissie Ruimtelijke Kwaliteit) to make sure that historic buildings and monuments are protected and preserved.
You may also need a permit (objectvergunning) if you need to place materials or equipment in the street during your renovation. However, depending on your municipality, a simple notification may be enough.
Financing your renovation: Bouwdepot
If you have done some research into renovating your home already, you may have come across the Dutch word bouwdepot. So, what is a bouwdepot exactly?
A bouwdepot (construction fund) is a loan alongside your mortgage, specifically intended to help you renovate your house. You can apply for a bouwdepot when you apply for a mortgage. Your mortgage advisor will help you determine how much of your mortgage will go into the bouwdepot. You can use the money in this separate account to pay for invoices from contractors or suppliers. Usually, the interest added on to the bouwdepot is equal to the interest you pay on your mortgage.
In general, you can use your bouwdepot for two years. If your renovation project ends up taking longer than two years, some mortgage providers may offer a renewal under specific circumstances.
Architect vs. contractor
When do you hire an architect and when do you hire a contractor for your building project? Generally, the answer is simple. In the Netherlands, you typically hire an architect or interior designer if you are planning a major renovation that requires extensive building plans.
Hiring an architect in the Netherlands
An architect creates building plans, combining their design philosophy with your wishes. The preliminary design is then discussed with you and a contractor. The architect will also provide you with an overview of the costs of the project.
Hiring a contractor in the Netherlands
A contractor helps you realise the building plan that was designed by the architect. However, a contractor can also make building plans themselves, depending on the scale of the project. This means that you don’t always have to hire an architect.
If you are just looking for someone to do small scale renovations, you can also check our handy list of handymen services in the Netherlands.
Sustainability subsidy (ISDE)
The Dutch government rewards people who make their home more sustainable through renovation. This means you might be able to get a bigger mortgage if you plan to renovate your home to be greener.
From January 1, 2024, the Investeringssubsidie Duurzame Energie en Energiebesparing (ISDE) will be made available again. This subsidy rewards homeowners who invest in insulation, a (hybrid) heat pump, a solar boiler, an electric cooking facility or a connection to the heating network.
After the renovation
Need some help with the finishing touches of your newly renovated home? Browse our list of furniture services in the Netherlands.