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Iceland – Property Building and Renovation

If you’re planning on building or renovating a property in Iceland, it’s important to know the regulations and procedures involved. Here are some answers to common questions:

Planning Permission in Iceland

It is necessary to apply for planning permission in Iceland to build or renovate a property. The procedure involves the following steps:

  • Contact the local planning department to determine the specific requirements for your area.
  • Submit your plans, including drawings, site plans, and other required documents, to the planning department.
  • Wait for approval, which can take several weeks or months depending on the complexity of the project and the workload of the planning department.

Rules on Building Status, Conservation Areas and Preservation Orders in Iceland

Icelandic law protects historic buildings, and listed buildings cannot be demolished without permission. If your property is located in a conservation area, you may need to follow additional regulations when building or renovating.

Finding Reliable Builders in Iceland

To find reliable builders in Iceland, it is recommended to use a professional organisation such as:

  • The Icelandic Construction Association (Samtök byggingarframkvæmda) – https://www.bygg.is/
  • The Federation of Icelandic Industries – Construction and Housing Division (Samtök iðnaðarins) – https://www.si.is/

Building Permits and Licences

In addition to planning permission, you may need the following permits or licenses when building or renovating property in Iceland:

  • Building permit – issued by the local building authority.
  • Electrical permit – issued by the Electrical Safety Authority.
  • Plumbing permit – issued by the local building authority.

Local architects in Iceland

To find a local architect in Iceland, you can contact the following professional body:


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Common Pitfalls in Iceland

When buying land in Iceland, it’s important to consider the following:

  • Check that the land has planning permission for the intended use.
  • Check the boundaries of the land and ensure they are clearly marked.
  • Verify that any utilities (such as water and electricity) are available to the property.

By following these guidelines and regulations, you can ensure that your property building or renovation project in Iceland goes smoothly and meets all necessary requirements.


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