Why do banks not want deposits?
Right now, having money in your current account has become a problem: a problem for banks and a problem for bank users. The level of bank fees imposed on money kept in current accounts is disproportionate. They are charging us for having the money deposited and the only way to avoid paying this commission is to invest in one of their financial products: an investment fund, a retirement product… This is happening at most banks across Europe. Will we go back to hiding the money under a tile or the mattress?
Why do banks charge for deposits?
The answer is because negative interest rates are hurting the banks’ income statement. Therefore, having customers deposit their money in the bank generates a cost and no benefit.
Suppose we deposit €10,000 into our current account at the bank. The bank has to keep this money and have it available for you at all times. If there are 100 people who all deposit €10,000, the bank will have €1,000,000 in its hands. With this amount of money, the bank can do two things: either lend it, or keep it in cash. Lending it carries a risk, and keeping it in cash entails a number of costs, either due to the need for high-security storage, or the option of making a deposit with the European Central Bank.
Why do ECB deposits have a cost?
The deposit at the European Central Bank has a cost of -0.50% for banks. This means that, in order to deposit the million euros of the example, the financial institution would have to pay approximately €5,000 in cost.
The aim of the European Central Bank for maintaining negative interest rates is to push financial institutions to increase lending to businesses and consumers, and thus reactivate the consumer economy. The European Central Bank has also chosen to penalise savings with the aim of moving, investing, and spending money. The idea is to boost the economy and alleviate the continent’s meagre macroeconomic outlook.
However, due to the incidence of COVID-19, household savings have increased and, therefore, there has been an increase in liquidity, and the value of deposits has been increasing. Thus, due to negative interest rates, banks have had to pay large sums of money to deposit all this liquidity in the European Central Bank.
As banks get negative returns on liquidity, they no longer want to raise more money, and have stopped offering fixed-term deposits and remuneration in their accounts. Far from our reach is the financial memory of 2008, when the EURIBOR was above 5% and there were deposits that gave you 10% or 11% APR a month. Or others, which gave 7.5% APR in three months; or 5-6% deposits in the medium and long term. If one day we have such deposits again, it will be because the EURIBOR will have risen again.
Are the tile or the mattress back?
However, the solution is not to keep money inside the mattress or under the tile, as the loss of the value of money, due to inflation, also reduces our purchasing power. Right now, the solution to all this mess is a pretty complicated equation about what I want to do with the money saved, how long I want to keep it off, and so on. These and other questions can guide us on what we can do about it. But that’s a horse of a different colour.
From 10 April 2021, grants from the MOVES III Plan (or Moves Plan 2021) are available, which will run until 2023. This plan to help purchase electrified vehicles has an initial budget of €400 million, expandable up to €800 million, if the demand justifies it.
The budget for grants will be divided by autonomous communities, depending on their population. With this in mind, Andalusia would be the most benefited with €71.35 million, followed by Catalonia, with €65.79 million, the Community of Madrid, with €57.15 million, and the Valencian Community, with €42.63 million. Of course; it is not possible to submit applications until the Autonomous Communities have activated their plans.
There are two types of grants:
- For the purchase of plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles.
- For the installation and development of recharging points throughout the territory — depending on the population, up to 80% of the total cost of the installation can be obtained.
In addition to cars, support is also provided for the purchase of vans, motorcycles, and quadricycles. Unlike the previous plan, MOVES II, trucks, buses, gas cars, and electric bicycles are excluded from this current plan.
Grants for individuals
For cars, grants can reach up to €7,000, as long as a car older than seven years is delivered for scrapping in return.
The types of vehicles that can benefit from the Plan are:
- 100% electric cars (EV or BEV) with an electric autonomy greater than 90 kilometres. For these, the maximum amount can reach €7,000. The requirements are:
- Delivering a car over seven years old to be scrapped. Otherwise, the amount is reduced to €4,500.
- The amount (excluding VAT) of the purchase of the new electric car cannot exceed €45,000, or €53,000 if it has 8 or 9 seats.
- These same conditions apply to plug-in hybrids (PHEV) with more than 90 kilometres of approved autonomy (very few achieve this).
- Plug-in hybrid cars (PHEV) with an electric autonomy of between 30 and 90 kilometres.
- Cars with fuel cell technology (FCV or FCHV). The requirements are:
- The maximum subsidy is €5,000, in exchange for a car older than seven years to be scrapped. Otherwise, the subsidy will be half, €2,500.
- The purchase price cannot exceed €45,000 (excluding VAT).
Synthesis of the Plan for individuals, self-employed workers, and public administrations
Cars and SUVs are in the M1 category. N1 includes goods vehicles weighing less than 3.5 tons. L6e and L7e include quadricycles, and L3e, L4e, and L5e are motorcycles and tricycles.
Synthesis of the Plan for SMEs
Synthesis of the Plan for large companies
In order to prevent cities from concentrating most grants, the Spanish government is offering greater subsidies to municipalities with less than 5,000 inhabitants and their citizens. In these cases, it is 10% more of what is indicated in the tables above. However, the registration in this same municipality must be maintained for some years.
An increase of 10% is also granted to VTC services, taxis, and owners with disabilities.
The Spanish government expects that, with these grants, by 2023 there will be at least 250,000 electric vehicles in circulation. Also, a minimum of 100,000 recharging points (both public and private).
In the economic section, the government’s calculations predict that the Moves III Plan will involve an extra contribution of €2.9 billion to the Spanish GDP that will generate nearly 40,000 jobs along the entire value chain.
Every year, there are millions of people around the world who suffer the effects of online scams. Digitalisation has accelerated this increasingly common type of digital crime, but how can we prevent and avoid the serious effects that result from it?
Physical and digital scams: what is the difference?
Scams have always been present in the daily lives of all of us. Who hasn’t felt cheated in discovering that a product wasn’t what they expected? Who hasn’t seen the need to keep a close eye on their belongings while watching a street show in crowded places like the Rambles in Barcelona? Online scams are these events, but focused on the digital realm, which involves the theft of our identity or our money through various shenanigans, just like in real life.
The fundamental reason why they are booming is that, in the face-to-face world, we have much more experience in avoiding them. We have been doing it all our lives, while online fraud is a new event for most of us and they are much more difficult to avoid, especially for those who are not yet fully accustomed to the digital realm. How can we protect ourselves?
Information is power
The key word is prevention. As the saying goes: no use crying over spilt milk. A phrase that, in the digital world, is a perfect fit. Unlike what happens in many physical scams, in online fraud it is very difficult to identify the author, so it is complicated to prosecute them and get them to return what they have stolen. Therefore, the best option is to take enough precautions so that it does not happen.
One of the most important is controlling the information we give about ourselves on the Net. And it is worth remembering that many virtual scammers take advantage of information that people may have left accessible in the cloud to try to make them fall into a trap: for example, receiving a message from a supposed messaging company the day you wait for a package can be the perfect setting to open a fake message and fall into the trap.
The best thing we can do, then, is to make things difficult for them and avoid sharing details on the internet that we don’t want strangers to know. That may mean changing privacy settings on our social networks, for example, by setting the profile as private, or restricting the information that people that you have not added as contacts can see.
In addition, we should also be vigilant with the information we give to third parties. If in an email, message, or call they ask you for personal information or a password, check that the sender of the message is actually who they claim to be, for example, by comparing the sender of the email with the information on the sender’s official website.
Protect your account to protect yourself
The other aspect that we must not neglect is the level of protection of our accounts, whether those of our social networks, our e-mail, or the bank’s application. It is advisable to have a strong password, if possible, one that includes numbers, letters (both uppercase and lowercase), and some special characters, such as a question mark or quotation marks.
Likewise, it is also recommended activating two-factor or two-step authentication on the pages where we can activate it. It is a security feature that activates two different user identification processes instead of one, so an outside person would need to have stolen much more personal information in order to access the account.
Protect yourself without becoming obsessed
More and more crimes are being committed online, but that doesn’t mean we have to become obsessed with security measures. As in real life, no matter how much care you take, sometimes you may be robbed, and the same goes for the digital realm: you may have protected yourself at a high level but, in every little detail, the possibility of a third person seeing it and taking advantage of it.
All in all, enjoying social media and surfing the internet safely is possible, and following these tips will serve as a precautionary measure. Of course, we must always remember that the risk exists, and therefore it is not worth making us paranoid in this regard, as the results can be counterproductive. Common sense, the avoidance of all those practices that we believe are not convenient for us, and controlling our privacy will be key in this fight against online fraud.
Accelerating digitalisation has been one of the most important challenges for SMEs during the pandemic. The data say that 70% of companies in Spain have been digitalised during the pandemic, according to the consulting firm IPG. This means that 7 out of 10 have opened an online store.
While many SMEs have been thinking about digitalisation for years and it was one of the outstanding issues, the pandemic has accelerated and made many companies go online in record time and, probably thanks to this, they have not had to close. A company with less than 250 employees whose turnover does not exceed 5 million Euro is considered an SME.
The cost of digitalisation
When an SME searches the internet for a way to go digital, it will probably come up with many offers and very cheap prices from companies that are dedicated to this task. It can even buy a domain, which will cost less, as you can have one for €10 a year. It can also find many pages that provide with templates and, if it is accompanied by images, it can make a website on its own.
But, as the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
There are many elements to consider when creating an e-commerce. It depends on the business you have, whether you have an extensive catalogue, whether you work internationally, or if you constantly have new products. The best thing to do when digitalising your business is to hire an agency to help you get this big project up and running. There are many things to keep in mind, and having a good e-commerce that works perfectly and that does not have errors will be the key to success.
Things to keep in mind
Before launching an online store, keep in mind:
- Make an analysis of the competition: surf the internet (visit websites and social networks).
- Make an analysis of the own company: identify your own e-commerce. Decide if it can be done by the company’s staff or if external help is needed, for example, an agency specialising in web pages.
- Take into account the stipulated time required to make a web page, as there may always be some surprise. Therefore, the launch date of the business must not be shared with the networks until it is 100% sure.
- Once the website is up and running, it needs to be constantly updated.
- You must be very fast: when a user asks about a product or service, you must answer as soon as possible because, otherwise, there is a risk that they may end up buying it elsewhere.
The pandemic has changed consumer habits, and it has also made it clear that if you want to keep the business going, you need to have an online site for potential customers to find and see what is offered.
We are in the age of omnichannelity, and you need to have the ability to satisfy both a customer who buys in the physical store and a customer who buys online, through a phone call, through an email, or even through the social media of the business.
Years ago, it was unthinkable that a company could earn customers with a website. Until then, the usual technique for getting buyers was having a sales team that, along with a marketing strategy, did what is called “cold calling”, that is, selling the product or service from scratch. This commercial task, on many occasions, could last for weeks or months.
Today, when you open a business, even if services are offered, you need to have a website where potential customers can see what is being offered, what has been done, the team that makes up the company, and an essential thing, its business philosophy (mission and vision). With just this information, the potential customer can get an idea of who they are.
Apparently, it may seem much easier to reach the customer through a website than doing it with a sales team, but it’s not quite that good. It’s not all about having a website. Social media is another tool that must be kept in mind in today’s society, which is permanently connected.
During the pandemic, companies have had to digitalise their businesses. This has been the only way to earn income. The data tells us that 7 out of 10 companies that did not have an e-commerce before the confinement had to go digital if they didn’t want to close the business. The food, fashion, electronics, beauty, and household products sectors are the ones that have benefited the most from having taken this step.
The Covid-19 pandemic has done great harm to Catalan companies. To top it off, the ones that have suffered the most have been the smaller companies. Those that have not had to close have suffered a significant drop in sales and, in many cases, have been forced to include workers in an ERTO or even sack them. This first quarter of 2021, however, shows a certain recovery in economic activity.
According to Idescat, on January 1, 2020 a total of 637,772 companies were established in Catalonia (excluding agricultural production, fishing, and domestic services).
If we consider only the criterion of number of employees, the sum of self-employed (companies without employees), microenterprises (less than 10 workers), and small businesses (less than 50 workers) is 629,332, more than 98% of the entire Catalan business sector. In fact, the sum of self-employed and microenterprises only exceeds 94% of the total in Catalonia.
The smaller the company, the more it has suffered
The size of companies has turned out to be strongly related to their degree of vulnerability to the economic and social crisis resulting from the pandemic.
At the end of February this year, the Bank of Spain Survey on Business Activity (EBAE) read that small businesses were the ones that suffered most from the effects of the crisis during 2020, as they lost, on average, 19% of their turnover, whereas big businesses only lost 12.4%.
The drop in sales softened as the size of the company grew. This same trend has been observed in effective employment – once the ERTO (layoffs) have been deducted.
All sectors have been more or less affected
In Catalonia, 74% of GDP corresponds to the services sector, an economic activity strongly dependent on tourism. Thus, the president of the Guild of Restorers of Barcelona, Roger Pallarols -without precise data yet-, believes that in Catalonia the proportion of businesses that have closed to never reopen can reach 25%.
Other sectors, such as trade and industry, have also suffered a significant impact. According to the survey by PIMEC, Evolution of the Catalan industrial SME in 2020 and prospects for 2021, 54% of Catalan industrial SMEs have closed the year of COVID-19 with results below those achieved in 2019. Up to 29% have destroyed employment, whereas only 22% have increased their workforce.
This strong relationship between the “health” of companies and employment levels ends up having a direct impact on the well-being of people.
Prospects: a glimmer of hope
These first months of 2021, however, are beginning to send us a message of hope.
According to data from the Department of Business and Labour of the Generalitat de Catalunya in its Bulletin of the labour situation and productive sectors. 1st term 2021, in the 1st quarter of 2021 there is a remarkable recovery of economic activity and this is reflected in the evolution of the labour market. The month of May 2021 shows a -3.1% drop in unemployment. The number of people affiliated to Social Security has risen in +1.1% compared to the previous month, and recruitment has grown by 11%.
Another reason for hope can be found in the first Scanner Startups Ecosystem, organised by Barcelona Tech City and Closa Investment Bankers, based on operations closed in 2020. It states that last year the Spanish technological companies almost got to €2,100 million in financing, an increase of 4.3% -despite the fact that Spain’s GDP fell by 11% due to the impact of Covid-19- and that in the first four months of 2021 the sector has already raised nearly €1,800 million, almost as much as in the whole of last year. 41% of respondents say they have increased their workforce in the last year, compared to 31% which has reduced it. The survey reaffirms that Barcelona is the focus of investment in emerging companies in Spain.
Another positive fact is that the digitisation of companies – which until the pandemic could be more or less optional – has become almost mandatory. M. Rosa Agustí, president of the Girona Association of Businesswomen (AGE), explains: “The pandemic has caused 90% of Girona’s companies run by women to be digitised and sold via the Internet.”
Only 13% of customers receive financial advice on products tailored to their needs and situation. An alarming figure that warns of the vulnerability in which many consumers around the world find themselves.
Going to the bank is synonymous with complex speeches where you never know for sure if they are selling you a good product or simply telling you its positive features. The lack of information and transparency favours, in many clients, the feeling of being deceived. According to a survey by Finance Watch, 87% of customers are in this situation, and only the remaining 13% hire products that they understand and adapt to their requirements. Below we will give you the keys to recognizing if you are receiving the right advice.
First step: inform or advise
The first thing to keep in mind when talking about financial advice is that the European MIFID II regulation (2017), created to protect the investor, clearly differentiates the functions of informing and advising.
Informing can be done by any bank employee, and consists of presenting the product information to the customer in a clear, precise, and detailed way. The more information the customer has, the more ability to make a good decision. But let us remark that it is only limited to presenting information, not recommendations or personal opinions.
Advising, on the other hand, requires assessing the customer’s situation and needs in order to advise the most appropriate product. Advising does influence the client’s final decision, and therefore can only be done by people authorised and certified to do this task.
Requiring pre-contractual information
As specified in Article 7 of the 22/2007 Law, any contract made with a bank must provide the customer with pre-contractual information. The cost of the contract must be clearly detailed, as well as the conditions and risks of the contract to be signed. Without this, it is considered that the client does not have all the information at his disposal and therefore the contract may not be adequate.
In Spain, most entities have become commercial banks, and cross-selling or reactive selling has taken centre stage. They take advantage of the customer’s presence in the office -or even by telephone- to promote certain bank products. A sales process in which written information becomes secondary and advice, according to the survey’s figures, appears to be more focused on the bank’s interests than the customer’s needs.
Understand everything you sign
In this new scenario, the contracting process is usually quick and based on recommendations. Pre-contractual information loses prominence and is often skipped, moving directly to contracting. Only 40% of customers consider that they can choose wisely; the rest do not fully understand the information they receive.
In addition, digital signature systems are an added difficulty for customers, who often sign on a screen without even having access to the pre-contractual document. It is precisely at this point, in the understanding of products, where we must pay more attention as consumers and, as any jurist would recommend, not sign any product whose characteristics we do not know and understand.
Online advice, an added difficulty
Finding personalised advice online is virtually impossible, as many banks simply offer a platform that facilitates contracting by customers. There is no advice, but the client’s decision is guided from actions as simple as the presentation of information.
First, the basic information is presented very concisely, which contributes to irrational sales. They highlight those key data that will make us click to have, for example, an instant loan on irresistible conditions. Once the interest has been captured, the pre-contractual and contractual information appears in a long and dense document which explains the real conditions of the product and the involvement of the consumer.
The difference is obvious: very few data to make the decision and multiple pages to detail the contract that lead the consumer to sign it without reading it, remaining with the initial data, and the risk that this entails.
Lack of financial advice, or lack of independence from it, can be considered bad practices if they condition the client’s final decision. Knowing this information is the basis for identifying these possible situations and understanding that, in any contracting, the customer must have the last word.
Looking for financing is no longer synonymous with going to the bank. Nowadays, there are a wide range of other options that can be an alternative and that need to be known.
Ignorance about the existence of credit providers other than banks is still the main obstacle: only one in three businesses is aware of the existence of Fintech or digital financing platforms, and only 20% say they have used them. This data is taken from the fintech and alternative financing business barometer, created by the Institut d’Estudis Financers (IEF) in collaboration with Altria Corpo and presented on 2 February.
According to the same survey, 40% of businesses believe that access to banking credit has tightened in the last 12 months and, even so, 50% believe that they will need access to it in the next 12 months. One of its drivers and attractions is therefore easier accessibility than banks. Its costs are also realistic: the interest rates are usually in line with the market, so as to be competitive, and at the same time, there are no surprises or unexpectedly high interest rates.
But what are these “other forms of financing”?
Businesses that are already using them opt mainly for factoring, renting and leasing (representing 25% of the total). Other options such as crowdlending or crowdfunding are more common in the start-up world. But let’s find out what is behind these terms:
- Factoring is used by businesses to advance collections: as simple as the provider of this service will pay us in cash for the invoice we have pending with a client (on credit) and will take care of the subsequent management. We will be subject to interest and, possibly, a commission of the costs. There are various types, depending on the assumption of the risk of non-payment. We should also mention confirming, the reverse option, where the supplier assumes the payment of invoices and converts them into credit.
- Renting allows the rental of movable assets, such as vehicles, office or computer equipment, for periods of more than one year. Fixed instalments will be established as payment, which often include maintenance, insurance, etc. We will enjoy a new asset in perfect condition, without having to make a significant initial outlay. The main difference with leasing is that, in this case, it incorporates a purchase option at the end of the contract.
- Crowdlending is a form of lending by investors, with a low-interest return, without the need to go to the bank. We can find providers such as Ecrowd!, dedicated especially to technology projects, which offer this financing option.
- Crowdfunding, widely used in start-ups, is based on obtaining the interest of other people in our project and raising funds in exchange for offering an advantage or privilege later; very oriented to product launches, preference or discount on the purchase could be an example of consideration. It will be fairly easy to find many crowdfunding platforms to get started.
- Investments of a more professional nature are known as crowdinvesting or business angels, where funding is received from companies or players in the sector and who will usually ask for a percentage of future profits in return.
As we have seen, the orientation of alternative financing to banks tends to be towards investment in business projects rather than individuals, although options such as renting or leasing can be useful in the latter case, if we think for example in the case of a salesperson who wants to enjoy a vehicle without the high costs of wear and tear and the purchase of a new one every few years. In both cases, we must not forget or rule out public financing through subsidies or grants, such as those offered by the Generalitat, city councils, such as Barcelona’s, or the Chambers of Commerce. Many of these grants have been created or increased specifically to alleviate the negative effects of the pandemic, and you just have to keep an eye on the different calls for applications.
11Onze Podcast launches a series of chapters to find out all about banking abuses, conversations with Arcadi Sala-Planell, Head of Legal at 11Onze. First chapter: les comissions.
“All traditional banks have jumped on the commissions’ bandwagon to make money, because banks can’t survive”, explains Sala-Planell in the first chapter of Abusos Bancaris. In several chapters, the lawyer will go through the abuses most commonly suffered by users of the banking system, in conversation with the Head of Contents of 11Onze Toni Mata.
“Banking commissions are regulated, but in practice financial institutions bypass this regulation”, says Sala-Planell, who recommends checking on the Bank of Spain’s website whether the commissions are irregular or not. “The banks abuse people because they know they won’t go to court for a commission,” says the CLO of 11Onze.
More 11Onze Podcast
In addition to the chapters on banking abuses, 11Onze Podcast will increase its content offering. It will do so with conversations on topics of interest around the world of money that will feature 11Onze agents and some of its managers.
The new electricity tariffs come into force from 1 June. Changes will be applied to the hourly consumption brackets and the possibility of contracting two different power supply levels for the same day will be introduced.
This new bill “will promote energy saving, efficiency, self-consumption and the deployment of electric vehicles”. Or so we are told by the Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica y lo Reto Demográfico.
It is designed to modify our consumption habits and will apply different prices based on three time slots and depending on whether it is a working day, weekend or public holiday. However, it will only affect domestic consumers and small businesses in the regulated market, the so-called Precio Voluntario para el Pequeño Consumidor (PVPC), and which have a contracted power of less than 15 kW.
Three time bands
Three time bands are established with different tolls and charges. The cost of electricity in the Valle time band will be up to 95% cheaper than in the Punta time band, which is why it is recommended that you try to concentrate most of your electricity consumption in this time band between midnight and 8:00 in the morning.
- Punta, the most expensive. Weekdays from 10 am to 2 pm and from 6 pm to 10 pm.
- Plana, the medium price. Weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and from 10 p.m. to midnight.
- Valle, the cheapest. Weekdays from midnight to 8.00 a.m. and also all weekends and public holidays.
Two different power ratings
Until now, we could only contract one power rating, but with the new tariff we can contract two different ratings, although if we do not specify otherwise they will be of the same rating.
This is an interesting change for consumers who have an electric car with a charging point at home, and who will be able to contract the highest power in the cheapest time slot and thus take advantage of the opportunity to charge the batteries at an almost symbolic cost of €1.42 per kW contracted (OCU). Similarly, consumers who have storage heaters will benefit from the possibility of charging the heat reserves in the highest power period at the lowest tariff.
Does this mean that I will pay more, or less?
Well, it will depend on each household and the distribution of consumption. If we already had an hourly discrimination contract that included morning hours, we will have to adapt to the new time slots if we do not want our electricity bill to increase, since a good part of these hours, which until now had the cheapest tariff, will now have the most expensive one.
On the other hand, if we adjust the contracted power and get into the habit of using washing machines and dryers at the weekend or at night, we will be compensated with lower annual bills.
So, don’t these changes affect free market consumers?
Indirectly, possibly yes, since regardless of the contract we have signed, it is common for marketers to reserve the right to pass on to customers any legislative changes in reference to tolls or charges, and therefore we must be alert to any letter we receive from our electricity supplier indicating changes in the contract.
A more simplified bill, or not
Although it will be shorter, only two pages, it will have more information, such as the two new power ratings and the three energy bands. And it will also include a QR code with which we will be able to access a comparison of available offers from the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC).
Obviously, none of these changes affect the oligopoly that the large electricity companies still have in our national market, despite the relative fragmentation of alternative suppliers, and which ensures that a significant drop in electricity prices remains, unfortunately, a utopia. But in any case, we already have our homework to do, at the very least, to prevent our electricity bills from rising.
Whether it is for fun or to try to save money, more and more people are starting to renovate their homes themselves. Many people use their holidays, others take advantage of a few days off and there are even some who have used the confinement to lay that parquet floor, paint the bedroom or, for the bravest, renovate the bathroom or kitchen.
What is clear is that things have to be done right, so if you are one of those who are determined to make a small or big change in your home, 11Onze wants to give you some tips for your reform to be properly planned and free of headaches. We have found a guide to help you in this adventure on the OCU website.
The first piece of advice they give us is not to improvise. If, for example, we are planning to renovate the bathroom, it might be a good idea to check the electrical installation and the old plumbing before starting. Another piece of advice is about who will do the renovation; will we do it ourselves? Will a friend or relative help us, or are we going to need help from a carpenter or electrician? The OCU website clearly reminds us that it is also necessary to plan the whole process in detail, take good measurements of everything, and above all, make sure that the structural elements will not be affected by the reformation. And never forget to check if the work we are going to do at home requires any authorisation from the town or city council, and it is advisable to notify our neighbourhood community if necessary. And just as important, if not more so, is to have the necessary material and all the tools we will need to carry out the renovations. In this sense, it is good to remember that we always have the option of renting the tools, especially when they are very specialised.
What do you think about doing some building work at home? Isn’t it a good way to have a zero-mile holiday? Very economical while at the same time you make the necessary reforms to your house or restore that piece of furniture that grandma left behind. Well, if you are interested, don’t miss the video of our agent 11Onze, Francesc Serra, which may convince you, the decision, as always, is yours.