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Old 01.12.2009, 21:20
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Re: Renovation questions...

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We took the plunge and bought a house in Canton Luzern. The house was built in 1923 and was extensively remodeled in the 1950's but has not been touched since. The house isn't in bad condition but it is very dated and is currently divided up into a warren of small rooms.

I have a lot of experience renovating houses in the US and Italy but I have never done one in Switzerland. We have already begun the demolition and I am keeping a blog here: http://rothus6.blogspot.com/

Our plans:
The house has two floors and a huge attic. Our plan is to gut all three floors completely and remove lots of walls to enlarge the rooms.
  • Ground floor: Remove 3 walls and one bathroom and enlarge the kitchen and living room.
  • 1st floor: Remove several walls and turn 4 bedrooms into 2 bedrooms and a bath that can be shared by the two bedrooms.
  • 2nd floor: Finish the attic to become a large master bedroom and add a large bathroom.
Some questions I have are:
  1. Are we required to use an architect or engineer?
  2. Can I lay out the underfloor heating, plumbing and electrical myself and use a professional plumber and electrician to oversee the process and certify it? I have experience in this area and actually feel comfortable doing it all myself but I imagine I will be required to involve professionals to keep it legal.
  3. Do I need a permit to turn the attic into living space?
  4. Do I need a permit to add or remove a bathroom?
  5. Do I need a permit to turn four bedrooms into two?
  6. Do I need a permit to change the exterior color of the house? (I would like to paint it pale yellow with red shutters.)
  7. Do I need a permit to add 6 Velux roof windows?
  8. Do I need a permit to add or remove a chimney?
  9. Do I need a permit to replace all the old windows with new units of the same size?
  10. Do I need a permit to switch from an old oil-fired hot water radiator heat to a heat-pump and underfloor heating?
  11. How much insulation am I required to put in the walls/roof?
That's all I can think of for now, thanks in advance for any help you can give me,
Ed McGaugh
Rothusstrasse 6
6215 Beromünster LU

PS: Free beers to anyone that wants to stop by and give me your 2 cents worth. (I won't make you pick up the sledge hammer)
Ed you need help.
I am a building inspector for our local Commune.
You should take an architect stright away.
Don't go to the Bauampt before you have some plans.
Don't say that you have already started pulling out.
Attica needs a special permit by us (enlarged living space)
Heat pump needs also a special one.

To all you questions about permits I would say yes.

Floor heating on wooden floors is very complicated and needs a special floor which takes up to 15cm in thickness.
If I can help more send me a PM.

Salut Zämme
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