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  #21  
Old 10.05.2011, 16:41
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Re: Extending a house

Here in Neuchatel I believe the house can occupy a maximum of 50% of the land.
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  #22  
Old 10.05.2011, 17:35
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Re: Extending a house

We extended our house in kanton aargau, we needed to provide a construction description, showing size of addition, in our case the construction had to be 4 meters from min from the edge of the property. Once the council was happy, we then had some poles stuck in the ground showing the height of the construction profile, size, shape, etc ..the neighbours then had a period to complain if they liked ..none did ..and we simply built the addition ...it was not that painful.
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Old 10.05.2011, 18:28
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Re: Extending a house

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Although it would appear that for a lot of people here, they want to know whether they can extend before they buy. Something like this:

1 – Find a potential new home
2 – Need to know whether the house can be extended before going ahead with the purchase
3 – Check the Gemeinde if you are even allowed to extend the house
4 – Contact an Architect/ Engineer/ Bauleiter whatever professional. Share your ideas.
5 – They may present you other ideas and a good explanation of the applying rules. You might actually skip the step 3 and let them do all the work.

I can see that, in the case of someone viewing several potential houses, the costs could soon rack up so they probably only want to go to step 3.
You missed a step, Tom...

6. Having run around for ages, cultivating those in the know, looking for those properties 'secretly' for sale, and having then naively given the architect the details of said property while discussing renovation - the architect then out-bids you to buy the property himself. And sends you a bill for his time.



(Yep, it happened to me. Next time, I won't be so naive.)
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  #24  
Old 10.05.2011, 18:59
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Re: Extending a house

Happened to a friend of mine too - well they were both friends of mine and of each other - no longer Did you actually pay the bill?
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Old 20.06.2011, 09:04
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Re: Extending a house

Forgive me if I hijack this thread, didn't want to create a duplicate.

According to the reserve %age and looking at one other house that raised its attic/roof by 1m, I might/should be able to do the same. My house needs new guttering and facade work, the 100 year old roof is water tight and holding firm. However, everyone that looks at the house, from Grandma to surveyors, says it needs a new roof.

I want to jack the roof up 1m (I think Bauamt will allow), fix the guttering and fascade, new roof with felt under, fit bigger attic windows, and stop there. No walls plastered, no parquet, no electrics, no plumbing, no access stairs, no overpriced Swiss fit out. Basically I want to lock in the space, while I get guttering, facade and roof done. For very little extra I get more space. The house is otherwise rock solid in a great location. No one would jump to pay a good price though as it looks crappy, and I might need to sell sharpish, and would want to be able to offer a good deal.

Once the outside is done on an extension, do the Bauamt come inside to check that everything inside finished? I want to leave that part for now.
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Old 20.06.2011, 09:24
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Re: Extending a house

Not exactly sure what you are asking, but if you think you can automatically go up 1 m just because it is allowed, I would hope so but it may not be so easy.

You may have technical issues, like the walls/structure cannot support the additional height, the approval process at the commune is still necessary and they are likely to make sure it is made with the same materials and of the same type as the rest of the house so as not to stand out, and you still have neighbors to object, so if the 1 m takes away their view, it could be difficult.
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Old 20.06.2011, 09:40
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Re: Extending a house

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Forgive me if I hijack this thread, didn't want to create a duplicate.

According to the reserve %age and looking at one other house that raised its attic/roof by 1m, I might/should be able to do the same. My house needs new guttering and facade work, the 100 year old roof is water tight and holding firm. However, everyone that looks at the house, from Grandma to surveyors, says it needs a new roof.

I want to jack the roof up 1m (I think Bauamt will allow), fix the guttering and fascade, new roof with felt under, fit bigger attic windows, and stop there. No walls plastered, no parquet, no electrics, no plumbing, no access stairs, no overpriced Swiss fit out. Basically I want to lock in the space, while I get guttering, facade and roof done. For very little extra I get more space. The house is otherwise rock solid in a great location. No one would jump to pay a good price though as it looks crappy, and I might need to sell sharpish, and would want to be able to offer a good deal.

Once the outside is done on an extension, do the Bauamt come inside to check that everything inside finished? I want to leave that part for now.
The appplication form, at least in Zug, requires details about insulation for extensions - so I don't think they'll allow an extra room in the roof without proper finishing and insulation. Proper access to a living space I assume would also be required to pass planning.

IMO a half finished job would ring alarm bells and put me off buying.
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Old 20.06.2011, 10:35
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Re: Extending a house

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The appplication form, at least in Zug, requires details about insulation for extensions - so I don't think they'll allow an extra room in the roof without proper finishing and insulation. Proper access to a living space I assume would also be required to pass planning.

IMO a half finished job would ring alarm bells and put me off buying.
The place is in Adliswil, so ZH. I suspect you might be put off more by chunks of render missing from the outside walls, and leaky gutters, than a half finished but tidy looking loft extension/conversion. Perhaps "Project Minimum" is the best course for now, although I would have liked the place to look spick and span, at least from the outside.
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Old 20.06.2011, 10:49
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Re: Extending a house

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The place is in Adliswil, so ZH. I suspect you might be put off more by chunks of render missing from the outside walls, and leaky gutters, than a half finished but tidy looking loft extension/conversion. Perhaps "Project Minimum" is the best course for now, although I would have liked the place to look spick and span, at least from the outside.
Half finished makes me think that the renovation was started and then problems were found.
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Old 20.06.2011, 10:53
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Re: Extending a house

re roof

Every single workman who has come to quote on our place has told us we need a new roof, will need one soon etc etc blah blah bs bs

when we tell them we have had it checked out already and its been given a clean bill of health they soon change there tune, oh well I meant is will need in a new one soon, in like 15 years etc etc
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Old 20.06.2011, 11:01
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Re: Extending a house

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Half finished makes me think that the renovation was started and then problems were found.
That simply hadn't occurred to me!

Unlike most buyers I am one of those types that would rather see things in pieces so I know exactly what I am getting.

Thanks for the reassurance BB2.
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Old 20.06.2011, 11:35
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Re: Extending a house

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That simply hadn't occurred to me!

Unlike most buyers I am one of those types that would rather see things in pieces so I know exactly what I am getting.

Thanks for the reassurance BB2.

its really quite odd, we never asked any of them to even look at the roof, all the work we asked for quotes for was internal, yet they rock up and the first thing they said was about the roof, you can see the excitement in there eyes, I'm going to take these auslanders for everything I can, lol
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  #33  
Old 20.06.2011, 12:19
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Re: Extending a house

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I'm grumpy because our architect couldn't find the right end of the pencil and some of their ideas were just plain dumb/poorly executed/not thought through, and then they had to gall to try and charge us for their mistakes... but hey, that's just my experience...
Something similar happened to my in-laws. The architect didn't listen to a thing they told him and came up with something totally different that wasn't what they wanted but he still sent a hefty bill for it. When they asked why he hadn't done what they wanted he replied that he didn't think their idea was very good and he was a good architect with lots of awards who only did quality design stuff bla bla bla. Obviously he never head that the customer is always right and it never occurred to him to tell them that before spending their money.
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Old 20.06.2011, 13:06
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Re: Extending a house

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When they asked why he hadn't done what they wanted he replied that he didn't think their idea was very good and he was a good architect with lots of awards who only did quality design stuff bla bla bla. Obviously he never head that the customer is always right and it never occurred to him to tell them that before spending their money.
Two little notes:

Switzerland is, unfortunately, one of the very few countries in Europe without an offical Architecture Guild. This means literally anyone can call themselves Architect and demand a payment as one, though some didn't even finish 10th grade or simply worked as a Zimmerman for 5 years.

Though there are good and bad architects all around, please do understand that if you are talking to a "swiss Architect" you might be talking to someone who didn't have to go through 5+ years of practice and theory on how to make a good design. Good architects without an architect diploma, like the gorgeous Tadao Ando, are few.

Secondly, opposite to common belief, a good architect is not someone that does what you want. A good architect is someone who is aware of the rules that apply in your specific case, is aware of your (sometimes ridiculous) expectations, and is capable of presenting a possibility. It is also his job to convince you that your ideas suck, though it is without a doubt the most difficult thing we have to do (maybe because we didn't have psychology in school).

There are a lot of moronic idiotic stupid arrogant sons-of-a-bitch architects. I worked with a lot of them. But please also take into consideration that putting a marble floor and a golden bathtub on a wooden construction house is not the best idea.


Please transmit this message to all your loved ones who are thinking about hiring an architect:


Before the architect does anything, before you say what you want, be sure to check who you are hiring and agree on what you are paying!


Also take into consideration that your idea might suck (illegal, impossible to build, just plain ugly). Take also in consideration that what the architect returns might look ugly to you because you were thinking about a fairy castle in plain ugly Hardbrücke. Take also in consideration a lot of "architects" are assholes.

Architecture is not an individual art like painting. You can't just make a custom building and hide it in your basement. The building belongs to a public space, whether visible and invisible. This means that personal desires often collide with the general plan of the city. It is difficult to understand, but your private home belongs to ALL. And sometimes the whole "art" business in Architecture is being able to join the private taste with the common possibilities. Those possibilities, more often than not, appear "ugly" or "unfair" to you, as a private, but might actually be quite nice and beautiful in a common sense. I hope this is easy to understand, though this is quite a complicated topic.


That said, architects and clients are humans. Both make mistakes.
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Old 20.06.2011, 13:20
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Re: Extending a house

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Two little notes:

Switzerland is, unfortunately, one of the very few countries in Europe without an offical Architecture Guild. This means literally anyone can call themselves Architect and demand a payment as one, though some didn't even finish 10th grade or simply worked as a Zimmerman for 5 years.
anyone want a job in the new architect firm i'm just starting?

- must speak good german
- must be able to draw nice pictures
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  #36  
Old 20.06.2011, 13:23
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Re: Extending a house

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anyone want a job in the new architect firm i'm just starting?

- must speak good german
- must be able to draw nice pictures
You might find some candidates for the "able to draw nice pictures" here...
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  #37  
Old 20.06.2011, 13:23
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Re: Extending a house

Believe it or not, Phil, that's how some architecture offices started... *sigh*

It makes me sound like an old communist hag, but architects still have to work a lot here. It is unbelievable that in 2011 we still have no organization that helps, protects and fights for our rights. I'd volunteer for it, but being an Üsslander makes me dangerous...
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Old 20.06.2011, 14:03
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Re: Extending a house

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Architecture is not an individual art like painting. You can't just make a custom building and hide it in your basement. The building belongs to a public space, whether visible and invisible. This means that personal desires often collide with the general plan of the city. It is difficult to understand, but your private home belongs to ALL. And sometimes the whole "art" business in Architecture is being able to join the private taste with the common possibilities.
That may be.

But in Switzerland it seems to me that whatever the problem needing to be solved, whatever the location and whatever the need, the solution is very simple: A large square box made of concrete with a flat roof and windows in two standard sizes. I could write a software to do that.

It was avant-garde when Le Corbusier started doing that about 90 years ago. But sadly Swiss architects have got caught in a time loop and failed to move on.

A fairy-tale castle next to Hardbrücke would look very cool indeed. A concrete box with a flat roof and two types of window in a picturesque old village does not.
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Old 20.06.2011, 14:09
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Re: Extending a house

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But in Switzerland it seems to me that whatever the problem needing to be solved, whatever the location and whatever the need, the solution is very simple: A large square box made of concrete with a flat roof and windows in two standard sizes. I could write a software to do that.
As someone who's just had a house built from architects plans, I have to say that I was less than impressed with the "designs" suggested. In fact, I think we changed nearly every single wall position by the time we'd finished, and at times I really felt the architect was adding no value other than ticking the boxes and getting the designs drawn up.

A lot of it, is doubtless, down to budget. If you can afford it, a good architect will design a better house than a poor one, but of course it costs more. In their defence, however, there are a lot of Gemeinde rules that they have to adhere to...
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Old 20.06.2011, 14:23
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Re: Extending a house

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But in Switzerland it seems to me that whatever the problem needing to be solved, whatever the location and whatever the need, the solution is very simple: A large square box made of concrete with a flat roof and windows in two standard sizes. I could write a software to do that.
Dear Amogles, welcome to my nightmare. I studied in the best Architecture School in my country, considered to be one of the best in the world: their best import? Plain white concrete cubes with marble/beech floor. I had horrible fights with my teatchers for 5 years because I HATE HATE HATE the formula "white cube" (one time I dared to paint my model blood red! OMG! The teatcher went haywire). Then I had enough and went to the Erasmus office and told them "ship me to the most far away country possible, which makes architecture that has nothing to do with white cubes". The shipped me to Finnland, the country that saved my love for architecture. Then shipped myself to Germany to do my 2 years of practical trainning, mainly remodeling old houses.

White cubes is unfortunately what people, laymen and architects, believe to be the "contemporany language". It's the mainstream, the Lego, what everyone wants to do/have. It can be wonderful, but it is also the common garbage.

As Carlos mentioned, budget plays a lot: the naked truth is, plain white cubes are cheaper and easier to do

(in the architects defense, there are many good white cubes done after Alvar Aalto and Le Corbusier. If you want, I can name you a couple of examples for a future home )
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