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Old 25.01.2013, 13:13
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Building a House by yourself

Hi Everyone,

I am curious is there a law or something in Switzerland which would forbid me to build a house by myself, without a contractor.

Actually this is something I would like to do:
1. buy a plot.
2. hire an architect for a house plan.
3. build it myself.

Thank you.
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Old 25.01.2013, 13:18
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Re: Building a House by yourself

Do you have a builders license which is recognised and accepted by the swiss authorities? If you dont then then forget it!

Remember this will also require that you are in a position to

- Negotiate with sub contractors
- Deal with local authorities and regulators in their terms and language

I know people who have contracted their own builders here and even then its a challenge with a fast construction being 18-24 months
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Old 25.01.2013, 13:22
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Re: Building a House by yourself

I know someone who did this over the boarder in France where things are quite lax, it did turn out quite messy though, and there are all kinds of pitfalls including a finished house that is a bit crooked shall we say.

I believe these are some important questions you may wish to consider before proceeding--

Are you up to speed on all the local building regs? are you swiss qualified to install electricity or plumbing? Can you meet the minergie or minergie+ standards? how do you comply with environmental laws or possibly building on a heritage site? does the commune/gemeinde allow a non-professional to execute a building plan, and finally do you have deep enouth pockets to finance the whole thing?, as I am afraid a bank or loan might be very difficult if not impossible.
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Old 25.01.2013, 13:24
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Re: Building a House by yourself

Hello Argato,

when you say build it by yourself do you mean that all work will be carried out by your good self - screwdriver in one hand manual in the other. I think you mean to say that you will be the project manager and you will hire the different tradesmen to carry out the work which you will coordinate and supervise.

regards

John
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Old 25.01.2013, 13:53
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Re: Building a House by yourself

Well, I actually ment building it with my own hands, right.
Looks like it turns out to be too regulated (if anything can be too regulated in Switzerland).

do you know resources where I can read official rules/regulations in terms of who should do the construction, etc?

thank you all anyway
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Old 25.01.2013, 13:59
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Re: Building a House by yourself

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do you know resources where I can read official rules/regulations in terms of who should do the construction, etc?
Depends on which commune?, which Canton?, and possibly other rules may apply as well.
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Old 25.01.2013, 14:00
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Re: Building a House by yourself

Well I thought about VAUD, is it different on a commune level?
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Old 25.01.2013, 14:02
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Re: Building a House by yourself

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Well I thought about VAUD, is it different on a commune level?

Quite possibly, yes. How is your french?
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Old 25.01.2013, 14:03
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Re: Building a House by yourself

my French is so-so, but I will be able to read the documents.
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Old 25.01.2013, 14:12
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Re: Building a House by yourself

i think you will find you might need a few tools as well
only joking I think mabye self build is a better term.
there are lot of challenges as all regulations are quite strict in Switzerland and for many things for example electricity you will require a inspection leading to a certificate of conformity.

it is suprising that you find very few general handymen in Switzerland which i think is related to the strong tradition of apprenticeship and the culture of high quality workmanship.

Good luck it is an interesting challenge.


john
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Old 25.01.2013, 14:15
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Re: Building a House by yourself

@John
well for those specific things, like electricity, I could hire certified professional, just to be compliant. But I am definetely able to duild the walls and do the carpentery without paying 100K for the someone else's work.

Thanks anyway))
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Old 25.01.2013, 14:18
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Re: Building a House by yourself

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@John
well for those specific things, like electricity, I could hire certified professional, just to be compliant. But I am definetely able to duild the walls and do the carpentery without paying 100K for the someone else's work.

Thanks anyway))
Even if you are capable of building a wall I think you will find that without a license recognised by the building compliance assessor you will struggle to get it approved resulting in the need to rip it down and pay someone else to build it so you will actually pay someone 200K to build the wall
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Old 25.01.2013, 14:20
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Re: Building a House by yourself

@Wallabies
That is exactly what I am looking for - the link to the regulations where it is said that it is forbidden (or is only allowed) to self build a house.
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Old 25.01.2013, 14:21
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Re: Building a House by yourself

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my French is so-so, but I will be able to read the documents.
This is the canton site, should give you a start. Read all the sub-pages and the legal texts. Then you would have to read the regs. of whichever commune you are interested. http://www.vd.ch/themes/territoire/c...de-construire/

Keep in mind, land values in Vaud have skyrocketed in recent years, and likely there is little or nothing available unless you have very deep pockets. Expect to pay at least 1 million for any suitable building land that is already zoned as such, at least with a decent commute of Geneva. If looking at the other side of Lausanne in the middle of no where, it could be less.
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Old 25.01.2013, 14:24
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Re: Building a House by yourself

@runningdeer

thanks for the link, will look into it.
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Old 25.01.2013, 14:25
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Re: Building a House by yourself

I think you will find the authorities will put up too many hurdles for you if you self build. I was a house builder/renovator in the UK for 35 years, qualified in electrics and plumbing with certificates up to date, capable of doing everything from footings to chimney stack. I thought about doing the same here, forget it, so many licences/tests needed just to comply with Swiss rules, some of which are in my opinion crazy and stop anyone doing serious building work, probably so the local firms can keep the work between themselves and charge high fees for basic work. Probably why most Swiss don't do DIY in anything, to much regulation just to keep the paper mountain higher and work for the paper shufflers. If you do do it; I wish you all the luck in the world and you will enjoy building and seeing what you have created.
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Old 25.01.2013, 14:30
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Re: Building a House by yourself

@MotorsportsNorton

thanks for the good words. I would really love building a house for my family, but you are right those rules seem to be too complex (although I am absolutely fine with having some).
will see..
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Old 25.01.2013, 14:39
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Re: Building a House by yourself

It's not just about building some house.
It has to be compliant to a number of regulations, most notably this:
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musterv...Energiebereich

I assume, similar regulations also exist in Germany.
Conclusion: you will not build your house yourself. Not here and not in Germany. And if your French is "so-so", then I'd really rather spend the money in Vegas than try to build a house myself in France.
At least, you'd get something from it....
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Old 25.01.2013, 15:36
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Re: Building a House by yourself

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Well, I actually ment building it with my own hands, right.
Looks like it turns out to be too regulated (if anything can be too regulated in Switzerland).

do you know resources where I can read official rules/regulations in terms of who should do the construction, etc?

thank you all anyway
Wallabies is right, you can't physically build the place yourself without being certified...... and to be honest, I'm pretty happy about that.

What you can do, is organise the building yourself with who you want, and coordinate the entire process (like a builder), but the manual work has to be left to professionals.

In saying this, the guy I know who did this took almost 2 years to complete his task and the additional costs involved kept escalating, so please keep this in mind when you are doing your budget.

Oh, one more thing:
Quote:
It's easier to just hit the "QUOTE" button at the bottom of a post rather than write "@"someone.
It also help's keep things clear exactly what you are referring to and avoids any confusion.

Last edited by TidakApa; 25.01.2013 at 16:52.
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Old 05.02.2013, 06:50
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Re: Building a House by yourself

I cannot comment on the regulations in Switzerland, but in Australia it is quite common for amateurs to build their own homes (which are not usually crooked). As an unqualified amateur I started my 3 bedroom, 150 square metre house, at the age of 67 and finished this year after about 18 months work. I did about 90% by myself, working alone most of the time. I employed an electrician, plumber, gas-fitter, and a guy to lay the roof sheets. It is a lot of work, but manageable with planning, and a systematic approach. The total cost, inclusive of all the hidden extras, was AU$135,000. Please see my website for details.
HowIBuiltMyOwnHome.com
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