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Old 30.01.2018, 09:40
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Looking for Architect to do Renovations

Hi all,

We have bought an old house from the 60s that is in dire need of renovation! We are therefore looking for an architect with experience of this. We are also allowed to (and intend to) add a floor on top of the current property.

Has anyone done a similar project, and if so, do they have an archtiect they would recommend? Anyone had a massively negative experience, if so, what happened - feel free to PM if you don't want to libel some company in public!

We would very much be looking for a modern aesthetic, lots of light, white walls kind of thing. If people have and are willing to share any photos of what they've done for a bit of inspiration, it would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 30.01.2018, 10:29
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Re: Looking for Architect to do Renovations

I can't recommend the architect we used, as he was a total waste of oxygen.

But my advise, based on hindsight;

If possible, as you will need permits for the addition, use someone with 'Vitamin B' in the Gemeinde, someone who has a good relationship with the Bauamt. I learned the hard way; our application was rejected while the neighbor whose project was essentially the same was able to build their addition.

My advice might only apply to small villages, but it never hurts to at least interview the local guy(s). Start by contacting the Bauamt, ask who they recommend. And if the Bauamt isn't allowed to give a recommendation, ask to see permit applications on file - look to see who the folks who were approved used.

Good luck with your project.
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Old 30.01.2018, 10:55
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Re: Looking for Architect to do Renovations

Hi Meloncollie,

The additional floor (and one more in fact) is allowed by Baurecht, so I don't think that vitamin B helps too much there, as long as whichever architect I pick builds to the "norm".

We already have rough sketches from the architect in the village, but I would like a few more options to compare with and go with the person whose designs I like best, and more importantly I have a good feeling about and trust, as they will be managing my project for the next year.
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Old 30.01.2018, 13:21
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Re: Looking for Architect to do Renovations

i have worked on exactly what you describe, the company i worked for had a pre fabricated timber floor added to the house, it is quicker, and from a structual advantage, no extra stress to the building /foundations,this is a quicker way of doing it,it might be worth asking youre architect of this system,.It is also a lot less messy and intrusive, apart from the breakthrough,and connecting of cables and sanitation. however if you are having extensive work carried out , from a ressale perspective,the swiss are always more favourable to buy a house that has had the electrics, heating and sanitation updated,and if you are tearing the house apart, it is not a lot more on top to get this done also,if it youre house is say about 60/80 meters square footprint, i know of a company that might do this sort of work, and they take on all the gemeinde stuff and have their own architects(takes out all the two ing and fro ing),
i myself had a loft conversion done(uk style) and this company did it all,and were fantastic,
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Old 30.01.2018, 13:22
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Re: Looking for Architect to do Renovations

Where in Zurich? I know a good guy in Rapperswil. The trouble is the best designers are the worst at running a job and keeping to budget.
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Old 30.01.2018, 13:29
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Re: Looking for Architect to do Renovations

What kinds of services are you expecting from an architect? In my case, it was great for initial consultation, getting an idea of the Swiss construction industry, regulations, materials and even some concepts. But when it came time for actual implementation, I found the architect merely doubled all construction costs. So I opted to cut the architect out of the construction process to save cost, whenever I could. It meant having to deal with workers directly, but I believe I got 2 to 3 more times the output for my budget.

There were risks, but there are always risks. But am happy with my end result.
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Old 30.01.2018, 13:49
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Re: Looking for Architect to do Renovations

Thanks all so far for your inputs. The house isn't in Kt Zurich, but Walchwil, Kt Zug.

There are various options as you mention Phos - luckily I have a couple of good friends who are Architects and Bauleiters at medium-large sized firms. Their firms would take on the work, but they have advised me to source multiple quotes / ideas from architects. It isn't too far away from here, but despite that, I think I would prefer having someone co-ordinating the various tradesmen that wasn't me - I'll see what the budget with and without would be.

Initially, there are a couple of options with the current property - it could be torn down and rebuilt, it could be renovated and a wooden floor/(s) (someone mentinoed this earlier) added on top. I would like to source a few architects who would have a look at it, do the plans they feel are most suitable, then I would go with the one I liked.
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Old 30.01.2018, 13:57
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Re: Looking for Architect to do Renovations

We get the keys to our new place tomorrow. After which there is going to be a 2-3 month renovation, including putting a new roof on.

We are using a project manager who will do some of the work himself, but more importantly for us is managing the interaction with the multiple trades, the Bauamt, the Verwaltung, the architect etc

He came recommended from a colleague I trust and I’m told he has a reputation for keeping projects on track re costs and timing. When we were buying the place he came and did a survey of sorts, pointed out where our problems were going to be, advised against certain ideas and then provided me with an itemised “Kostendach” ie the maximum it should cost for the work. Based on the quotes so far it’s looking accurate.

How’s your German? Happy to put you in touch with him if you are interested, but I’m not sure how his English is.
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