Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Housing in general  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 13.12.2018, 16:54
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Schaffhausen, Switzerland
Posts: 8
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
boudreaux has no particular reputation at present
Architect mandatory for renovations?

I recently purchased a small apartment in Disentis that needs a full interior renovation (kitchen, plaster/painting, flooring). All my Swiss friends tell me I need an architect but I'm completely lost on what value they add to my situation. I have worked with one for two months and they have only sent me one offer on each renovation piece and it was way over budget. This week I priced other companies doing similar work and I'm able to get the renovation done for half by not using them.

Is there something I'm missing? Are you required by Swiss law to have an architect when doing a renovation? So far, I don't see that they add any value for a simple renovation and just hinder the process.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 13.12.2018, 17:05
Today only's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Europe
Posts: 6,310
Groaned at 700 Times in 475 Posts
Thanked 7,626 Times in 3,621 Posts
Today only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Architect mandatory for renovations?

No obligation whatsoever providing you don't touch the structural walls (remove or make large holes)
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank Today only for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 13.12.2018, 17:12
aSwissInTheUS's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Zurich area
Posts: 9,442
Groaned at 74 Times in 65 Posts
Thanked 14,181 Times in 6,306 Posts
aSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Architect mandatory for renovations?

Will you do any changes to the internal structure? No? Good. Yes? Get in contact with a Statiker (structural engineer). Architect would use its service anyway, so cut out the middle man.

Is the place under Heimatschutz (Heritage Protection, not Homeland Security ) No? Good.

For kitchen, plaster/painting, flooring there is no need for an architect.
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank aSwissInTheUS for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 13.12.2018, 17:39
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Vaud
Posts: 2,401
Groaned at 129 Times in 91 Posts
Thanked 3,900 Times in 1,487 Posts
Mikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond reputeMikers has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Architect mandatory for renovations?

Quote:
View Post
Will you do any changes to the internal structure? No? Good. Yes? Get in contact with a Statiker (structural engineer). Architect would use its service anyway, so cut out the middle man.

Is the place under Heimatschutz (Heritage Protection, not Homeland Security ) No? Good.

For kitchen, plaster/painting, flooring there is no need for an architect.
This is great advice. You don’t need anyone unless your knocking out a structural wall - we are currently - where you need a structural engineer as said.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 13.12.2018, 17:49
Tom1234's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Kanton Luzern
Posts: 12,638
Groaned at 375 Times in 296 Posts
Thanked 17,457 Times in 7,222 Posts
Tom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Architect mandatory for renovations?

Quote:
View Post
I recently purchased a small apartment in Disentis that needs a full interior renovation (kitchen, plaster/painting, flooring). All my Swiss friends tell me I need an architect but I'm completely lost on what value they add to my situation. I have worked with one for two months and they have only sent me one offer on each renovation piece and it was way over budget. This week I priced other companies doing similar work and I'm able to get the renovation done for half by not using them.
You get that sort of thing a lot here.

Some people think that if you have a garden, you need a gardener.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Tom1234 for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 13.12.2018, 19:16
Jim2007's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kt. Bern
Posts: 3,698
Groaned at 80 Times in 70 Posts
Thanked 3,802 Times in 1,880 Posts
Jim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Architect mandatory for renovations?

Quote:
View Post
This week I priced other companies doing similar work and I'm able to get the renovation done for half by not using them.
You mean that you got offers that are less than the ones offered by the architect, which is not the same as getting the job done for less.

How much to you know about building work, the ability of the local contractors etc? Over the past twenty five years I seen this play out a couple of times and it always ended up costing way more and in once case very bad quality, all because the home owners were clueless.

If you know what you are doing them you problem don't need an architect, but if you do not, then he will probably save you some money and a lot of hassle.
__________________
"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." - Nelson Mandela
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 13.12.2018, 19:24
krlock3's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Zürich
Posts: 2,766
Groaned at 41 Times in 29 Posts
Thanked 1,836 Times in 925 Posts
krlock3 has a reputation beyond reputekrlock3 has a reputation beyond reputekrlock3 has a reputation beyond reputekrlock3 has a reputation beyond reputekrlock3 has a reputation beyond reputekrlock3 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Architect mandatory for renovations?

If no structural changes, you could employ a bauleiter instead. Charges less than an architect, still adds value. A good bauleiter can be well worth it.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank krlock3 for this useful post:
  #8  
Old 13.12.2018, 19:34
Tilia's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: ZH
Posts: 2,666
Groaned at 77 Times in 42 Posts
Thanked 2,457 Times in 1,121 Posts
Tilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Architect mandatory for renovations?

If no stuctural changes, no need for architect. Bauleiter is what you need. Much cheaper and they add real value; they coordinate all the workers, bring in offers, run after them if things are wrongly done etc. Often the Bauleiter is a worker himself doing part of the works e.g. as brickmason (Maurer).

We renovated an appartment of ca 170 m2 without architect but with Bauleiter and without any problems.

Architects are crooks in Switzerland and to be avoided at all cost in my personal experience.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Tilia for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 13.12.2018, 20:47
krlock3's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Zürich
Posts: 2,766
Groaned at 41 Times in 29 Posts
Thanked 1,836 Times in 925 Posts
krlock3 has a reputation beyond reputekrlock3 has a reputation beyond reputekrlock3 has a reputation beyond reputekrlock3 has a reputation beyond reputekrlock3 has a reputation beyond reputekrlock3 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Architect mandatory for renovations?

Can't say that our bauleiter was without problems, but he was still worth it.

Last edited by krlock3; 13.12.2018 at 21:28.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 13.12.2018, 21:10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Thurgau
Posts: 64
Groaned at 5 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 80 Times in 40 Posts
Lasers pew pew pew is considered knowledgeableLasers pew pew pew is considered knowledgeableLasers pew pew pew is considered knowledgeable
Re: Architect mandatory for renovations?

Quote:
View Post
If no stuctural changes, no need for architect. Bauleiter is what you need. Much cheaper and they add real value; they coordinate all the workers, bring in offers, run after them if things are wrongly done etc. Often the Bauleiter is a worker himself doing part of the works e.g. as brickmason (Maurer).

We renovated an appartment of ca 170 m2 without architect but with Bauleiter and without any problems.

Architects are crooks in Switzerland and to be avoided at all cost in my personal experience.
Quite a strong and sweeping opinion. Have you worked on numerous projects with architects to form it or are you basing it on one ot two projects?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 13.12.2018, 21:26
Helm's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Zürich<->St.Gallen
Posts: 2,140
Groaned at 13 Times in 13 Posts
Thanked 3,988 Times in 1,318 Posts
Helm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Architect mandatory for renovations?

Quote:
View Post
Architects are crooks in Switzerland and to be avoided at all cost in my personal experience.
This kind of f@cking answer makes my blood boil.

An architect is not the fluff of construction - he's the core. He's not the middle man, he's the man of a thousand jobs.

Architects not only coordinate all different specialities, they can help you with all the permits needed, they have the experience needed to get the best value for the workers you will hire, they must know all the little laws that apply to each speciality - because they are liable for all problems, which means that specialities go lax on their own norms because they know the safety net is called "architect". They need to solve every single construction detail - meaning they need to be well versed in every speciality to make it work in terms of norms/budget/aesthetics. Besides the added value of helping you with the aesthetics.

Are there crooks in architecture? Sure, as with any other job. Is there a major problem because the title is not protected therefore leading to any crook being able to call himself an architect to justify higher fees? Absolutely.

However, that does not mean that all of them are so. It's like having a cashier giving you the wrong change once and suddenly you won't go to the supermarket because they are all crooks.

If you are dealing with moving walls, you need an architect. If you are dealing with a major renovation, you need an architect. If you are renovating a fassade you need an architect. If you are dealing with a protected area, you need an architect. If you are building new, you need an architect. If you are dealing with at least 3 different specialities - like for example a plumber, a roofer, a plasterer, an electrician, etc - I highly advise an architect to get those guys in check.

You think the offers from architects are high? THEM SHOP AROUND. Every speciality will give you different quotes. I got quotes for the same garden that went from 14.000 chf to 45.000 chf. Yet I don't go mediately berserk that all gardeners are crooks.

No, you don't need an architect for every job, but sometimes going cheaper ends up being extraordinarily more expensive.

But let's stop thinking that architects are just the "artists" that are fooling everyone when it's the "engineers/bauleiters" that do everything important. It's that kind of ignorance that contributes to the constant cycle of mediocrity in construction.
__________________

Fighting for Pluto's liberation from the Dwarf League since 2006 @(°.°)=@)x.X)' ' '
Reply With Quote
The following 6 users would like to thank Helm for this useful post:
  #12  
Old 13.12.2018, 23:16
Tilia's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: ZH
Posts: 2,666
Groaned at 77 Times in 42 Posts
Thanked 2,457 Times in 1,121 Posts
Tilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Architect mandatory for renovations?

As I wrote: “in my personal experience”. I have yet to see a project with an architect involved where the architect at one point or another doesn’t try to screw you over financially. I am not questioning their work quality. I am questioning their ethics.

It has happened without fail on every occasion I’ve had to deal with an architect here. Enough reason for me personally to avoid their services whenever possible.

When not possible to avoid, you simply have to bend over.

Yes its a strong statement but really, I got the t-shirt.



Quote:
View Post
Quite a strong and sweeping opinion. Have you worked on numerous projects with architects to form it or are you basing it on one ot two projects?
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Tilia for this useful post:
  #13  
Old 14.12.2018, 09:09
RTN RTN is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Uetikon am See
Posts: 1,268
Groaned at 11 Times in 7 Posts
Thanked 1,337 Times in 614 Posts
RTN has a reputation beyond reputeRTN has a reputation beyond reputeRTN has a reputation beyond reputeRTN has a reputation beyond reputeRTN has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Architect mandatory for renovations?

Architects and garages here have traditionally had a monopoly on the fear and naivety of the Swiss consumer, ie this is the price and people have paid it which has allowed a lot of costs and inefficiencies to be born by the consumer. This is changing but there is still a lot of *old school practices" going on so it is not fair to say all are crooks when their overheads and hence prices are too high.


Time is money so if you have the time and knowledge you probably don't "need" an architect for a simple renovation as you have described. It is still worth getting some expertise on any building project to help with design and value adding opportunities, it is not always about the cheapest price. Most Architects, Interior designers and builders (such as myself) have a team of trades they have worked with before so there is some security that the work will be of good quality where as a person getting a one off job will not have the leverage to get the same results.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank RTN for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 14.12.2018, 10:10
Today only's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Europe
Posts: 6,310
Groaned at 700 Times in 475 Posts
Thanked 7,626 Times in 3,621 Posts
Today only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Architect mandatory for renovations?

All the guy is doing is a simple kitchen renovation....


Either handle it yourself if you're competant and speak the language or hand it all over to one company and get them to handle it, usually it would be the people installing the actual kitchen as this is the biggest contractor.



Let them handle and organise the work with the decorators, the electrician, plumber etc, you'll get on far better.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Today only for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 14.12.2018, 12:47
amogles's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Zurich
Posts: 10,271
Groaned at 201 Times in 171 Posts
Thanked 19,444 Times in 8,286 Posts
amogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Architect mandatory for renovations?

Quote:
View Post
As I wrote: 8220;in my personal experience8221;. I have yet to see a project with an architect involved where the architect at one point or another doesn8217;t try to screw you over financially. I am not questioning their work quality. I am questioning their ethics.

It has happened without fail on every occasion I8217;ve had to deal with an architect here. Enough reason for me personally to avoid their services whenever possible.

When not possible to avoid, you simply have to bend over.

Yes its a strong statement but really, I got the t-shirt.
In my experience architects are typically only worth it for big and complex projects. Architects themselves don't really like to touch the small stuff because there isn't much money in it and there isn't that much for them to do. So the type of architect you typically end up getting is the type who can't get the bigger jobs. We had one who was running about 20 mini projects in parallel and evey time we met him he had forgotten what we had discussed last time. He also confused us with another client and once even sent us a bill that was meant for the other client. Not exactly confidence inspiring. The workmen also didn't like him and made fun of him behind his back which didn't do much to strengthen our confidence in him.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 14.12.2018, 15:13
Tom1234's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Kanton Luzern
Posts: 12,638
Groaned at 375 Times in 296 Posts
Thanked 17,457 Times in 7,222 Posts
Tom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Architect mandatory for renovations?

The architect who designed our last place, and who also owned the building company that built it, folded the company at the end of the build.

Unfortunately, he hadn't paid all the bills for the build. Despite getting a lawyer involved, we still legally had to pay them ourselves (despite having paid for them once already in the build cost).

That was only one of the problems.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 14.12.2018, 15:39
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Schaffhausen, Switzerland
Posts: 8
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
boudreaux has no particular reputation at present
Re: Architect mandatory for renovations?

Thanks everyone for the feedback. Your answers were very helpful. In the case of this renovation I don't think an architect is needed and I'm shopping around for the services I need.

We built a new house a few years ago and the experience with the architect was terrible and also jaded my experience. However, since it was a new building project we were forced into using them or not buying the property. In the new project we have also had a bad experience with the current architect and I think we will go the Bauleiter route.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 14.12.2018, 21:16
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: CH
Posts: 7,517
Groaned at 230 Times in 188 Posts
Thanked 9,488 Times in 5,086 Posts
greenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Architect mandatory for renovations?

Quote:
View Post
This kind of f@cking answer makes my blood boil.

An architect is not the fluff of construction - he's the core. He's not the middle man, he's the man of a thousand jobs.

Architects not only coordinate all different specialities, they can help you with all the permits needed, they have the experience needed to get the best value for the workers you will hire, they must know all the little laws that apply to each speciality - because they are liable for all problems, which means that specialities go lax on their own norms because they know the safety net is called "architect". They need to solve every single construction detail - meaning they need to be well versed in every speciality to make it work in terms of norms/budget/aesthetics. Besides the added value of helping you with the aesthetics.

Are there crooks in architecture? Sure, as with any other job. Is there a major problem because the title is not protected therefore leading to any crook being able to call himself an architect to justify higher fees? Absolutely.

However, that does not mean that all of them are so. It's like having a cashier giving you the wrong change once and suddenly you won't go to the supermarket because they are all crooks.

If you are dealing with moving walls, you need an architect. If you are dealing with a major renovation, you need an architect. If you are renovating a fassade you need an architect. If you are dealing with a protected area, you need an architect. If you are building new, you need an architect. If you are dealing with at least 3 different specialities - like for example a plumber, a roofer, a plasterer, an electrician, etc - I highly advise an architect to get those guys in check.

You think the offers from architects are high? THEM SHOP AROUND. Every speciality will give you different quotes. I got quotes for the same garden that went from 14.000 chf to 45.000 chf. Yet I don't go mediately berserk that all gardeners are crooks.

No, you don't need an architect for every job, but sometimes going cheaper ends up being extraordinarily more expensive.

But let's stop thinking that architects are just the "artists" that are fooling everyone when it's the "engineers/bauleiters" that do everything important. It's that kind of ignorance that contributes to the constant cycle of mediocrity in construction.
I understand your sentiment and actually agree with most of your post but IMHO some things can be done without an architect's help. Not because they can't manage but it's like hiring an artist to paint my kitchen's walls...
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 15.12.2018, 22:19
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Ostschweiz
Posts: 6,756
Groaned at 220 Times in 189 Posts
Thanked 8,192 Times in 4,270 Posts
Urs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Architect mandatory for renovations?

Quote:
View Post
I understand your sentiment and actually agree with most of your post but IMHO some things can be done without an architect's help. Not because they can't manage but it's like hiring an artist to paint my kitchen's walls...
Quote:
No, you don't need an architect for every job, but sometimes going cheaper ends up being extraordinarily more expensive.
Looks like Helm vehemtly agrees.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 25.12.2018, 21:45
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Basel
Posts: 11
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
joshuabond has no particular reputation at present
Re: Architect mandatory for renovations?

And what about new build...
In France if you are building
a new house that is less thsn 170sqm then
you dont need an architect. Is there something
like this in Switzerland? In brief do you need (legally) to use an architect?.

Also is there somewhere I can get hold of planning dossier (ie the technical documents for new build planning application).

Kr and Merry Christmas
Reply With Quote
This user groans at joshuabond for this post:
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Looking for Architect to do Renovations StirB Housing in general 24 11.12.2018 15:49
Has anyone actually used their pension pots for home renovations? andyseddon Finance/banking/taxation 3 11.06.2017 22:01
Subventions 2017 for renovations County Clair Housing in general 1 21.04.2017 11:58
How much to spend/expect back in return for renovations? whome Housing in general 20 15.09.2015 17:27
Co-Op and Migros BOTH closed for renovations! (i think!) LilyLoo Complaints corner 6 12.04.2013 22:05


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 14:04.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0