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Old 27.01.2021, 13:21
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Renovation - converting top floor to bedroom/living

Good afternoon!


We currently live in a lovely, quite new doppeleinfamilienhaus, with the possibility of purchasing it sometime in the next 12-24 months.


An issue we face is size - it's currently too small for us and with growing children this problem will only get worse. However, we have the option to convert the attic/top floor into an open bedroom/living space.



Has anyone done this and could provide a (very rough) estimate of cost, understanding it's a very tough question to answer? The are is around 75m2. Fundamental renovations would be:
- install an internal staircase
- flooring
- windows/skylights
- heating
- wiring
- lighting
- build an internal wall, it is currently open to the neighbours attic



Of course, this is not an exhaustive list.


We're just evaluating whether it would be worth doing, or purchasing a larger, older house when the time comes. Looking at the above list, it looks pretty expensive!


Thanks heaps
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Old 27.01.2021, 13:25
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Re: Renovation - converting top floor to bedroom/living

5-600 I’d guess. But obviously could be more or less depending. Why wouldn’t you ask some local architects and builders for a quotes????
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Old 27.01.2021, 13:27
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Re: Renovation - converting top floor to bedroom/living

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5-600 I’d guess. But obviously could be more or less depending. Why wouldn’t you ask some local architects and builders for a quotes????
Have you missed some zeros off there?
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Old 27.01.2021, 13:27
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Re: Renovation - converting top floor to bedroom/living

5-600 thousand if that wasn’t obvious. Or maybe 100 if you do everything yourself and really work on a tight budget.
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Old 27.01.2021, 13:39
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Re: Renovation - converting top floor to bedroom/living

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5-600 I’d guess. But obviously could be more or less depending. Why wouldn’t you ask some local architects and builders for a quotes????
What a useless statement!

No way it would be as low as 5k, even the materials will cost more than that.

600k sounds too high, for that you could demolish and rebuild the whole thing.

Very rough guesses:

- couple of skylights (NOT dormers) - 10k
- building work - 25k
- wiring, lighting - 5k
- heating - depends on what you have at the moment, say 5k
- permits, management, miscellaneous parts & stuff - 5k

So call it 50k as a guess, quite likely more than that but I'd be surprised if more than 100k.
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Old 27.01.2021, 13:45
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Re: Renovation - converting top floor to bedroom/living

jesus - what's the matter with you?

500'000 - 600'000 CHF is what is clearly meant by '5-600' in this context.

absolutely no way you'd do it 50k. how much do you thing 75m^2 of parquet would cost? insulation, plumbing, electric, rasi, STAIRCASE for christs sake.
then there is the kitchen itself and all its appliances and surfaces. heating! windows, disposal of all the rubble. the permits will be a real pain with the fact there is someone else's plot in the same space. they might not even agree to it.

edit - pretty sure you said kitchen when i first read it but now i see 'open living space'! oops. in which case obviously the cost would indeed be less. i still think 50k would be extremely tight even if you did all the work yourself and just had a rasi to approve your electrical work.
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Old 27.01.2021, 13:56
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Re: Renovation - converting top floor to bedroom/living

First:

Are you allowed to do it?

Did you ask at the commune?

Tom
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Old 27.01.2021, 14:08
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Re: Renovation - converting top floor to bedroom/living

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jesus - what's the matter with you?

500'000 - 600'000 CHF is what is clearly meant by '5-600' in this context.
Clearly? No, not clear at all, mainly because it's way more than anyone would expect, almost by an order of magnitude.

Based on work we've had done, some we're still planning, some quoted for and some we've discussed at length with designers and builders, I'd think this could be done for something closer to 100000, assuming none of the work is DIYable,

Obviously totally impossible to give an accurate estimate given the lack of information, so sure, it could easily be double that if there's a lot of masonry required, if you're wanting dormer windows in the roof, if the staircase needs more structural support, etc.

Or you could do it on the cheap, with as much as possible done without the need for pros.

I did a part conversion at the flat we had in Engelberg, but nothing like as extensive work was required. There was already a drop-down ladder/steps which I re-engineered to make it a better angle, fitting handgrips and railings round the top of it and finishing the opening which was rough bare concrete.

I left the single flat (within the roof, like a Velux) window as it was, moved an existing wooden wall, fitted laminate flooring, built in power extensions around the edge behind the skirting board.

Total cost was just a few hundred francs for the flooring and timber, paint, extension cables and miscellaneous fixtures and fittings. Plus a lot of my time and sweat, of course.

Now I'm not suggesting that this could apply to the OP, but in that situation I might be limiting professional work to the structural parts of the staircase, walls, windows and doors, plus proper electrics, then doing all the finishing myself. In that model I'd expect it to be considerably less than 100k.
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Old 27.01.2021, 14:22
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Re: Renovation - converting top floor to bedroom/living

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5-600 thousand if that wasn’t obvious. Or maybe 100 if you do everything yourself and really work on a tight budget.
If it had been obvious I wouldn’t have asked.

Why would anyone think 5-600 would mean 5-600 thousand? That sounds astronomical for the work she needs doing even in Switzerland.
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Old 27.01.2021, 14:25
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Re: Renovation - converting top floor to bedroom/living

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What a useless statement!

No way it would be as low as 5k, even the materials will cost more than that.

600k sounds too high, for that you could demolish and rebuild the whole thing.

Very rough guesses:

- couple of skylights (NOT dormers) - 10k
- building work - 25k
- wiring, lighting - 5k
- heating - depends on what you have at the moment, say 5k
- permits, management, miscellaneous parts & stuff - 5k

So call it 50k as a guess, quite likely more than that but I'd be surprised if more than 100k.

Thanks for your advice! It actually comes in at around what I thought. Husband thinks it will be cheaper, but I think we will land somewhere close to $100K all in, and even that will be a squeeze. But then, we add around 40m to the size of the home (the ceiling will be too low for the rest of the room to call it living space)
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Old 27.01.2021, 14:26
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Re: Renovation - converting top floor to bedroom/living

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jesus - what's the matter with you?

500'000 - 600'000 CHF is what is clearly meant by '5-600' in this context.

absolutely no way you'd do it 50k. how much do you thing 75m^2 of parquet would cost? insulation, plumbing, electric, rasi, STAIRCASE for christs sake.
then there is the kitchen itself and all its appliances and surfaces. heating! windows, disposal of all the rubble. the permits will be a real pain with the fact there is someone else's plot in the same space. they might not even agree to it.

edit - pretty sure you said kitchen when i first read it but now i see 'open living space'! oops. in which case obviously the cost would indeed be less. i still think 50k would be extremely tight even if you did all the work yourself and just had a rasi to approve your electrical work.
Yes, I guess my problem is that I answered the question asked rather than adding in a bunch of additional irrelevant costs.

Friends of ours renovated their entire house when they moved in, including walls, windows, etc etc. 80k total.

I missed the cost for flooring, and of course you can put in teak parquet floors, or you can just go with the regular cost stuff at about 100 CHF/m2 fitted (https://www.ofri.ch/kosten/parkett-verlegen)
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Old 27.01.2021, 14:37
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Re: Renovation - converting top floor to bedroom/living

My son is a carpenter.


He has been very busy with quotes and offers. Many people are looking for deals. Be careful who you hire. My son took his apprenticeship with carpentry and roofing. There is a lots of regulations in Switzerland if you have not found out. A carpenter not trained will not be aware plus they will not be up to Swiss standards in quality

Many carpentry companies hire untrained workers from outside the country because they are cheaper. My son had to go help one who did this installing windows. There were windows actually installed up side down.

Recently someone tried to squeeze him and used him for information and then went ahead and did some stuff himself. My son has since learned.

Last edited by roegner; 27.01.2021 at 17:24. Reason: Removed advertising part as per forum rules
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Old 27.01.2021, 14:39
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Re: Renovation - converting top floor to bedroom/living

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we have the option to convert the attic/top floor into an open bedroom/living space.
Fundamental renovations would be:
- install an internal staircase
- flooring
- windows/skylights
- heating
- wiring
- lighting
- build an internal wall, it is currently open to the neighbours attic
You could probably get subsidies. Some examples, Canton by Canton. https://www.dasgebaeudeprogramm.ch/d...-in-laupen-be/
A rough calculation: Fr 1,000.00 per cubic metre
https://www.swisslife.ch/de/private/...enovation.html
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Old 27.01.2021, 16:59
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Re: Renovation - converting top floor to bedroom/living

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First:

Are you allowed to do it?

Did you ask at the commune?

Tom
This, this, this, and this.

Before you spend much more time on the project, determine if that space is even permitted to be used as living space.

The regs can get complicated, and if you have not built or renovated in Switzerland before some critical things are not necessessarily intuitive. So first stop is your local Bauamt!

And get when you get there, first determine if the nice person helping you actually has the authority to answer your question. (BTDT, don't have the Wintergarten.)

Good luck with your project!
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Old 27.01.2021, 17:20
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Re: Renovation - converting top floor to bedroom/living

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This, this, this, and this.

Before you spend much more time on the project, determine if that space is even permitted to be used as living space.

The regs can get complicated, and if you have not built or renovated in Switzerland before some critical things are not necessarily intuitive. So first stop is your local Bauamt!

And get when you get there, first determine if the nice person helping you actually has the authority to answer your question. (BTDT, don't have the Wintergarten.)

Good luck with your project!
Yes, rules vary ALOT by Canton and Commune as Tom and Meloncollie mentioned. I would seriously invest the +/- 5k with an architect who works in the area where you live to get the questions of permits etc. answered before you even think about purchasing the house. Do not assume you will be able to use the space for living purposes.

An example of how detailed/crazy things can get would be the Velux(es). Can you put them in, what size, location/placement. Your neighbours (direct and others) - will they complain (they can), is there a vis-a-vis, will they be inconvenienced by the light at night etc. Since you are in a double house you will surely need the ok of the person on the other side - will the Velux negatively impact the esthetic of the house etc.

Good luck but some hard cold analysis is needed before you go too far.
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Old 27.01.2021, 18:23
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Re: Renovation - converting top floor to bedroom/living

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You could probably get subsidies. Some examples, Canton by Canton. https://www.dasgebaeudeprogramm.ch/d...-in-laupen-be/
A rough calculation: Fr 1,000.00 per cubic metre
https://www.swisslife.ch/de/private/...enovation.html
Chf1000m3 is about correct so 75 x2.5 / 2 (assuming 45deg roof) = Chf93,750 plus a staircase (circa 10k custom made). We did a similar thing 15 years ago and I now regret it as the lost space at the edges is now required. I would look at the zoning and see if you can go to a flat roof as there are plenty of companies that premake boxes to drop on in a couple of days then you get proper roof insulation and roof is good for another 50 years.
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Old 28.01.2021, 01:29
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Re: Renovation - converting top floor to bedroom/living

…price in Switzerland per square metre are 1500-1800 depend on the selection of finishes, then total will be 75x1500-1800=112,500-135,000...
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Old 28.01.2021, 02:33
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Re: Renovation - converting top floor to bedroom/living

150k
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