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Old 06.04.2021, 14:48
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Importing prebuild houses worth it in Switzerland?

Since labourcost are so high in Switzerland i thought of importing a prebuild house "fertighouse" from austria/germany/italy and place it on a plot for land half an hour or more away from Zürich to save some money.

Would you save any money importing a prebuild house from across the boarder?

I have reservation on part of a large project build by a big architect between zug and zürich for 180m2 living space and 280m2 land space for 1.8million chf. Think it's alot and thought creative alternatives might save alot of money.

Especially since it seems to be the land space that has the biggest value near Zürich. So maybe get more land for the money and cheaper house.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06.04.2021, 19:03
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Re: Importing prebuild houses worth it in Switzerland?

Can you provide information on this 'project'?


Not sure that you would save any money on the pre-fab houses and even less likely to be able to find a plot of land that is 'economical'
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Old 06.04.2021, 19:11
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Re: Importing prebuild houses worth it in Switzerland?

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Since labourcost are so high in Switzerland i thought of importing a prebuild house "fertighouse" from austria/germany/italy and place it on a plot for land half an hour or more away from Zürich to save some money.

Would you save any money importing a prebuild house from across the boarder?

I have reservation on part of a large project build by a big architect between zug and zürich for 180m2 living space and 280m2 land space for 1.8million chf. Think it's alot and thought creative alternatives might save alot of money.

Especially since it seems to be the land space that has the biggest value near Zürich. So maybe get more land for the money and cheaper house.

Thanks in advance.
I looked at this in 2004, the Swiss Agent was quoting 3 times the price as for Germany so did not go ahead, essentially as the electricity was not the same LOL. Another Swiss company quoted 2.5 times the advertised special offer so I lost interest.

This was the sort of thing I was after, rather than Swiss concrete https://www.huf-haus.com/en-uk/art/art-5-sample-4/
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Old 06.04.2021, 19:18
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Re: Importing prebuild houses worth it in Switzerland?

I've seen a few houses over here that have been built by companies outside Switzerland, but no idea what the cost was.

Have you been here

https://www.home-expo.ch/

to see what that might offer you?
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Old 07.04.2021, 09:44
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Re: Importing prebuild houses worth it in Switzerland?

My sister in law did this recently, just moving in at start of year. They got a number of local quotes from architects & construction companies and ended up going with a German company that puts together these pre-fab houses. They also built 3 units in total (Not a triplex by definition as there are no shared walls but effectively 2+1 dwellings) for a third of what they were being quoted

I have visited a few times in past couple of months, results are impressive although they too had their hurdles to overcome (Still addressing an issue with the solar panels on roof)

Would I take this approach if I had to do it all over again (We did new construction)? They saved quite a bit but long-term hard to assess whether they still will come out ahead or remain fully satisfied

You'd be hard pressed to identify the home was built elsewhere and effectively placed on the land
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Old 07.04.2021, 10:16
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Re: Importing prebuild houses worth it in Switzerland?

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...and ended up going with a German company that puts together these pre-fab houses.
Could you please share what company it was?
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Old 07.04.2021, 10:35
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Re: Importing prebuild houses worth it in Switzerland?

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Could you please share what company it was?
Just confirmed, they are called Weberhaus - there are videos, photos etc. on website (UK URL). Sister in law says they vetted a number of pre-fab companies and Weberhaus were far & away superior - apart from some of the typical construction pains, they remain very happy with the results & experience all during initial COVID pandemic

My observations on some of the details:

1) Kitchen goes through them so you are limited on the one hand with options but they chose mostly Swiss or German made materials. I still believe their kitchen is quite inferior to ours but it's also a smaller space. I wasn't crazy about the counters or cupboard material but this too could've been driven more by cost/budget/preference

2) Interior load bearing walls are cement/beton but appeared slightly thinner than ours but noise did not appear to be an issue traveling through house/floors as a result

3) Utilities like heat, electric, solar, water etc. seemed quite similar to what we did, including underfloor heating although there were errors made in terms of how to mount the exterior solar panels as it conflicted with commune regulations - I suspect this will be worked out by company to compensate to remount but an ongoing issue.

4) Windows, doors and material otherwise used were very good and they had a lot of flexibility in the design
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Old 07.04.2021, 10:42
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Re: Importing prebuild houses worth it in Switzerland?

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I looked at this in 2004, the Swiss Agent was quoting 3 times the price as for Germany so did not go ahead, essentially as the electricity was not the same LOL. Another Swiss company quoted 2.5 times the advertised special offer so I lost interest.

This was the sort of thing I was after, rather than Swiss concrete https://www.huf-haus.com/en-uk/art/art-5-sample-4/
We had the same experience with Huf - the houses in Germany were expensive, but the houses in Switzerland were even more expensive!

Have a look at https://www.kd-haus.de/ if you're interested in this -- they're much more reasonable. The difference is that it is less prefab than a Huf Haus, with more of the trades working on site (plumbing and electricity, drywall, flooring are all done on site).

Also, another endorsement for Weberhaus if you're looking for a more conventional home. They are well-built.
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Old 07.04.2021, 10:48
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Re: Importing prebuild houses worth it in Switzerland?

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Since labourcost are so high in Switzerland i thought of importing a prebuild house "fertighouse" from austria/germany/italy and place it on a plot for land half an hour or more away from Zürich to save some money.

Would you save any money importing a prebuild house from across the boarder?

I have reservation on part of a large project build by a big architect between zug and zürich for 180m2 living space and 280m2 land space for 1.8million chf. Think it's alot and thought creative alternatives might save alot of money.

Especially since it seems to be the land space that has the biggest value near Zürich. So maybe get more land for the money and cheaper house.

Thanks in advance.

It's doable because lots of people did it and certainly you can save money on the house. Don't expect it to be straightforward, you need to invest time and energy in the project.

Find a company who did it. Ideally not from Switzerland but with experience in Switzerland. For starters you can go to Stuttgart or even closer to Villingen-Schwenningen to visit the two prefab showrooms there when the restrictions are lifted. Talk to the companies there.

Another important aspect is the land you are going to buy. Make sure that the land isn't tied by a certain project, there are a lot of them in Switzerland Also check what you can build on that land.
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Old 07.04.2021, 10:56
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Re: Importing prebuild houses worth it in Switzerland?

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Just confirmed, they are called Weberhaus - there are videos, photos etc. on website (UK URL). Sister in law says they vetted a number of pre-fab companies and Weberhaus were far & away superior - apart from some of the typical construction pains, they remain very happy with the results & experience all during initial COVID pandemic

My observations on some of the details:

1) Kitchen goes through them so you are limited on the one hand with options but they chose mostly Swiss or German made materials. I still believe their kitchen is quite inferior to ours but it's also a smaller space. I wasn't crazy about the counters or cupboard material but this too could've been driven more by cost/budget/preference

2) Interior load bearing walls are cement/beton but appeared slightly thinner than ours but noise did not appear to be an issue traveling through house/floors as a result

3) Utilities like heat, electric, solar, water etc. seemed quite similar to what we did, including underfloor heating although there were errors made in terms of how to mount the exterior solar panels as it conflicted with commune regulations - I suspect this will be worked out by company to compensate to remount but an ongoing issue.

4) Windows, doors and material otherwise used were very good and they had a lot of flexibility in the design
I was quite impressed with Weber, until the Swiss agent got involved. Amazing value if you can get the house in CH at anything close to Euro price.
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Old 07.04.2021, 10:58
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Re: Importing prebuild houses worth it in Switzerland?

Another thing you need to take into account is resale value.

This story is not Swiss but German.

In-law relatives erected a prefab wooden house in Germany. This was back in the late 1970s or early 1980s, and for cost reasons they bypassed all the local companies and went for a major Swedish prefab manufacturer.

All they had to do was pour concrete for the foundations and cellar. The house was then delivered on one or two big trucks and assembled on site.

The first problem that occurred was that the German builder who had cast the concrete cellar had misinterpreted the Swedish specifications and the dimensions were off by a few centimetres. This could be fixed of course but it led to some sweat and meant the Swedish guys could not commence the assembly at the agreed time and all this was invoiced. Not a pleasant situation to be in as the cost calculation had been very tight and they were now out on a limb spending money they didn't have.

But by and large they were happy with the house. By the design standards of the day, Swedish houses were much more modern and luxurious than German ones anyway. So they never regretted their decision.

But the problem came when about 10 years ago they wanted to sell the house. Many neighbouring houses of similar age had recently been sold for mouth watering sums (think a desirable and well maintained neighbourhood in one of the better parts of one of Germany's most prosperous cities - houses there were easily worth 10 times what people had put in). Now that they were retired, they decided to cash in on the value and move to a lower cost area.

They initially put the house on the market for a price similar to that of the neighbouring houses. They did get a lot of interest, but nobody wanted to step up and pay the price because everybody felt a pre-fabricated Swedish wooden house must be inferior to a brick-built German one. They eventually had to knock almost a third off the asking price to find a buyer.

You could of course say, serves them right. They built on the cheap so why should they expect to sell at the same price as those who didn't. But over they years you tend to forget that bit and then you're in for a shock when you do sell.

Last edited by amogles; 07.04.2021 at 11:09.
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Old 07.04.2021, 11:27
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Re: Importing prebuild houses worth it in Switzerland?

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I was quite impressed with Weber, until the Swiss agent got involved. Amazing value if you can get the house in CH at anything close to Euro price.
That's what I have been informed of as well. Quick check to the website does seem to suggest they are closed now due to COVID (I know the sister in law did experience some delays/issues during early COVID) but perhaps this is temporary
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Old 07.04.2021, 11:53
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Re: Importing prebuild houses worth it in Switzerland?

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I looked at this in 2004, the Swiss Agent was quoting 3 times the price as for Germany so did not go ahead, essentially as the electricity was not the same LOL. Another Swiss company quoted 2.5 times the advertised special offer so I lost interest.

This was the sort of thing I was after, rather than Swiss concrete https://www.huf-haus.com/en-uk/art/art-5-sample-4/
There are two HUF houses close to my last place in Germany. I love the design and even considered buy one (which was on the market 2nd hand). The point is that the design idea is massive glas walls with natural light. Great idea when you build a house on a massive plot in rural Germany. When building in Switzerland will the neighbors be able to see through your walls... and as we all know: they probably will do so a lot. Not sure that’s the right design for here...
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Old 07.04.2021, 12:04
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Re: Importing prebuild houses worth it in Switzerland?

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There are two HUF houses close to my last place in Germany. I love the design and even considered buy one (which was on the market 2nd hand). The point is that the design idea is massive glas walls with natural light. Great idea when you build a house on a massive plot in rural Germany. When building in Switzerland will the neighbors be able to see through your walls... and as we all know: they probably will do so a lot. Not sure that’s the right design for here...
The 2100m2 plot was on a hill with nobody would have had a direct view, so could have worked.
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Old 07.04.2021, 12:32
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Re: Importing prebuild houses worth it in Switzerland?

Imagine there will be a hefty price tag for the import duty.

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Old 07.04.2021, 12:36
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Re: Importing prebuild houses worth it in Switzerland?

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Imagine there will be a hefty price tag for the import duty.

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It's a weight change, not much IIRC.
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