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Old 23.08.2010, 22:41
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Buying a house - renovation project manager

Hi all,

The hubby and I are interested in purchasing a house in the Baden area and it needs a bit of work, namely:

- moving a few walls
- new kitchen (very specific look which will likely have to be handmade)
- 2 new bathrooms
- new flooring throughout (tile and hardwood)

If everything goes as planned we will be taking over during our busiest work time and won't be able to manage the renovations on a constant basis. Therefore, we would like to hire someone (general contractor?) to help keep in budget and recommend the various folk to do the work.

I've been through all of the threads on renovations and kitchens and while there are a few (great) recommendations, most of them are not so new. I still plan to look into these leads, but was wondering if anyone has done similar work recently and can recommend their companies and/or contacts. In a perfect world we'd find someone who speaks English, but tried and true is what we are looking for.

Thanks
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Old 23.08.2010, 23:04
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Re: Buying a house - renovation project manager

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Hi all,

The hubby and I are interested in purchasing a house in the Baden area and it needs a bit of work, namely:

- moving a few walls
- new kitchen (very specific look which will likely have to be handmade)
- 2 new bathrooms
- new flooring throughout (tile and hardwood)

If everything goes as planned we will be taking over during our busiest work time and won't be able to manage the renovations on a constant basis. Therefore, we would like to hire someone (general contractor?) to help keep in budget and recommend the various folk to do the work.

I've been through all of the threads on renovations and kitchens and while there are a few (great) recommendations, most of them are not so new. I still plan to look into these leads, but was wondering if anyone has done similar work recently and can recommend their companies and/or contacts. In a perfect world we'd find someone who speaks English, but tried and true is what we are looking for.

Thanks
The general contractors I know (and some speak English) like to hire their own people and manage the entire project. It doesn't necessarily add to the cost since they have buying power as they often use the same tradespeople and get trade prices. You might also consider an architect (many speak English) particularly if you are considering moving walls. An architect can oversee an entire project too.

It sounds really exciting but I have to say that with or without a general contractor, you need to be there often to make sure things are being done the way you want. Even small mistakes can be difficult to correct.

Will be nice to have you in the Baden area.
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Old 23.08.2010, 23:13
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Re: Buying a house - renovation project manager

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The general contractors I know (and some speak English) like to hire their own people and manage the entire project. It doesn't necessarily add to the cost since they have buying power as they often use the same tradespeople and get trade prices. You might also consider an architect (many speak English) particularly if you are considering moving walls. An architect can oversee an entire project too.

It sounds really exciting but I have to say that with or without a general contractor, you need to be there often to make sure things are being done the way you want. Even small mistakes can be difficult to correct.

Will be nice to have you in the Baden area.
Thanks!

We're happy to have the contractor hire his own people, no issues there, we just really want to have someone oversee everything so that we are at ease as this is the first time buying in CH. We'd be available by phone and could visit in the evening, but daytime is hard to take off during certain times.

Do you have anyone you can recommend that lives in Baden? We could also use a recommendation of a gardening company that deals with ponds if you/anyone also happens to know of anyone.
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Old 23.08.2010, 23:34
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Re: Buying a house - renovation project manager

Renovations in Switzerland can be a recipe for disaster, I work in the Building trade and have completed several renovations (in Australia, one here). There is really no such thing as a general contractor here, just someone with mates in the industry who will take you (being a foreigner) to the cleaners. You will need an Architect, he/she should inspect the property before purchase and should be able to give you reasnobley accurate cost estimates of what you want to do, to establish if you 1 can afford it and 2 That it is feasable. Finding a good Architect is a bit like online dating, sometimes you get lucky but there is a lot of bull sh*t to sort through. I would start searching local to the property and work out from there, most important is very good english (or your mother tongue) and references from foreign or expat clients, you should speak to them (the clients) yourself if possible. Most of our work comes from local Architects and they (if they are any good) are damn hard on their contractors, ourselves included. On the upside a lot of people are scared (rightly so) of renovations here but you can come out on top if it is a good property in a good area. If total renovation costs come to circa 350k you should consider a complete demolition and start again, new houses are much cheaper to buld and more energy efficient than old ones. Pm me if you want a chat about it.
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Old 23.08.2010, 23:39
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Thanks!

We're happy to have the contractor hire his own people, no issues there, we just really want to have someone oversee everything so that we are at ease as this is the first time buying in CH. We'd be available by phone and could visit in the evening, but daytime is hard to take off during certain times.

Do you have anyone you can recommend that lives in Baden? We could also use a recommendation of a gardening company that deals with ponds if you/anyone also happens to know of anyone.

Sorry, don't know anyone in Baden, just surrounding areas but it is not so far away and it sounds like you are doing a fair amount of work. Communication in English is not a problem for all of these companies.

We saw a renovated farmhouse, a project by this firm. It was really nice.
Other firms I can recommend are this architect in Ehrendingen, and this one in Niederweningen.

There was already a thread somewhere about gardening firms in Baden but not specifically about ponds.

Did you have a renovation specialist look at the house with you before you bought it? We've done that in the past...in fact taking an architect with us stopped us buying a house which upon closer inspection by an expert had some major issues. The real estate agent wasn't very happy but many of them don't know what they are talking about most of the time.
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Old 24.08.2010, 08:27
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Re: Buying a house - renovation project manager

We know a couple of architects - let me know if you would like their details - they may be interested depending on work loads.
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Old 14.01.2011, 07:57
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Re: Buying a house - renovation project manager

We are lookng for an architect for a house renovation project in Langnau Am Albis, Zurich. It's not a very complicated project. I see it in 3 parts. Updating existing rooms (which we will do ourselves), changing position of kitchen and bathrooms (needs an architect or building contractor as issue of waste pipes etc) and then doing up the very large attic space (87 m2). The last bit will require getting planning permission because we want large windows etc so defn needs an architect. Would like to source a lot of the material from Eurozone. Looking to spend about 1.25 ml CHF max (keeping in mind we will do a lot of decorating wk ourselves). With these parameters in view, could you recommend an architect who speaks English and can give us references. Many thanks.
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