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Old 06.09.2010, 13:32
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Building with Implenia in BL: advices and experience to share

Hi there,
I am looking for someone that already build with Implenia to give me advices on how to deal with the following.

we are going to build an house with Implenia in Basel land in the next months. Their architect already provided us with a specific plan for our house. However Implenia wants us to sign the contract with their generic house plan attached. They said that all the details for our house will be discussed at a later stage, after the contract is signed. This looks very weird to us, as we have no idea how much they will charge for all the changes we want to do.They told us that they always do like this and that they will not do custom specific contracts.

We would like to show the contract and the detail description of the building to an architect and to a lawyer, before signing.
Do you have anyone to reccomend, that has experience with Implenia and works in the Basel area.
thanks.
Sally
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Old 06.09.2010, 13:34
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Re: Building with Implenia in BL: advices and experience to share

Be aware that building with an architect usually involves 12% Architects fee on top of the total construction cost. They also charge for any pre-planning done even if in the end you decide to cancel or go for anther company/architect.
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Old 06.09.2010, 13:44
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Re: Building with Implenia in BL: advices and experience to share

well, in this case we do not have an architect fee. it is part of the total price.
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Old 06.09.2010, 13:49
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Re: Building with Implenia in BL: advices and experience to share

I would read the contract very, very carefully. Usually the fee is a % of the total cost.

And usually you pay for any plans already done even if you never sign a contract in the end.
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Old 06.09.2010, 14:08
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Re: Building with Implenia in BL: advices and experience to share

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we are going to build an house with Implenia in Basel land in the next months. Their architect already provided us with a specific plan for our house. However Implenia wants us to sign the contract with their generic house plan attached. They said that all the details for our house will be discussed at a later stage, after the contract is signed.
No experience with this company, but...

From my own project, I do know that if it isn't defined in the contract you signed, you will pay... and pay... and pay... and even then, you might not end up with what you want.

Do not sign a boiler plate contract with a vague verbal promise of changes being made later - you could find yourself held strictly to the contract as signed.

My experience has left me cynical - and certainly left my wallet quite a bit emptier than anticipated. I learned the hard way that the building industry in Switzerland is just like the building industry the world over - caveat emptor, über alles.

Protect yourself: get a lawyer or a trusted friend with in-depth knowledge of the building industry to review the contract before signing. Add a clause relating to future design changes and costs if necessary.

And above all - listen to your instincts. The way things work in Switzerland really isn't all that different from the way things work in the rest of the world - if it feels wrong, it probably is wrong.

Best of luck with your project.
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Old 06.09.2010, 14:11
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Re: Building with Implenia in BL: advices and experience to share

Second (or third) the do not sign until plans and price agreed.

Good lawyer: Grether MacGeorge - Austrasse 95, 4051 Basel, Schweiz, Tel: 061 206 88 00.

Gabrielle is a Swiss Lawyer, but speaks absolutely fluent English.

Check out their web-site http://www.gmacg.com/

We are lucky in that we have a "fix-fertig" price, i.e. all inclusive, bar changes made after the plans were signed off. That said, they (the architect) tried to charge us 700 CHF for moving a door because the roof beams wouldn't allow the door to be where we wanted it, and they had already ordered the parts required. Needless to say we (succesfully) called their bluff on it, because as far as we were concerned, they should have highlighted/checked this before ordering the parts. Although 700 CHF isn't much, but you need to stick to your guns or they will ride all over you.
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Old 06.09.2010, 14:25
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Re: Building with Implenia in BL: advices and experience to share

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No experience with this company, but...
Nobody brought it up: Wasn't it implenia who f-ed up the stability of the roof of Letzigrund stadium, so the city insisted that they put in temporary support pillars... and now they are sueing each other who has to pay for the costs of this piece of architecture

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Old 06.09.2010, 16:06
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Re: Building with Implenia in BL: advices and experience to share

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Second (or third) the do not sign until plans and price agreed.

Good lawyer: Grether MacGeorge - Austrasse 95, 4051 Basel, Schweiz, Tel: 061 206 88 00.

Gabrielle is a Swiss Lawyer, but speaks absolutely fluent English.

Check out their web-site http://www.gmacg.com/

We are lucky in that we have a "fix-fertig" price, i.e. all inclusive, bar changes made after the plans were signed off. That said, they (the architect) tried to charge us 700 CHF for moving a door because the roof beams wouldn't allow the door to be where we wanted it, and they had already ordered the parts required. Needless to say we (succesfully) called their bluff on it, because as far as we were concerned, they should have highlighted/checked this before ordering the parts. Although 700 CHF isn't much, but you need to stick to your guns or they will ride all over you.
Thanks for advice and link.
at our last meeting they told us that they will not add any price for all the changes, that they hardly change this kind of standard template and that is they way they work (they have lots of this kind of contracts already signed). If this is true, I woudl like to hear from a previous customer how the all project went! The all thing seems to me not at all trasparent and they can invent any price for each single change!
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Old 06.09.2010, 22:18
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Re: Building with Implenia in BL: advices and experience to share

We are currently building. In our case we have entered into a reservation contract and will enter into a purchase contract in a little while. This contract stipulates amongst other the "standard" specs of the house.

Any upgrades we will pay the additional cost plus in most cases a % charge above. These will then be written in as addenda to a file contract which will be taken to the notary close to completion.


Btw, Implenia is one of the largest construction companies in Switzerland.
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Old 07.09.2010, 11:33
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Re: Building with Implenia in BL: advices and experience to share

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We are currently building. In our case we have entered into a reservation contract and will enter into a purchase contract in a little while. This contract stipulates amongst other the "standard" specs of the house.

Any upgrades we will pay the additional cost plus in most cases a % charge above.

This sounds exactly like our case.

These will then be written in as addenda to a file contract which will be taken to the notary close to completion.

.. and this is what we woudl like to do as well.

Btw, Implenia is one of the largest construction companies in Switzerland.
...I know!
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Old 07.09.2010, 13:35
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Re: Building with Implenia in BL: advices and experience to share

Building a private house with a large construction company and without your own architect is like buying a car without any options on it.

You buy a base model and then you customise your purchase. This customisation costs top of the market price for each element + 12 to 20% (!!!) for architects fees for these choises.

Unless you are happy with the standard house model that they have or you will make really minimal changes, it is just not worth it to build with a construction company.

They make their money on a sheer scale of things. Anything that is custom made for a client is not profitable for them directly, so they charge crazy prices to do it.

A lot of people go to these companies for their private houses because they think it will be cheaper than hiring an architect.

Architects may look expensive at the first glance, but an architect will compare prices from different companies by every type of work and find the best solution that would be tailor-made for you.

Again, I am not taking about architects that sell you houses from catalogs. There is a lot of abuse in that matter too. You need to find an architect that will make a project for you and only for you.

By the way, big construction companies don't always have their own people for all kinds of works. They subcontract a lot, especially for the interior works and any special equipment. By doing that they get 20% of the offer of the subcontractor. You can calculate the savings you would have if you went directly to a company via an architect.
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Old 07.09.2010, 13:41
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Re: Building with Implenia in BL: advices and experience to share

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Thanks for advice and link.
at our last meeting they told us that they will not add any price for all the changes, that they hardly change this kind of standard template and that is they way they work (they have lots of this kind of contracts already signed). If this is true, I woudl like to hear from a previous customer how the all project went! The all thing seems to me not at all trasparent and they can invent any price for each single change!
Well then ask them to write in hand writing at the bottom of their standard contract that the "price is final regardless of any future changes you decide" and get them to sign that in the same pen.

Watch their reaction
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Old 07.09.2010, 13:50
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Re: Building with Implenia in BL: advices and experience to share

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...they told us that they will not add any price for all the changes, that they hardly change this kind of standard template and that is they way they work (they have lots of this kind of contracts already signed)...
What is it that they write on banking papers... oh yes:

"Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance."

Ask them for references...

But quite frankly, who gives if everyone else is happy with their standard design?

We had a standard spec, and you wouldn't recognise the house we are having built. Needless to say it is much better

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Well then ask them to write in hand writing at the bottom of their standard contract that the "price is final regardless of any future changes you decide" and get them to sign that in the same pen.

Watch their reaction
Ha hahahahahhahaha!

Nice one.
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Old 07.09.2010, 14:38
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Re: Building with Implenia in BL: advices and experience to share

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Building a private house with a large construction company and without your own architect is like buying a car without any options on it.

You buy a base model and then you customise your purchase. This customisation costs top of the market price for each element + 12 to 20% (!!!) for architects fees for these choises.

Unless you are happy with the standard house model that they have or you will make really minimal changes, it is just not worth it to build with a construction company.

They make their money on a sheer scale of things. Anything that is custom made for a client is not profitable for them directly, so they charge crazy prices to do it.

A lot of people go to these companies for their private houses because they think it will be cheaper than hiring an architect.

Architects may look expensive at the first glance, but an architect will compare prices from different companies by every type of work and find the best solution that would be tailor-made for you.

Again, I am not taking about architects that sell you houses from catalogs. There is a lot of abuse in that matter too. You need to find an architect that will make a project for you and only for you.

By the way, big construction companies don't always have their own people for all kinds of works. They subcontract a lot, especially for the interior works and any special equipment. By doing that they get 20% of the offer of the subcontractor. You can calculate the savings you would have if you went directly to a company via an architect.
we indeed started looking with an architect in basel to build our house. we went to see previous houses he did and we liked them very much (price wise too). The major problem was to find a nice piece of land. At the end this is what counts and keep the value of the house.
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Old 07.09.2010, 15:22
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Re: Building with Implenia in BL: advices and experience to share

What I would then probably do is get the absolute basic standard house and make no changes what so ever. Once the house is finnished I would then do the changes I want made using not an architect but a "Building consultant". They are usually as good as and architect when there is no real constructual work needed and their fee is usually around 5-7% rather than the 12-20% an architect charge.


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we indeed started looking with an architect in basel to build our house. we went to see previous houses he did and we liked them very much (price wise too). The major problem was to find a nice piece of land. At the end this is what counts and keep the value of the house.
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Old 07.09.2010, 15:59
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Re: Building with Implenia in BL: advices and experience to share

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Protect yourself: get a lawyer or a trusted friend with in-depth knowledge of the building industry to review the contract before signing. Add a clause relating to future design changes and costs if necessary.
Get a lawyer, far easier to screw than a "trusted friend" when it all goes wrong !
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