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Old 12.10.2010, 09:02
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Rules in Row-Houses and 2-family Houses?

Are there any rules or hausordnungs for row-houses or 2-family houses (ie: one house split int he middle by a dividing wall)? Can you do your laundry and vaccuum on Sunday? How's the noise level from neighbours when sharing a middle wall?

I'm tired of apartment life and would like to buy a stand-alone house to have some freedom, but as I can't really afford a stand-alone house, I'm looking at row-houses and split-houses as an option. Any feedback is welcome, especially from people who have lived in row-houses and split-houses
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Old 12.10.2010, 09:09
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Re: Rules in Row-Houses and 2-family Houses?

Actually you may find that "row" houses and two-family houses don't share a wall.

In our current house, which is a two-family house, each house has its own wall and there is a gap between the walls. We don't hear anything at all from them. We had the same situation in our previous house and heard nothing from our neighbours. They were professional musicians and taught music at home and obviously played a lot themselves.

Whilst we were searching for houses, all those we looked at didn't share a wall and that included one middle row house.

Good luck with your search.
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Old 12.10.2010, 09:10
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Re: Rules in Row-Houses and 2-family Houses?

AFAIK, all communes have rules - with some variation depending on the commune.

This means that those living in single houses, terraces or flats actually have to abide by the same rules. The difference is that you have fewer neighbours when living in a house, and the distances involved are greater - e.g. regarding sound dissipation.

Therefore, neighbours are less likely to be disturbed by your activities and less likely to complain. That does not mean, however, that they will not if you are found to be breaking the rules and disturbing them...
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Old 12.10.2010, 09:23
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Re: Rules in Row-Houses and 2-family Houses?

Vacume and laundry should be no problem but you best check about hanging out laundry on a Sunday first. Some communes allow some don't, some neighbors don't care, some do, depends a little where the line is really. If it's hiodden away between the garage and hedge, usualy nobody cares.

Grass cutting, power tools is a no-no but you can dig the garden...with a spade. It can be a bit frustrating, but therre again it makes for very peaceful Sundays.
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Old 12.10.2010, 09:25
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Re: Rules in Row-Houses and 2-family Houses?

We live in a row of 3 houses and it is nothing like in an apartment. We can do what ever we like except maybe cut the grass on Sunday. It worked for me
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Old 13.10.2010, 20:36
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Re: Rules in Row-Houses and 2-family Houses?

Thanks for all the replies. I feel a little more comfortable looking at split/row-houses now

...one more question: can you do what you want with your yard? Can you build a winter-garden or put a 2 meter fence up? ...or maybe some pink flamingos and a pick-up truck on cinder-blocks?
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Old 13.10.2010, 20:39
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Re: Rules in Row-Houses and 2-family Houses?

well our neighbours spend a lot of time in their hottub in the middle of 4 houses (row) and no one complains although I spend a lot of time trying not to look..ergh
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Old 13.10.2010, 21:21
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Re: Rules in Row-Houses and 2-family Houses?

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Thanks for all the replies. I feel a little more comfortable looking at split/row-houses now

...one more question: can you do what you want with your yard? Can you build a winter-garden or put a 2 meter fence up? ...or maybe some pink flamingos and a pick-up truck on cinder-blocks?
They quite often have strict rules about building any structure in th garden. We live in a flat with a garden and we're not allowed to build a pergola, winter garden or dig a pond.

(some of there are quite sound - digging a deep pond would mean digging through into the garage and destroying the garage roof damp-proofing in the process).

Someone else with a terraced house (row-house) had to take down their small plastic tool shed as the other neighbours did not like where it was placed (they're not talking now which is a sad outcome).

Hedges and fences are quite often down to down to standard Geminde rules usually including, as an example, a new hedge having to be planted 0.6m away from the boundary with the neighbour.

If you have specific plans for the future, I would check before proceeding with the purchase to avoid disappointment.
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Old 13.10.2010, 22:00
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Re: Rules in Row-Houses and 2-family Houses?

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can you do what you want with your yard? Can you build a winter-garden or put a 2 meter fence up? ...or maybe some pink flamingos and a pick-up truck on cinder-blocks?
The winter garden and 2m fence would probably require a building permit....
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Old 13.10.2010, 22:02
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Re: Rules in Row-Houses and 2-family Houses?

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Hedges and fences are quite often down to down to standard Geminde rules usually including, as an example, a new hedge having to be planted 0.6m away from the boundary with the neighbour.
Where we are, we were able to put up a 1m20 fence on the border with the neighbours without asking and without a permit.
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Old 13.10.2010, 22:14
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Re: Rules in Row-Houses and 2-family Houses?

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Where we are, we were able to put up a 1m20 fence on the border with the neighbours without asking and without a permit.
We're allowed only 1m without asking
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Old 13.10.2010, 22:28
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Re: Rules in Row-Houses and 2-family Houses?

It's like pretty well everything else here. It varies from place to place...

I know two people here who had bought houses built side by side to another house - what we Brits would call semi-detached - who had a great deal of problem with the noise from the neighbouring house. In one case it was the noise from water running in the pipes - they must have been on the adjoining wall and in the other it was simply noise coming through the dividing wall between the two buildings. So it obviously depends how well the two houses are built whether there might later be a problem or not. And it really does depend a bit on the life-style of the other occupants too. If the house is well insulated for sound, you may not hear the neighbours having one of their frequent parties in their lounge, but if the farewells take place outside their 'front door' at two in the morning, you may well hear that through your open bedroom window.
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Old 14.10.2010, 14:30
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Re: Rules in Row-Houses and 2-family Houses?

We do quite a lot of work on our place on a Sunday - but it is manual tools only - and the neighbours are happy because we are attempting to return the garden of the house to a more pleasing place. The former owner had let it run wild.

We are lucky that the woman next door lived in the house at one point - and has kind of adopted us in the village - so ensuring we are getting good PR.

We also used the local wood guy (they fell the trees, slice to size, fit etc) - so ensured we are getting on the right side of people.

No-one has asked us to stop on a Sunday or later on a Saturday!!

As is mentioned elsewhere - it is clearly a community to community situation - and also from one group of neighbours to another. If you are surrounded by working farms you are more likely to be able to make noise
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Old 14.10.2010, 14:47
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Re: Rules in Row-Houses and 2-family Houses?

It depends entirely on your neighbours. We used to live in a row house and we had a horrible neighbour who was nice to us for the first year and then suddenly switched and decided she hated us. She always complained about the noise and would have issues with my friends visiting (I am a stay at home mum, mostly my friends came over around 3pm in the afternoon and left before 6pm). She made life unbearable and I had to tell her to never talk to my kids because she was so rude to them (at the time the oldest was 3 years old).

Now we live in an apartment and it is great. The neighbours are really lovely, no one has ever complained about noise and nor have we had problems with other people's noise.

So, probably not helpful - but I think it all depends on the luck of the draw on who your neighbours are.

Good luck!
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Old 14.10.2010, 15:25
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Re: Rules in Row-Houses and 2-family Houses?

A quick glance at English (UK) terminology.

Row houses -> terraced. 2-family -> semi-detached. Standalone - detached.

We live in a 20 year old semi-detached house, and very rarely hear anything from our next door neighbour, as the walls are pretty thick and well soundproofed. As our neighbour plays the drums, I think the walls must be very well constructed.
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Old 14.10.2010, 16:28
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Re: Rules in Row-Houses and 2-family Houses?

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I think the walls must be very well constructed.
Compared to UK construction, a Swiss house is a very solid bit of kit - with more concrete then a good motorway fly over!!!
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Old 14.10.2010, 19:59
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Re: Rules in Row-Houses and 2-family Houses?

Definitely check with your local commune before building fences or adding a winter garden...and don't do as I did and trust someone else's word that they'e checked it for you. The project manager of the company doing the landscaping in my garden told me that checking on planning permission requirements was their responsibility. Two weeks after they put up a 180 screen, I got a very nasty letter from the commune telling me all the laws I'd just broken. It took a number of months, hassle and red-tape to finally get approval to keep it.
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Old 14.10.2010, 20:10
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Re: Rules in Row-Houses and 2-family Houses?

As a rule of thumb, and i do emphasise this, you can build or errect a structure providing it is temporary and can easily be taken down again, ie, bolted or screwed together. There can be communal rules on top of this however limiting certain structures.

An opening on the roof is always with the approval of the commune.

In general providing it's reasonable the commune will allow it. There are two procedures "administrative" where by the builder supplies a small drawing of the proposed modification which is approved by the communal council, alternatively a full project which is presented and then put into the public domain for people to place an oposition if they want.

Unless you have a very direct line of sight or you are a close neighbour (adjoining property) you are entitled to place an oposition but the commune can, and usualy does insist on a down payment of Chf 500.--. Should the oposition be justified, you get ypour money back however should it not be justified then the money goes to the communal coffers. It is the Technical office and communal council who decides.
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Old 14.10.2010, 20:19
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Re: Rules in Row-Houses and 2-family Houses?

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Are there any rules or hausordnungs for row-houses or 2-family houses (ie: one house split int he middle by a dividing wall)? Can you do your laundry and vaccuum on Sunday? How's the noise level from neighbours when sharing a middle wall?
If you're talking about buying then there is no longer such a thing as a "hausordnung", remember, you are the landlord of your property (including apartments). Any noise problems you might have will need to be worked out between you and your neighbors (typed while enduring a non-stop screaming 3 yr. old upstairs..!!).
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Old 14.10.2010, 22:07
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Re: Rules in Row-Houses and 2-family Houses?

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with more concrete then a good motorway fly over!!!
I feel concerned by that comment.

We are in a row house, 2 up, 1 down short of jobbie. Could not hear a peep out of one neighbor, who recently moved, and the new neighbors wondered if we were ever home until we all introduced ourselves!

The other neighbor, although apparently bedridden, has the most vocal phone calls or discussions with some live in care person that we can hear those (just) through the walls.. although once the kids have gone to bed we are very sensitive to the quiet (with kids you get more concerned when everything goes quiet in the house than when things are crashing and bashing).

In all, this place are real quiet, except for backyard parties.. the noise echoes around and the windows we have need replacing with modern double glazing. This place was built in the 1930s.

CK
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