New House Construction ( Architect vs Generalunternemer)

19 posts in this topic

Hi

Long time no post from me. Hope everyone is doing fine and prevailed the covid pandemic

We are planning to build a new house in Freising 

Expecting Baugenehmigung in next 2-4 weeks .

Most probably starting in spring/summer 2022. 

We got our plan done with an independent Architect  and got the construction offers from 2 companies from Bauzentrum Poing and also from Architekt.

Now totally confused with which option to proceed. Both have pro and cons.

Architect offer cost us 25% more but detailed , exact and includes everything till the end .But lot of contracts to handle , Guarantee is distributed  etc 

General unternehmer offer cost less but lot of things outside of construction is kind of open , lot of standard thing from their standard houses. Everything is from one hand, one contact for us, easy for guarantee.

 

Can anyone of you give us tips , their experience or guide us in correct direction etc. 

 

Cheers 

Yorambo

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1 hour ago, catjones said:

recent references?

 

37 minutes ago, YoRambo said:

Hi Catjones

 

Any references , tips ,experience is appreciated.

I don't understand what catjones is asking there. I unfortunately don't have anything to offer, I just am following this as I will be in a similar situation soon.

 

It does kind of sound like there could be some unexpected expenses pop up if you go the Generalunternehmer way.

 

Good luck to you.

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How do you know what it will cost using an architect before he/she even asked for tender offers? Given the current situation there is quite risk of cost overruns and delay due to lack of craftsmen / a ailability of building materials. For me this would tip the scale towards the Generalunternehmer. I'd pay an architect though to check the contract and fill the open gaps.

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12 hours ago, YoRambo said:

Hi Catjones

 

Any references , tips ,experience is appreciated.

references from your three contractors.  a reference would be from recent customers who had similar work done by the contractor. is this a foreign concept?

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15 hours ago, jeba said:

How do you know what it will cost using an architect before he/she even asked for tender offers? Given the current situation there is quite risk of cost overruns and delay due to lack of craftsmen / a ailability of building materials. For me this would tip the scale towards the Generalunternehmer. I'd pay an architect though to check the contract and fill the open gaps.

15 hours ago, jeba said:

How do you know what it will cost using an architect before he/she even asked for tender offers? Given the current situation there is quite risk of cost overruns and delay due to lack of craftsmen / a ailability of building materials. For me this would tip the scale towards the Generalunternehmer. I'd pay an architect though to check the contract and fill the open gaps.

 

Thanks Jeba .. That was my though too. Having a fixed price advantage from Generalunternehmer .  Architect dont have the Offers from sub contractor yet , but he have knowledge of increasing prices and delivery time of Baumaterial from his other projects and is adjusting his prices accordingly ( he already have indicated/adjusted our project price upwards twice during the planning phase) .

But again if the price and delivery time are so fickle as it seems now , the Generalunternehmer will also cut corners on quality and delivery time to keep their margin.

 

What i do not like about Generalunternehmer is their way of presenting their offer as all rosy and not telling upfront (until asked) of the other cost involved. They were not telling about the 10-12% nebenkosen , garden wont be done , stellplatz wont be done etc..until asked explicitly , and as a first time builder we  can only know so much  (from freinds + Internet), giving us a angst that what extra cost might sprung up during the building process  . Making a fixed price Generalunternehmer not so fixed price in the end.

 

4 hours ago, catjones said:

references from your three contractors.  a reference would be from recent customers who had similar work done by the contractor. is this a foreign concept?

 

Thanks Catjones..We have already seen some of reference projects of the Generalunternehmer in question from outside...Havent yet rung the bell of these reference houses and talked to the owner (a little akward for me to do).. but due to the  natur of house building process which involves lot of stress.. majority of the people do not like the Generalunternehmer with which build their house anyway...have talked to some friends and nobody recommend the company they build with.

 

Any knowledge (egal how redundant)regarding the house building (process, methods , insurance, dos , dont, rants ,tips etc etc etc)   from you guys will add to our and other Toytown prospective builders knowledge .

So,Please keep pouring your thought.

 

Cheers

/YoRambo

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I would take the builder with a fixed (guaranteed?) price. We built with two contracts. One for the basement (Rohbau) from a specialist basement builder (basements around here need to be tanked/WU Beton) and one for the "rest" including the UFH and concrete floors in the basement. We paid almost to the penny what we signed up to. The garden will rarely be included. Budget at least 20k to do a basic garden with a small bit of paving and a small bit of "nice" fence. It can cost much more, but paving is actually something a competent DIYer can tackle. 

 

Utility connection charges will be your problem. These can vary quite a bit. You need to check with your local Versorger what they charge for connections and if you are set back from the road, how much extra per m etc.

 

We had to pay for the waste disposal from the site, so had to hire 2 large enough skips during the build. This stuff is expensive to dump as it's a misch masch of stuff. I think it was around €400 per skipload. Stuff like insulation cutoffs are bulky unfortunately.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, YoRambo said:

What i do not like about Generalunternehmer is their way of presenting their offer as all rosy and not telling upfront (until asked) of the other cost involved.

That´s why I´d be prepared to pay for an independent architect to check the contract for quality standards and things missing. And maybe supervision of the quality of the work done.

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2 hours ago, murphaph said:

I would take the builder with a fixed (guaranteed?) price. We built with two contracts. One for the basement (Rohbau) from a specialist basement builder (basements around here need to be tanked/WU Beton) and one for the "rest" including the UFH and concrete floors in the basement. We paid almost to the penny what we signed up to. The garden will rarely be included. Budget at least 20k to do a basic garden with a small bit of paving and a small bit of "nice" fence. It can cost much more, but paving is actually something a competent DIYer can tackle. 

 

Utility connection charges will be your problem. These can vary quite a bit. You need to check with your local Versorger what they charge for connections and if you are set back from the road, how much extra per m etc.

 

We had to pay for the waste disposal from the site, so had to hire 2 large enough skips during the build. This stuff is expensive to dump as it's a misch masch of stuff. I think it was around €400 per skipload. Stuff like insulation cutoffs are bulky unfortunately.

 

 

 

Thanks for the great inputs Murphaph...

We are currently analyzing Architect detailed cost calculation and trying to figure out what part out of it is missing in generalunternehmer offer..just to find if the price difference is the price of missing part of project...or just architect building it costly.

Architect also calculated around 20k for the garden and fencing etc. , so you are spot on 

Utility connection might not be the issue as we are building in already developed neighborhood. Utility connections are just running 1-3m in front of the  grundstk.

Construction Waste disposal,thats a good point to note ..have to ask bau firma and architekt , if its taken care off or still have to be added up in the cost.

Our DIY competency is very limited to some light IKEA stuff, i wont bet on it . 

 

 

 

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Ok, knowing your limits and being realistic about what, if anything you can tackle yourself is far better than pretending to yourself that it will only cost this or that because I can do that myself. We took a kind of "bare minimum" house that I could finish off, so I taped and jointed all the plaster boarding (drywall), put in the kitchen, laid all the tiles (3 tonnes worth!) etc. etc. If you have to have this stuff done, it will greatly add to the price uncertainty unless it's part of a fixed price contract.

 

We have a private road that we co-own with the 3 other houses it serves. We had to pay to have this paved. This was the only non-fixed price contract I signed and this is the only one that saw the price increase (and this is still being decided upon by our local Amtsgericht because we and our engineer claim the work is completely sub-standard but that's a side issue). If you get quotes, they are estimates unless otherwise very explicitly stated. Builders will easily get away with final bills 10% - 15% higher than their estimates and you would have no legal grounds to challenge that.

 

The more contracts you have, the more likely you are to face a dispute/legal action. Our neighbours used an architect and direct labour and ended up suing their window maker. The guy completely let them down and messed up the build schedule badly.

 

Back to utilities...even if your planned utility room is adjacent to the street, you will still have to pay for connection. I think Telekom is about 700€. Our electricity was about 2k but we had to pay a supplement for extra metres. The base price was still around 1.5k though. We have no gas but I believe that was a similar price but these are all regionally very different, apart from Telekom I think. Many utilities now insist on these fancy Mehspartanhauseinführungen which cost several hundred € whereas previously a bit of Wavin pipe would have been accepted.

 

You should join a Verein like the Bauherrenschutzbund or similar and have one of their solicitors check your contracts. It'll still cost 500€ mind. You should also engage one of their Begleitende Bauingenieur guys to look at your plans and inspect the work at critical intervals so he or she can call a halt if something is badly wrong. I would strongly recommend you engage one of these if you have no idea about what looks right and what doesn't when it comes to building. That's if you don't engage an architect to manage the whole thing of course.

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53 minutes ago, murphaph said:

 laid all the tiles (3 tonnes worth!) 

 3 TON...3 TON ( its like a '1.21 gigawatt from Back to the future' moment for me) ...respect man

 

56 minutes ago, murphaph said:

If you get quotes, they are estimates unless otherwise very explicitly stated. Builders will easily get away with final bills 10% - 15% higher than their estimates and you would have no legal grounds to challenge that.

Good point .. have to get the final contracts checked via  Bauherrenschutzbund or Anwalt ...

 

1 hour ago, murphaph said:

The more contracts you have, the more likely you are to face a dispute/legal action. Our neighbours used an architect and direct labour and ended up suing their window maker. The guy completely let them down and messed up the build schedule badly.

 

Back to utilities...even if your planned utility room is adjacent to the street, you will still have to pay for connection. I think Telekom is about 700€. Our electricity was about 2k but we had to pay a supplement for extra metres. The base price was still around 1.5k though. We have no gas but I believe that was a similar price but these are all regionally very different, apart from Telekom I think. Many utilities now insist on these fancy Mehspartanhauseinführungen which cost several hundred € whereas previously a bit of Wavin pipe would have been accepted.

 

You should join a Verein like the Bauherrenschutzbund or similar and have one of their solicitors check your contracts. It'll still cost 500€ mind. You should also engage one of their Begleitende Bauingenieur guys to look at your plans and inspect the work at critical intervals so he or she can call a halt if something is badly wrong. I would strongly recommend you engage one of these if you have no idea about what looks right and what doesn't when it comes to building. That's if you don't engage an architect to manage the whole thing of course.

Contracts <-> Disputes , Utility cost estimates, Bauherrenschutzbund/Architect .. again great points...will note down and/or contact them .

Thanks Murphaph..

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I won't belabor, but the recommendations/referrals are presented to you by the contractor, not by you "driving by".

 

All the contracts I've written or accepted contained a detailed scope of work that laid out what work was "included" and, sometimes more importantly, what work is "not included".  There should be no (zero) assumptions on your part.  Home contracts should also include a bill of materials (generally fixtures) of "not to exceed" or "allowance" prices.

 

With multiple bids with wide ranging offers, you should spend whatever time it takes to investigate the differences.  You may find intangibles that bump the totals.  I know contractors who simply don't want city-builds and charge accordingly.  Others may be desperate for work or had a last minute cancellation.

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On 12/14/2021, 5:33:36, catjones said:

I won't belabor, but the recommendations/referrals are presented to you by the contractor, not by you "driving by".

 

All the contracts I've written or accepted contained a detailed scope of work that laid out what work was "included" and, sometimes more importantly, what work is "not included".  There should be no (zero) assumptions on your part.  Home contracts should also include a bill of materials (generally fixtures) of "not to exceed" or "allowance" prices.

 

With multiple bids with wide ranging offers, you should spend whatever time it takes to investigate the differences.  You may find intangibles that bump the totals.  I know contractors who simply don't want city-builds and charge accordingly.  Others may be desperate for work or had a last minute cancellation.

Thanks Catjones.

 

Being a first time builder we do not know the 'Scope of work ' 100% ...Ja walls to be built, roof, windows ,electro , tiles, sanitar , garden  etc..are common sense  but what 100 things comes in between these process...trying to figure it out ..

Or maybe i am overthinking...just home buyer/builder depression

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I suggest professional help. Even help at this early stage, could be beneficial before making further decisions 

 

The TüV can supply independent, professional advice.

 

TüV am Bau

(Yes in German, but that's the language you'll need on your building site)

 

deepl.com can translate it as reqd.

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On 12/16/2021, 10:09:20, HH_Sailor said:

I suggest professional help. Even help at this early stage, could be beneficial before making further decisions 

 

The TüV can supply independent, professional advice.

 

TüV am Bau

(Yes in German, but that's the language you'll need on your building site)

 

deepl.com can translate it as reqd.

 

Thanks HH_Sailor...Ill connect with TüV.. German in general is not a problem...but ya new bau specific german vocab ..pheeww

The offer we have from Generalunternehmer have dekra endabnahme included...Is that it (TüV) ..or should we contact TüV or Independent Gutachter separately

 

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Just for info... stuff I know happened... cos builders cut corners where they can.

 

Electric cabling laid diagonally instead of vertically and horizontally.

 

Semi porous synthetic layer between other materials omitted.

 

Insulation layer thinner than in the spec and billed for.

 

If you do not know the norms, tick off item by item what is delivered and stand over them with a tape measure while they are on the job they can be very creative with cost cutting measures. Cough.

 

Good luck.

 

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On 16/12/2021, 09:30:07, YoRambo said:

Being a first time builder we do not know the 'Scope of work ' 100% ...Ja walls to be built, roof, windows ,electro , tiles, sanitar , garden  etc..are common sense  but what 100 things comes in between these process...trying to figure it out ..

Then you absolutely need someone looking out exclusively for your interests in what may well be the largest transaction in your lives.

If you don't have an architect, then you should definitely join an organisation like the Bauherrenschutzbund (there are a few similar organisations, the membership fee is tax deductible by the way) and engage one of their engineers to check the contracts and inspect the build at the key phases. It's the cheapest 3 or 4 grand you will ever spend. 

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1 hour ago, YoRambo said:

 

Thanks HH_Sailor...Ill connect with TüV.. German in general is not a problem...but ya new bau specific german vocab ..pheeww

The offer we have from Generalunternehmer have dekra endabnahme included...Is that it (TüV) ..or should we contact TüV or Independent Gutachter separately

 

 

TuV and Dekra are similar organisations. They both monitor standards.

eg you can take your car to either to get it tested every two years.

 

They both are independant and will work for you - upholding your interests .

 

You need someone on the building site - daily - in the time when stuff is being done**

The examples from @optimista would have been seen and prevented if someone working for you

was on site when, say, the cables are laid.

 

Building a house is said to be the largest investment we (normal people) ever make.

Coupled with that, we rarely do it twice.

 

So help is needed and paid help (with regress and their liabilty insurance) is cheaper in the end.

 

 

**It can be that a building site will be in "rest mode" during a cold snap, or when one stage is not finished but

the  next bit can't start yet.

 

Dekra / TüV should also read and check the contract for you and explain it.

For example, if you think you could tile the kitchen and you get that in the contract,

there could be huge penalties if the other trades have to wait because you're not finished yet.

What seems like a simple task on your side suddenly becomes a costly millstone

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