Costs for Master Builders: New Construction, Reconstruction or Renovation

December 1, 2022
  1. Costs for new construction
  2. Costs for a construction
  3. Costs for an (energetic) renovation
  4. Compare costs and services

The term master builder has two meanings in Switzerland. On the one hand, master builder is a profession. Most master builders are trained and experienced construction professionals who have undergone further training and passed the higher professional examination as master builder HFP. They manage a construction company or are employed in a managerial capacity and carry out construction projects. On the other hand, master builder is a collective term for companies in the field of building construction and civil engineering. This article is about companies that build houses for homeowners and remodel or renovate houses or apartments.

Costs for new construction

The cost of a new building depends on the size, floor plan and standard of finish. For a rough cost estimate, you should start with 800 francs per cubic meter of space. Off-the-shelf terraced detached houses cost less (from 650 francs per square meter), villas more (from 1,000 francs per square meter). The average single-family home in Switzerland has a cubic capacity of 840 cubic meters, which translates into 672,000 to 800,000 francs for a medium standard of finish. To this must be added the cost of the land, which is scarce and expensive in Switzerland, and the environmental work.


Other major expense items if you are building new: Anticipate ...

  • ... 100 francs* per square meter of land for landscaping with simple planting.
  • ... 600 to 800 francs* per square meter of window area or 900 to 1,000 francs* per window.
  • ... 1,000 francs* per square meter of balcony.
  • ... 20,000 francs* for an average bathroom including appliances and furniture.
  • ... 20,000 to 30,000 francs* for an average kitchen including appliances and furniture.
  • ... 30,000 to 40,000 francs* for a solid construction garage. Less is the cost of a lightweight garage (from 10,000 francs*) or a simple shelter (from 2,000 francs*).
  • ... 400 francs* per square meter of basement space (unfinished) and 20,000 francs* for excavation. That makes 150,000 francs* or more for our average single-family home.

* These are only approximate values. They vary depending on the standard and additional costs. Moreover, even experienced architects or master builders can only estimate the costs. That is why a tolerance limit of 10 to 20 percent is customary in the industry.

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Costs for a construction

Many homeowners underestimate how much money a remodel costs. In contrast to new construction, there is no rule of thumb for estimating the rough costs. But there is a threshold at which new construction makes more economic sense: as soon as the cost of remodeling exceeds 70 percent of the cost of a replacement, you should question your remodeling plans. It may well be that you have good emotional and/or family reasons for preserving the house and therefore remodeling it.


Some cost examples for major remodeling projects: Calculate with ...

  • ... around 1,000 francs per cubic meter if you add a floor to your house. For our average single-family house, that's 300,000 to 400,000 francs. Then there are the costs of additional structural measures, for example building services or access.
  • ... about 1,000 francs per cubic meter if you extend and insulate the attic. For the average single-family home, that adds up to at least 50,000 francs without a wet room.
  • ... about 3,000 to 4,000 francs per square meter of net living space if you add an addition to your home. For example, a 25-square-meter single-story addition with a terrace on the flat roof costs 75,000 to 100,000 francs.
  • ... at least 20,000 francs for a small conservatory with a foundation but no extras. Per square meter of glass area, you should expect 1,200 francs or more. Add to that the cost of sliding doors, sun shades and controls.
  • ... 20,000 to 30,000 francs for a new standard kitchen, about 50,000 francs for an upscale kitchen and 100,000 francs or more for a luxury kitchen. Often remodels cost more than new construction because of the adjustments.
  • ... up to 25,000 francs for a basic bathroom, up to 50,000 francs for an average bathroom and at least 50,000 francs for an upscale bathroom. Extras have their surcharge. A freestanding bathtub, for example, costs 5,000 francs more.

* These are only approximate values. They vary depending on the standard and additional costs. Moreover, even experienced architects or master builders can only estimate the costs. That is why a tolerance limit of 10 to 20 percent is customary in the industry.

Houzy Hint

Tip

The Renovation calculator Houzy determines the ideal time for renovation, coordinates all renovation measures in a cost-optimized manner and roughly estimates the renovation costs.

Cost builder - construction site for a remodel
If the cost of remodeling exceeds 70 percent of the cost of a replacement building, new construction would make more economic sense

Costs for an (energetic) renovation

Renovations cost a lot of money. However, the federal government, the cantons and many municipalities provide generous financial support for energy-efficient renovations. That's why energy-efficient renovation measures pay off sooner than you might think. At dasgebaeudeprogramm.ch you will find a good and easy-to-understand overview of all subsidy measures in Switzerland.

Some cost examples for larger (energetic) renovation measures: Calculate with ...

  • ... 20 to 40 percent of the value of the building for a renovation of the heating and building services. Depending on the value and age of the house, that's several hundred thousand francs.
  • ... about 32,000 francs* for an air-water heat pump and about twice as much for a water-water heat pump.  A heat pump costs more than an oil or gas heating system, but pays for itself much faster thanks to its lower operating costs.
  • ... with 250 to 400 francs* per square meter for facade insulation (insulation material and plaster). The thicker the insulation layer, the higher the cost of facade renovation.
  • ... 4,000 to 12,000 francs* for a flat roof renovation and 5,000 to 15,000* francs for a flat roof insulation. A pitched roof is more complex and therefore more expensive than a flat roof.
  • ... 40 francs* per square meter (inexpensive laminate) to 200 francs* per square meter (cherry tree parquet) for new flooring. In addition, there are labor costs of 50 to 70 francs per square meter. The bottom line is that a square meter of cherry tree parquet costs 230 to 270 francs*, high-quality laminate 150 to 190 francs* and vinyl 150 to 170 francs*.
  • ... plus/minus 800 francs* or 1,200 francs* if you have a 21 to 25 square meter room painted or wallpapered. A three-panel window painted inside and out costs about 320 francs*, and a normal-sized door with a door frame costs about 200 francs*.

* These are only approximate values. They vary depending on the standard and additional costs. Moreover, even experienced architects or master builders can only estimate the costs. That is why a tolerance limit of 10 to 20 percent is customary in the industry.

Houzy Hint

Tip

The Houzy energy calculator simulates the impact of energy renovations, analyzes the savings potential, calculates the investment costs and takes all subsidies into account.

Cost builder - craftsman insulates house facade
Energetic renovation measures such as facade insulation are subsidized by the federal government, the cantons and the municipalities.

Compare costs and services

If you want to know more precisely how much a new building, a reconstruction or a renovation costs, ask some master builders for quotations. Compare their services and costs. Make sure that all services are included and that the offers are comparable. In addition to labor and material costs, quotes should include travel costs, expenses and the hourly rate for additional work, as well as payment terms. Ask if something is unclear and choose the builder who convinces you. Not only financially. The first offer is not always the best offer.

Are you looking for a master builder as construction manager for your new construction, renovation or conversion project? In our network you will find certified master builders from your region that we recommend to you with a clear conscience. A few details are sufficient and you will receive up to 3 offers. The more precisely you describe your project, the more accurately our master builders estimate the effort and costs.

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