Building at a fixed price? The bill often does not work out!

Building at a fixed price? The bill often does not work out!


Many construction companies promise house-building at a fixed price and a turnkey handover. Sounds tempting. But it does not stand up to critical scrutiny.

For many home builders, having one's own home is the most expensive project of their lives. Financed with loans that will be paid off for decades. Since it is understandable that the builders desire the greatest possible planning and cost certainty and like to fall back on so-called fixed price offers from construction companies. But beware, nobody should do without one thing: to have the building contract and its construction and service descriptions checked by an independent expert before signing - whether an architect, civil engineer or a lawyer specializing in construction law. Such professionals are mediated by the builders' protection association, the association of private builders or the consumer centers.

Fixed prices are almost never unconditionally

What is often missing in construction contracts with package deals? For example, the fixed price applies without restriction and for the entire time until completion. If the contract lasts about eight months, this means: In the event of construction delays due to bad weather or damage, the builder will pay from the ninth month onwards. The contracts usually cover only simple services and building materials and rarely include requests for changes. What if the client decides during the construction for higher quality tiles in the bathroom instead of whitewashed walls? Then he will have to bear the additional costs.

Beware if "on-site" is in the contract!

A typical case in many contract offers is the term "on-site". He states that the builder must provide his own services, which are not included in the price. This can range from the excavation of the basement to the painting or street development of the property. What is usually also bypassed with offers with "turnkey handover" are the costs for the electricity, gas or water connection. Even the blueprints often charge the flat-rate companies separately.

"Turnkey" is not enforceable

For the layman, many phrases in building contracts sound nice and plausible, but he can not understand them all. And there are no legal regulations, which services must be included in a fixed price. In addition, "turnkey" is not a legally protected term and therefore not enforceable. Of course, the verification of contracts by an independent expert is an additional investment. But it protects against far more costly surprises, which unfortunately are the order of the day: the expensive refinancing.



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