Building without costs

Building without costs

Building contracts: Hardly anyone understands their codified formulations. What should a builder check to protect himself against defects or additional costs?

"Turnkey". Many model or catalog house providers lure their customers with this sonorous vocabulary and promise: all at a fixed price. But the term is not defined by law. Turnkey can be interpreted as ready for occupancy. A house can be moved if not all work is done. According to a study by Dekra, an average of 32 deficiencies occur during the course of a construction, which generates a total of about 10,000 euros in costs.

In the majority of construction contracts, not all construction work is completely defined. A classic example of this is preliminary work or construction costs. They range from obtaining the building permit to surveying, soil surveying, excavation or property development. All these services should be included in the fixed price and be listed precisely. No building ground resembles the other one. Here, construction companies often find reasons for additional costs.

The list of the missing construction works

Further calculations are made on statics, heat demand or roof insulation. They are missing in many building contracts. Each trade item and every equipment detail should be listed and every building material described exactly. For example, the type and quality of sanitary facilities. In many building contracts are additions such as "or similar". Sometimes construction companies reserve "technical changes". However, all additional services generate costs that the contract should protect the client from.

The terms of payment are another point. Basically, the builder is obliged to pay the full amount after completion. Partial payments can be agreed, but here applies: only after the correct execution of partial services. The building contract should contain precise schedules with concrete specifications such as calendar weeks. The individual rate steps must be unequivocally named.

Indispensable: the help of an expert

Is the construction time delayed? Is extra work required? Then there are additional costs, ideally borne by the causative contractor. The client can protect himself with clauses in the construction contract, which declare the fixed price as an absolute fix. So it also secures against material or labor costs, which increase in the meantime. Finally, who is liable for construction defects? By law, the construction company, for five years. However, if it goes bankrupt, the developer will be left with the costs. Therefore, experts recommend that a security be stipulated in the works contract. The construction company should deposit five percent of the construction costs.

Conclusion: The client should have the building contract checked by experts. The cost of a building lawyer or notary are low in relation to the construction costs. A tip in advance: The consumer centers provide sample building descriptions with checklists and booklets on the technical terms.

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