Building your house: the 5 key points


Building your house: the 5 key points


Have a house built is the dream of a majority of French. But the dream can quickly turn into a nightmare. The construction of a house remains a project that studies upstream : construction budget, miscellaneous expenses, choice of land, materials ... Here are the strategies to implement to prevent most problems that may occur over the months.

Before you start building your houseyou have to respect a few rules and ask yourself some questions. What are the costs of the work? How choose the right ground ? Which materials should be favored? Which professionals should I call? Côté Maison guides you and helps you make the right choices for your future home.

Read also> A new house, green and sustainable

1. Prepare your budget for building your house

Evaluate your budgetis not only adding the price of a land and that of a house, it is also provide for ancillary costs which we do not immediately think. An inventory must be taken before any decision is made. And this takes time, especially when you go to your banker (and its competitors, of course!) To develop a financing plan and know the contents of the envelope you will have.

Then comes the distribution of this sum according to the items: price of the land, the house, but also other costs difficult to compress. And there you quickly understand that the adjustment variableit is unfortunately the very object of your dream: the house (its surface, its number of rooms, finishes, equipment, etc.).

Read also> Building your ideal house in 10 points


Expenses related to real estate loans

Application fee. They represent about 1 to 1.5% of the principal loan amount and are negotiable. Discounts of 20 to 50% are possible.

Interim interest. As you unlock real estate loans, you will start paying interest on these amounts until the delivery of your home. Payments that will be added to your current rent. With the builder's call schedule, ask your banker to estimate interim interest ... and continue to negotiate with him.

Read also> The rules to know to enlarge or build a house

Field fees

The geological study. Recommended when in doubt about the stability or the nature of the subsoil (see point 2, "Find your land"). Cost of the operation: between 800 and 2000 euros.

The commission of the real estate agency. Most often, it is included in the price of the parcel and paid by the seller. Have it confirmed anyway from the first contact.

Notary fees. They are divided into emoluments and registration fees. It takes about 8% of the purchase price for an "average" land.

Put in viability. It's like "plugging" your land into various services: electricity, gas, water, sanitation, telephone networks ... In a subdivision, these costs are almost always included in the price of land that is sold serviced. For a plot "in diffuse" (isolated), prices depend on the distance between the boundaries of the land and the equipment to be connected.

The boundary. It is indispensable in diffuse. In general, its cost is the responsibility of the seller, but not always. Make it clear and, if necessary, ask for an estimate from an expert surveyor.

The expenses related to the house

The building permit. The procedure is free, but a file prepared by an architect (mandatory above 150 m2, as of March 01, 2017) is not. Fees are free. It must be between 1,200 and 5,000 euros.

Damage insurance. It is obligatory and, as the owner, you must subscribe to it. It is expensive (2 to 3% of the price of the house), but it guarantees you the refund and the repair of the damages which can occur after the reception of the works (official end of the building site) without having to wait for a decision of justice. Attention, it does not cover the risks of non-completion of site in case of failure of the contractor. Do not hesitate to consult several insurers to find the best price.

Road fees, networks and distribution. They come in addition to the viability and concern what happens between the boundaries of the land and your home. Connection of the building to electricity, water, sanitation, collection, evacuation of rainwater, not to mention the access roads to the entrance and the garage. Expenses generally forgotten by the manufacturers in the rates displayed in their catalogs. If this is the case, ask for a quote from a digger.

Small essential expenses. Installation of water meters, gas, telephone line, the cable that connects the EDF cubicle to your electrical panel and must be done by Erdf (about 12 euros TTC per meter). If the length exceeds 30 meters, the manufacturer can do it. Ask him for his price.

Finishes. Think about it now. The paints, floor coverings of rooms, furniture and kitchen equipment ... are often omitted in the advertised rates, or, if they are, rarely correspond to the high end. If you want specific products (solid parquet for example), there will be an additional cost.

Various taxes

The connection fee to the sewer. It represents a few hundred euros. The town hall will tell you the amount.

The local equipment tax (TLE). It is calculated according to the total surface of your house (the Shon, net surface area), loans obtained and the rate applied by the municipality. And is paid in two installments: the first half, eighteen months after obtaining the building permit; the second half, eighteen months later. The DDE can calculate it for you. TLE costs on average from 1,200 to 2,000 euros. It is often necessary to add the Caue tax (Council for architecture, urban planning and the environment) as well as the TDENS (departmental tax of sensitive natural areas), which represent 200 to 300 euros.

Unforeseen expenses when building a house

Last tip: plan a safety mattress (8 to 15% of your budget) for unexpected expenses. If you are lucky enough not to have to use it, you will have a small nest egg to please you at the end of the work.

2. Find the right ground to build your house

His choice largely determines the success of the operation. Whatever style of house you dream of, you will have to make a reason: the nature of the terrain, the configuration of the parcel and the related administrative constraints will determine the external appearance of the construction.

Read also> Building on your land: how long to submit a building permit?

How to choose a land for your home?

You will have to consider the close to shops, public transportation, road networks, schools, etc. Unfortunately, these facilities greatly increase the price of land. Orientation and exposure also important. Thermal regulation includes the bioclimatic aspect in the design of the houses of tomorrow, and acquiring a misguided terrain will require the architect or builder to do wonders to achieve the BBC performance. With, obviously, an impact on the cost. There are two types of land to build: subdivision and diffuse (isolated).

Advantages of the first : guarantees for servicing (connection to water, electricity, etc.) and constructibility. Disadvantages: constraints specific to the subdivision are added to those of the local urbanism (PLU). In this way, the house will not only have to meet specific standards on architectural plan (constructive principle, materials, roofing ...), but also the rules of a specification describing the collective living obligations (nature of plantations, style of the mailbox ...).

Assets of an isolated land: greater freedom. But which presents risks, because you will have less guarantees on the nature of the grounds, the viabilisation, etc.

To read also> An economic solution to build: 1 ground for 2

Gather information about the field and check them!

Ask first Certificate of Urbanism at the Town Hall. This is the document that confirms the building nature of the land (be careful, this does not guarantee you any future building permit) and specifies the architectural standards to respect (shape of the roof, color of the materials) , as well as the authorized building density, the land use factor (COS). This document also makes it possible to know the nature of the public easements (passage of the pipes, the lines of electricity, etc.) or private (right of way) related to the ground.

If your choice is on a subdivision, peel its rules and ask for Specifications, as well as the lottery order issued by the town planning services. Here you will find details of planned developments (roads, lighting ...). You will also have an idea of collective charges to come (to be included in your future financing and operating plan for greater security).

For a field in diffuse, check its exact surface and its limits. The cadastral indications are often insufficient and the use of a demarcation carried out by an expert surveyor is necessary. If the neighbors oppose it, it is the district court that will appoint an expert responsible for the operation, the cost of which will then be shared by all concerned.

To read also> Is your land good for building a new house?

Learn about the basement

This is fundamental: its nature will depend on the future life of your home. And the pitfalls are numerous: near a water table or a watercourse (and therefore flood), seismic zone, presence of old unmet mines ... Ask the town hall: the services of the DDE establish plans of prevention of the risks (PPR) delimiting the dangerous zones, without these being necessarily forbidden of construction . Ask also the neighborhood, especially the elders, custodians of the memory of the places: from when date the last flood, for example.

Otherwise, invest in a study done by a expert is a guarantee against unpleasant surprises and the ruinous extra costs ... and also on the ground. Clay, for example, shrinks in case of drought and swells with moisture. There are countless cases of houses, even recent, having withstood the great heat waves (cracks). Finally, the rock will require expensive equipment for the foundations.

Study the layout of the premises

Everything is important: the width, the depth, the shape of the ground, the ease of access for construction machinery ... Sloping terrainfor example, will require land displacements to build embankments.

3. Choose the constructive system for your future home

The building materials are plentiful. We will mention here only the most common, passing in silence straw, raw earth and pavements of hemp whose use is still anecdotal (if not experimental) in our country.


Concrete: banches or breeze blocks

Bonded concrete is a technique that consists of pouring concrete in successive layers between the panels of a formwork, called "banches". This formwork is made of wood or metal. It is also found in expanded polystyrene (insulating shuttering blocks), which makes it possible to use both the load-bearing walls of a construction and their insulation (inside and outside). After drying, the walls are lined with plasterboard inside and a cladding, plaster or other coating, outside.

Concrete block (also called agglo) is one of the cheapest building systems. It can be hollow or solid and is in the form of blocks of 20 x 50 cm, of varying thickness (usually 15 or 22 cm). The composition of the concrete (87% of stone, gravel and sand, 7% of clay and limestone, 6% of water), its energy-efficient and often local production, its mechanical resistance, but also to fire and frost in make a material of choice. For aesthetic reasons, it is most often covered (plaster or other).

- The advantages of concrete: good value for money. Simplicity of implementation.

- The handicaps: long construction site and significant production of waste. Insulation reported mandatory (except insulating shuttering blocks). The implementation of insulating shuttering blocks requires skilled workers, more difficult to find and therefore more expensive.

Cellular concrete: a two-in-one solution

Composed of sand, cement, lime and a tiny part of aluminum powder, this material traps in its mass micro air bubbles, which gives it good performance in terms of thermal insulation. Except in certain extreme climates, it does not require insulation. Relatively light (about 400 kg / m3), it is implemented using a thin-set mortar ("thin-joint" application). Like brick or agglo, it is sensitive to capillary rise. It is found in the form of blocks, lintels, floor slabs and partition tiles, which allows for the construction of an entire house made of cellular concrete. It can receive tiles, paint or wallpaper after applying a coating.

- Theall the cellular concrete: performance in terms of thermal insulation, quick installation (3 m2 / hour for a wall full of 20 cm thick), lightness - which makes it ideal for mounting a partition floor or develop attic.

- The handicaps: less resistant than Monomur brick, medium sound insulation and less inertia than conventional concrete and brick Monomur, high price to put into perspective (no reported insulation and quick installation).

Wood: a trendy and ecological material

Renewable and recyclable, it also allows a great freedom of shapes and volumes. The most commonly used species are larch, spruce, red cedar, the Scots pine and the Douglas pine. It is found as a wood frame (75% of wood constructions), a process often chosen for its lightness, but also in the form of solid wood (12%) and post beam (7%). The mixed wood / masonry version is interesting for the realization of extensions or verandas. Other systems are starting to appear in France: KLH panels, Lignotrend process, Streif concept ... All are made of glulam, only differ in the basic material preparation methods.

- Assets: great diversity of interior finishes. good thermal resistance. Fast site, dry and clean.

- Disabilities: few inertie (except solid wood). Additional insulation essential. Electromagnetic fields in a wooden house are significantly higher than those measured in a traditional house. Shielding of electrical sheaths solves this problem.

See also> The choice of wood for the house

Solid or perforated brick, a universal classic

It is the universal building element, the best known and long used most. Made of clay and gypsum, the brick is fired at 900 ° C. Economical and lightweight, it can raise single or double wall load bearing walls without much difficulty. But the solid brick is endangered on construction sites, where it is used mainly as decorative doubling of a concrete wall. Because of its low thermal performance, it is replaced by the classic perforated brick, appreciated by masons, but which also requires reported insulation.

- Assets: the price. Good inertia.

- Handicaps: reported insulation required. Thermal bridges difficult to eliminate. Gray energy expended and CO2 released during manufacture.

Monomur brick: 100% organic

By its honeycomb design, the Monomur brick (also called biobric) is both a insulation and a thermal regulator. Based on clay, it offers an appreciable inertia. Moreover, it does not transmit the external moisture towards the interior and does not release any volatile organic compounds (VOC). Finally, it is recyclable.

- Assets: no insulation reported. Good inertia.

- Disabilities: it requires a rigorous implementation under penalty of losing its thermal qualities. Gray energy spent. Extra cost, partially offset by the lack of insulation and shortened construction time.

4. Find the right professionals to build your house

Depending on your budget or your choices, you will be dealing with different professionals. They will be your interlocutors and will most often serve as intermediaries between you and those who, on the building site, will give body to your dream.


The house builder: a turnkey formula

It is the simplest and often the least expensive solution... a priori. Responsible for the entire service, from the first pick to the key collection, the builder coordinates the site and informs you about the administrative procedures. This formula is very framed and the signing of a contract for the construction of a detached house (CCMI) will make you benefit from guarantees on prices (firm and final), as on time, under penalty of late penalties. The CCMI requires the builder to obtain the guarantee of a financial institution, to take out professional insurance, etc. It is, in any case, a guarantee of seriousness and a limitation of the risk of work stoppage before their conclusion.

But the medal has its reverse. The house will be most often a model of its catalog, with all the constraints that entails: immutable plans, materials and equipment chosen by the construction company.

The developer-developer: you buy him a project

His profession is not regulated, unlike that of real estate agents. It is nonetheless subject to rules. Its role: create new residential areas and put in place the necessary equipment: servicing, green spaces, street furniture ... under the control of the administration. But, not having the right to sell lots before the completion of the works (article R 315-32 of the code of town planning), he proposes them for sale in future state of completion (VEFA), under the form of a contract.

The developer transfers to the buyer his rights on the ground as well as the ownership of the constructions as and when they are executed. So, you pay your house little by little, at the rate of the progress of the project. The seller, he remains owner until final reception and handing over of keys. He must subscribe assurance that guarantees the completion of the works.

The architect: the interpreter of your desires

More expensive, choose an architect allowsto have a "unique" house, adapted to his desires, and to select the materials. This is a professionally recognized professional. He holds a diploma DPLG (graduated by the government), DESA (graduated from the Special School of Architecture) or a degree in architecture (Beaux-Arts). He is registered with the order of architects. His role is diverse: he can simply draw the plans for you to get the building permit (mandatory if you plan for an area greater than 170 m2) or go until the completion of the house as master of artwork. He is then in charge of the project on behalf of the client (you).

It supports the application for building permit, prepares the technical file, obtains the specifications of the contractors, takes the direction of the works and controls the invoices before you regulate them, all until the final reception. Insurance covers its professional commitments, the damage caused to a third person as well as the disorders and poor workmanship if it is established that they are due to a design error. His fees are free. It is paid by fixed price or as a percentage of the cost of the work.

The project manager: the conductor of the construction site

His presence is not obligatory and, as the owner, you can very well replace him. But his role is not easy: he chooses the workers on the site, is responsible for planning and monitoring the work. It is he who will punch the table if the work is badly done or if the deadlines are not respected. It is in principle independent and preferably selects craftsmen with whom it is used to work, which simplifies exchanges. He is paid in fees.

How to find it? By word of mouth and recommendation first. Or by consulting directories on the Internet or with local Caue (Architecture, Town Planning and Environment Councils). Its role can also be held by the architect subject to the signing of a "contract of project management" in addition to the contract of architect.

Landscaper: the added value of your land

Like the architect, the landscaper has a DPLG diploma (recognized by the state). It is he who will transform your wasteland in earthly paradise. You give him an envelope of expenses and he proposes a project. After signing, he schedules the steps and supervises the site. A personal insurance covers his professional commitments, the damage caused to a third party, the disorders and defects of which he is responsible. The quote is mandatory and the fees are free.

5. Check the execution of the work

Last step : the reception of the works. This is the crucial moment when, for the first time, you go around the owner with the objective of releasing (or not) companies from their responsibilities and taking possession of your home. Yes, you are impatient, but that's not a reason to rush you.

What is the reception of works?

It's kind of ceremony where, if all goes well, you find that the work is completed and that they were carried out according to your wishes, expressed in the construction contract. This statement is the subject of a report signed by the manufacturer (or companies) and by you. You can make reservations about some work that seems unfinished or about anomalies that are to be corrected. The results ? If the minutes are signed without restriction, the house is considered as without apparent defects and you must pay the balance of the price. You then receive the keys and become responsible for the places.

Who should be present? If you have signed a house construction contract, this appointment takes place directly with the builder. On the other hand, if you have entrusted the work to different companies for each trade, you can either carry out a reception with each company, in presence of the architect or the architecteither perform a single reception. The latter option has the advantage, in case of problems, to allow a faster clarification of responsibilities. In any case, if the defects are too numerous or too important, you can postpone the reception and set a new deadline with the professionals concerned. At worst, enter the President of the Court to request the completion of the work.

How is the visit going?

Get all the plans and documents describing the work to be done. Equip yourself with a meter, an electric light and, if possible, a screwdriver tester to try out the power outlets. Perform a careful visit from every corner of the house, including the cellar and attic. Open and close doors, windows and shutters, operate switches, check finishes and check all equipment. Start heating, test faucets, etc. The connections - water, gas, electricity - must be operational. Ask questions and write down your observations. You can be assisted by a building professional who will help you to appreciate the condition of the accommodation. At the end of the visit, establish a minutes in duplicate, dated and signed by both parties. This signature may be immediate, but know that you have five days to do it. Do not hesitate to take time for reflection if you are not accompanied by a professional.

In any case, you must specify your reservations in writing by sending a registered letter with AR at the company. This one has twenty days to challenge them. If you have signed a construction contract, you have an additional period of eight days from the date of receipt to notify the builder or the contractor of the disorders not reported during the visit, provided you have carried out the reception without the help from an authorized professional.

If you notice imperfections and forgetfulness but that the house is habitable, take note precisely the problems on the minutes. Thecontractor must fix it whatever the importance of the work, and the time for intervention must be agreed immediately. The builder (or company) can not refuse to give you the keys even if you have taken care to record the balance of the price of the work. This consignment consists of block some of the sum from a financial institution or any other person chosen in agreement with the professional. In case of refusal on his part, you must to refer the matter to the judge hearing the application.