Would you hire a Surveyor to check before accepting keys to a new build?

We are a few months out from receiving the keys to a new build. I’m a little worried that without any experience I will not be in a position to really inspect to make sure the job has been done to the standard required. I am afraid that accepting keys and then chasing for fixes or claiming on warranty for repairs will take time and energy - not to mention potential disruption in the home.

Has anyone hired a building surveyor to check a new build before? any recommendations on who it could be in Vaud? possibly another architect?

Citing myself from another thread: “If you’re not an expert on construction, I would recommend hiring one to consult and check on your behalf both before and during construction phase.” And hand-over and follow-up.

It could be an architect, project manager, contractor etc. I can’t recommend one for you but there’s several organizations in this field you could look up for their members.
Ideally you have a qualified all-rounder. Those come at a price, but then it was well below 1% of the purchase price and worth it, both for actual recommendations and piece of mind.


Did you personally use such services?

If yes, could you elaborate? What did he find you couldn’t?

Yes, I did. I don’t want to give specifics, but it included

  • Things we didn’t notice
  • Things we noticed but the seller brushed-off initially (most contractors are very good at this)
  • Challenge various up-charges
  • Advice on how to enforce agreed corrections

Also learned a lot from the joint site inspections and discussions and got a neutral perspective on some options we faced.

And don’t assume it was a “he”. Most are, though :neutral_face:


Thank you @Brndete that’s the confirmation I was looking for that it’s a good idea. I will google around but if anyone on here knows a construction expert in Vaud or around Nyon then I would be much obliged.

I would certainly recommend it. We rented a newly built house which was sold by the developer to an investment company shortly after. Throughout the first year, numerous construction flaws which were unnoticeable at first began to come to light. Certain things even went unnoticed in the first inspection ahead of the sale, and were discovered in a later inspection. It ended in a law suit by the buyer against the developer, the outcome of which I am not aware of. I was surprised though, that even in Switzerland with its high costs and presumably high quality, this kind of thing is still a problem.


Wow yes thanks for sharing your experience @Daniel. I just wrote to 5 companies in and around the construction site to ask them if they offer any kind of consult service.

You’re welcome.

For what it’s worth, I’m very happy with my place. There’re so many companies involved, mistakes happen and most can be fixed quickly once they are pointed out.

For me it’s well worth it to get support to make sure we got what we paid for.

Good luck with your hand-over.

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could you share what companies did you contact? and if you have a ball park estimate on how much will it cost?

Yeh sure - I’ll wait to see who writes back and then update here with a general average cost (if anyone responds!)

It’s such a broad range of profiles and expectations you might have. In Zurich it’s anywhere between 100 - 300 per hour.
If you are close to hand-over, even 10 hours might do the trick. With regular visits and lots of questions it’s more.

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Architects usually charge between 120-140.-/h excl. VAT

Hi everyone - got two quotes asking for 150 per hour. I think I’m going to go for it - will update with how many hours it takes.

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Reasonable call, go for it. What kind of profile or profession did you get?

Maybe one last idea: I also did site visits without the expert, sometimes talked with the people on site and took loads of pictures (of the house, not them). Some as a memory, but also to have some documentation. When something felt off or I was curious, I took it up with the expert.


Yes at this point we are just over 2 months before keys and are on site every week if we can manage it. Catching errors every single time!!

The guy is apparently a specialist in masonry, and tiling/ceramics. But more of a hands on professional with experience doing inspections and reports - not an architect or a project manager.


Since you are spending several hundred of thousands if not millions on property. It makes sense to get it checked. Given the costs of fixing stuff in Switzerland, just finding one thing is likely to pay for itself.

And even if they find nothing, you get some peace of mind.


I have a couple of related questions - not sure if they fit best here or in a new topic:

  • Is there a way to do some due diligence on the finances of the developer, in particular to check they are not at risk of going bust? Canton Fribourg for my case - I checked commercial register but it doesn’t have much in terms of figures.
  • Is it normal if you buy “off-plan” to pay a construction mortgage while the property is being built? Any advice on dealing with this? Can you pay up-front to avoid interest?

Ask for their tax statements or balance sheet and P&L. But I doubt they’ll be happy to provide it in today’s seller market. Read the contract carefully.

Depends on the payment plan and the capital you bring. If you pay 20% up-front, it’s typically your own capital and the rest comes from the mortgage. Generally, you only pay interest once the payment is due. You should confirm this with the potential lenders you talk to and/or some expert you get on your side when it gets serious :wink:


I can’t speak to the first question but I can confirm that construction mortgages are fairly normal practice. The interest rates are slightly higher than normal mortgage and you can “convert” it into a normal mortgage with any bank either the day you get the key, or sometimes the bank offering the construction loan will allow an early conversion with them. Beware though because with early conversion they will try to lock you in with a fixed deal. In my case UBS with the most uncompetitive shit you can imagine.

If you have the cash - absolutely you can pay up front to my knowledge. You are obliged to pay the 20% but I imagine paying more than that will of course lower your interest exposure.

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