Versions to choose from
- Architect-designed house - An architect designs and builds a house exactly to your taste and individual needs. This requires, however, a high level of commitment and expertise. Besides signing a contract with the architect, you do the same with multiple contractors and craftsmen.
- General contractor - Hiring a general contractor promises a simplified flow through the entire process. In general you have only one contact person. The general contractor coordinates the project and, as a rule, guarantees that costs and deadlines are adhered to.
- Purchasing off blueprints - Recently, above all many condominiums are being sold «off blueprints». This means that the seller is already offering units from a clearly specified residential development. The purchaser makes a commitment in advance and makes down payments. In practice, the seller is most often a general contractor.
- Finished and system homes - Various suppliers here and abroad have specialised in standardised houses. The properties are not planned and designed from scratch each time. This brings cost advantages and definitely high quality through proven and tested processes.
In practice, the boundaries between the various alternatives are fluid. These days, even with a general contractor or when buying off blueprints, individualised interior design is taken for granted. On the other hand, you can set up an agreement with an architect so he offloads the building owner by acting as a «trustee».
Recommendation: The single deciding factor is that the partner you select must be reputable and qualified to handle demanding, difficult planning and construction tasks. This you can determine by first investigating his training and qualifications. Second, make sure to carefully check out his references!