A new bathroom, conservatory or kitchen? After some years, any home can use a makeover. Ideas are soon found. But the work itself must be well planned to avoid costly mistakes.

Rash decisions

If the heating breaks down, there is a damp stain on the wall or other major damage shows up, we quickly panic and make hasty decisions. Detailed, well thought-out renovation planning is particularly important in such cases. This is especially true of old buildings. It is therefore advisable to carry out an extensive analysis of the status quo before starting any renovation work.

Based on this analysis, you can plan the possible construction measures. Please bear in mind regional construction law and your budget while doing so. To be absolutely sure you should obtain the support of experts in the areas of construction management, architecture, building energy and CECB.

Planning errors

It’s easy to lose track between large numbers of small renovation projects with their respective experts. This quickly leads to annoying mistakes. You should therefore draw up a comprehensive overall plan for your house or apartment.

Each component has a specific lifespan and function which it is essential you take into account. For example, you should simultaneously replace the water pipes when renovating your bathroom. This will enable you to avoid nasty surprises years later and the new fittings will not have to be removed again. 

Selection of specialists

If you wish to make fundamental changes and redesign your building, you should consult an architect. This will enable you to outline the spatial structure and have the planned alterations sketched out visually.

For the coordination and organisation of the alteration, it makes sense to appoint a construction management team. They will coordinate the contractors and ensure smooth operations on the construction site. CECB experts from your region can help you make decisions on building refurbishments that reduce energy consumption. They can issue a “CECB Plus” consulting report for your building that shows you two to three options for energy modernisation tailored to your needs. (LINK: CECB Plus / CECB)

The procedure for more minor renovation projects, such as decorating or replacing kitchen appliances, is generally easier. Here you can contact the relevant specialist, such as the painter or fitted kitchen company, directly.

Missing authorisation

Depending on your canton and municipality, you may need authorisation for renovation work. The prerequisites for this vary. As a general rule, minor renovations inside the building do not require authorisation. The situation is different for major renovations or changes of use. These include changes to the external appearance or use of the property, such as the conversion of flats into offices. You will also need authorisation if the building is listed.

Renovating everything in one go

A fresh coat of paint on the façade or new flooring: depending on the guidelines of your municipality, the costs of such maintenance work may be deducted from your taxes. If the work adds value, e.g. if you replace laminate with parquet, the associated cost is not tax-deductible.

 You can either claim the actual costs incurred or deduct the flat rate. These flat rates vary by canton. In many places, if the property is less than ten years old, the flat rate is 10% of the imputed rental value. For older properties it is 20%. If you spread more major work over several years, you will be able to reduce your taxable income several times.

Choice of specialists, missing authorisations, errors in planning, rash decisions
Choice of specialists, missing authorisations, errors in planning, rash decisions

Make an appointment for a consultation

Would you like to increase your renovation budget? Our experts at Swiss Life and Swiss Life Select would be happy to explain the different options to you – at a location of your choice or online.

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