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Building a house - what is worth to know?



About house building investment, its planning, costs, difficulties and traps that are waiting for the investor, in the interview with the journalist, talks Zbigniew Jędrzejczak engineer. The cost of building the house in the Warsaw area often equals the cost of buying the 2- bedroom flat in the capital. What in your opinion causes this discrepancy?


Zbigniew Jędrzejczak: Personally, I am surprised by the discrepancy that exists between the cost of buying the flat and building the house. I think that those relations are inadequate what in my opinion is caused by the total economic situation. And because of the fact that a flat is a cheaper investment- mostly because of its size- there is a possibility to buy a 30-40 square meters flat. I just mention that currently there is the biggest demand on the market for those flats. Whereas it is rather hard to build a house of a size of the 30-40 square meters flat.


What is more, the localization is what determines the differences in flat and house prices. Customer can buy a flat in the center of Warsaw in a favored neighborhood in the price within which it would be hard to build the house- in the same localization.


PP: Did you observe increased interest in house purchases in Warsaw and its area? Is it possible to talk about the rising trend or it is just the opposite?


ZJ: What I did observe is the fall interest in house purchases. There is visible decline in that trend in the last two years. There is a drop in demand for houses as well as for big and medium size flats.


PP: If you decide to build a house, what is that you should pay attention to in planning the investment?


ZJ: First of all, what you should pay attention to is utilities development. Then is the public transportation network and availability of media:if on or near a building plot is an access to the water supply system, sewage system or if there is a gas connection. The next important aspect is the level of ground water. I want to mention that the new project concerning the flood plains is being formed- here in Warsaw it concerns the ground along the Wisla river. The project limit the construction in ground that are considered to be flood zones. Despite of the flood possibilities, it is important to pay attention to the level of ground water- it can causes the problems in completing the investment or it can make the costs higher.


 PP: What are the main elements of our investment we should ask about to be sure that the house would be build in a proper standard?


ZJ: First of all, it is the technology which is use to build the house. What kind of materials is used to build the house, what technical solutions are chosen. It is also necessary to ask about the standards of inside installations and plasters.


PP: On what difficulties are the investors exposed to and what makes the most serious problems both to constructors and customers?


ZJ: Nowadays, the most serious problem is the financing of the investment. Just few customers are able to buy a ground and to build the house from their own funds. That put the limits on the overall way of financing the investment, in most cases the loan- so the possibilities of getting  funds for the investment. In my opinion, this is the main cause of the recession in construction business. There are also cases in which the investor covers most of the expenses for the investment from his own funds but needs just a small loan to complete the investment and is not able to get it from the bank.


PP: What would you warn the future investors off, what are the simplest mistakes to make and whattraps waits for the investors?


ZJ: The choice of the contractor is the basic trap. There are loads of constructors on the market who don’t provide the minimum quality of their work. There is also important to make the right selection of co-workers, starting from designer and ending on a contractor.


PP:   What is the best way to choose the best constructor?


ZJ: The best is from recommendation. It is worth to check the contractor’s previous achievements, to see his accomplishments and to assess its level. Choose on that basis. Very often the main criterion that the customers make the decision on is the minimal price, so they choose the cheapest constructor what reflect in a quality of the work.


PP: Some customers have limited funds and have to build the house by the lowstr cost. What is the way to find some savings and should we actually try to find it while building a house?


ZJ: Surely, savings should be fund. The wide- ranging outlook on building materials’ suppliers should be done. Customers should compare process in big building materials’ stores as well as to negotiate the prices directly with suppliers. I would like to mention that the best solution is to cooperate with the verified constructor who has knowledge of verified suppliers, prices and quality of materials. It is possible to build the house in a cheap and solid way. What you should do is to trust your own researches and to cooperate closely  with the constructor and designer.


PP:  And what is the average cost of building shell and turnkey house?


ZJ: Everything depends on the finishing quality. The cost of the of building shell is more less about 1000 zł for square meter of all building area. Finishing the house, costs more less the same price as to build a building shell- it is the cheapest variant. Of course, there were some customers that paid sixth fold for the finishing the house than to build a building shell. I have to mention that the price range in building shells is not big. The matter of choosing the technology does not really bear on the costs. Of course it is a matter of several percents of difference, especially in the building process when using the cheapest building materials, for example: autoclaved aerated concrete or advanced technologies. In the opposite, the finishing the house inside, its interior equipment can multiple the cost of the cost of the developer standard.


PP: To build the house you have to cooperate with several people: designer, constructor, developer etc. Can you tell us how does look this kind of cooperation like and describe the particular stages to beginning of building process?


ZJ: I would like to notice that first of all, every investor has to have some conception of the house. There is an option to go through the catalogues of already existing projects. Most of the customers decide to buy already existing project. I would like to mention that there is a possibility to modify and to adjust this kind of project to your personal needs. However, there is also a possibility to have an architect to create the individual house project. Of course, purchase of an already existing house conception and the one make individually for the customer are two totally incomparable costs.  

The architect makes a project on the instructions from the investor. On a proper stage the consumer accept it or demand to make some corrections. Mostly it is an architect cooperates with the constructor. The investor does not have to contact with the constructor because the construction project is used mostly by the constructor


PP: I came across that some investors decide to buy the already existing project of the house and afterwards they look for the ground to build a house. What should be first?


ZJ: Not every house fit to the ground and the other way round- not on every ground we can build the house according to the particular project. It must be adjusted to each other-. Those are parallel matters. If you have a lot of money, you can buy a house project first and then look for a ground of a proper surface area. On that ground there is a possibility to build any house. But when you do not have enough money, the purchasing of a project and looking for a ground should be realizing in a parallel way. In the moment when the investor has a house project ready and above all already bought the ground then he has to gain the assurance of the electricity, water and gas supply.


 PP: Does the investor have to ask for all the needed supplies by himself?


ZJ: Yes, he does. Unless, the investor can afford to pay for the general constructor who take care of all of those matters. He would go to the proper office and other institutions to obtain all needed permits on your behalf. When you have all the documents completed (obtained alone or with a help of general constructor) then you can go to the proper office and ask for the construction permit. In general, you will get that permit and then you can start the process of building a house.


PP: Ok., so we have chosen the constructor and we have started to build a house, can you tell us how long does it take to build the house?


ZJ: It depends on the size of the house, on how complicated is it etc. The process of building a house takes more less about one year. I would like to mention that there is a proper time in which the house should be started to be built.


PP: When then is the best moment to start building the house? I heard that the foundations should be left for the winter.


 ZJ: This is not true; actually it is the opposite- the foundations should not be left for the winter. To let the foundation for the winter it must be well secured. The ground under the foundation cannot freeze. If there is no building or proper covering there is a possibility of freezing. The process of building the house should be started in spring. But to start it, first you have to prepare it in a right way- to have the project, needed permissions etc.


PP: Thank you so much for the interview.


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