Almondia – Bautipps Die Bauherrenberatung

Build with an assembly

An assembly group is the community of several people willing to build. The group shares all costs incurred. The parties plan, design and manage the construction together. In this series of articles, we will introduce you step by step to the tasks, challenges and advantages of assemblies. We’ll start with the basic questions: Is community building for you? What type of merger do you recommend? How can you protect yourself and what should you pay attention to from the start?

the essentials in brief

  • Each party has a say. That requires a lot of willingness to compromise.
  • The project can be completed as a building community or continued as a joint residential project even after construction is complete.
  • Building in an assembly is on average 10-20% cheaper than normal building.

1. Group – together we are stronger?

An assembly group is the merger of several parties into a working group in order to master the challenges and adventures of a construction project together. It starts with finding and buying a suitable plot of land. It can end with moving into the individual apartments. However, the community spirit can certainly be continued after construction has been completed as a joint residential project.

building community

The parties primarily want to build together to save costs. The goal is to own a condominium. This apartment can also be transferred to third parties who were not active in the founding group. When construction is complete, the community of homeowners will not be able to file for bankruptcy. Partnerships or corporations are suitable legal forms for the construction period. The partnership under civil law (GbR) is particularly suitable. Establishing it is simple and free of any form. No notary and no fee is necessary. Nevertheless, it is advisable to draw up a contract.

Joint planning, coordination and purchasing can save an average of 10 to 20% of the usual construction costs. However, one should be aware that discussions and compromises are an integral part of this arrangement. It’s not just your own wishes that count – the need for coordination can quickly mean a lot of time. Reliability from each individual is a must here. If this is the case, however, the members can easily share responsibilities and duties, so that building a house together is only half as difficult.

Joint housing projects

The parties not only want to build together, but also live together. The parties do not acquire individual property, but shares in the entire building. The association is and remains the owner. Even after planning and construction, it is still capable of insolvency. Even with a joint housing project, any form of a corporation is suitable as a legal form.

2. How willing are you to compromise?

When building together, the individual parties are not only involved in the planning, but also share responsibility to a large extent. Discussions, design and planning take place at regular meetings. All parties can and should contribute their ideas. Big and small decisions are in the hands of the group: What should the floor plan look like? Which window shape do we want? That requires diplomatic skills. dr Michael LaFond, founder of id22 , has lived in a communal housing project in Berlin for years and says from his own experience: “It’s an emotional, social and political decision.” Before hitting it, you should realize that the project will take a lot of time and patience.

3. The questions of principle

First of all, you should ask yourself: What are your ideas? Where do you want to build, what do you want to build, how expensive should the whole thing be? You also have to decide whether you want to build a building community or a joint housing project.

A joint building venture is primarily participatory in planning and construction. The resulting apartments are private property. The community idea usually gets lost over time after moving in.

In a joint housing project, ownership is not divided into apartments, but everyone has a share in the whole building. After planning and construction, the community idea is to be retained.

Window to window, living in a building community
Window to window – living in a building community ©2020 Kemb GmbH

4. The choice of architect and project manager

The next crucial step is the choice of an architect and a project manager. While the architect is responsible for the architectural planning, the project manager assumes the role of mediator and organizer. It is important that you trust the architect and project manager: They are the professional advice and support you need for this major project.

5. Hedging

A joint construction project is a big deal. A lot of time, money and emotions are put into it. It is therefore important for everyone involved to be completely sure and to be able to rely on the members. The initial deposit offers a certain level of security in a group. Right from the start, those involved pay money into a joint fund. You will not get back the money you have paid in, even if you jump off. This makes it clear: I am so serious about the joint construction project. In addition, all costs incurred should be shared from the start, for example the architect’s fee.

But at the end of the day, says Michael LaFond, “The success of the project has a lot to do with the consortium. If there is no trust, you should not build together.”

And so it continues:

If you have gone through these steps and are certain: You are willing to compromise and want to design your home together, then building in an assembly group is just the right thing for you.

Autorin Sarah Völkl

Sarah Völkl hat Architektur studiert und ist seit Jahren das Gesicht von a better place. Mit ihren Videos ist sie bei YouTube vielen Personen schon länger bekannt. Sarah teilt Ihr Wissen jetzt auch bei den Bautipps von Almondia.

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