extra charges during construction

An construction company offers installation of electric charger during apartment construction for 5500 CHF. They also offer a cabin under bathroom sink for 3500 CHF.

Are these offers usually worth the money?

An undersink cupboard for 3000 francs? What's it made of?

Hmm... hard to tell. Is the cabinet gold plated and encrusted with precious stones? Then yes!

Hard to tell for the charger too given can't see if there's wiring nearby, routing for a new cable, the fusebox etc, the state of the wall to fix it but it *looks* high. A local company near me does it for about CHF 2k, VW importer Amag says CHF 3.6k.

The cabinet is definitely a rip off and I wouldn’t touch that.

The charger seems pricey as well but as others have said it really depends on what’s involved. In theory it should be cheaper to have it fitted at the time of build rather than having it fitted later but 5k seems expensive to me.

ask the company for a larger (25mm should be enough which might be even planned already) tube leading from your electric table to garage - that shouldn't be costly.

Then you can take a 2k installation from a local electrician :-)

Prices for both are extortionate, but folks will pay it as they either don't check, or it just gets rolled up into the cost of their build, so it's easy money for the builder. Get prices from local artisans for installs which I can pretty much guarantee will be less, potentially much less. You'll also get more flexibility over what you get, and spend the saving on other things for the place... or a wee trip away.

To have the basic infrastructure built in for the wall charger was an option when they built our place 6 years ago. Not much of an option in the end because everyone had to say yes or they would not have done it.

The cost was just above Fr.1000 per parking lot. With the main infra in place, you just need to install the wall charger whenever you decide to buy a EV.

We only found out afterwards (should have read the fine print) that you can only install wall charges that are provided by the infrastructure providers, there is limited choice and of course costs double of what you can get in the market. So this costs about Fr.1500 on top.

So if you are buying 6 parking lots, hell yeah, totally worth it!

OK, the OP said "charger". Didn't specify what kind of charger. Why can't people give important details!

Thank you, this is very informative.

One more thing that got me concerned is I feel like the constructor is cutting corners on interior, and maybe that means we will see more of that.

For example, the initial plans had 5 kitchen cabinets, but they now say there will be only 3 "as it looks nicer". I never saw a kitchen that is asymmetric so that you don't have a cabinet over sink.

Should I just pull back? It was hard finding an apartment.

Don't they have a budget for the kitchen and you are free to model with the kitchen planner as you like, e.g. changing cabinets, changing appliances, etc? Check the bauschreib!

Again, typically, you should have a budget for the bathroom, and they give you an offer that fits the budget. However, you could generally change/add/remove things, e.g., a different tap or sink model. You have to pay if you go over the budget; otherwise, they will refund you.

We didn't install the cabinet under the wash basin sink during construction due to the cost reason, then we went to many shops but due to the special size of the sink we had to buy from the same company in the end, costing more or less same (~2k) but a lot more headaches to organize everything!

Who’s going to be living in this place you or them?

Normally you have a budget for kitchens and bathrooms and you can choose what you like within that budget. Sometimes they have their suppliers so you have to get the kitchen and bathrooms via them, sometimes you are free to choose who you want. If you choose something over that budget then you have to pay the extra yourself.

What does the contract say?

I've never lived in a place with a cabinet over the kitchen sink.

There's a reason they don't fit them - it's to stop people banging their heads when leaning over the sink.

Very good friends of ours are building a new house in canton Biel. They use local Swiss construction company for building it all plus few local contractors.

They got screwed over literally by everybody, they could easily press criminal charges left and right, but they just want to live in their house, not chasing courts for years and punishing people and companies for their evident incompetence and laziness. I won't name details because it would be trivial to find them for locals as they are quite important folks there.

Just few samples - the well known local house construction company doing all the work had a fraudulent (swiss) employer who was their main contact, who was secretly pushing deals from competition (and was subsequently fired), their initial contract was a garbage which wouldn't be even possible to construct by law on that place. Bam, few months wasted just there, while already locked by contract.

Local (sub)contractors messing up work, ignoring cantonal procedures they should be experts in, thus causing at the end massive delays (3x the original estimate!!!). Price inflated by good 150k, few decisions of theirs and rest is just incompetence. You want to redraw visualization as per your feedback? 2k. Friend modeled it better than company in house building software in 2 hours, without any prior knowledge of the online modelling tool.

Prices mentioned by OP are a bit too high for even them but expect similar ranges for anything added. Be very cautious with contracts you sign, what is included, charges etc. Just because this is Suisse doesn't mean you can't end up with crooks holding you by balls without little real recourse. And of course actual construction will be done by folks from eastern Europe or Portugal, if you are lucky the main guy may be Swiss.

Ie its standard that they will put the minimum of electric plugs around the house even in 2024 (and often just this single 3-plugs-in-one-socket which are hard to actually have all 3 used), and expect that customers will ask for 2-3x more which will bump the price significantly.

So wish I hadn't read this post.

In the three places I've lived here in CH over the years, there has always been a cupboard over the sink and it never once occurred to me (despite the many, many times I've gone "thunk-ow!") that it's a bad design. Now I can't get it out of my mind.

We're in our own place now with no plans to renovate the kitchen yet. Will just have to butcher a pool noodle and stick it to the door instead.

EDIT - crap, while I think about it the cooker hood gets me almost every time, too.

With the exception of the places where the sink was under the window we’ve always had cabinets over the sinks and nobody has ever banged their head.

By that logic there wouldn’t be any cabinets over the work surfaces either or an extractor hood over the cooker.

Obviously it depends.

Height of base of cabinets.

Depth of work surface containing sink from front to back.

Depth of cabinets from front to back.

Height of base of extractor above hob.

The height of the user.

Some have a shorter, higher cabinet over the sink.

We had 75cm deep work surfaces in our old place so cabinets were never in the way (but we still didn't have one over the sink).

In our current place, you can't even ladle soup etc out of a pan without banging the top of the ladle on the underside of the cabinets.

This is what one self-design website says:

Never Place a Full-Height Cabinet Above the Sink

A design mistake we see often is placing a full-height IKEA cabinet above the sink.

It’s a typical mistake for the novice , and just another reason to work with a professional!

Think about it this way: This is one instance when trying to maximize every inch of space is pretty shortsighted because years (!) of discomfort will be worse than losing about two cubic feet of storage space.

I have had one in two places and considered it as wisely used space. But then again, I'm not very tall. I'd rather have more cupboard space than a gaping space in the wall.

Now having a sink under the window or on a kitchen island or bar is another matter altogether....,

There are two different kinds of cabinets coming to mind for me.

One is the traditional cabinet like you'd see in the kitchen, deep enough to store pots and pans. Our main bathroom also has this type of cabinet too, under the sink. It's deep enough to hold a few towels and some loo paper.

The other type is what I would call a medicine cabinet with a mirror. Both of our bathrooms have medicine cabinets that are only 10 cm deep, nowhere near deep enough to be fully over the sink. One would really have to be drunk or not paying attention to whack your head on them. These cabinets only hold smaller items, like toiletries and of course, medicines.

I agree the full-length cabinet over the kitchen sink is a hazard, and I'm not very tall!