Whatever you are planning to do you’ll need an architect if your project is over 15m2, changes the existing functions or building general look. It’s recommended to meet the authorities with a sketch. They will give you a paper which explains what you are supposed to do with your project.
The architect carries all the responsibilities (administrative and technical). He acts as a project control tower. That’s why you’ll work with him skom “A” to “Z”, you’ll chose the contractors, how you want to work,…
It’s possible to work with a foreign architect if:
• he has got an architect diploma in Europe (EC);
• he can justify at least 2 years of working as an architect within the last 10 years;
• he can show that he is insured for the 10 years warranty which covers all buildings in Belgium;
If so he can ask “ordre des architectes” in Belgium for a “visa” which will open the right to work as an architect in Belgium. Administrations always look if he has that authorisation before they begin to look at your project.
It would take between 90 and 115 days to get the authorization to build according to the type and size of the project.
Architect fees are between 3% and 7% of the cost of the building.
Under 160 m2 you don’t need an architect. But it’s strongly recommended that you ask one to help you in your relations with the administration or the contractors.
Whatever the size and the area you’ll need a local architect who can work with a foreign architect.
As a “byggherre” (you), you are responsible of the project administrative and technical issues trough the all process.
If your project is less than 15m2, you don’t need to introduce a “bygglov” (building permit). But you take the risk to build it so you are responsible for its administrative and technical issues. That’s why before you do something; you should ask the administration what you can do and how.
In any case, you’ll need at least a “konsult” (consulting agent, an architect or en engineer) for the technical and administrative documents (building permit, construction drawings, stability calculation, warming system specifications, energy system specifications,…) and you’ll also need a “kontrollansvarig” (control responsible) who will look if the building follow all administrative and technical documents and processes under the administration supervision.
The administrations will give you the authorisation to build after coming to an agreement with the “kontrollansvarig” and the “konsult” on “what” will be needed (document,…), “how” and “when” the building will be controlled. It’s also the administration who will give you the authorization to live in your house.
It’s strongly recommended to hire an architect (as a “konsult”) even if it is not a legal obligation because he will provide you help in your relations with the administrations or the contractors. And he’ll give you advises to reduce the working cost of your house.
The Swedish architects, even if they don’t have the same “power” as the continental architects, are very talented and capable in designing houses, functional plan and to find very smart solutions to avoid over costs in the construction process and the drifting costs.
It’s now in discussion if the “byggherre” (you) will need a compulsory “byggfelsförsäkring ” (construction errors insurance) which cover the building in case of misconstruction. Now it’s an obligation but it can change.