How construction workers build a house

Construction site equipment: regulations and costs at a glance

Your house is already finished in your architect's computer. Congratulations, you've made the first big step. Now it's time to build. Before you can get started, you as the client must prepare the property and set up a so-called construction site. Here we explain what this entails and how you can best proceed.

Construction site equipment: regulations and costs at a glance
Construction site equipment: regulations and costs at a glance

What does construction site equipment mean?

You have to imagine the construction of the construction site for your dream house like furnishing a work room: Before you start, check that you have everything you need to be able to do your work without interruptions. The only difference is that the construction site equipment is regulated by law: The construction site ordinance specifies how things should be done when building a single-family house. It consists of the traffic safety obligation, the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Workplace Ordinance.

Or to put it more clearly: What is needed to build your house? All of this has to come to the construction site in a planned and organized manner, set up there and, when it is no longer needed, dismantled and taken away. A properly, sensibly and economically planned construction site equipment is so important because it guarantees a smooth process of the house construction, avoids delays, protects the craftsmen and thus saves the owner money.

For single-family houses, the construction site equipment is usually already listed in the construction company's offer. Trust is good, but control is better in this case. You as the client or your client representative or construction coordinator should keep an eye on the construction site equipment and everything that has to do with it.

If you are building your house entirely on your own without a construction company, you have to take over the construction site equipment and individually agree with each group of craftsmen what will happen when and how and, if necessary, rent the corresponding equipment. A client representative or a construction coordinator can also help you with this.

Traffic safety obligation and construction site protection

You hand over the traffic safety obligation to the construction company. But you have a duty of supervision in the context of the construction site setup. We are therefore liable for any damage caused by the construction of your home, even if you did not personally cause it. Traffic safety simply means that all people who enter the construction site must be able to leave it unharmed. Suppliers, craftsmen and helpers.

In principle, all professional craftsmen who work on construction sites are obliged to protect themselves as well as possible and also to comply with the relevant laws. However, you as the client have to check this. If security measures that lay people can recognize, such as the safety net on the scaffolding, are missing and something happens, you as the builder are liable. So it is in your own best interest to encourage the contractors to proceed as safely as possible and point this out to them as soon as you have any doubts about this topic. A few more hours of work to put the safety net in place will cost you less than paying a tradesman who has become incapacitated because of your lack of interest in safety. Or to his family because he died in the accident on your construction site. The same argument applies to volunteer insurance. If friends help you out on the construction site, you must report this to the construction trade association and insure them. Further security measures on your part relate to line and fire protection as well as adequate lighting. Tip: Find out here what the most important insurances are for building owners.

Duty to maintain traffic safety also means that you have to cordon off the construction site from the outside, i.e. prevent no one from entering. This is called construction site protection. For example, with a complete site fence including the sign: No entry to construction site! However, parents are only liable for their children to a limited extent, because if you, as the builder, have not complied with your duty to maintain safety, and a child was able to get to the construction site as a result and was injured, then you are liable.

You should also attach guard rails, water protection, neighborhood protection, weather and tree protection, if necessary.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act

Make sure that the construction company building your dream home complies with the Occupational Safety and Health Act. By commissioning the company, you are giving up the obligation to ensure compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act yourself - but you would certainly not be indifferent to an accident on your construction site. If, on the other hand, you build on your own, you as the client must design the construction site in such a way that the craftsmen you hire can work safely there. If you don't do that, you will be fined. In the worst case, i.e. if someone injures themselves, you face up to a year in prison.

The workplace ordinance

The workplace ordinance obliges the employer to provide usable escape and escape routes and to have first aid material ready. The same applies here: If you have commissioned a company with the construction, this regulation should be implemented by the construction company. If you bring helpers to your construction site after work, you are the one who has to observe this ordinance. The client is also responsible for coordinating several groups of craftsmen. It makes sense to provide a facility, i.e. a break room with a first aid kit and sanitary facilities for all workers. That saves you money.

What is part of the construction site equipment?

The construction site equipment therefore includes:

  • Terrain changes that are necessary for construction
  • Removal of any contaminated sites on the site
  • Transport routes
  • Timely ordering and delivery of equipment (for example the crane) and the building materials themselves
  • Planning, procurement and installation of the storage rooms for these devices and materials
  • an office for the site manager
  • a break room with a first aid kit and the most important telephone numbers such as police, emergency doctor, fire brigade, electricity and water providers
  • a toilet for the construction workers
  • the electricity and water supply adapted to the work (must be requested)
  • the safety of everyone involved in the construction

Important: the site installation plan

The first thing to do is to do an on-site visit with the construction company you hired to build your home. A reputable company will have no problem with it if you as the client or your client representative or your construction coordinator want to be there. If you realize your dream home without a construction company, this is a must for you. An expert from every trade should be present - because you have to get everyone under one roof and create legally compliant working conditions for everyone.

During this on-site appointment, the craftsmen take a look at the ground and space conditions and check how the large trucks should best approach in order to be able to unload properly, where the construction crane can be set up, where the containers for the construction team, the construction site electricity and the construction water connection and how the subsoil is actually made on the construction site. All this information is then used to create the construction site facility plan. This plan shows everything that needs to be located on your property during the construction phase, true to scale. So apart from the floor plan of the house, it is precisely drawn where which container is, where which material is stored, where which connections are. The construction site facility plan is like a city map for your property. With the help of this plan, anyone who legally enters your property will need to find their way around. The surveyors then set out the points.

If there is not enough space on your property that you need to set up your construction site, you may also be able to use the sidewalk and / or the street in front of your property. Of course, you can't just do it like that, you have to apply for a special usage permit from the Road Traffic Office for a fee.

Construction site setup costs

The costs for the construction site equipment should not amount to more than five to ten percent of the construction costs or the contract amount.

How much a construction company charges for the construction site equipment is often difficult to find out from the offer. Although the item construction site equipment appears on most building offers, all costs are not always summarized under this item. Sometimes the construction companies include some of the set-up costs in other items. Or a flat-rate fee is set that results from empirical values ​​of the construction environment. It is therefore possible that the costs for your construction site equipment increase because, for example, an access route has to be made differently than planned or the crane cannot stand where it should originally have been and has to be specially secured. It is worth asking exactly here.

Delays of any kind can quickly increase the cost of a construction site. Of course, this also applies to the costs of setting up a construction site. Because if the crane is needed longer or the construction hut stands longer than planned, this will quickly become noticeable. You can expect the following costs:

  • Site fence (per running meter): 30 euros
  • Mixing machine (140 liters): 27 euros a day
  • Construction site power distributor: 16 euros per day (other prices usually apply for long-term rentals)
  • Trench excavator: 70 euros per hour
  • Low loader: 90 euros per hour
  • Excavator and crane operators: between 25 and 45 euros per hour
  • Hut: 90 euros per month
  • Storage container: 300 euros per month
  • Office container: 360 euros per month
  • Sanitary container: 750 euros per month
  • Chemical toilet: 600 euros per month