Home generalWhat belongs to the bodyshell? Work steps, services and costs

What belongs to the bodyshell? Work steps, services and costs

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The shell is one of the most important steps in the realization of your own dream home. Once this has been completed, the interior work and further steps follow until completion of the construction project. On average, shell work accounts for between 45 and 50 percent of the total costs of building a house. For this reason, you need a good overview of the resulting work steps and corresponding services.

What belongs to the bodyshell?

You are finally fulfilling your dream home and are currently in the planning or research? Then you have come to the right place, because the bodyshell is one of the most important components in the realization of your own home, no matter how the design is designed.

Especially the construction of a detached house can be significantly cheaper or more expensive than the concept of the shell. For this reason, you should know what steps you should take, what the costs are and what services are provided by the company. Especially about the steps you get a good overview of the work involved in the shell of your home.


No matter if you leave the bodyshell completely to the company or even lend a hand, the work steps to the completion are the same. These are even independent of whether they are based on a construction made of steel, clinker or concrete or have selected a complicated floor plan.

Since building a house today is a well -designed system, which is governed by laws and standards, this always runs in the same way in Germany. Of course, the procedure on the construction site differs from craftsman to craftsman and operation to operation, but the following list gives you a good insight into the necessary steps up to the topping out ceremony.

Step 1: At the beginning, of course, the property is staked and necessary building material for the first steps delivered. This is an essential step, because without material you can not start building. Likewise, areas for the excavation and the materials are assigned, so that they are easy to reach.

Step 2: Now, with heavy equipment, remove the floor for the foundation and other components such as the driveway, pools or a garden shed. Depending on the purpose of the excavation on the property is stored or removed, for example, to an earth dump when the topsoil is no longer needed.

Step 3: Before the foundation can be built, it goes to set up the construction site for the craftsmen and equipment. Similarly, the pit is designed to have enough space for the construction available.

Step 4: The laying of the foundation is followed by the next step. Depending on the soil and external conditions that affect the property, special foundations have to be built. For example, a classic floor tile does not help against heavy water. Here must be a white tub. The type of foundation is planned by the architect. The foundation includes other components such as the water pipes.

Step 5: If you choose a cellar, it will be built in combination with the foundation. Since this is an underground part of the shell, it must be completed as early as possible. If the entire body shell, the cost of a subsequent basement room would be much higher. This also includes the stairs, walls, pipes, the ceiling and other aspects of the basement. Do not forget the insulation.

Step 6: After completion of the basement, which requires a lot of work and is not so popular anymore, drains will be laid, if necessary. This is especially important if you live on a slope.

Step 7: From this point on the first foundations for a fireplace are laid. In most cases, this starts directly on the ground floor and is built up together with the house. Yes, the fireplace is part of the raw and not the interior.

Step 8: The laying of the necessary pipes and pipes for the supply and supply of electricity and water follow. These must be implemented with high accuracy and above all secured, so that your property does not immediately suffer from a water damage.

Step 9: Next, the land is leveled and dedicated areas are excavated, which are eventually used as lawns or gardens. As soon as you do not store any building materials there, you can even distribute seeds to enjoy your garden quickly.

Step 10: Now follows one of the most elaborate steps: the masonry. This is first staked out on the foundation with a chalk line and then erected. This is not only one of the most strenuous, but longest sections when building the shell, depending on the type of material. So you need significantly more time if you want to build a house from bricks.

The order is as follows:

  • supporting walls of the ground floor
  • 1. Lay the ceiling
  • Install additional reinforcements
  • Stairs from the ground floor to the 1st floor
  • Continue with the fireplace

Depending on how many floors you have planned, the more frequently these steps are repeated. This includes, of course, the laying of all cables, the openings for doors and windows and numerous other components that are expanded in the interior.

Step 11: As soon as the masonry of the floors is finished and the stairs and the fireplace are finished, it goes to the last point. The roof of the shell is the last "obstacle" before going to the interior. For this, the roof anchor is installed and then erected the roof. In this case, you should absolutely pay attention to leave the work to the specialist if you yourself have no experience in this area. If something goes wrong with the roof, it can be expensive.

Step 12: When the roof truss has been erected, expand the chimney and finish it. Do not forget to mount the cover here or use a fireplace head cover.

Step 13: Small components follow to complete the roof truss. Window openings, gutters, rainwater pipes and connecting plates complete the bodyshell.

As you can see, the shell is really only the "shell" of the house, which is brought to life through the interior design. These include doors and windows, floor coverings and wall coverings that no longer make the house seem empty. As soon as you have finished building the shell, you can be happy that you have done most of the building work.

Once the carcass has been completed, you can use further steps to adapt your plot to your taste. A garden pond, garage, pavilion or walls can be erected as property boundaries and do not need to be made up later.


The services are an important element in the implementation of your vision. These are implemented by the construction company that you commission to tackle the shell construction project . Depending on the operation, the scope of services may vary significantly and so you should have an overview of these to compare offers from different manufacturers. The following list will help you.


The earthworks are understood to mean the preparation of the property with the excavation pit and the removal of the earth . These should be calculated according to effort and not time. As excavation works over the entire shell, costs can increase dramatically if you bill for services on time.

channeling work

Although you can lay a part of the sewer pipes yourself, you leave most of the work to the operation. Much can go wrong here, especially if you do not have any knowledge in this area. Straight water damage reach deep into the bag. Since drainage works account for about one percent of the total cost of the shell, you should under no circumstances renounce these benefits.

Masonry (bearing)

When masonry services vary greatly. Make sure that you first deal with the specific materials and their properties. Likewise, you should compare numerous offers. So it may be worthwhile to use package deals for a masonry, as these do not cause any costs on time. Above all, the use of single-shell, monolithic systems is recommended because they are used without much effort.

floor slabs

When selecting the floor slabs you also rely on the specialist .

Blankets are complicated and can be implemented only with a lot of planning and expertise, which the hobby home builder will not succeed. The ceilings are regulated according to standards and therefore you can easily rely on the construction company.

concrete stairs

The more specific services include concrete staircase steps. These must be designed according to specific requirements, so that they can carry high loads . Depending on the scope of performance, these are poured directly on the spot, so that they can be fitted and installed directly without posing a threat to you.


Trusses should definitely not be put into action on your own. Here, a lot of knowledge and measurements are needed, so that the roof can be completed and you will not immediately on the head. Trusses are calculated according to need and form, whereby you have to expect about five percent of the total capital.

Chimney and fireplace

Fireplace and chimney are still among the most popular home furnishings of the Germans. They differ in terms of performance actually only in the design, which also affects the required cost of construction. The more unusual the fireplace and the longer the chimney, the more expensive it becomes. Although this is only a small part of the total cost, you should not underestimate it.

Tip: You can save costs if the insulation, roofing, sprinkler work and non-load-bearing walls in the house are taken over by the same company or the same craftsmen. Although these are not typical shell construction services, labor costs are correspondingly reduced as the construction company can implement them in one go.


Of course, the cost is an important point that you have to consider when implementing a shell. In building a house, every single step is paid independently of the others if it is not a prefabricated house. So first, building permits, land and architects are paid, then the shell together with the foundation and then further sections such as the interior design, gardens and projects such as a garage or a carport.

For this reason, you can easily get an overview of what the possible shell costs will be about. For the construction of a classic EFH in Germany you pay between 70, 000 and 90, 000 euros for about 150 square meters, which corresponds to the average German dream home . An overview of the individual positions can be found here.

construction costs

The construction cost share describes how much of the available capital you need to spend on the realization of the shell. As a guideline, a value of 45 percent of the total capital has been established. So if you have 250, 000 euros financing and equity available, you must include 112, 500 euros for the shell.

This value can increase if the floor plan of your home is more complicated or difficult to implement, as more building material or manpower is needed to realize your vision. Like the total capital, the construction cost share is then divided into two separate cost items: labor and material costs.

labour costs

The labor costs for the bodyshell make up about 60 percent of the construction costs. So if you take 60 percent of the already calculated value of 112, 500 euros, you will get an amount of 67, 500 euros. Labor costs, for example, are the salaries of craftsmen who are particularly important to building a house. Labor costs can be significantly reduced if you do some of the work yourself. Here you can even save up to 30 percent, which is about 20, 000 euros.

material costs

On average, the material costs amount to 40 percent of the construction costs for the shell construction project. That is, for the material you spend around 45, 000 euros. Here, however, there is a big difference from location to location, because depending on how many material suppliers you have nearby, the cheaper it will be.

Especially in the big cities, the material costs are lower, but land prices higher. Likewise, you must be careful that the material costs are higher, if you operate your own contribution. These vary from ten to 15 percent, equivalent to an additional 4, 500 to 6, 500 euros.

Especially if you make the job easier for the construction company, you can save up to ten to twelve percent of the total costs for the shell, despite the higher material costs. In the construction cost share mentioned so far would be 11, 250 to 13, 500 euros savings.

An alternative to this form of costing is the use of average square meter prices for shell construction in Germany: 500 euros per square meter. This means you only have to multiply the number of square meters of your construction project by a value of 500 in order to get the necessary costs.

After the previous example, these would be the following:

  • Construction cost share at 150 square meters: 75, 000 euros
  • Labor costs of 60 percent: 45, 000 euros
  • Material costs of 40 percent: 30, 000 euros

Of course, this capital varies much more from one region to another and can sometimes be a little too small, leading to financial constraints. Prices of 800 euros per square meter for the bodyshell alone are possible. For this reason, you should first investigate a little how high the rough square meter prices for your region can be.

In addition, make sure that it is hardly possible to save money on your own in the case of particularly complicated floor plans or projects. The workload is too high and many work steps prove to be too difficult if you yourself have no experience in this area. You save money if you leave such projects to the company. Likewise, flat rates can lower costs if you get a good deal.

Tip: The costs for an EFH without basement differ only slightly, because the lost space is integrated, for example, an additional room or a larger attic into the house. You can save about eight percent of the total cost if you do without a cellar and not replace the space with additional space, but can take less storage space.


Once the shell construction project has been completed, two further important points follow. One of these is one of the traditions of home building and the other makes sure that you can easily continue the interior work.


The topping-out ceremony is a custom that dates back to the 14th century and is organized after completion of the roof truss or flat roof. Here, builders, craftsmen, other stakeholders, family, friends and even neighbors meet to celebrate the completion of the shell. Of course, the topping out ceremony is just a kind of thank you to the craftsmen and workers who have been involved in the project so far and is not really a must. Many builders, however, decide to progress thanks to the interior.

Acceptance by the structural engineer

Particularly important after the completion of the shell construction is the acceptance by the structural engineer. This confirmed by the acceptance that the carcass is stable and stable, which allows the further steps such as interior fittings in the first place. Above all, the following elements of the bodyshell must be present, so that it can come to the decrease.

  • necessary components for the statics of the structure
  • roof
  • fireplaces

In addition, the structural stability of the structure, thermal insulation, sound insulation and fire safety must meet the requirements of the relevant building inspectorate . If all these points are correct, the shell can be removed.

The completion of the shell is a big step that you will celebrate for a long time. Since this is one of the most important parts of the main building, you can look forward to the interior design. Although this is no less expensive, it is already a good feeling, if finally the basis of your own family home.

Tip: If, for some reason, after the completion of the shell construction, neither the interior nor the completion of the project, the finished shell receives a new name. An ongoing shell condition is called "ruined building" and these buildings can remain in the same location for several decades until demolished or completed or remodeled by another investor.

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