Building a detached house

What is the process for building a single-family house? What kinds of building permits do I need? What are some of things that I should consider? Find all of your answers here.

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How to get started

The first thing you should do when you start this kind of project is hire a qualified designer to assist you. The training and experiences of a designer of detached houses must be at a level corresponding to the demands of the job. Use the Lupapiste online permit service to verify the qualifications of your designer candidate. For detached house construction projects, the main designer serves as the contact person with Building Control.

The main designer finds out what kind of a building can be built on the plot. The detailed plan that governs the area, along with other possible plans, determine the building rights and the permissible height of the building. It may also include information on features that might be protected, tree cover and other such regulations that the design must follow. The main designer orders a building permit map from the “Karttakori (Map Basket)” service and collects the required initial information for the planning and preliminary negotiations with the building permit architect. 

Some city districts have Regional planning guidelines that supplement the local detailed plan.
Go to Map Services and review the Regional planning guidelines

Instructions for deciphering detached house plans (PDF 7 Mt) (in Finnish)

The builder (person initiating the project) next adds the construction project to the Lupapiste online permit service and makes an appointment for a preliminary negotiation.

The permit process progresses within the Lupapiste service, during which time the builder, designer and permit processing professional can view the project information and discuss it.

During the preliminary negotiation phase, the designer’s qualifications will be verified, and the initial information, assessments and possible preliminary plans collected by the designer will be reviewed. Preliminary negotiations will also go over possible deviations from the detailed plan or other regulations that require special consideration or reports with regards to the building permit.

The up-to-date information and instructions in the Lupapiste service remain available to all parties to the project throughout the entire planning and permit process.

Complete the form and register the plot once you have purchased or leased it. 

Go to Lupapiste(Link leads to external service)

The third step in the process see the main designer carry out preliminary negotiations with the permit processing professional. Preliminary negotiations can take place multiple times during the design phase, if necessary.

The main designer makes an appointment for the preliminary negotiations via Lupapiste once the preliminary plans for the project have been saved in the service. The preliminary negotiations define which documents and attachments will be needed for the building permit application. The purpose of preliminary negotiations is to get the plans to the stage to a point where it is possible to apply for a building permit.

The builder can, if they wish, participate in these conversations.

Once the plans are in order, the permit processing professional will grant permission to submit the building permit application. The builder or the main designer can submit the permit application and the main designer is responsible for checking that nothing is missing. 

Detached house projects must also have separate designers or engineers who are individually responsible for the HPAC, structure and base structure designs. These specialists must be named on Lupapiste by the time the building permit application is submitted.

A garden plan must also be prepared for detached house construction projects in Helsinki if the yard arrangements are not presented in sufficient detail in the detailed plan.

Instructions for preparing a garden plan: Garden plan and yard alteration work that requires a permit (PDF, 9 Mt) (in Finnish)
The attachments required for a detached house building permit application vary from case to case. The most common include:

  • map materials, including a building permit map
  • master plans
  • a right of possession certificate for the building site
  • land survey
  • statement on the foundation method
  • a connection point statement
  • project description
  • energy efficiency survey and certificate
  • report on the building’s sound insulation functionality

Reports and documents associated with a building permit (PDF, 2.0 Mt) (in Finnish)

Read more and apply for a building permit

In detached house construction projects, the neighbours must be consulted either when the building permit application is initiated or when the project necessitates deviation from the local detailed plan. In projects like these, the city arranges the neighbour consultation at no cost.

If the house project affects the interests of a neighbour, the builder must obtain the neighbour’s consent. The city cannot obtain the consent of the neighbour on behalf of a builder or designer.

Read more and request a hearing or consent of a neighbour

The Lupapiste online permit service (available in Finnish and Swedish only) will notify you when your building permit application has been processed. If you are granted a building permit, the project will move on from the permit processing professionals to Building Control’s inspection engineers and the construction site stage will begin. Construction work pursuant to the building permit must then be started within the next three years. It is important that you read the content of your building permit carefully.

Before the construction work can begin, a starting meeting will be held with a Building Control representative. At this stage at the latest, you must hire a project manager who will be responsible for the project.

The building permit may require establishing an easement or easements. An easement is permanent right between two or more properties related to the use of the land or a building. It is recorded in the real estate register.

Take note of the pre-set viewings of your project listed in the building permit. These include terrain marking and location surveying.

Once the house has been completed, Building Control will make a commissioning inspection and final inspection.

Find more in the Construction phase checklist

Are you interested in owning a Helsinki Type House?

The Helsinki Type House is a detached house for families that is 120–165 m² and situated on plots of over 300 m². The house is intended for urban living and is suitable for both new areas and infill building in old areas. The Helsinki Type House is also appropriate for DIY construction.

Designed by the City of Helsinki and a team of architects to house families in comfort and style, the Helsinki Type House also boasts faster building permit application processing than other detached house designs, if the type design has not been altered.  

The type design package and plans for the Helsinki Type House can be found on the Puuinfo website.  

Go to Puuinfo(Link leads to external service)

For the time being, the builders of the Helsinki Type House are also given a 25 per cent discount on the basic fee for the specific residential housing building permit, as well as the fee determined by the total area.