Building a detached house

What is the process for building a detached/semi-detached house in Helsinki? What are some of things that you should consider when building one?

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How to get started

You should hire a qualified designer to assist you even before procuring the plot. You should reserve at least one year for the design process.

The main designer serves as the contact person with Building Control Service and establishes what kind of a building can be built on the plot.

The designer of a detached/semi-detached house must possess the training and experience needed for the task. In Helsinki, detached/semi-detached house projects are demanding projects. You can verify the qualifications of your designer candidate via an advice request in the Lupapiste online permit service 

Learn more about the qualification requirements on Rakennustarkastusyhdistys’s website (in Finnish)(Link leads to external service)

The design process must comply with the valid detailed plan, building regulation, local planning guidelines and other regulations.

After purchasing or renting a property, have it registered as a plot. The registration process must be started before a building permit can be issued.

The map data required for the building permit application can be ordered from City Survey Services’ Karttakori service(Link leads to external service).

Check map services(Link leads to external service)

Learn more about local planning guidelines

Illustrated instructions on the things that need to be considered when designing a detached/semi-detached house (in Finnish)

Learn more about the detached/semi-detached house permit process through the presentations of the Pientaloilta seminar (in Finnish)(Link leads to external service) 

Building Control Services’ news (in Finnish)

You should start the preparation of the project as soon as possible by submitting an advice request in the Lupapiste online permit service. You can also submit questions via the Lupapiste advice request.

The Lupapiste service provides everyone involved in the project with access to up-to-date information and instructions throughout the planning and permit process.

Go to Lupapiste(Link leads to external service)

The main designer carries out preliminary negotiations with the permit processor. The preliminary negotiations may consist of multiple sessions of negotiations during the design phase, if necessary.

The main designer makes an appointment for the preliminary negotiations via Lupapiste once preliminary plans for the project have been uploaded to the service. The preliminary plans and their background information must be available in Lupapiste no later than one week before the preliminary negotiations.

The preliminary negotiations involve verifying the designer’s qualifications, going over the background information, reports and any initial plans compiled by the designer and reviewing any deviations from the local detailed plan or other regulations that require special consideration or additional reports before a building permit can be issued.

Furthermore, the preliminary negotiations involve defining the documents and attachments needed for the building permit application. The purpose of preliminary negotiations is to get the plans to a point where it is possible to apply for a building permit.

The party undertaking the project can also participate in the preliminary negotiations if they so choose.

The permit process proceeds in the Lupapiste service, which provides the party undertaking the project, the designer and the permit processor with access to all the project information and allows them to discuss the project.

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)