I'm a Swede living in Sweden. I've really tried my very best over a long time now trying to figure out what exactly makes getting a "bygglov" (building permit) such a big deal. Because apparently, it is. It's heavily implied, at least.

Apparently, to build a new house in Sweden, you need a "bygglov" (building permit) as well as a "startbesked" ("start clearing"). I don't understand why these are separate, in spite of reading endless texts/explanations about these concept.

There is this concept of "Attefallshus" which allows you to skip the "bygglov" part, and "only" requires the "startbesked", but such houses must be very small and, even more importantly, must be built on a plot where there is already a normal-sized house, plus several other rules such as it has to be very close to the main house, etc. In all the texts about Attefallshus, the lack of a requirement to aqquire a "bygglov" is basically described as something really great which "changes everything". I don't understand this. To me, it seems like you basically ask the local government, pay them some small (relatively speaking) sum of money, and then they go "OK". But then again, that sounds exactly like what I imagine that a "startbesked" ("start clearing") is...

I really don't get why there are two different concepts which, to me, are the same thing.

Even if you are to build an Attefallshus on a plot with an existing house, you still need the "startbesked", so I don't understand what the big deal is about not having to have the "bygglov".

Is that "bygglov" thing very involved, expensive and time-consuming, or what?

Seriously, besides the purely financial issue, you apparently need to be a freaking genius to build a damn house these days. Back in the day, I bet you didn't require any kind of permission from anyone; you just started bringing lumber and hammering something together on a piece of land that you liked. While I'm anything but handy, a part of me really wishes that I could do exactly that, and completely bypass all this suffocating "red tape"/bureaucracy. They can't even explain clearly what exactly the different "permits" are or why it's structured like this. I'm forced to ask this on an international Q&A site!


1 Answer 1


Most places, not just Sweden, you need a building permit to build a house/building or any thing above a certain size(a tiny shed usually does not need one). Most places also require a building permit to change/add on(decks, heating, plumbing) to a house.

The clearing permit sounds like just to clear/cut down trees to prepare land, no building required.

Building permits require a house plan or changes to house plan so that local and/or national building/construction codes are met.

To prevent people like you from just building a house and then have the house fall/burn/kill people when you have a party.

  • My translation of "startbesked" apparently was misleading. I said "start clearing", but maybe it should be called "notification of OK start building".
    – Molloy
    Jul 27, 2021 at 14:04
  • Building permit once obtain is your okay to start building. Used google translate and seems you need a "startbesked" to start proceedings to get a building permit. Not Swedest and this does sound like red tape, but might only be for inspections(start and finish)
    – crip659
    Jul 27, 2021 at 14:19

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