Lately many of our posts were about mud, mud and more mud. Building houses in the polder in The Netherlands sometimes is a muddy affair. But today one of our colleagues took a photo without any mud. Pointed her iPhone slightly upwards, and bingo, nice shot.
wooden house oosterwold
This is a house we are currently building in Oosterwold. We’re almost ready here, we will show some more photos soon.
Design: architect Edward van der Drift.
And we checked our archive and here is another shot from the same house. And the same iPhone. But different sky.
another cool wooden house photo
We build wooden houses in many countries. Every country has it’s own exceptions, rules and peculiarities. This time let’s talk about the Netherlands.
We are quite busy building houses in the Netherlands at the moment. Many areas in this country are reclaimed land areas: originally North Sea, but then the Dutch build dikes, pump out the water and build houses on the sea bed. In such areas top layer of ground is very soft and if you build on a regular foundation, your house will sink into the mud.
For this reason, the Dutch have developed a special technique to build foundations in those reclaimed land areas. It is called “paalfundering”. First comes a specialist engineer who does ground tests. They check how deep is the solid ground. If you are lucky it will be at approximately 8-12 meters deep, but in some areas it might be up to 30 meters deep.
Safety is an important topic in the construction industry. In The Netherlands alone, 42 workers died on construction sites during the first six months of 2016. That makes the construction industry one of the more dangerous places to work. Most fatalities occur when workers drop from heights or operate heavy machinery.
ready for the job
Contact via phone or internet is nice, but before we actually build a house we need to sit around the table with our clients. So we get in the car regularly, and we make our trips through France, at this moment an important market. We call it our Tour de France. Two weeks in a row on the péage, on the D321, and when we run out of luck our TomTom send us into some dirt road. But recently it resulted in a few more projects, see the map.
Where we built recently
This is a simple question: how do you build a new house? The answer is the slightly less simple. Do you ask for a quote with your local contractor, and if so, based on what? Is that going to be based on a sketch, or are you going to hire an architect? And what instructions do you give to the architect? Do you give him a budget, or do you give me a list of requirements. So what is actually the best way to build a house?
The answer is: there is no best way. Everybody does it his own way. We can only explain here how it works if you work with us.
A terrace makes ahouse nicer
We produce our houses in Lithuania, just East of Poland. East-Europe. And that raises a few concerns. Are these people to be trusted? What about the quality? Do they deliver on time?
We understand you concerns. Here are some answers.
Trakai castle, 14th century
Can we trust them?
Lithuania is on the Baltic coast, and has been a supplier of wood for ages. In the 17th century the Lithuanians had a permanent supply chain between Klaipeda and German, Dutch and English shipyards. The Dutch even developed a special type of ship for this trade, the “fluitschip“.
What was special about the fluitschip? Well, the Dutch had to pay toll in the Øresund between Denmark and Sweden. And they paid a lot of toll, actually two thirds of Danish state income was toll money. The height of the toll depended on the width of the upper deck of the ship. The Dutch, cheapskates as they are, developed the fluitschip such that it had a very wide belly and at the same time a very narrow upper deck. Yep, lots of freight, and little toll, that’s how we roll…
Wij bouwen op maat, dus elk huis is individueel, uniek, en buitengewoon. Kortgeleden bouwden we een modern huis en kregen we kans om onze lijst van projecten uit te breiden met een prachtig chalet, ontworpen door architect Stéphane CICUTTO GUIFFAUT uit Chamonix Mt. Blanc (contactgegevens onderaan deze post).
Usually we make a wooden house design, build it and leave an interior decoration for the owners. Sometimes they trust their own feelings and taste, sometimes they ask professional interior designers for an advice. Below we represent the best interior photos of wooden homes, which we have received from the owners after they have moved in. Hope it will inspire you!
Europe has some pretty old wooden constructions. Barns, churches, living houses, often they survive several hundreds of years. In Switzerland there are some family houses that claim to be from 1176 and 1287 , and in Essex (England) there is a church that has some sections from the 9th and 11th century.
In Lithuania we have this church in Stelmužė, at the border with Latvia and close to Belorussia. The church is from 1650. It was built with only axe, chisel and hammer. No nails except to hang the wooden doors, otherwise just dowels. How cool is that!
Went to Oosterwold with a client to take a look at the plot where we will build his house. It was still misty, -5 degrees Celcius. On the Hannah-Ahrendt road the owners of the new-built houses have put their temporary mailboxes at the start of the road.
I am not sure why they did this, but my guess is the mailman got stuck in the mud a few times, and now refuses to go into the road.
Makes a nice picture anyways. Oosterwold is beautiful.