Today we started with a new project in The Netherlands. We are going to build a panel house, about 180 m2. The foundation is ready, crane is waiting, assembly crew arrived during the weekend, and Monday morning ten ‘o clock first truck arrived. We will need five trucks for this project. There is very little space around the house, the truck can not get there. So we unload one kilometer down the road and place all materials in two containers, which we then drive to the building site.
What are the requirements for a foundation for a wooden house? They are nothing specials, i.e., not very different from the requirements for a traditional brick & mortar house foundation. A wooden house is lighter, but we don’t think that makes a lot of difference for the foundation itself. For us, as wooden house builders, there are three requirements: the foundation should be flat, it should let us anchor the house firmly, and the pipes and guides for water and electricity should be at the exact right spot.
In East Europe wooden houses are everywhere. In the smaller villages almost every houses is a wooden house. Until recently these house were a little different from the house that we build: round logs, not laminated no additional insulation a little air leak here and there is ok lots of beautiful decorations painted. And then finally: often without a serious foundation. Especially in Siberia houses are built with a minimal foundation on top of the permafrost.
Another photo from a CLT interior. Look what you can do with CLT: inside doors without frames, and without hinges! The handle is all you see.
We have been busy lately with preparing new projects and we had little time to place posts on our website. But now while cleaning a laptop we found some photos that we better place on our website right away and then later we will go search for the rest of the photos, because for sure we had some better ones. This project we finished about six months ago. The photo above was taken about three weeks before hand-over of the house.
Contrary to popular belief, wooden houses have a very high life expectancy. Of course wood should be protected from humidity, but if the owner takes care of his house it will last very long. When designing a wooden house we make sure that water can always escape from the house and that walls are ventilated. What would then be life expectancy of a wooden house? We have several examples of old wooden houses in Europe.
Since our building sites are all over Europe, we travel a lot. And we meet people from all over Europe. English clients, French plumbers, Italian architects, Polish truck drivers and Russian émigrés in Spain. We love it that our generation was able to build this continent where we can travel freely in all directions. Here we are waiting for a Manitou to unload a truck in France. People on these photos communicate in French, Lithuanian, Russian, Polish and English, all at the same time.
Lithouse build houses with three types of walls: panel walls log walls cross laminated timber walls They all have pro’s and con’s, let’s dive into the details. Panel walls Panel walls are essentially hollow boxes filled with insulation material. You build a frame from 195 x 60 mm beams, and front and back you close with an 18 mm OSB-plate. Now you have a hollow box, say 2 x 3 meters and 231 mm thick.
Contractors come in sizes and shapes. Big ones, small ones, contractors that build wooden houses, or masonry houses, contrators that do individual homes and contractors that build appartment blocks. Not every contractor is suitable for your project. An important aspect in your selection process is turn-key. What is turn-key? There are different definitions of turn-key. Ours is that we: include: foundation roof and walls, outside fully finished, inside without stucco doors and windows, double or triple glass electrical installation, solar panels floor heating, heat pump, boiler waste water, fresh water, tapwater, and excluding:
We are builders and we are proud of our houses because of the techniques and materials that we use. Our houses are robust, sturdy, they have very high insulation values and the are build to withstand ages. But all that means nothing when it comes to aesthetics. A nice design is just that, nice, and that is why we often cooperate with the architects from OxL. Because no matter how nice our designs are, these OxL boys always manage to make it nicer.
Sometimes a picture is unexpectedly nice. We were inspecting a house and took a picture of the roof. In the top you can see 5 centimeters roof overhanging the wall, we must fix that. When we later looked at the photo we liked it because of the contrails. Not very eco but nice nonetheless.
As our old website was too complex and difficult to maintain, we kicked it out. We prefer simple stuff. So we are now in the process of rebuilding our website, but as you can see it is all still quite half-baked. We decided to put it on the web anyways, at least you can see our contact details.
In 2017 we built a loghouse on an island in The Netherlands. Quite an operation: getting a permit to drive a 24-ton truck onto the dike, then unloading to a barge, and then unloading on the island. After returning from a project in the Alps this was a little different for our assembly crew, going to work every day with tug boat.
Oops, you asked for a page that doesn’t exist on our new website. Bummer. We will rebuild that page later, for now please have a look around on our new website…