Big kick-off – prepping the grounds

I started this blog so others could follow as we are building our dream summer house in Mölle, Sweden and to hopefully get inspired. A lot of it is sharing my ideas, pictures and inspiration for the house but as you can imagine there are lot of stuff and decisions that are not sexy or inspiring blog material 😉 – but the actual preparation and construction process are important details so bare with me with blogposts like today…

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The protocol in Sweden is a meeting with the local City Council, in our case Höganäs county/building above, to go over the project one last time before getting that final OK & GO! I attended the meeting along with our builder Fiskarhedenvillan as well as the Quality/Control Mgr we hired to oversee the project during the entire building process. A good meeting that resulted in a YES – GO – Ok to start attacking that lot of ours for real!

A reminder what our lot looked like before the excavator marched in!

Later that afternoon the county came and put out the yellow poles showing were we can place the houses and at what height/level. The yellow top marks the actual level of our house, as you can see our lot is below street level and we need to fill it up, make it higher.

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A few words on lot preparation.  Our lot has been growing wildly for over 50 years so unfortunately a nasty nightmare weed (not sure what its called in English but Kirskål in Swedish ;)) has taken over. We thought it would best to turn the entire lot upside down since they were coming in with their heavy machinery and excavators anyways – and try to get rid of that once and for all.

Preparing the lot usually ends up with additional costs (at least our experience), so for those in the process make sure you ad that to your budget just in case.  This time we were lucky,  our lot turned out to be flat with no surprises (wonderful!). Last time we built in Stockholm (some 10+ years ago) we ended up having to blast/blow a small “mountain” that resulted in 80 trucks driving off with rocks and some (60.000$ // 500.000SEK later – which you can imagine I would have preferred to have spent on interior details and upgrades instead  of “awful/high costs you dont see”… So EXTRA happy this lot turned out flat and with no surprises!

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As most of you know we are building a house from Fiskarhedenvillan (you can read earlier post in December why I chose them), they have then allocated Sätoftagruppen to be the ones actually building the house for us. So during my visit to Sweden I wanted to meet them since our house is really in their hands and we are building from a distance. Trust and communication will be key for success (and of course the fact they have long experience of building Fiskarhedenvillan houses and are a stable company) are other key factors. Said & done – we met and we are off to a great start.

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Last week I also met with some great landscape architects to get help and ideas with this corner lot of ours.  Obviously, we wont be able to do the entire landscaping at once but I at least wanted to share the “big overall” ideas with the builder so they can help prepare and we can avoid having to bring in heavy machinery back later…

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The grey gravel part in the middle of the picture above shows where they are preparing for house and garage to be.  Below you see a big brown pile (which I gather is all the evil nightmare weed he dug up from the front and now working his way to the end of the lot – to then transport that as far far away from our lot as possible! Bye Bye Kirskål!

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Despite being a flat lot, we still have additional lot prep costs – for things like; taking down and driving away all the trees, turning the entire lot upside down and drive away with all the “Kirskål weed”, apply gravel on certain areas to avoid having a big lot of just brown soil. Also but not least asked them to dig and plan pipes for outdoor water and electrical throughout the lot… So, even “just” these small things ad up as well..but rest for sure, it could have been a lot worse :).

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To the more FUN part, here is our first landscape sketch. Given we are building a summer house in a fishing village and we are located close to the ocean – we want to create a beach feel around the house. Our goal is to have different “rooms” to create interesting spaces and not just an open lot. Play with grass, high grass, sand, wood deck/pathways in different levels. Include outdoor kitchen, area for growing veggies and herbs, petanque/boule court, a greenhouse/extra house etc etc.. I am super excited about this plan. Its still in working progress and we hope to get into more details these coming weeks. Stay tuned for more landscaping, promise!

Hope you are enjoying your week! Will check back in with you shortly, have some other ideas I need to share with you..

Hugs P

….Pics taken by my dear mother who was just too curious to see how everything was coming along….

 

American Porch

My husband and I decided to ad an American porch to our Swedish summer house. After 10 years here in the US and becoming American citizens we figured we have to bring in something American to the new house? I was kinda hoping for that nice southern wrap around porch but since this lot limits us a bit as to how much we can build, we compromised to get a nice size house along with our porch. I really picture us using this porch a ton, ton tons! Just look at the porch below, its got my name ALL over it!

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We are going for a wood deck and a white porch in general. We plan to extend the deck further passed the poles and where the roof ends – to make it more spacious and make sure the guests sitting on the further end don´t fall backwards… )). Our goal is to make the deck as leveled to the inside floor (want to avoid that step).

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I am totally in love with the vibe on this porch above. This long plank table along with those industrial chairs is such a cool mix.  We love having dinners and friends over so the chairs will probably not be my pick from a comfy point but I admit, they look good ;). I prefer investing in more comfortable chairs so my guests stay longer and come back!

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We will have our porch double doors in the middle/centered (similar to image below but our porch will be bigger and deeper). I am dividing the porch into 2 spaces. 1, eating area on the right side as you step out and 2, a more lounge sofa area on the corner left side.

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The lighting is important and I have been leaning on having spotlights in the ceiling but after looking at hundred of pics on Pinterest, I like the idea of having lamps on the house facade and maybe even a centered lamp hanging over the dining table. So not sure about the spotlight anymore…

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I am bringing along some furniture from our old summer place. This is not a great picture but the one I could find today. In the back you can spot part of my old long church bench in light green and an old farmers table that I think will look perfect on the porch. I also have 6 of those Ikea rattan chairs, which I will most likely use to start with…(am thinking there won´t be that much money left once we´ve built this house ;)).

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I came across this image and remembered I have one of those lamps in storage. Maybe it would look good hanging over our table as well.

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On the so called, lounge side of the porch I will have my rattan sofas and chairs that I usually fill with tons of cushions. To that I got our cool concrete table that my hubby and friend made. For some reason I could not find a picture of it, so you will just have to wait to see it until we´ve moved everything in..

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On a different note or I should say in connection with the porch – I need to design what comes after the porch…. So, we contacted a landscape architect to help us with the overall plans and design for our lot. I have no problem listing things that I would love to include but as I was making an attempt to do the sketch myself  – I realized I need help. In this early stage we first just need a rough plan so we can prepare the lot and ground best way possible. Then closer to summer we can then focus more on the details and final layout and design. Promise to share that once we get it.

Before I go, one dream would be to ad a pool. Now I realize, it doesn´t make sense (crazy!!”#) since we wont be there as much and we live close to the water but it would just be so nice. I dont need a big one…but hey even so, its not something we would build this year anyways but I would not mind making a plan B sketch with a small pool in it (just in case)! Just look at the images I found on Pinterest….and tell me I am (not) crazy….

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Wouldn´t that be nice…oh boy, think I need to end this blogpost before I get too carried away and want a pool right away! Lets just start with a nice big porch for now! Easy to get carried away …

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Hope you are enjoying your week!

I am planning on a trip to Sweden. Going over to make all the final house and detail decisions. We are finally getting started. Our builder and sales representative has been super nice to coordinate and set up all the necessary meetings for me.  It will be a busy week, will tell you more about my coming trip next time.

Hugs P

Images borrowed from: Pinterest, Atlanta homes, World Market, Elle Decor, Traditional Home, Southern Hospitality, Fiskarhedenvillan, Trivselhus,