The importance of good foundation

Good foundation goes for everything or at least most things in life but especially when you are building a new house. Getting it right from the start, from the ground creates less trouble along the way and as you go up!

Yesterday I got to watch our builder Sätoftagruppen prepare the foundation and this morning pore the fine concrete. I realise (again) it might not be the most exciting blogpost but it needs to happen before the fun really starts to happen. I am hoping you will follow our journey even days when it might not be tooo inspirational…. through thick n thin, right? Haha …

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One reflection, which I remember having made last time we built as well was that it looks very small. I had the same feeling yesterday when I saw the little rectangle “box” they made. I just cannot picture how the floor plan is going to fit. Will I really be able to fit a kitchen, eating and living room here…

We have made our house as big as we can and are allowed so bigger is not an option anyways. Also we needed to place the house within a certain area, which limited us a bit in choosing house model.

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Our builder told me they would start with the concrete around 7.30 a.m. and sure thing, when I finally was done with my beauty sleep and got there by 9 they had already come a long way. It was super windy, I am extra glad the concrete landed inside the rectangular box today ;).

Another reflection. Building a house obviously takes time. During that time, there are phases. A lot of activities in the beginning, then followed by a quiet period while waiting for building permit and before you really feel it starts, starts for real! At times its frustrating and you want to push things and time forward but then as you all know – life has a funny way of moving fast anyway ….and WHOOPS… now I am more thinking “will we finish in time”. I realize its all going to happen very fast from now and Christmas.

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Next step, we look forward to the big Fiskarhedenvillan truck to deliver all material to start building the frame and house. Can´t wait!

Enjoy your week my friends!
Hugs P

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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….

 

Breaking ground..

Realize this will not be the most exciting post (for y´all), but a big step for us as we are building our summer house. Finally breaking ground. We bought the lot/jungle in December and this week they took it all down. We have not been able to comprehend and appreciate it before since it was impossible to walk in or around on the lot. Our jungle turned out to be a very nice jungle 🙂 and spot. I had to fly over the mountains and Atlantic ocean to reach Sweden and see it for myself!

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On my way from Copenhagen Airport. The yellow canola fields along the way are just breathtaking! After an hours drive from the airport, I finally arrive in MÖLLE.

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Our little harbor, and not far from there is our little corner lot. Below a sneak peak of what our lot used to look like…

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Now this is what it looks like TODAY, taa daaa!

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Wow, it turned out better than expected. It feels and looks bigger. I even climbed up the containers to peak at the view. Of course a completely gorgeous sunny day made the experience better!

There was not much to save unfortunately. Former owners had it for 50 years so it was just too wild and overgrown. We only kept a few trees in one corner. Time to start over.

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We feel happy and lucky to not have any houses behind us. On the other side of the hedge is a soccer field and a new outdoor gym (how did they know I needed that ….)))

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So this is our corner lot. Here you can see the placement for our house and garage. Now time to plan the rest, the area marked in yellow. We contacted some super talented landscape architects to help us with this. I promise to share and show the plans and sketches later this week. Its looking very promising!

Now, I have to turn off my laptop and enjoy a sunny Seattle!

Hugs P

Airstream on my mind

The winter in Seattle has been too gray and wet for my body, so I am embracing and looking extra forward to our coming trip to warmer destination. Craving sun & d-vitamin.

We are still waiting to hear back from Höganäs county in Sweden regarding our building permit (soon 10 weeks have passed). The delay is due to making the garage taller than the allowed height. The process then is to let neighbors give their opinion, so together with Fiskarhedenvillan we have been trying to solve it. We hope our last adjustment will be approved. For now, we can only wait. Once we get the GO, we can “order” the house and finally book the EXCAVATOR to turn our lot upside down. As you can see below – we still haven’t been able to walk in. We are not sure what we bought ;). Its a jungle, but we love our jungle.

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Speaking of jungle or well forest, I found this fun vacation spot. It obviously has nothing to do with our summer house but my goal with this blog is also to write, share and inspire with other ideas and discoveries I stumble across. So, today I am taking you to California.

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I found this wonderful spot located in north California (close to San Fransisco) called Autocamp. A cool camping place in the hearts of Sonoma´s wine country. Perhaps you true campers do not consider this is to be the real deal but for me being more the hotel gal´ that prefers the comfy beds, the fresh towels, wine & fruit …;), this sounds and looks just perfect for moi!

My love for Airstream trailers goes way back before Dr. Dreamy Sheppard showed up with his in Greys Anatomy :). I just think they have the coolest design and are so classic.

We are often in the look out for fun long weekend ideas and for us with 3 girls we need to alternate and do different things to keep them all happy. I certainly love exploring new cities but I also think its important & healthy to experience something a bit more authentic, like being in the woods and far away from it all. After almost 10 years in Seattle, a place known for its outdoorsy lifestyle I have learned to appreciate the outdoors much more. So Autocamp looks like a fantastic spot for us to visit. Take a look.

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Autocamp offers super luxury Airstreams as well as tents. All of them designed and with top of the line comfort. Sounds like a nice mix of camping and hotel. They have a cool main club house, a small store, a big bar as well as hang out areas, indoor and outdoor fireplaces. Of course they have wifi (if you really cant be without it for a weekend).

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Below images from their restroom and showers. It certainly doesn’t look like the camping bathrooms I have visited during my years. No, far from it.  This looks like a SPA in comparison!

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Here´s how one of the tents look like. Just imagine, don´t need to spend the first 2 hours putting up your tent (which in some cases can lead to tiny irritation and arguments ;)). At Autocamp, its already made! Not sure about you but I have never stayed in a tent that looks like this. Nope. Obviously I realize the experience and fun with camping comes with putting up your own tent, creating your own fire, catching your own food etc etc… but please don´t hate me for liking this idea as well….;)).

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Autocamp is of course located in the forest, easy to go on hikes, make picnics, rent and go on bike rides. There is close by canoeing and you can also take the car and drive out to the ocean if you feel like that. Just chilling and reading a book sounds like a wonderful idea as well.

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Earlier this fall we went on an American style family RV trip with another family and we both said afterwards that we want to experience this again. So much fun. Obviously driving your own RV is slightly different but this place could maybe be the next fun experience we do? What do you say M?

Hugs P

 

The Autocamp Photography is by Aubrie Pick
3 Airstream images via Pinterest
For more info visit Hotel Autocamp

Plans to build

Now to the detailed and fun plan! The floor plan! I feel I have gone over it a thousand times (at least in my head) trying to make sure the flow is right and the spaces are used wisely. I have already made changes to this current one, but here is an idea so you guys can follow. Once in place, we will work on doing built-in closets, bookshelves, bunk-beds etc – all to ad more character and create a more “old” touch to a very new house. What do you think?

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Some background facts;

We can build a 2-story home with a total building area of (120 kvm/1292 sqf). We are also allowed to build a separate garage (30 kvm) and a smaller house/friggebod (20 kvm) on top of that. So overall, a generous plan for being in Mölle (my American friends are going, Qué? – that´s not big! ))

We are going for a home around 160 kvm/1744 sqf in total, which will be more than twice the size we had in our previous summer house a few minutes from there. It feels gigantic already and I can see myself practicing cart wheels in there )). Ok, so we want 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a nice social & hang area. Our focus and priority has been: the entrance, the kitchen and of course our American porch! Here is one mood board to get you on board.c0c75696b9bcd35597a2e18b8201e510strenghielm_bjorn-5

I realize its a lot of inspiration pictures from Pinterest, esny, Sandberg, but its how I operate or at least how I get started. More to come of course, bare with me these Xmas holiday…. Santa is calling at the same time! Hugs P

First things first….

We have been looking to buy a summer house in Mölle over the years, not super actively but in periods. We just didn´t seem to find a match. The thought of building one instead grew on us. We have experience from building a permanent home a few years back and we actually have a very positive experience from that so the idea didn´t scare us. Now, there aren´t many lots for sale in Mölle, so when we came across this little corner we thought long and hard. The former owners had been sitting on it for over 50 years, hoping one of their children would want it but no (lucky us)! Can´t imagine what they paid for the lot back then! In December of 2016, we finally became owners of this lot/jungle! Yay – we are so excited and we are of course soo looking forward to this process (even though it will be tricky being so far away).

Here is a pic of what it looks like today,  very au-naturel and jungle-like, right?  Well, lets say we got some work to do – we need a well charged excavator! I also added a pic of what is to become our little place to dive in a few hundred meters down the street. Gotta prepare some Xmas stuff and food, but more to come!

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