Building a house is a series of compromises. In the planning phase, the wish list is long, budget is unlimited and overall, sky is the limit. But when the structural, HVAC and electrical designers together with the numbers guy join the team, the reality will ground the visionary builder very quickly. For us as well, having the pros define some frames and details for our reality, led to two rather painful decisions.

The first decision was to take down an old, majestic birch tree. We had done everything in our power to fix the locations of the house and garage in a way that the old tree would have the highest changes of surviving through the construction process. But in the end, leaving the tree where it stands would have not only came with an increased cost of more than 30 thousand euros, but also caused challenges with the correct placement of the garage in relation to the ground surface.

The big birch tree stood in the middle of the yard, right in front of the old garage (Photo by Matti Anttila)

So, with heavy hearts, down the tree needed to go. In addition to the oodles of firewood we now have in storage, we saved some pieces of the tree trunk to make some wooden seats and table tops. Something to remember the giant.

The second decision was solely budget related. We knew that the cost of construction has gone up dramatically due to first COVID-19 and then the war in Ukraine, but even so, the estimated total cost of the project felt like a punch in the gut. The combined cost of the house and garage took the total cost to such a high level, that the risks in case of something unexpected, would have been too much for us to bear financially. And – as everyone knows, it is more a rule than an exception, that more than one unexpected twist will happen in any construction project. So, we needed to rethink.

Eventually, we took a decision to focus first on the house, and postpone building of the garage for a few years. Based on Pekka’s idea on how to adjust the blueprint so that the technical space, which was first thought to reside in the garage, could be fitted in the house, our architect and the team of designers were quick in solving the details to make the idea work in practice.

When things get tangled, meditate. Eino is showing the way sitting on top of the trunk of the birch tree.

With this, we can breathe a bit easier, and feel a bit less vulnerable going into the project. The official kick off meeting with the authorities will take place next week, and then, fingers crossed, the groundwork can finally start!

Posted by:Minna

Loves trail running, builds a home with Team Olive Green at the sea, does all kinds of silly stuff with two minors and a dachshund.

2 replies on “Two major decisions

  1. But it’s good to hear that the project is moving on. During the past two years occasionally checking if anything had happened I thought this had died at planning.

    Liked by 1 person

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