Not all building sites are easily accessible. Some are in the mountains and the trucks have to make tight U-turns as they climb the mountain, other building sites have no roads at all and we have to unload somewhere else and bring our building materials with some flatbed car behind a tractor. And then there are building sites that have something that looks like a road, only it isn’t.
Since our factories are in Lithuania, and our clients mostly in France and The Netherlands, we travel a lot. And we jump from one culture to the other, and we never notice. Except, every now and then, we feel a difference, like yesterday. We had had a meeting in the Nort-East of Lithuania, five kilometers from Belorussia. Russia itself starts fifty kilometers further and from there it is Russia all the way until Vladivostok, next to North-Korea.
We started with this project end of August, and now we are two weeks down the road: walls ready, rafter are on the roof. Our engineers decided that they needed a really serious beam at the top of the roof, serious as in: more than 300 kilo, not something that you just lift and place on top. Here comes a crane again…
Building houses is nice, but mud is not. And when we build, there is always mud. Even worse is building in the rain. If it rains we go sit inside. But then you want a cup of coffee. So you have to go outside again, to get water, through the mud in the rain… Naja, tomorrow will be better.
Building a new house takes ages. Years, literally. Buying a plot, making a design, asking for permissions, changing the design, waiting, changing a bit more, waiting a little longer. And all the time you are mentally busy, but physically you can do nothing, except wait. Just wait. But some clients can’t wait. They start with the garden. Grass, trees, hedges. And why not… We can tell you why not: because in a minute we will show up with our fifteen ton crane and turn your garden into a wasteland.
Sometimes it looks as if we only use larch on the outisde of our houses. But that is not correct, we can use other materials as well. We can offer painted pine, and also we can do stucco. In the case of stucco: first we finish the outside with Knauf Aquapenel or Steico Protect, then later we add the stucco layer on top. These images are from a house that we handed over in July 2020, with only the Knauf Aquapanel, as this client will add the stucco layer hoimself.
Sometimes we’re lucky. Yesterday we started with the build of a new loghouse near Rotterdam. Step one: unloading of the truck. The future owners of the house had arranged a crane for us. Usually we have to work with a one-tonne crane or a small Manitou, but this time we saw a 40-tonne crane driving onto the dike. Or 90 tonne, we don’t know but it was big. A few hoists, and our truck was empty.
In the South of The Netherlands we built a panel house. Some clients don’t like wood on ths inside, and in that case a panel house is the perfect solution as you can finish the walls any way you like. This client chose larch on the outside, vertical as per architect design and in combination with a Ruukki sheet metal roof, and stucco on the inside. We are almost ready.
We searched using Google for “images of modern log houses”, because obviously we are curious what our colleagues are doing. And guess what: the second item that Google presented to us was our own house, the Eric & Flo. We take it as a compliment.
Construction speed is an important factor for consumers. Which we honestly find a little odd, because a full new build projects takes a year at least, usually two years and sometimes up to three years. Making designs, doing calculations, getting permits, sometimes it seems to take ages, and so we do not always understand why we should do the actual construction in just a few weeks when the entire project takes two years anyways.