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.
Contrary to popular belief, wooden houses have a very high life expectancy. Of course wood should be pretected 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.
The Eric & Flo is one of our showroom models. We built this house in 2012 in The Lozère at a height of 1250 meters. In winter it gets seriously cold here, temperatures of -15 degrees Celcius are the norm. Last time we visited this client was in February 2019 en then they had half a meter of snow. The simplicity of the design is striking. A simple tilted roof and a wooden planks bardage on the outside with modern corners, and no stick-through miters.
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.
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 they 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 guys always manage to make it nicer.
This house we built in 2016 in Tombeboeuf, right between Bordeaux and Toulouse. Again a traditional loghouse with a larch facade, or “bardage en melèze” as they say in France. Massive beams supporting the roof. Our marketing manager Vaida on the terrace. She felt pity to leave the house as she liked both the house and the environment, but duty calls, we have to work on the next house…
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.