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2010: First Milestones of a 5 Year Project

December 31, 2010

2010 was the year of getting started with a 5 year project to make a lifelong dream come true.

Three major milestones are worth mentioning:

  • Buying Villa Linnea in the spring
  • Getting the official permit from the county to start building during the summer
  • Completing the foundation works well in time before the first (but certainly not last) snow came

Purchasing Villa Linnea and the assembly from Mammuttihirsi after several weeks of negotiations was one of these things in life you don’t two often. With exception of buying our home and buying the country site real estate of some 10000 m2 there might not be any single investments over 100.000 Euro in our life. I’m still surprised that we managed to define the scope of the deal well enough that we haven’t had to pay any changing fee until now. The only change we made after-wards  is to switch to a smaller window in the bathroom. Because Mammuttihirsi saves money for the smaller window, they agreed not to charge the so-called mandatory fee for each change of 250 euro. Nice gesture from them. The other change we considered of adding one row of logs to increase the room height in the first floor from 2.5 m to 2.7 m we didn’t sign up to as it was suggested to cost over 4500 Euros which included certainly a healthy profit margin.

The second major step forward was the building site review in July which was also the official start of the building project. The building permit was granted without any hiccups by the country within 4 weeks based on the drawings from Mammuttihirsi plus the location and waste water treatment plans from our architect already in the end of May 2010. The review of the building site with the architect and the building inspector from the county was a pleasant summer task. After marking the outer lines of Villa Linnea in a rather improvised manner, the main discussions during the site inspection were about the height of the log cabin. A two-story log cabin along a lake should not be too dominant even if it is 50 meters away from the beach. But instead of digging the foundation lower to make it less dominant, it was decided to place Villa Linnea rather higher up to ensure that the water from melting snow runs nicely down the hill instead of running into the foundation.

Getting the foundation done in time and well in advance of the snow was the last concrete building work in this year. The earth moving created a huge flat space in the middle of the country site lot. Maybe, it shouldn’t have been called “earth moving” but rather “rock moving” considering how much rocks had to be moved, some of them had to be blown into pieces before they could be moved. Luckily, the lot is big enough to accommodate the rocks that had to be moved aside. The foundation work with its 35 pillars for the covered terrace was done during the fall. After some brief discussion on the quality of the work and fixing our 10 items long error list, we ended up with a satisfying result. Well, hopefully Mammuttihirsi agrees.

Our own efforts in building Villa Linnea have been rather limited during2 010: marking the building area, cutting down some trees, quality control, and cleaning up the foundation site. Much more time was spent in completing the various plans for heating, electricity, ventilation and so on. Well, there was the tree house project which was fun. And most likely 2011 will begin with the same work than the last effort in 2010: snow removal!

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