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Turnkey fireplace by Lahdentakka

December 4, 2011

We ordered the whole fireplace affair from Lahdentakka. Everything from bottom to the top, from inside out we ordered from Lahdentakka. The goal was that we need to do nothing except give keys to the Lahdentakka guys and approve the final product. Did it go that way?

It all starts with the delivery of the parts. And naturally, there was quite a lot of them since the whole thing with chimney is 7.5 meters high. I assume it was some 3 tons of material.

The delivery worked out fine. But it did demand our involvement. It was us – not Lahdentakka – guiding the track driver to the building sight even that we had given Lahdentakka the road description.

Next on the agenda was the carrying of the materials inside. I have read from numerous blogs that carrying the materials inside is typically not included in the assembly of the fireplace. That lacks a bit logic but I understand that the bricklayers have enough burden even without this task. We ordered the carrying-in of the materials as part of the deal and we pay 250 Euro for it. 2 guys from Lahdentakka spent some 3 hours to carry the materials inside and piling the stuff neatly up. Also the chimney parts for lifted to the second floor and stacked up nicely. Since we agreed with Lahdentakka that we will confirm the exact location of the fireplace on site, I went up to meet them the day of carrying the materials inside. As far as I remember we agreed to meet at 14.00. The team of two showed up at 16.30. For a German like myself that’s 2.5 hrs of impressive delay. Well, not much harm as there is always enough for me to do at the villa. On this occasion, one of the Lahdentakka representative also told me that we should heat the villa to 15 degrees during the assembly. Nice to get that kind of information just one working day before the assembly starts and not having any insulation material in the roof. Couldn’t they have told us that a bit earlier? Since we got that information that late, it wasn’t part of our contract, and it was a mild October, we left it up to them to figure out how to arrange enough temperature during the building.

Not so pleasant was the garbage the team left behind after carrying the materials in. One would think that a turnkey delivery includes the removal of transportation garbage. Especially in today’s world. But not so here. To my question on whether they take garbage with them, the Lahdentakka team just did some frantic hand gesture and told me that it is the job of the buyer. Turnkey?

The brick layer assembling the fireplace and the chimney was very nice to work with. This subcontractor of Lahdentakka did a very neat job and had excellent communication skills. He called us on his first day of work on the site. Now you might ask yourself why he calls us and not Lahdentakka. Well, Lahdentakka had forgotten to forward him the drawing which details all the tailored parts of the fireplace such as the wood storage on the side and the additional structure above the fireplace to the ceiling. Since the Lahdentakka contact was out of office we sent to the brick layer the necessary drawings.

The brick layer finished all he could do within 4 days. He couldn’t attach the protective sheet metal on top of the roof because it had the wrong dimensions. Lahdentakka took an off-the-shelf component which doesn’t fit because the chimney comes out pretty much at the highest point of the house. Profit optimization gone wrong. In regards to cleaning up, he did warn us politely of the mess he made we the antique plaster coating. It took me 2 hours to clean after him, but I’m not complaining since he didn’t make any lasting damage to the ready woody floor of the living room. The pile of garbage he left behind outside again stretches my imagination of turnkey delivery but by now I didn’t expect anything else.

The fireplace project was then on hold for three weeks because of the missing sheet metal around the chimney that had to reordered. It was only two days before the fireplace inspection by the local authorities that this got done. At the same time, the added some missing antique plaster missing between the floor and the fireplace on one site.

We again were talking to the delivery guy dropping off sheet metal version 2. The sheet metal around the chimney turned out to be a nice surprise.   It is a cute little roof over the chimney fitting very nicely to the Villa Linnea. It was worth the wait.

Overall I’m quite happy how the project went. Even that we haven’t been able to use the fireplace yet as the mortar has to dry first, I like the result. It wasn’t most likely the cheapest deal possible, but made our life much easier than finding different subcontractors for assembly, carrying the stuff inside, and attaching the protective sheet metal on the roof. Most of my respect goes to the brick layer. Even that we never met him in person. Was it a turnkey delivery? Not by my definition. Project management was more on our side than with Lahdentakka. And garbage removal should be defined contractually in advance. Would I recommend Lahdentakka? Yes, with reservations. Would I recommend the brick layer: absolutely!

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 16, 2011 7:00 pm

    The design on that cabin is very unique. I love it!

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