As our family grew, we felt that the city life no longer suited us. We decided to leave the city and invest in building our dream house in a more quiet environment a bit outside Stockholm. We found the perfect plot in Huddinge, a suburb of Stockholm, at the end of a small street very close to a lake. We felt that we would now begin a whole new phase in life – a journey towards our dream home!
Choice of a house supplier
We immediately decided on a turnkey contract as none of us are handy fixers. We booked meetings with the house suppliers Rörvikshus, Myresjöhus, Trivselhus, Götenehus and Intressanta hus. We managed to book all five meetings with the house suppliers on the same day! After an interesting, exciting and rewarding day, we were completely exhausted. We learned that most suppliers can deliver similar results, but the cost can vary.
The plot came with certain conditions determined by the municipality’s detailed plan. It was something we had not thought of before, but it affected what type of house we could build. We needed to relate to a building area of a maximum of 150 sqm and a building height of a maximum of 5 m.
Our best tips for the meeting with house suppliers:
- Have the plot ready
- Know the type of floor plan you want but at the same time be open to new ideas
- Read about the conditions for the plot according to the municipality’s detailed plan
- Be price conscious – everything can affect the price, from ground works to all choices to be made
Choice of house type
We had an idea of what kind of house we wanted to build which was a mixture between New England style and country style. But we were not completely convinced and felt that we needed more inspiration. We therefore visited Interesting houses (Västerås-based) which had a viewing day for two of their houses, Villa Holmberg and Villa Carlsson.
It really was an eye opener! The houses were like classic barns converted into luxury villas and contained a lot of smart solutions in a completely unique way. Clean, stylish and fresh, no window linings, minimal moldings, built-in laundry sink, etc. It became a real insight about how we should think ahead.
We knew the ultimate floor plan was out there somewhere, but where? But then one Friday afternoon we got an e-mail and it was from Rörvikshus – they had sent their new house plan! At a first glance, it looked hopeful.
We started going through the proposal and sketched out the changes we wanted to make. After a few turns back and forth, we finally got a proposal that felt just right for us. Our choice was Rörvikshus and it was so nice when that decision was ready! Of course we had compared all the different offers we received and not least the price but Rörvikshus felt most right for us.
It took a total of 15 weeks from the time we submitted our building permit application until we received an approved building permit. It is longer than the prescribed 10 weeks that the Planning and Building Act states. Admittedly, we had to supplement with changes during the process, but 15 weeks still felt like a very long time.
Early in the process, you have to make all the interior design choices and it is really both fun and difficult! You turn and twist everything and have time to change many times. Some choices we stuck to right away while other choices took much longer.
The Bistro model in linden flower green from Ballingslöv. It has it all! It is stylish, classic but still modern. Gives a feeling of being site-built, without being so and thus not as expensive. This was a style we fell for right away
Here we had a hard time deciding! In the end, after much hesitation, we landed having Carrara marble and chose to join the company Apeia granit. It is a natural stone that requires a little care, but it is so heavenly beautiful.
Before the visit to the floor store Kvadratmeter in Stockholm, we had a long list of what we liked most. In the end, the choice was between 3 favorites:
- Berg @ Berg Öland XXL Extra white Matt lacquered
- Tarkett Epoque Also Rustic Plank
- Tarkett Heritage I Blonde
Once we left, we had made our choice – it was Berg @ Berg Öland XXL Extra White Matt lacquered. We also chose a base mat called Timbertech TX which will make the sound muted.
Rörvikshus has a collaboration with Miele, and since they also have good products, we chose to take Miele straight through.
Tiles and tiles
There were many turns here before we finally landed in the right choice for us
We also want to build in such a nice niche with built-in spots, which gives both feeling and character. This also avoids the awkward shower baskets that also take up extra space.
So nice, discreet and fresh, just such a floor drain we really want!
Floor in bedroom
We chose a carpet in the bedroom and for our walk-in closet. A nice gray shade shown in the picture below.
When the ground work was to start, we had some concerns about what would be underneath. We had not done any geotechnical investigation so we really had no idea what was underneath. There was a risk that the ground was loose and needed to be piled up or even that the boulder found on the plot would turn out to go just below a thin layer of soil.
The plate is cast
Now we had a cast foundation and it went so fast! The sun shone from a clear blue sky and it did not take many hours for the plate to become firm.
We were amazed at how small the plate looked.
It is important to be involved! As we stood looking at the plate, we discovered a misstake. This applied to the downpipes that would be placed by the bay window. The ground workers had prepared for each downpipe around the house by pulling drainage pipes to our stone coffin for drainage and stormwater. But the ones at the bay were not there. We notified our contact person at Rörvikshus and he announced that the ground workers would rectify this. There was an uncertainty in discovering shortcomings for fear that they forgot more things that we have not yet discovered.
The house arrives
Suddenly the first part of the house delivery came and we now got half a house! The builders were incredibly talented, efficient and had a fantastic teamwork! In three hours they had put together an entire basement.
The house started to take shape and on day 2 the second part of the house delivery came from Rörvikshus, the upstairs! The carpenters worked quickly and efficiently. We hade first worried about the size of the house, but when we saw the base plate we no longer had to think about it, the house felt huge!
Some more problems that appeared along the way
When we were at the house, we discovered that gutters had started to be set for future downpipes. It did not look at all like we had thought, there were extremely many downpipes everywhere. It turned out that the downpipe supplier Plannja planned without us being able to take part in the drawing. Whether it got stuck at Rörvikshus or Plannja is unclear, but we would not have seen it anyway.
We had to quickly produce a drawing of how we wanted it and go over it with Rörvikshus and Plannja. Once again, the lesson comes up. EVERYTHING must be checked and approved and you have to think about EVERYTHING. It quickly goes wrong when many parties are involved and do not communicate properly.
Our awesome carpenters fixed the downpipes on the front just as we wanted. It turned out nice too!
We had been told that our roof had been delivered and we were so excited when we went to the house to look. At first we were very happy that they had already had time to lay almost all the roof, but pretty quickly the joy was exchanged for confusion.
Was it just us or were they not very bright roof tiles? At first we did not say anything to each other, my husband and I, but just walked around and watched. But then it was inevitable. It looked very bright!
The concrete tiles we had to choose from were available in three different shades of gray: light, medium and dark. We thought we ordered a dark, but probably there had been a mistake in the communication between which one was which and which one we would have. Right then it felt hard, and we called our contact at Rörvikshus, but afterwards you notice that some things are not as big of a problem as they seem at first.
Color on the house
Now that the house was in place and we saw the whole house, we started the next project, to choose the house color! We visited Flügger paint, Colorama and Fredell’s DIY stores and bought some paint samples. We painted the colors in a row on our new house in daylight to try to get an idea of which we liked best.
Immediately we could see that some shades really looked completely different in place out in normal daylight and that there was also a difference between sun and shade.
One bathroom tiled and almost finished
Suddenly things started happening inside the house as well. The tile in the bathroom was so nice and we were so happy with the niche and the nice floor drain we chose.
And then it was finally time for a final inspection and final consultation with the municipality and our KA. Our house got approved on both occasions! The inspector was impressed and said that there were very few things that needed to be fixed, and nothing that affected an approval. The things that needed to be fixed were written down and then the responsibility lay with Rörvikshus and their subcontractors to remedy. The things that were brought up were painting jobs, marks in the foundation and the shade of the stairs. Fixing the stairs was what would be most difficult and take the longest. In the end, we had to hire an external company to repaint it, even though it still did not turn out perfectly, it got much better.
A wise decision we made regarding our outdoor environment was to build our terrace already the first year. The environment around a new house construction tends to be quite messy, and especially with small children it is extra hard not to be able to move around on the plot at first. We realized this and are so happy that we chose to build a patio right away. We added a built-in bench and a privacy trellis and here we have really been able to enjoy many wonderful evenings together!
What is your best advice to others who are thinking of building a house?
- EVERYTHING must be checked and approved and you have to think about EVERYTHING. Otherwise there is a big risk that something will go wrong,
- Choose an independent controller – we did it and it worked so well!
- Contact the bank early to introduce your idea. Make financial calculations for housing costs and household budget so that you know how your finances are affected when you borrow and build.
- Build a patio at the same time as the house so that you have an area to enjoy outside when you first move in.
- Do not wait to paint the house! The earlier you paint, the better for the house. The primer that the house comes with is not enough to avoid getting moisture (especially in nail holes, etc.) after a whole winter and spring. Also make sure to paint between May-Aug if you are in northern Europe as it is mostly steady weather and mild humidity. Optimal painting conditions are between 20-23 degrees celsius with even daily temperatures.
How do you feel in the house today?
We still enjoy and LOVE every square meter!
Feel free to go in and follow our continued journey on Instagram: @hejhuset
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