Our names are Emmeli and Simon and this is our story about when we divided a plot and built our dream house. Join us on our journey from start to finish
We bought a plot of land from my parents
The plot has been in our family for generations and we were so happy when we had the opportunity from my mother and father to divide and buy a piece of their plot. The plot is perfectly located in the village in Östersund (a town in the northern part of Sweden) and we knew that the view would be nice after all the trees had been felled.
When we were going to divide the plot, a surveyor visited us on the plot and then there was a meeting with the landowners that lived nearby the plot. It was important that everyone agreed on where the boundaries went when the maps were last updated in the 1950s.
When we had set the plot boundaries, we saw that the plot was wider further up and narrowed a bit further down where were are not as dependent on the surface. Both we and my mom and dad (who own the land) were happy with the new markings. After the site was now exposed, only the paperwork with the municipality remained. Exactly how big the plot would eventually be was going to be decided by the municipality but we got an estimate of about 2,200 – 2,500 sqm which felt perfect!
Clearing on the plot
When the markings were out, we were able to start the ground work. There were many trees that needed to be felled but luckily we had my father who felled all the big pine trees and we helped to pull them in the snow.
We got filling masses from a cycle track construction
We were so lucky that a cycle track construction was going on at the same time as our site work, which meant that we would in principle get a lot of filling masses on our site. Just what we needed to level the ground.
We had decided on a delivery date for the masses later in the spring of May, which we thought was perfect as we at that time expected that we would have had the building permit application approved. But then they called already in January and announced that the construction of the bike path went much faster than planned and they wanted to start tipping lots of masses on our site.
Then we panicked as we did not have a building permit and the ground was still full of stumps and debris since the felling of the trees. How would we solve this ??
During some research, we were told that it was possible to apply for a permit for filling at the County Administrative Board. When we called there we were told that it would take 6 weeks to get the permit but then I used all my persuasiveness on the phone and managed to reduce the time for the decision to 4 days instead! The cycle track work called on a Thursday, the following Tuesday we received permission from the County Administrative Board and immediately hired a excavator operator who tore up all the stumps and debris. On Wednesday, the filling masses came from the bike path work and there were crazy amounts of truck loads, just what we needed
New insight: Once it happens, then everything happens at the same time, at very short notice.
Choice of house supplier
When choosing a house supplier, we went on house tours in Östersund and met a couple of sellers to get an idea of costs and quality. We had a long thought process, but in the end we found our house. An Eksjöhus, which I actually when I saw it for the first time in the catalog said a bit jokingly, “Yep, there it is, we take it!”. That it was called “Nostalgia” did not make things worse, so nice.
Choice of house model
Choosing a house model was tricky, there was so much to think about and I can admit that I was a little nervous the first time we sat down together, what if we were to think completely differently? Luckily it went well and we landed in the same house types all the time. For Simon, the kitchen island was a must and I wanted an open feeling in the house yet with the kitchen and living room a bit separated so that it does not feel like the same room.
It became a house with horizontal panels at an angle with stairs in the middle of the house, a designed kitchen island from the start and a floor plan with an open feeling with kitchen and living room at an angle, space for a grand piano (important in the long run!) And bedrooms upstairs with city views. .
When the permit from the municipality regarding the plot boundaries arrived and we had decided on a house supplier, house model and floor plan, we could send in our building permit application.
Meanwhile, while we were waiting for the building permit, we started the process of choosing interior design.
Our first meeting was about tiles and tiles for the hall, laundry room, kitchen and bathroom. What a jungle it was and oh what it all cost. The first thing the seller said was that he had never experienced anyone who managed the budget, everyone cracks it. We took this with a grain of salt as we were careful not to crack the budget. But when he started to show which tiles were standard, we also realized that it would be difficult. Pretty quickly we decided to put more focus and money on the floors and less on the walls.
We got lots of great tips! For example, that we should have the same color on the floor in the hall and the laundry room because they are right next to each other, we had not reflected on that at all.
Floor to bathroom
We found out that the smaller the tiles were, the more expensive it became, luckily we wanted large tiles (except for floor drains where there must be smaller ones).
The lucky hit was the floor tile we found for the bathrooms (black) and liked so much, it was also available in gray. We wanted the same type of floor tile as in the bathrooms, but in two colors, black in the bathrooms and gray in the hall / laundry room. We were advised to try to keep the same thought through the three rooms because they are edge to edge, so it actually felt like a brilliant idea.
After the trip to Fresks we went to the tile store again and got to meet the salesman who helped us on our first visit which felt great. We went through every tile, every joint, every molding, both floor strainers and looked at everything again. And it felt so good. The seller also seemed to think that we made good choices and wanted photo evidence from the house because he was curious about the result.
We looked at a towel rail in a very exciting design after tips from the electrician as the wall surface is not large where it would sit. There was a small towel tree in both bathrooms, both for tall and short people =) We hoped for warm towels even though they would hang straight down, but it would apparently work fine.
The foundation is being prepared
The building permit was approved and the foundation began to be prepared. It progressed quickly when they laid drainage and prepared for all the pipes to drains and such things that would enter the foundation later.
An “Emmelis construction bakery” was also inaugurated. A thought that had struck me early in the house building process. Combining the interest in baking bread with the dream of a house and getting happy construction workers who possibly would do an extra good job with us felt like a good idea. So, on Fridays, bread was delivered so that the construction workers got extra good coffee on Fridays and Mondays. In the same vein, we also had time to talk about the week and got to meet. They were very happy with their bread with nuts and cranberries
The scaffolding upstairs
The scaffolding was set up and then the house parts began to arrive. We got a first impression of what the house would look like on the plot and what it will look like when it is ready. So far, so good.
The house on site
Bit by bit, the house began to fall into place – all the wall parts, all the trusses and the roof had also started to be covered, which felt so nice because it rained a little now and then.
The house inside
When it was time for a workplace visit, the inspector thought that the builders had done a good job and the best of all was that we got to go in for the first time! Wow, that was really cool! Just the feeling of pushing down the door handle and opening, finally. In the house it was full of chaos, but you still got a first impression of where the rooms were, how big / small they were and what it would look like. Looking out the windows was also fun, the house was exactly where we wanted with a view in both directions which was magical.
Completion of the house
Soon it was time for electricians to enter and before that an electrical meeting would take place where they would go through the drawings and the changes we wanted to make. We had also found out when we could start painting inside the house. Yes, that’s right – we had decided to do all the filling and painting ourselves so we could save some money.
Once we had started preparing for the painting work, I discovered that it was much more difficult than I first thought. I had a bit naively compared it to renovating a room, you fill over nail holes, sandpaper and cover with new wallpaper / paint. But of course, a new house is in a slightly different basic condition than a room that was once made ready. The plasterboards were not even and after every meter there was gaps that needed to be filled with putty. All corners needed to be reinforced and filled evenly. There were a million screws everywhere, both in the ceiling and the walls. It took time and it was difficult. It was also a bit fun, of course, especially when it looked good.
Last night we met a fantastic house in the sunshine! The scaffolding had been removed and moma mia how nice it was!
It had started to get hot too and all the snow had thawed away. We could therefore now see all the stumps and all the debris that had previously been hidden away by the winter blanket. We realized that we needed to fix an excavator that could remove all the debris and stumps otherwise it would be difficult to sow the lawn.
The house is almost completely finished now
Now we began to approach the end and soon it was time for the final inspection. All of a sudden, a home had begun to peek out. From construction chaos, our kitchen was in place, there was a staircase, there were parquet floors everywhere… It was so nice!
Yesterday we had a control inspection, so much fun! A first inspection where the inspector, representative of Eksjöhus, the construction manager and we were involved. For 1.5 hours we walked around and the house was inspected with great care. He was a really picky inspector so it felt safe and he saw a lot that we had not seen. We thought the list of action points was so long but apparently it was a fairly common amount so the builders were not so stressed. They had 4 days to rectify the deficiencies and then on Friday there was a final inspection.
The shortcomings that were pointed out were a few small things such as missing joints on a slab, a broken roof tile, a faulty downpipe, nails sticking out of the attic that should not protrude, and so on. It was also not completely clear in places, we lacked a lot of interior doors and the skirting boards were not attached.
The final inspection went through! The keys were ours! However, we were not really ready to move in as we had a lot of filling / painting jobs left.
But we still enjoyed the happiness of having the keys . It was an unbelievable feeling, 2 years of waiting and then the house stood there, just as we wanted it! Absolutely unreal and amazing!
Everyone was very happy, both us, the builders and the inspector and finally we got a moving-in gift from Eksjöhus. A warm lovely blanket for autumn, cozy!
Painting of the house
The house turned light gray with white knots. We applied for a building permit for a white house but were refused by the municipality, so this color felt like a great compromise. In the sun the house looked white, and in the shade light gray, perfect! We painted the house ourselves when moving in and got good help from the family, invaluable!
Our finished house and moving in
Purchase of an entire home at IKEA
There were a lot of things we needed in the beginning to fill an entire house. Utensils, storage, hooks, some lamp and a lot of furniture. Thankfully, an IKEA was quite close to us. Many quick decisions were made and we needed to quickly get everything together so that we could have a functioning everyday life in the future. Kitchen table with chairs, sofa, living room table, wardrobes, desk, etc. My God, luckily it was more fun to screw furniture than to putty
How do you feel about the house today?
We live, breathe and enjoy the house, fully. Pinching us in the arms in earnest, with a hotel feeling we wake up in the morning, set the table on the kitchen island and have breakfast overlooking the meadows. We are not city dwellers, we have said that for a long time. But really, we thrive much better here, and it feels so heavenly amazing.
Moose on the plot!
We had guests already the first week too! They did not live inside with us, but just outside. And it was not just any guests, they were royal. The king of the forest, not just one, or two, or three… four, five, six, seven, eight or nine. No, as many as 10 moose! Fantastic, creepy, and a little surreal.
Deer on the plot
It quickly turned out that we had even more friends nearby who showed up a little now and then! Sometimes they were at the front of our house, and sometimes at the back.
Our family grows
Some time after we had moved in, there were three of us in our new house, our beautiful little son arrived at the perfect time. Now life really began and we could not be happier