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If you were building a house today

What would you do differently?

*Trowbridge H. Ford*
post 5.Mar.2010, 10:19 AM
Post #16

I would not dream of building a house today.

Not only are there so many problems in getting it done, but then you have to worry about things being or going wrong, and costs of repairs and insurance going up.

I would hire some pre-fab place to do it, assured that it would be answerable for any problems.
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post 5.Mar.2010, 10:21 AM
Post #17
Location: Västra Götaland
Joined: 25.May.2007

Haley the SELFMADE builder can also give you realistic inputs on this one DidiE. Hope she sees this one. Hope she sees this one soon.
Lycka till.
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post 5.Mar.2010, 10:45 AM
Post #18
Joined: 16.Mar.2009

I'd say be careful because my wifes family have had a nightmare doing up their house.

Problem is tradesmen... not many of them around (relatively speaking) and it's extremely hard to get them to actually do anything. Electricians especially, they waited months to get some simple electrical work done. The person who they hired never turned up and when they 'sacked' him, they couldn't find anyone who could be arsed doing the job.

No idea if this is a a problem in sweden or just their experience but would definately find out first from people who have actually tried to build their own house here in sweden and not just in their home countries!
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post 5.Mar.2010, 11:05 AM
Post #19
Joined: 7.Oct.2006

Yes, in my past life I must of been a bloke or a tradey!
In Sweden I have done an extension plus a rennovation and built a 3 storey house on my own with the occasional help from a few Localers, family and friends (of course with beer and BBQ)
...and little or few trademen swedish or not swedish (in fact the swedish guy had to rip up what he did and re-do it myself).
This includes architectural drawings, plans, 40% negotiated discount at the lumber yard, paint, hardware places, all the electrical wiring (but not connection), tiling, plastering, roofing, cabinet making, flooring, doors, windows, carpentry...pretty much everything and it was all an experience in my spare time with 2 kids in tow. Now I have been making my own sofa, custom built for the house, and it is fabulous!
So, if I can do it anyone can, you just have to be prepared to work and when you need help, be prepared to ask. ie. handling 2.5m x 1.2m sheets of gyps is a bit hard on your own, so you need at least one more set of hands.(although you can split the sheet but this is a hassel because you end up having to plaster twice as much).
The building part is pretty easy, it is all very logical and set out in 60cm units, so easy to measure etc. etc. Anyway, there are a few localers here who have helped and know the place and at times I couldn't have gone on without a little help with thanks to them...and it won't be the last one either!
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post 5.Mar.2010, 11:50 AM
Post #20
Location: Skövde
Joined: 18.May.2008

You few wonderfuls who have done most of this on your ownsome in Sweden get my full respect.

I find that what I think is important now, in my middle age, is waaay different than what I wanted when I was a mom to a gazillion kids. Back then, all I wanted was a bathroom door that locked so I could have some peace, and a large laundry room. Now a days we only have two of the eight with us for any length of time, and I am turning into someone I don't recognise. When did the dance all night Didi evolve into someone who actually cares about heating systems and insulation?

One cool tip I remember from earlier discussions here is on the UK water heater device that keeps things nice and warm in showers. Gotta check that out.
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Caribbean guy/Swedish Gal
post 2.Jan.2013, 06:07 PM
Post #21
Joined: 14.Jan.2009

Hey i am curious how it went for you?

I am looking at building my own, and am very serious about it, the company i work for will sign off the building papers, I am very handy at doing all the hard work.

Ive Close Electrical and Plumbing guys to do that part of the job. Everything else including laying the foundation putting the outer walls and roofing I can do on my own..
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post 2.Jan.2013, 07:59 PM
Post #22
Location: Skåne
Joined: 1.Oct.2005

You are well ahead if you can get "mate's rate's" for the plumbing and electrics, as you probably know, the rates for any trades are horrendous here.

I'm just in the middle of building now (planned to have been finished by now, but still 3 or 4 months more to go at least angry.gif ).

We are building a 1½ storey timber frame house, it won't meet passive house certification but will be close enough so the running costs should be low.

I am also doing as much as I can myself. I employed a contractor to clear the site and put in the insulated foundations and purchased the frame from a company who also erected it as part of deal.

Of course the plumbing and electrics have to be locally certified so I had to get local companies to do that and the outer leaf is rendered calcium silicate board and I didn't fancy the mess I would make of that so I flew in guys from Ireland to do it. Even keeping everything above board, paying 25% MOMS to Skatteverket it worked out about 30,000kr. cheaper than the lowest local price.

You'll need a good kvalitetsansvarig for your planning permission and certifying the build. You'll also need to organise byggfelsförsäkring, there is not much choice of companies, the offer we got from Marsh & McLennan Agency AB who are based in Malmö was way below what either Garbo and Bostadsgaranti quoted us.

In general I have found the local kommun very helpful with the planning permission, sewage and water connections etc.

If there are any specific questions you have drop me a PM.
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post 2.Jan.2013, 08:58 PM
Post #23
Joined: 28.Jul.2011

I would super insulate, get the best windows I could afford and put on a metal roof. If codes allowed, I would plumb the grey water to the garden and only route the toliets to the septic. Or, better yet, get a composting toliet and return all the nutrients to the soil and not waste good drinking water. That and install an indoor, infra-red sauna.
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Gamla Hälsingebock
post 2.Jan.2013, 11:46 PM
Post #24
Joined: 21.Dec.2006

I don't know how old you are, but I would consider location and future market prices in the area of your's always...location, location..etc..

And if you have children...schools.

You can build a castle for permanence or a place to sell, for retirement profit or trading up.

In my experience if you build big, instead of small and costly smaller you will fare better in the long run...future buyers will love space they can improve.

Anyway be happy in what you have.
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the fonz
post 3.Jan.2013, 11:50 AM
Post #25
Joined: 16.Dec.2009

We built our own house in Sweden and the best way to describe it is a complete nightmare. We bought the land and house design together - paid for the land and a 20% deposit on the house - the building company then went bankrupt and we lost the deposit. Our bank did a credit check on them AFTER sending my deposit!!

We now have our house built by a different builder of course and whilst it's nice and in a great location - the building company didn't use the correct materials as stated in the contract but substituted them for cheaper alternatives claiming he did 'extra work without charging us'. The house is good but it should be better. Now he's threatening us because I have witheld the final payment. He's not using a lawyer because he knows he has cheated us but the saga continues.

I would like to warn you all about this company but if I post the name here I don't know where I stand legally - any advice on that?
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post 3.Jan.2013, 12:48 PM
Post #26
Location: Dalarna
Joined: 11.Jan.2012

We have just built a new house from Kuusamo Hus, in Finland. Their site has a huge selection of designs, which you can make modifications to suit. All in wood. which gives very high insulation properties. 0,2 in general, but doors and windows,1,0.
I was working and living 350 kms away, so it was hard to supervise. The builder lost his set of drawings during the quote process. I did not know this until i spotted a few mistakes. I showed him the drawings. "Never seen that before" he said.
Even so, the fact that 32 tons of wood ( it is a small house), was delivered like a giant lego set, meant he could not do a lot wrong.
Grand designs on UK tv showed a guy building a wood house from Finland.
I employed my own plumber and electrician. They did a great job. I had to employ a proffesional surveyor to persuade the builder that his men had made a few mistakes. 25k a day.
It was not key ready, but I sourced much of the interior from Blocket. (Rich people in Danderyd with more money than sense). Which i fitted to suit us.
Planning permission was a doddle. Water and waste came from 70 meters away, and required a huge trench, but was only 90k sek.
Know what you want, watch the trades men like a hawk, and you should be OK. No one from the kommune seemed the least bit interested after they approved the building.
As some one else pointed out, the cost can be higher than buying old. We now live in a 2 million house, in an area where 1 million is a fortune. But we intend to die there, the views are fantastic, i can wander down to the river to fish any time I like and the dog can run around like a wild thing 24 hours a day. 25k meters!
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the fonz
post 3.Jan.2013, 02:18 PM
Post #27
Joined: 16.Dec.2009

Thanks Gordy,

I do have an ABS 09. The final payment is only SEK 100k but to upgrade the doors/windows and other things will be far more than this. I can either sue them I guess or just forget it, but he still wants the final payment - I will definitely not pay it. I am waiting to see if he goes away because we're totally drained and fed up with it all, if he gets nasty I guess I will have to sue him for the whole costs.
Does the ABS 09 offer any protection from these kind of people do you know?
Thanks again
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post 3.Jan.2013, 02:48 PM
Post #28
Location: Skåne
Joined: 1.Oct.2005

Yes the ABS09 contract should offer you protection, fortunately I haven't had to investigate further so I can't help on the detail.

This link should download a word document outlining the scope of the contract in English, so probably a good place to start.
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Caribbean guy/Swedish Gal
post 3.Jan.2013, 08:28 PM
Post #29
Joined: 14.Jan.2009

Thanks Gordy

I will get in touch with ya,

Im not buying a Prefab house, i will build it myself only thing i plan on buying finished is the rafters..

Just in the middle of getting the land owner to drop his price a bit more, have a meeting with him on the weekend. Then its off to the bank and have a little chat with them about financing ½ of my build.
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post 4.Jan.2013, 02:03 PM
Post #30
Joined: 8.Oct.2011

Build on a south-facing slope and install solar panels on the south side of the roof. You can also put a solar array up on a pole or poles for additional energy generation. And put up a windmill too. It doesn't have to be a particularly steep slope, just that it faces south.

You won't be able to plant any shade trees directly in front of the house such that they will eventually shade the solar panels, but depending on the sizer of the property you should plant as many trees as space will allow off to the sides of the house, and on the north side of the house as well.
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