Neither Frank nor I are carpenters. Nonetheless, we’ve set out to construct a new building that is twice the size of the house we live in. The building is not meant to be a house for permanent living, but we’re constructing it according to regulations and requirements for housing anyway.
The structure will measure 15.7 by 7.3 meters and have a 1 ½ floor plan. It will be heated by under floor water and the main power source will be solar panels on the roof. These solar panels will also provide a substantial amount of the power we’ll need on the farm. It is therefore an advanced project for two novices in most building trades.
Planning the Build
Our plans for the construct began with the need for a workshop where Frank can perform service and repairs on our machines. Not to mention a place where he can keep his tools. To begin with, we thought of expanding an existing out house building on our property, but that idea was discarded due to a difficult access for large machinery. It would also involve more work, since we would have to demolish an existing building, that already serves as much needed storage.
Finding a Manufacturer to contruct the new building
In the end, we decided to build everything from scratch, and after some research, we found a Swedish company that produces cabins, garages and machine halls in wood. The company is called Lövångers Bygg and they have an online drawing service where you can draw and visualize the building. You can even choose between different materials. The program was very easy to use and the price was ok. We quickly decide to use their factory to construct the new building.
Lövångers Bygg delivers almost everything needed for the building, excluding the concrete and interior separation walls. We ordered the building in January, and asked to have it delivered in June, as we thought we would have finished the groundwork by then.
We were obviously a bit optimistic about the time, because the ground preparations, drainage and piping took more time than we estimated. Yet, we were done with this stage of the work in early July and could ask the concrete workers to come and pour the slab. They were really efficient and did the job in a single day. Since we plan to use the concrete as the finished floor, they also polished the surface so it is nice and smooth.
Raising the New Farm Building
After Frank returned from work in Norway in the end of July, we finished the wall elements together. With the help of a friend, he raised the walls in a couple of days. That being done, it was time to install the roof rafters, which we had hired some help for. Admittedly, working several meters above the ground with heavy rafters was no regular husband and wife task.
A week into August, the roof was up and the building waterproof, although the roof tiles are still to come.
Since then, Frank has worked more or less on his own, insulating and installing windows and doors. There are a lot of smaller details to do in order to make a sound and proper structure of this size, and I must admit it has been a couple of times that I have thought we have taken on more than we have capacity for. But, as they say; the only way to eat an elephant is piece by piece.
Why Build Now?
As mentioned on this site before, Frank and I plan to retire to the farm as soon as possible. For me that means by October next year. Although I count on a pension from the Norwegian state, it will be less than half of what I earn working. Therefore, having an additional income will be very welcome. Our plans include letting out small holiday apartments and cabins for tourists and travelers. The first step towards this is this building, which will have two apartments for guests.
It is our ambition to have the building finished before next summer. We hope to be able to rent out the two studio apartments on the second floor. I have plans for the interior that I’m really looking forward to constructing. I will tell you more about it here, so please click the subscribe button on YouTube to make sure you don’t miss out on anything.
And, we will appreciate comments as well as advice.