A log house of dreams came true

The view from the road leading to the house. The stairs have been removed for a few days as the yard work is being finished. The plan states that the house must be a two-storey building.|

Hanna Kaurala and Mika Parkkonen were able to move into their new home at Midsummer. The couple says the building project worked out well and expectedly.

”During a house-building project, either half of the couple should be on parental leave. Or at least, the mother-in-law should be there,” says Mr. Mika Parkkonen. There are a lot of things to oversee, even though he and Ms. Hanna Kaurala got their house as a turnkey package.

The couple could move into their two-storey log house two weeks ahead of schedule. Both are happy. “We got the house we wanted to make.”

Even though they bought a turnkey package, the project took up all their available free time. Parkkonen says the project was reasonably painless. “It isn’t as if having a house built could ever be simple.”

A log house indoors. Photo: Krista Kimmo
The bolts fixing the vertical column (on right in the photo) to the logs reveal that this is a log house. The bolts can move in the metal-framed keyway and still hold the column in place. Photo: Krista Kimmo

Indoor air quality meets expectations

The couple decided to buy a log house made by Mammuttihirsi because it met their needs, looked nice, complied with the city planning requirements and was available as a turnkey package. They wanted a log house because the quality of indoor air in them is good.

After three months’ experience of living in the house, both are really happy with the indoor air quality. Also, the indoor temperature has been even. “So far, I haven’t had to open a ventilation window even once,” Kaurala says.

The log house of dreams is heated by geothermal heating. The system can also be used for cooling. Geothermal heating uses pipes filled with liquid at temperatures just above freezing, so it can be used to cool the house during the warm summer months.

Parkkonen is happy with the small extra investment. ”The cooling cost only a few tens of euros a month during the summer and the house cooled down in the evenings, even during the atypically hot weather we’ve had.”

Outdoor noises stay outdoors

Kaurala has also noticed that logs block noises well. “You cannot hear a car being parked at the front, and garbage trucks come and go unnoticed. I can hear if there are excavators working, though,” she says.

The movements of excavators are closely monitored as the yard work is being finished. The last plants brought from their previous home are waiting to be replanted.

The new home has a conservatory, which is supposed to be cooler than the rest of the house. This is the only feature causing a bit of concern, as its success is as yet untested.

”I’m not sure the designer really grasped what we wanted or that the room will stay cool enough,” Kaurala says.

Family chipped in to paint the house

The only work the couple planned to do themselves was painting the house. “Paints, brushes and the rent for the access platforms cost 2,000 euros. Buying the work would have cost around 15,000 euros”, Parkkonen says.

The couple saved money, but not time. It took 13 days for a group of 3-5 persons to paint the house and the garage.

The paints were chosen with a view to ensuring that the breathing qualities of the timber would not be lost. The outdoor paint made by Uula ages beautifully and wears well. The Osmocolor wax used indoors has been used in Finland for years and has a good reputation, Parkkonen says.

Communications expertise came in useful

Kaurala and Parkkonen wanted a turnkey house because they did not want to take time off work for the building project. They felt they could get the best value for their own time by dong their regular work.

As their first child was born in the middle of the building project, Kaurala ended up being there to check that the right trucks carrying supplies arrived at the right time.

The planning for the house started two years prior to building. The couple visited construction fairs, looked for information on the web and asked friends about their experiences. Parkkonen also attended a course for people planning to build a home.

Both are communications experts, which came in handy during the project.

”Our professional expertise consists of getting information from 15 separate sources and putting it together to form our own truth,” Parkkonen describes.

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