Taimi Sihvonen’s new house is being erected in a place where she has spent half of her life. In a sea of traditional wooden houses in Heinola, Finland, a representative of modern construction is taking shape with its garden sauna and greenhouse.
- This is where the old house still stood in April. Before it was torn down we recovered everything that could be reused, from the kitchen to the doors and windows. At the demolition stage all we had left was the roof and walls, Taimi Sihvonen tells us on the edge of her property and the site of her childhood home.
The old wooden house had been built in the early 1950s and had last been renovated two decades ago. According to Taimi, it would have required such an extensive renovation that starting from scratch began to sound like a tempting idea.
- I already made the decision to build a new house five years ago. I also booked a familiar construction company two summers ago because their schedule was full for the whole of last summer, says Sihvonen.
Taimi, who functions as Financial Director for Finnish Fibreboard Ltd, will be moving into the house with her 13-year-old daughter. The nearly 2,000-square-metre property will feature a 130-square-metre, one-and-a-half storey wooden house with a combined car shelter and garden sauna as well as a combined garden shed and storage building.
Taimi will build a greenhouse at the back of the property where she plans to grow tomatoes, cucumber and other edible delicacies. A small root cellar will be constructed underneath the sauna where Taimi will store the produce from her greenhouse.
- Our old house also had a wood-burning sauna so I wanted one for the new house in addition to the electric one inside. Otherwise the house is a pretty typical family home. We’ve already designed quite a bit of the interior as well. After all we’ve had time to think about it. I’ve had interior designer Susanna Halla’s expert help, Taimi explains.
Taimi decided to ask Herrala Houses for a quote based on a recommendation from the architect who designed her house, Tiina Pyykkö.
- I did think before the tendering process that it would be nice to find a house supplier so close by in Vierumäki. It was great to notice that after viewing the tenders from various suppliers, Herrala Houses turned out to be the winner, Taimi enthuses.
In May Taimi’s house project was well under way. The foundations were laid quickly and will be on schedule to be finished the week before Midsummer’s when it is time for the pre-fabricated house to be delivered.
- We don’t have a specific date set but we were hoping that we could move into our new home next spring in time for Easter, Taimi says.
She and her daughter are presently renting a home around half a kilometre from their new house. Taimi says she visits the building site daily.
- I’m probably here so much that the workmen will be happy to see the back of me, but I try to stay out of everyone’s way, she laughs.