Building a house in Sweden on a Tight Budget
Leaving behind a complex, hectic lifestyle and going back to the basics of living is the dream of many. My dream came true when I built a log cabin in Sweden on a piece of pristine property where the air is clean, water crystal clear, and incredible trout fishing just minutes away. The important part of my dream was to build this log cabin with family and only a few basic hand tools. I found a manufacturer that could deliver a milled log home package for a reasonable price, not an easy feat with the euro these days. We were on a tight budget and time constraint since we were stationed in Germany and only had three weeks of leave saved up from the military to build the house before we had to get back at work.
The house is 800 square feet situated on a two acre lot on an island off the coast of Sweden. The house is oriented to take maximum advantage of the long Swedish summer days. The house is energy efficient with its 6 inch timber walls and additional 5 inches of insulation wrapped with a plastic membrane then covered with 1 inch wood paneling. The roof/floors have 7.5 inches of insulation and the windows are triple glazed and extremely energy efficient. The house is cozy with its two bedrooms, bathroom, a loft and a well- planned open living area that accommodates the whole family.
There were many challenges building this house. For example; since we had a tight budget I acted as the builder and made all the coordination’s in Swedish for building permits, scheduling subcontractors to do the foundation, HVAC and electrical system. Another challenge was the distance from our base in Germany to our house in Sweden. The distance to Sweden is approximately 1000 miles, but we saved a lot of time driving there on the Autobahn since it has no speed limit.
The house has been very popular in my Swedish community because of its utilization of building material, resources, energy efficiency, quick assembly and design.
South side of house
View from loft
Exposed beams in the open living area