Building our house, part 3
Slovenia has a different way of building houses than in the Netherlands. Here, they use large, red blocks with openings in them. At the corners of the house, other stones are used that are almost completely hollow and which are then filled with rebar and cement. The insulation is placed on the outside of the house and consists of a special polystyrene foam of about 10 centimeters thick that is glued to the stones. Then it is smeared off and for a final coat, a color of paint is applied. Because this isolation is placed on the outside and costs quite a lot of money, you often see that people move into the house before the outside, the so-called »Fasade«, is finished. Because inside the house is all ready and while the lack of insulation is noticeable in the heating costs, it has no influence on living in the house. We have done it this way as well and still, after 9 years, we have no fasade against the house. This makes the outside look as if we are living on a construction site and that sometimes bothers me. But once you live in your house, there are always other things more important to use your money on than the fasade, because it simply is not “necessary”. I have heard that the government is in the process of making a law that prohibits you from moving into your house before the fasade is on, but to what extent that is correct and what that would mean for us, I do not know. We will wait and see and for the time being, we just enjoy living in our house ;).
As mentioned, the masonry went quite quickly and all walls were erected in no time. Then of course we also needed a roof. Our roof construction consists entirely of wood that we ordered ourselves and which was then cut to size by a seasoned »roofer«. This man was 60 years old then and very strong. And handy with a chainsaw! The ends of the roof beams that would remain visible were cut freehand by him, with the chainsaw, into a nice motif. Incredible how he did that! All beams were then lifted with the help of a neighbor and his excavator, after which the roofer, Bine and some neighbors walked with them over the walls to put them in place. The entire roof construction was completed in 1 week! In the Netherlands a flag is set up when the highest point is reached …… here they put a »Christmas tree« on top :). Bine climbed up with the small tree and »planted« it on top of the roof.
After the tiles had been put back on, the walls of the upper floor still had to be bricked. I’m still grateful that it went well because good heavens, how Bine did that … It’s a good thing that no health and safety service or something like that came by, haha. The lower beams of the roof construction, which are now visible in the ceiling, are 90 centimeters apart. There was no ceiling yet, so there was nothing between the beams. Bine had put some planks over it and walked with stones and wheelbarrows of cement over the beams. Small wonder he didn’t fall down in all this time. On the outside, he had made a kind of “bridge” to the second floor, that he used to push the full wheelbarrows of cement up to the second floor. He couldn’t just walk up the bridge because of the weight so he had to push the heavy wheelbarrow up running! What a job that man has done in those three years!
Once all the exterior walls were in place, the doors and windows could be put in, and then the finishing inside began, which took another 2 years. The sealing of the walls, the ceiling, finishing floors, building interior walls upstairs for the bedrooms, installing electricity, tiling bathroom and toilet, etc., etc .. Every time it was such a great feeling when another job was done and we were a bit closer. Slowly but surely it became a real house and the end was in sight.
How happy we were when we finally moved into our house in December 2011! It was also the first time for us that we owned our own house because until then we had always rented. But the fact that we actually built it (Bine) and furnished it (me) ourselves, makes it really special for us. We really enjoy our house and garden every day and are very grateful that we were able to achieve this with all the great help we had.