Monday, April 9, 2012

Room Painting

In July, before we had the floors installed, we painted a wall in the kids rooms.  The rooms aren't huge, so we'd decided that one wall of color would be enough and we chose to paint the lowest wall where the ceiling starts at 1.60 m.

Despite the prospect of a brand new house, the kids had a hard time dealing with the whole move. All throughout the process we tried to find ways to make the whole situation easier and more appealing. One thing we'd promised from the beginning was that they could choose the color they'd like to have in their rooms. We spent a lot of time collecting paint chip cards and debating colors, but when it came down to it, both Chiara and Devin went for their favorite colors. And not the pastel versions of those colors, as you will see below. Hot pink and bright orange were duly purchased and we got to work.

After we'd taped everything off, we got to work and the kids had their first graffiti experiences. I know the colors look pretty bright, but in real life they aren't quite so bad...really.

Oh, and if anyone was wondering about Finley's room, he was away at that point. We had still planned to do his room, but he still hasn't decided on a color and I think he is actually enjoying the plain white. 


Throughout the months of May, June, and July 2011, work on the inside of the house progressed. Sometimes it felt like the work was flying, but very often it felt like it was dragging. 

We were so worried that the work wouldn't all be done in time for our move, and we had to be out of our other house by the end of September. 

The pictures below show some of the progress that took place. The funny snake-like things are the in-floor heating tubes. 

After the Scaffolding

When the scaffolding finally came down in June, we were able to really see the house for the first time. The lower half of the house hadn't been painted at this point and the garage still had to be delivered. It was still all very exciting. We spent most of the summer visiting daily to check on the progress on the inside of the house.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Day the House Went Up

After a very long break, I am back with a new computer and trying to catch up on the photos from the house build. This post will be very photo heavy, so get ready. The day the before the house arrived, the company came and put up a frame within which they planned to work. Four large trucks also arrived, with all of the main pieces of the house. 

There was a large crane to lift the pieces off the backs of the trucks.

The building plan....

The first piece was an end piece and was lifted up and over the scaffolding frame and lowered down onto the foundation. (next picture)

The piece was propped up while the other end piece was lowered to the other side...

...and then the third piece was lowered into place and they were screwed together with huge screws. 

All of this was done in a matter of about 45 minutes. Here comes the fourth piece.

The windows were then all opened and the first floor was put into place.

The next few pictures show the second floor being set up. 

Kind of the Mountain, Devin. We have a lot of these, since the mounds of dirt in back of the house were just too tempting.

By late afternoon the roof was on and half of the tiles had been done on the far side of the house. This is after ONE day! It was incredible.

The final photo shows our front door at the end of the first day.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Art in the forest

This spring the children in the local school and local artists created an outdoor exhibition in the forest near our village. We took a walk on my birthday to go and admire some of the work.

A view of the village from above in the vineyards.

In the forest we came across a whole flock of felted geese. These were the project that Chiara's class had worked on. They will stay in the forest until November. We will have to go back in a couple of months to see how they have weathered all of the rain.

The Foundation

Well, actually the plot looked like the photo below when Mr. Aerni was finished. All ready for the foundation to be added. We won't have a cellar, the water level in the area is too high and it was way out of our budget.

Laying the foundation.

All ready for the house to be delivered.....
King of the mountain!

The next step, clearing the plot.

In March it was finally time to break ground on our piece of land. I was in states visiting with family, so it was left to Diego and the kids to make their mark. Diego took a shovel intending to let the kids each dig a bit. However, when they arrived, Mr. Aerni, in charge of our earth moving, had other plans. He asked Diego what he planned do with "that thing" (the shovel) and then invited the kids to each have a go in the digger. It was a hit and Devin added "Baumeister" (builder) to his list of future jobs.

Devin at work!

Finley gets a turn.

Girl power!
Yeah, for a job well started!
After the kids had had their turns Mr. Aerni got to work and soon the plot looked like this....

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Christmas Day in April - Still catching up!

Between September and December not a lot happened with the house. We waited impatiently for our building permit and visited the production factory in Germany to pick out all of the bits and pieces that would be part of the house.

Over Christmas we had a great snow storm. Christmas day we decided to have a walk up the hill. It was a great chance to see our plot from above and of course to enjoy the sun and snow. After a good walk up, the kids zoomed down on their sleds.

From above we could look down on our plot and see that in the winter we won't be getting a lot of sun. Oh well, a good reason to get out of the house and up the hill to where the sun is, right? The arrow shows our plot.

Catching up

Ok, it has taken a bit of time to get this post off the ground. We waited such a long time for the building permit to come through and then, boom, everything started happening pretty quickly. I have a back-log of photos, so bear with me while I get things up to speed around here.

In Switzerland, before a building permit is granted you have to put up a "profile" of the proposed building. This is so the neighbors can get an idea of what is going up around them and have the chance to put in any objections. The photos below show the profile of our proposed house (taken September 2010). Luckily for us no one objected!

With a view of the vineyards in the background.

Standing on the other side with a view of the hill.

Our village is pretty rural and the piece of land that we are building on is surrounded by empty plots. Well, almost empty. Our most direct neighbors can be seen below.

Nice Brown Swiss cows.

So, now I am off to edit the rest of the photos from the last seven months, because believe it or not, the house is now standing and you won't believe how fast it went up!