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Scandinavian House ???

by Steen Laursen last modified Mar 10, 2014 05:47 AM
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Scandinavian House ???

Posted by Steen Laursen at December 03. 2004


My wife and I just moved to the Philadelphia area. My wife is from Pennsylvania and I am from Denmark (the little country on top of Germany).

I have a dream of building a Scandinavian style house in the Phildelphia area. But I have several concerns, which you guys might help me with.

First of all, what areas are good around Delaware Valley? I am looking at a $400-500K in total (lot + construction)?

Second, most houses in Denmark are solid brick on the outer walls (often both interior and exterior). They are normally have tile roofing and right now it is very popular with black glaced tile roofs. Also, most houses has a lot of windows which allow the light to shine in. Kitchens mostly has real tile floors and bathrooms as well. Toilet are hanging on the walls, which make cleaning very easy since the toilet is not touching the floor. All rooms has radiate floor heating with wireless thermostate. Many new houses come with intelligent light control and electricity control which among other makes it possible to re-program light switches, have the switch at the entrance door shutoff all the light in the entire house, and at entrace turn on preprogrammed light.

My concern is if this is something that would have any real estate value around Delaware Valley. What goes in Europe does not neccessarly go in the US. We all have different preferences. So, what do you guys think. I have attached some pictures which shows an idea of what I want to build.

Please also visit these link for pictures

(Intelligent house)


Scandinavian House in Delaware Valley

Posted by Gregory La Vardera at December 03. 2004


For a location you will have to either seek advice of family and friends, or solicit a real estate agent who can guide you through the various regions. You might not find somebody that knows the whole region - you might need to work with several people. It is a tough decision and there are so many things to consider when choosing a place to live.

I like your idea to build a Scandinavian house. All the things you mention are possible, however the method of building in the states is very different from europe. European houses are built to last hundreds of years, american houses are built to get through the warrantee period. You can do everything you have mentioned, but most of it would be considered an expensive way to build. Never the less I would encourage you to pursue it. If you are willing to trade off size for quality then you can pursue some of these goals.

Solid masonry walls are great as it mediates the temperature of the house during our hot summers, and has some thermal momentum during the winter. An insulated cavity wall would be the most appropriate approach. There was a time when houses were built this way in the region!

Tile roofing is rare but you see it on some older houses. Corrugated cement panels may also be a good choice as I think they will be much less and give a similar appearance.

Radiant floor heating is becoming more popular here, and I'm sure you can get a thermostat with a wireless control! Programable house systems are also available if not widely popular.

This kind of house may not be very common, not because it is undesirable, but because it is not the kind of house that builders will make speculatively. Houses are valued by comparison to other houses in the neighborhood so anytime you deviate you make the value of your house uncertain. If you were going to build something and live there for a long time then I would not worry about it!

I really like the project you described, but I don't like the house in the link that you posted. If you dropped some of the historical detail you see on that house the money you saved could be spent to get the nice features you described above. Think about a simple modern house with the features you want.


Re: Scandinavian House in Delaware Valley

Posted by Steen Laursen at December 04. 2004

Thanks for you input. I really appreciated it.

Re: Scandinavian House ???

Posted by Gregory La Vardera at December 04. 2004

You are welcome. I grabbed the image off a web site of an Irish prefabber that makes Scandanavian style houses. Its not very exciting but it is simple.

Some questions regarding a place to live - do you have children and will you be evaluating the public school systems? Do you prefer to live in a rural area or a place with a small town? I know the NJ suburbs better because I am over here but there tends to be this layering of communities. Very close to Philadelphia you have older traditional towns that are nice or bouncing back - Haddonfield, Collingswood, Merchanville; as you move out you have more mature suburbs from the 50s and 60s like Cherry Hill, Cinaminson, Delran although these places don't have urban downtowns; going even further out you have newer suburbs from the 70s to the present many of which are still growing, like Mt. Laurel, and Vorhees which are generally a suburban nightmare! Beyond those you are pretty far away but can then find less developed areas. Mixed in with the outlying suburbs now are places that are old and were there first, and now are overcome with suburban development like Moorestown, Marlton, and Medford.

I imagine a similar pattern exists in Pennsylvania.

Re: Scandinavian House ???

Posted by kurt bonk at December 19. 2004

Boy If you can find that great, I am in Northern Liberties and the boxes they are constructing for 400-500K are nothing like what you want. Contractors here wont know what you are talking about. I am trying to do the same, construction methods here (states) are way behind, and Philadelphia is even farther behind. very little progressive thinking here, but things are changing slowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwly, might need to get a cargo container and ship over the stuff you want and have it installed in a shell here.

PS I love this company, there products are great.
Cant get anything but the pex tube here
are they the one with the intelligent house?
best of luck

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