Chapter 1: New Beginning
when it comes to demolishing a house, it can almost feel like we’re removing old memories. What I’ve learned though is that the opposite is true:We are in fact writing the next chapter of it’s story. Our new home will be the next chapter in, not only the house’s story, but ours too
Whether you’re a regular visitor to my blog, or this is your first time here – you may have noticed that I love to travel. Exploring new places, experiencing different cultures, trying new flavours is a pursuit that is very close to my heart. I feel so fortunate to have been able to have the experiences I’ve had and part of my passion for sharing my adventures in travel is to help and inspire people to do the same.
However, despite all my adventures and desire for more, I always look forward to coming home. I think that’s one thing we can all agree on – we’re all looking for somewhere to call home. As we grow up, we dream of owning a house, making it our own, and sharing it with our loved ones.
This, amongst other things, has driven my husband and I to find a place of our own. The construction diary is the story of how we are making our dream home a reality. So, let’s start the beginning with our house hunt.
For many couples, this is an exhaustive Goldilocks-like exercise in compromise trying to find a house that’s “just right“. Unfortunately, though, the stakes of this search are slightly higher than simply finding a bowl of porridge. After many discussions, and many hours looking at houses, we decided that instead of trying to find our perfect bowl of porridge and hoping to get lucky, we’d just make our own.
This is how we decided to build our own. We wanted to be close to my in-laws, so we began to search the nearby areas of Saxony. Almost by accident, we came across an amazing property. A close friend of ours (who will be our soon to be neighbour) told us that their neighbour was planning to sell his house, so my father in law went their ASAP and we sent an offer within a week after. It was a beautiful, monumental property that was in dire need of some love and care. We were able to look past its age though and see the potential of our future home.
Just to clarify, the term “cultural heritage” or “denkmalschutz” as what they call it here in Germany, refers to a type of property. In this case, it’s historic and protected, which means you can’t simply just come in swinging a hammer and drafting up plans. These homes capture the history of Germany in architecture, so, there are governing bodies that approve what can and can’t be done to these properties.
Given the deciding power of the Cultural Heritage authority, we weren’t able to decide whether to demolish or renovate the property on our own. In an odd stroke of good luck, however, the house collapsed over winter. Due to the danger this situation presented to the wider neighbourhood, we were able to demolish the house and build a new one.
There was a condition, however; the new build must be based on the original shape and style of traditional Fachwerk timber framing. Fortunately for us, however, this worked out because a renovation was going to cost a fortune – even more than demolishing the property!
Now, we’re simply waiting for the construction permit before we can proceed. Demolishing a house brings about some strange feelings. The new beginning and the clean canvas presents a very exciting opportunity to express ourselves and build our dream home whilst incorporating the classic features of the old house
At the same time, it almost feels strange. Even though we’ve never lived in the house, it was once someone’s home. Someone grew up here, slept here, laughed, cried, and made lifelong memories in this house. These moments leave an imprint, which means when it comes to demolishing a house, it can almost feel like we’re removing these memories.
What I’ve learned though is that the opposite is true. We are in fact writing the next chapter of it’s story. Our new home will be the next chapter in, not only the house’s story, but ours too – which is the most exciting part. The planning, the expenses, the stress, will all lead to my husband and I creating our home.
The demolition process has been one of some stress and anxiety, but mostly excitement. I’ve learned that sometimes have to be torn down to make way to better things, and that isn’t always a bad thing. In this instance, it’s an amazing opportunity.
What comes next though is the hard part – building our new home! Stay tuned for chapter two, to see how we get on!
Please stay tuned and join us in our journey to fulfilling our dream home! In the meantime, you could check the rest of my blog for some more interesting articles HERE.
Thank you for reading! Please let me know in the comments section your house hunt, construction experiences. I will be glad to read and know your experiences!