The Search

We began our search in Unterensingen, where we now live. In a flood threatened area of town the prices range around €370/qm. That is equivalent to $620.00/11 sq.ft. The typical large lot size is about 5,000 sq. ft. If you consider that a small house in Canada has around 1200 sq. ft. then you have one quarter of the lot for the house and three quarters for the yard. Following the math along then this small lot will cost roughly $280,000.00. The cost of the building lots may be equivalent to the prices of lots in downtown Toronto. The prices are very high and make it almost impossible for young families to build here.

Expanding our search area we found our lot in Großbettlingen. This town of 4,000+ occupants is a short distance on the other side of Nürtingen from where we now live. A nice new sub-division has been started there with many young families. Sales of the lots has slowed and the prices have dropped which fit into our plans. The pictures that follow will show you our new location and the significant changes to our lot and house in general.

We recommend that anyone purchasing a lot here in Germany should check into the specifications given for the lot. In a subdivision like ours there is likely a very detailed specification that will help you to decide what you could build on a lot.

Once purchased a short visit to the building inspector or town official responsible for this may save some frustration with the application process for your house plans. I found Mr. Zanger here in Großbettlingen quite reasonable and helpful.

The Find

Pic Architects At WorkOur Architects At Work

Well you can't really see the lot well but that didn't hold our architects back from creating some great floor plans. No particular plan has been 100% adopted and untill the roof is on the house walls may be moved or added. The L-shape of the house has provided for some interesting challenges. Our thanks to Claudia, Frank, Christin and Frank for hints and drawings.

Pic of LotHere it is, without snow

This is our lot. From the road you can see that we have an open backyard. In the backyard we have already got a playground for the boys.

Heidrun and The Boys

Yes, it is time to start. No more snow here and the ground has started to dry. The bush starts behind the side-road behind the wall. Hiking, walking, inlining and mountain-biking can start directly from our house.

Looking to the South

We have a relativily open view to the south. More lots can be seen along the wall but they will not be close enough to the wall or high enough to block much of the view you can see in this picture.

Looking to the West

Looking to the west we have another fairly open view. Our lot is on a corner so the evening setting sun should often reach our house. Jascha is working on loosing his training wheels so maybe soon he will start his off-road adventures.

Looking to the North

It is difficult to see but from our lot the ground slopes down to the first row of evergreens. Here there is a small creek running and a favorite spot for the young kids in the sub-division. A couple of wagon loads of the fresh sand I shovelled was immediately loaded and taken to the creek by the neighbourhood kids. Jascha and Levion will have many friends here.

March 21, 2009

Pic of drains at roadCanadian Shovel Clears Way

Well the logger boy has started to awaken those long sleeping muscles. Some of our neighbours have asked if I will be giving the hoe (excavator) competition. No, we will not be doing a modern day Paul Bunyan thing with a shovel!

Since we have to wait now for some of the paper work to be finished I shovelled out all of the areas that will be hard to get at with the big hoe. Now it will be clear sailing now for the hoe. I have met a very nice gentleman here that owns a construction company. He was recently in the Toronto area visiting friends. He has offered me his Komatsu hoe to rent to dig out our basement. This fits very well with our plans of building our own house. Even if the machine is as old as my Drott 35 it will be fun to dig out our basement.

Pic of Cleaned Up LotLot Cleaned Up

We gave the lot a face-lift before we start making a mess. Many of the old weeds, old scraps from other building sites and several large stones are now piled in the middle which will disappear in the dump trucks. Yes, it is not such a simple matter as scattering the ground around the house as in Canada. The largest percentage of the cost of digging the basement will be the charges at the landfill site for dumping the extra dirt.

Pic of surveyorFirst Measurement of Lot

Today the lot was measured. The geographical information provided from the town was checked with the existing measuring points at the lot. Then a detailed contour of the lot was measured in order for the architect to be able to place the house in the best position. Once the house is placed then the surveyor will come back and layout the exact position of the house. He will then be able to tell us how much material we will have to truck away. The organization and costs of these measurements are taken care of by the Ytong Do-It-Yourself company.

April 04, 2009

Pic Staked LotHouse Corners Staked

The surveyor marked the corners of the house. From here it is up to us to dig out the basement leaving room for working on the outside of the walls. In the basement hole, measurements will be done again to precisely locate the footings and house walls. Frank and Kevin consider the option of having stairs into the basement from the back of the house.