Friday, March 23, 2007

We're in!

We moved in on Tuesday.

Five words summarises the whole thing, but as always the story was a bit more complicated than that.

You should know is that during the first official days of spring we were inundated with a full winter's worth of snow. The flakes started to descend on us on Monday evening, as we finalised the packing, then intensified during the night. By Tuesday morning, there was a respectable blanket covering most of Switzerland.


Still, could have been worse. Oh hang on, it was worse. Because our old house is at a far lower alititude than the new one, (by about 300 metres, or a thousand feet), so if it was inconvenient at one end, it was going to be a bloody nightmare at the other. Lots of worried glances out of the window on Monday night and Tuesday morning. Lots of mental plans to defer the move a day or so, or to at least figure out where I could steal a snowplough. Or a husky.

Only... it seemed to go alright.

The chaps turned up about an hour late ("Snow chaos across Kanton Zurich"); filled their wagons in more or less the time they said they would; drove over to the new house; unloaded and were away before yer could say Bob's yer uncle.

By Tuesday evening the house still looked a bloody mess, boxes and unbuilt furniture everywhere, but at least our bedroom was intact enough to sleep in. Kids remained with Claudia's parents.

As we're a tad short on the curtain front, that night we had an open view from our bed out of our bedroom window (floor to ceiling, if you recall) right across the rolling farmlands. Fluffy snow lay everywhere, and the weather cleared enough so that the visibility was crystal. The few farm houses out there were still lit up, presumably as them Swiss country folks were still feeding their goats or something. Each light gave a glow to the surrounding snow. Little pools of light.



ray said...

Hi Ric, Sounds like you gave the famed Huf heating & insulation a good trial. Was it up to expectations?

Bearing in mind the acres of stainlees steel in your kitchen. Here's a great tip, if you haven't tried it already. Johnsons Baby oil(or possibly the Swiss equivalent)is great for covering all those finger marks you will very quickly collect (Yours and the kids). I use it in my kitchen. Used sparingly it's Magic! Makes cleaning so easy cos it washes of so easily!

Good luck with the rest of the move.
Piccies asap please.
Regards Ray Page

Ric Capucho said...

Hi Ray,

Yer actual fact collection of big humming heating units in the keller is actually provided by a Swiss company called Gruenenwald, although the various underfloor pipes, insultation, etc etc etc are 100% kosher Huf Haus. The system's one of these warm air pump units which (I think) sucks energy from any heat gradient betwixt inside and outside. No problems so far, although I need to start the looooooooong task of balancing and rebalancing the various valves until I get it just so.

Shall ask Frau Capucho to test yer baby oil tip. She's already a bit worried about keeping the stainless steel work tops free of finger prints. She had me wiping away droplets of water this morning, which wasn't quite the future I has in mind. Shall cooperate for a few more days before sliding into apathy.

Never mind, it's the kitchen of our dreams. Methinks any prospective 3-axis buyer should take a long hard look at the grey show house at Hartenfels. Put us in the right direction.


Chris said...

Hello Ric.

We've been following your Huf Haus project from its early days and are happy that you and your family now have the house of your dreams. Our regret is that we have let so many years pass before actually doing something to realize ours so late in life !

My wife & I first came across Huf Haus five or so years ago, with our first visit to Hartenfels at that time.

Upon our latest visit, we both immediately fell for the grey house - so much so that we are now intent on more or less replicating it - with the possible exception of a keller.

Your blog has proved to be a mine of useful information for which we thank you.

Lucy & Chris Ramsden

Ric Capucho said...

Hi Chris,

Sorry for the delayed answer - this blog software doesn't do such a good job of alerting me when there are new comments...

Anyways, I'm not surprised you liked the grey house - of all the show homes at Hartenfels, it's easily the one that's the closest to yer typical Huf Haus. All the rest are great, don't get me wrong - but are radical variations on the standard shapes and sizes that the vast majority of people end up building in practice. As stated ad nauseum, the grey house is a 3.30.09 with just a few lightish mods - mainly a change to the position of one of the lateral beams to allow that cooking island downstairs, and, if I remember right, an en suite bathroom upstairs.

We likewise asked for this mod, 'cos we liked the kitchen concept, but skipped the changes to the upstairs 'cos we wanted three equal sized bedrooms.

Last point: I can understand why yer might want to skip that Keller: most of Britain lives a perfectly normal and healthy life without a cellar - therefore save the dosh eh? However, having lived in our own house for about nine months, all I can say is that the open plan nature of yer Huf Haus means that details such an utility room would be very 'visible' unless it was stuffed down in the cellar.

Ergo: I'd strongly recommend that Keller anyway to (a) hide away yer central heating boiler gubbins and (b) ditto yer washer/drier and (c) give yer somewhere to stack yer wine, junk and dungeon tools and (d) leave available the maximum possible ground floor space for fun and frolics.