Nobody is surprised if you put together a bed, table or cupboard yourself. But an entire house? Linda Slots is one of the first in the Netherlands to choose such a kit. She is currently making her own home through WikiHouse. “You don’t want to know how many screws you need.”
With prices about a ton below the average, WikiHouse is targeting people who cannot or will not pay a high mortgage. And who don’t mind rolling up their sleeves. The building system, which originally comes from England, has been further perfected in recent years as the system was shared with others via open source.
With De Stripmaker in Almere Buiten, the Netherlands has now become a forerunner. “The first residents will soon be moving into their homes,” says project manager Ivar Diekerhof. “A total of 27 homes will be built, of which the first nine are now being completed. Thanks to a new system, the structures can handle a larger span. We are being looked at with great interest from abroad.”
‘Bad luck that the weather was getting worse’
Slots immediately jumped on the new possibility in 2019. Thanks to experience with a previous hull house and her work in project management, she realized that this new step also had to be manageable. After several sessions with an architect and aided by the WikiHouse manual, the real work got underway in October 2020.
“You start in a shed”, the self-builder explains. “Your house arrives as a kit, so you first put it together on the spot. After about two weeks you bring the first part to the lot. I was unlucky myself that the weather started to get worse.”
“That wood should not get wet,” says Slots. “So in the fall it was struggling. You are always protecting your house with tarpaulins, which is not easy with strong winds. And later the construction also stagnated because certain parts were missing. Fortunately my friend was able to saw used wood again. to appropriate elements. The neighbors sometimes also have something to spare. “
Friends and family help build
These are small hiccups in a project that is otherwise running smoothly. A construction supervisor and a constructor watch along, in order to be able to make adjustments so that everything meets the construction requirements. “Even my eighteen-year-old daughter was able to help,” says Slots.
“Good tools are half the battle. And you don’t want to know how many screws you need,” she says with a laugh. “I am also lucky that I have people with enough time and the right knowledge around me. I will have the roof, part of the facade and the glazing done by experts.”
Slots is especially happy with the freedom of choice. “I am one of the few who does not have a balcony. I wanted to use that space for an extra large bedroom. And my house is partly made of aluminum. I liked that look a bit more beautiful. Only light materials are used, so no bricks . ”
With triple glazing and eighteen solar panels on the roof, Slots expects a low energy bill. “I am only concerned with how I will keep everything cool in the summer,” she says. “In any case, the entire construction will soon be closed. The window frames will take a while, but then I can start on the inside. I hope to be completely ready this summer.”
By then, a second phase of WikiHouse will also start, at the same location. “I do see a future in it for the Netherlands,” says Slots. “Especially for starters, a home has become almost unaffordable. If you can make time for this, to build your own house together with family and friends. That’s great, isn’t it?”
On Sunday, the WikiHouse can be seen in a documentary by Tegenlicht on NPO2, 10.05 pm.
Source site www.nu.nl