Oct 182010
 

A Finnish log house manufacturer was declared bankrupt about two weeks ago. Restructuring efforts failed and all their assets are going to be liquidated and sold to highest bidder or bidders. They will not make any deliveries for orders that have not been fullfilled yet.

WHAT ABOUT THE CUSTOMER?

This question usually asked in the privacy of a home. Unfortunately clients are on the bottom of the chain what comes to returning any money, which is owed to them. This means that what ever money client has pre-paid is very unlikely that any of it is paid back. Show me the money.

It is probably needless to point out that the unexpected loss of the house manufacturer also means a serious dent into the construction schedule. In a situation such as that one is bound to pay more attention to double checking the background of the supplier so expect slow progress. Give me a minute.

WHAT TO DO NOW?

Every builder has checked at least two manufacturers while shopping the supplier. Now it is time to continue the project with the company that came second. Good luck.

Oct 052010
 

D-LOG MANUFACTURING IS RARE IN FINLAND

First thing about the D-log is that in Finland this style of log has very limited market and it is almost solely made to export markets. Consequently this means that production volumes compared to round or planed or laminated logs are very small. This tends to keep the D-log profile prices higher than other profiles. What about the companies that do manufacture D-logs…

FINNISH COMPANIES THAT MANUFACTURE D-LOGS

Honkatalot has D-log in their product slate. From this crew of three I would lift Honkatalot as the most profilic manufacturer with reasonably big turnover. They have very extensive product slate and very wide sales network. This is also their achilles heel as the company doesn’t have all the necessary resources to keep all the product lines going constantly. Nothing wrong with that, but when you over extend your reach there is a real danger that you are not able to reach full potential. This fact is the same for people and companies alike. Honkatalot has a long and winding history with different ownership arrangements, but now their situation seems to be relatively stable.

Ikihirsi is one of the companies that manufactures D-logs. I don’t know much about this company, but they do have factory and relatively large output. Recent years their turnover has been few million euros. They have a lot of complexity with the products that they manufacture, so it might be a good alternative.

Honkamajat is a new addition to the list. I got a comment from them in November 2010 confirming the fact that they provide D-logs. This information cannot be found on their website. Check the comments to find their remarks.

Oct 012010
 

This post is to answer a question recently left to the site over at the post called In English. There Tore asks information about Aurora House, which is also known as Revontulitalot Ltd. Also he is interested to know whether there are other D-log manufacturers in Finland. Since this is a pretty open question I try to tackle it with two separate answers first to the Revontulitalot Oy…

IT ALL STARTED FROM A COMPANY CALLED THE PELLOPUU

Pellopuu was started as a family company way back in 1952 to manufacture and sell wooden products. It took tens of years before the company had any significant growth but in the end they managed to grow up into a sizeable log house manufacturer. However the company fell into a financial trouble and eventially into a bankruptcy in 1999. After several different developments the Pellopuu is now part of Armas Kristo company and sells log houses under the name of Lapin Punahonka.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ORIGINAL OWNERS OF THE PELLOPUU?

LP House was started by one of the owning brothers of the Pellopuu company. There was quite a bit of commotion involving the bankruptcy and the brothers who used to own the company. In the end the brothers were cleared of any wrong-doing. However the damage had been done and the LP House name had a bad ring to it already. Therefore the shift into a Revontulitalot Oy to obtain a clean slate.

REVONTULITALOT OY

Nothing special about this company. To my understanding they have no actual manufacturing instead they subcontract the log frame and other wooden material for their deliveries. This gives them extraordinary flexibility in the manner of delivery contents. They have managed to ramp up their turnover in few short years… Anyway, this is my understanding of the situation, if you want to know more, visit their location and find out more. Be sure to tell us too…

Aug 052010
 

BACKGROUND FOR BUYING A TIMBER FRAME HOUSE FROM FINLAND
Building massive timber frame houses has a long history. Wood was readily available in many areas as well as skilled wood workers. In time this meant that standard building and connection methods were developed in the field of timber framing. Different areas had also specific styles for timber frame houses for example German timber frame houses look quite different when compared to ones in Great Britain, all the while the building principles are the same.

Timber Frame Viking barn roof and ceiling from inside.

Massive timber frame structure remains visible from inside giving a strong character to the building.

TIMBER FRAME TODAY
Today the situation is considerably different. Conservation efforts and environmentalism set strict ground rules for forestry and the price for skilled wood workers has soared, because of limited availability of professionals. For these reasons automated and computer guided manufacturing has been combined with advanced digital planning. These methods mean that one can automatically manufacture a very complex timber frame house design with a push of a button. Computer assisted 3-D designing minimises the material usage by optimising the customer wishes and structural requirements while making it easy for the customer to take part into the process with the help of 3-D models.

TIMBER FRAME STYLE
Timber frame houses are very flexible with additional building methods, styles and materials. You can fit your timber frame house into an urban environment among tile clad buildings and nobody could tell the difference from outside if you would use similar tiles as the exterior material for your house. Inside style doesn’t have to follow the outside, instead it can be drastically different and include oriental style or you can keep the massive timber frames visible and add to the rustic look or maybe you would like to aim that famous Scandinavian Design style… possibilities are limited only by imagination.

INITIAL CONSULTING
Buying a timber frame house from Finland is very easy. Just send us your architect drawings or your own ideas and we take it from there. First we consult you about your specific wishes for your timber frame house and general requirements for the project so that we are able to give you overall guidance and tips about the project. Then we will together agree about the next step. Initial consulting is just the first step down the long road of house building process. We will continue by giving you approximate costs for the coming project and related time tables. At this point you will have the information for deciding if you want to continue with the project or not.

PLANNING CONTRACT
If you, like many others, decide that you want to move forward with your house order then we will sign a planning contract for custom designing your timber frame house. We do this because our accurate 3-D design process has to be done down to manufacturing detail level from the first line drawn. Unlike normal architectural designing – which is merely a guidance for builders or manufacturers – our plans can be manufactured for delivery immediately after the client has approved them. If for some reason you don’t want to continue with us we will give the finished drawings for you to continue the project with someone else.

PLANNING PROCESS
We can design a beautiful house for you no matter your starting point. The process runs in cycles as we hand you over the various versions for the outside look and the floor plan of the house. Every cycle will show you the house with more detail and closer to your dream house. Drawings will be modified according your requests and slowly the finished plans are ready for your building license applications and for our manufacturing process.

ORGANIC MATERIAL, TRADITIONAL METHODS AND MODERN MANUFACTURING
Wood in general is one of the most convenient building materials and probably the best organic building material in the world. Wood is light weight and strong and it also has a long history as a building material so it is familiar to most builders. When wood is combined with timber framing, which is among the oldest building systems, you can rest assured that the starting point for your project is very favorable. When

WOOD AS A RAW MATERIAL
Wood grows in layers and there is air tied in between these layers, which makes even structural wood a natural insulation material. When compared to modern industrial materials like steel and concrete wood has a superior insulating value and this doesn’t yet include the thermal mass of the wood. Because of its mass, wood is able to store and release heat and humidity together these qualities transform massive timber frame into a battery, which stores extra energy and releases it when needed.

Timber frame support post and beam structure.

Massive timber frame wood will have visible cracks on its surface due to the drying. Engineered wood will retain the smoothness through the years giving uncomparable style and quality.

ENGINEERED WOOD
The kiln-dried and glue-laminated wood that we manufacture to be used as raw material for the massive timber frame houses has even better structural properties than normal wood. Glue-laminated and kiln-dried wood doesn’t crack or bend as much as normal wood does and the frame has a cleaner look plus it withstands elements better. The glue, which is used in the process is environmentally safe as it has been made from lignins that are extracted from trees.

OUR TIMBER FRAME DIMENSIONS
We offer several dimension specifications for our timber frames, but normally we offer three choice of sizes 134x134mm, 164x164mm and 200x200mm. In case such a dimension is not enough from structural point of view, we have the technology to manufacture glue-laminated beams that are over 500mm high and can carry enormous loads.

INDUSTRIAL MANUFACTURING
We use fully automated manufacturing line that comprises of several wood processing units. We can produce the timber frame pieces for a large house in a day while similar house could take months to finish by a team of timber frame hand-crafters. All of the mortise and tenon cuts are placed accurately according the original 3-D design and cutting quality remains the same throughout the frame. The most important work left for human eyes and hands is the quality control.

TIMBER FRAME SYSTEM
Timber frame systems uses mortise and tenon connections to fix together uniquely shaped timber pieces. Our system follows this tradition and no metal pegs, plates or locks are used. Instead we use machine cut joinery in every single piece. The overall frame is designed for by using our standard pre-cuts, which ensures that there are no mistakes with the joinery. This means that after you receive the timber frame kit you are able to raise it quickly piece by piece just following our detailed installation map.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Environmental values and energy conservation have become increasingly important topics in housing industry. Massive timber frame houses are both very energy efficient and environmentally friendly. It is obvious that since wood grows on its own it doesn’t need much energy input to be a ready product not so with steel and concrete as well as many other building materials. An added benefit with massive wood is that it functions as a carbon dioxide storage for the time of use and can be easily recycled in the end of the life cycle, which can be even hundreds of years. You are not only building a timber frame house for yourself, you are saving the planet for all of us.

ENERGY EFFICIENT MATERIALS
Timber frame system is very flexible what comes to the materials, which are used with it. This means that you can make your house to a picture of modern design or alternatively you can strive for rustic country look. Despite your choice of appearance you are wise to use materials, which provide good insulation and durability.

UTILITIES
Flexibility has been mentioned many a time with timber frame. It is no different with the utilities and all the modern solutions can be used together with timber frame system. To emphasize the environmental nature of this building system it is recommended that you include heating system such as geo-thermal heat pump or solar panels for heating of water and creating electricity. Alternatively you might benefit from having a wind mill generating electricity. All the electricity, plumbing, ventilation and lighting designs that you have for your house will be taken into consideration so that the installation is convenient.

TIMBER FRAME KIT
The final question that must be settled before delivering the house is the contents of the timber frame kit delivery. We can deliver the frame only or any number of hardware store materials to go with the order. Our preference is that we provide you with the structure and you source the internal and external finishes, utilities and furnish the place when all is built and done.