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5 things you should think about

before building a new house

Building your own home is like a dream come true. It is a complex and demanding process that will play with your whole range of emotions. You will experience expectation, frustration, worry, confusion, vigour and creative enthusiasm. 

Building your own home is to a large extent about choices and priorities. It is not certain that absolutely all your wishes will be compatible, but you will be able to achieve many of those that are most important to you. When you have built a new house, you will have a golden opportunity to realize the solutions that will give you and your family high quality of life and enjoyment for many years to come.
Building your own home is to a large extent about choices and priorities. It is not certain that absolutely all your wishes will be compatible, but you will be able to achieve many of those that are most important to you. When you have built a new house, you will have a golden opportunity to realize the solutions that will give you and your family high quality of life and enjoyment for many years to come.
1. Location on the site
The first thing you should consider when you are going to build a house is where the building will stand on the site. In most cases, the site will set the framework for the design of the home. It is important to take full advantage of the site.Is the site in an urban environment or in the middle of the countryside? Is the terrain sloping or hilly? What about the use of space and size of the site? How does the light fall and how does the wind blow? What about neighbours, access, trees and traffic? All these conditions should be assessed before you decide where to build the house. Consider the site carefully, and think through which qualities are important for you. If the site has a view, this will often be crucial in deciding where the house should be built. Then you should think about the outlook, in other words, the experience of distance and contact with the outside. In order to get the most from the view and outlook, you can consider facades consisting mostly of windows and glass.
Glass surfaces will be extremely important in helping to maintain good lighting conditions and outlook.
Glass surfaces will be extremely important in helping to maintain good lighting conditions and outlook.
2. Outlook and natural light

Outlook has a close relationship to the lighting conditions in your home. Both outlook and natural light will affect the aesthetic experience and enjoyment of being in a room. These factors also influence both your physical and mental health. There has been a lot of research documenting how sufficient access to light, air and space affects us both physically and mentally. Glass surfaces will be extremely important in helping to maintain good lighting conditions and outlook. The options here are many and varied, and should be defined by the desired aesthetic expression and the geographical possibilities of your home. What is
essential is to find solutions that take these elements into consideration in relation to the planned use of the rooms and the needs of the residents. To maintain the outlook and natural light, there are a number of options available hat can be chosen separately or combined. Light and a sense of space, for example, can be achieved if you install several windows along a wall. It is also possible to exploit the height of the room by choosing windows that reach from the floor to the ceiling. Otherwise, sliding doors with narrow profiles will provide greater dimensions that unite both the outdoor and indoor environments.

3. Partitioning and use of rooms

How you plan for outlook and natural light should be linked to how the rooms in thehome will be used. It is usual for living rooms to be positioned so they enjoy the best conditions. Outdoor areas, such as verandas and terraces, should be positioned with both afternoon sun and access from the neighbours in mind. These are conditions that  will be decisive for the utility value of the site. Sliding doors and folding doors can be used to blur the boundary between the indoor and outdoor areas. A home that optimizes outlook and natural light will naturally consist of a lot of glass and windows. You should therefore also think about sun shades, heat and visibility. Glass is available with a sun filter that absorbs some of the dazzle. External screens deal with both dazzle and heat, while internal sun shades are a more reasonable alternative that absorbs dazzle but not heat. Decide what you need in different places around the house. A glazier can help you to make a good assessment.

A home that optimizes outlook and natural light will naturally consist of a lot of glass and windows.
A home that optimizes outlook and natural light will naturally consist of a lot of glass and windows.
4. Insulation and heat loss

Buildings account for about 40 per cent of energy emissions in Norway, which necessitates stringent requirements in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability for new buildings. In many cases, this was solved by reducing facade and window surfaces and hoosing thicker walls that provide deep window recesses. These are measures that can go beyond natural light and outlook. You should therefore prepare your home to be energy efficient and environmentally friendly, but not at the expense of the utility value. This is completely possible with a well thought-out plan and the right products. Windows with triple glazing and a low U-value, in other words, windows with a high thermal insulation capacity, both fulfil both the energy requirements and maintain living quality. If you want to open up to the outside, there are high insulation folding doors that meet the energy saving requirements for a passive house. A well insulated house with a low heating demand will reduce electricity bills when your home is in use. A home with large glass surfaces will have a high level of daylight and require less electricity for lighting. Passive solar heat shortens the heating season and reduces the demand for heating in winter.

Aluminium is a sustainable and maintenance-free alternative for the design conscious.
Aluminium is a sustainable and maintenance-free alternative for the design conscious.
5. Choice of materials

The materials you choose to build your windows in will determine the appearance, living quality and maintenance requirements of your home. The most common materials to choose from are wood, aluminium, a combination of these or PVC. All these materials have a different aesthetics and properties.

Wooden materials have a long tradition in Norway and are a relatively cost-effective alternative. The quality can vary, however, and wood requires regular maintenance. These are ongoing costs that must be included in the overall assessment. You can reduce the need for maintenance by choosing a wooden window with a sill and frame lined with analuminium profile. PVC is a maintenance-free and reasonable alternative with a long life. The disadvantage, however, is that the material’s aesthetic qualities are not compatible with all building types.
Aluminium is a sustainable and maintenance-free alternative for the design conscious.The material is very stable, which makes it possible to construct large glass panelsin a safe manner. Modern aluminium windows also have good airtightness and can be supplied with an energy efficiency that meets the requirements for a passive house. Since aluminium is not mass produced and supplied to specific dimensions, these types of windows allow flexible and distinctive solutions for all building types.

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