Haus Elisabeth

The exterior

Pictures from January to June 2005

When we first saw the house in January 2005 it looked rather desolate. It had been rented to the state and used as a home for asylum seekers and was in a rather sad sta. Many "improvements" had been made that seriously detracted from the appearance and value of the building. Among other things, old, single-pane windows had been covered by aluminum and plastic roll-down shutters, the door had been damaged and repaired with a piece of cardboard.

The gutters and downspouts were at least 25 years old and beyond repair. The roof, although sound, needed minor repairs and the 10 dormers needed complete rebuilding.

To make matters worse, the house was surrounded by 25 metre tall fir trees that were not healthy and that were beginning to tip. The trees endagered the house, the neighbors house as well as people and cars. In addition they made the house dark and filled the roof gutters with needles. We tried to find another solution, but in the end there was no alternative to cutting them down.

The first view we had of the house

The back of the house with fence
Friend Jim looking somewhat sceptical...

and for good reason

A little paintwork is not going to help here

The 80cm thick walls needed work

The downspouts were beyond repair

The front door was not just unatractive

As picturesque as the "outbuilding" was it had to go

Even decorated for a religious holiday it looked a bit sad


Fortunately, the main structure of the house was in good order and the heating plant was relatively new. The electrical installation had been done on a very high level and was in good condition.

After looking at nearly 20 other houses we decided that this was the only one that offered any promise for our needs and wishes. We signed the papers and took ownership on the 1st of July.

We hired a local architect to help us obtain bids for all 47 windows, roof repairs and gutters, but most importantly, to help us obtain the necessary permission from the agency that protects historical buildings. This done we began getting offers on the work and finally in August work began on the outside with the erection of scaffolding that completely surrounded the house.


The work begins

The evolution of our yard from ruins to park