“The company from the Rhön already had a good reputation at my company back then. And rightly so, in our experience.” Despite the Upper Bavarian winters, we used an average of only 1,500 litres of oil per year in our detached house with 140 square meters of living space. Brilliant compared to other buildings from the 1990s.
But true to the motto “Look before you leap,” that didn’t automatically mean that we would go with the same manufacturer again.”
Strolling through the Show Home Centre in Poing near Munich was the first thing to do. “Gather ideas. Inform yourself. Nothing else,” the Volperts remembered with a grin. Because first of all, it will be different...
Contrary to her intentions, Hanse Haus’s show home was her first point of reference. And the consultant there, as it turned out, “was a real stroke of luck for us. Highly competent. Always there if there was a problem, always ready to help,” the Kranzberg residents recounted enthusiastically.
During the very first conversation with Markus Fell, it became clear “That we wanted a very well-equipped energy-efficient house with a barrier-free granny flat to rent out or possibly even use ourselves when we are old,” said the homeowners, who were born in 1964 and 1965. Since catalogue models were not an option due to the size and shape of their (prospective) plot, they asked the “Hanse Haus man” – and later on, two competitors – for a non-binding proposal. Even then, the Hanse Haus consultant gave them valuable tips on how to make optimal use of the plot.
Well-rested after holiday and after just a few appointments with Hanse Haus and another shortlisted provider with their architects, the decision was made just two months later: once again for Hanse Haus. The decisive factor was the convincing overall concept, the good advice, and not least my own experience of the follow-up support by customer service. Then Volperts briefly and succinctly describe it as “unbureaucratic, accommodating, fast”.
The signing of the mammoth contract, four days later the order for the planning, and another two days later we went to the preliminary sampling (“rough parts” such as the building envelope, plaster, bricks, windows and window sills) at the Hanse Haus headquarters in Oberleichtersbach. “It went very quickly and everything ran like clockwork,” says Margit Volpert, who keeps a construction diary.
Already at the beginning of June, we received official approval for the construction plan. This was based – with minimal modifications – on Hanse Haus’s original planning suggestion:
- a house with a full basement built according to the KfW 55 Efficiency House standard (heating technology: air-water heat pump including ventilation system with heat recovery),
- a two-storey building with reserve space in the pitched roof prepared for expansion;
- an “extension” with pent roof facing south;
- a shared entrance and hall for the main, 130 m² unit and the separate granny flat on the ground floor, which was ‘only’ 47 m² large due to the plot (‘better to have a larger garden than another prescribed parking space’);
- double walls and floors for an acoustic decoupling of the residential units (a must for homeowners, who currently live with their adult son under one roof and who may consider renting out to others).
The couple themselves took charge of procuring the photovoltaic system and fireplace but, of course, clarified the time-consuming electrical planning with their Hanse Haus consultant.
The Volperts were enthusiastic about the actual sampling appointment, during which, among other things, the interior fixtures were selected, from the floor coverings and wall paints to the doors and sockets. The Volperts comment: “The employees at Hanse Haus were very patient and helped us make good decisions.”
Everything went well. Until. “No one had expected the difficulties during excavation. We didn’t and our Hanse Haus architect didn’t,” says Joachim Volpert, who despite the costly consequences didn’t blame anyone. The problem: because of the adjacent private road, which might have otherwise collapsed, the working area around the basement had to be specially secured.
Although the originally intended height of the building did not fit either, fortunately the change did not result in any sizeable costs or delayed groundbreaking.
The basement was finished at the end of October and on 12 November the Hanse Haus assembly crew, which arrived quite punctually, began their work. It took two days for the individual parts to be assembled into a whole, the house was waterproof, and the crew worked diligently inside regardless of the weather.
The agreements with the “Hanse Haus people” were kept, they even took care of spontaneous extra work “promptly, reliably and conscientiously”. Moreover, “they always thought about what they were doing”, which the homeowners highly valued. Even after the Christmas holidays, everything was in full swing and on schedule.
“All we had to do was supervise the coordination, not so much the work itself. But that clearly showed us how good our decision for a turnkey house was,” the couple asserts.
That will probably surprise nobody who is allowed to take a tour of the beautiful multi-generational home with the highly satisfied second-time Hanse Haus buyers.
There is the bright, senior-friendly two-room flat – threshold-free with wide doors and a bathroom with a floor-level shower. Plus, it has a south-west-facing terrace.
There is the main residential unit with WC, cloakroom, open kitchen adjacent to the impressive living-dining area in the “annexe”, and the clearly structured upper floor: to the east – the study/guestroom wing including a shower bathroom, to the west – the very private unit of the clients (dressing room, bedroom, a refined wellness bath including a two-sided walk-in shower and a heat cabin for two persons).
And all this in a prefabricated house built according to the KfW 55 Efficiency House standard, thanks to the best thermal insulation and state-of-the-art heating technology.
While many other homebuilders in the neighbourhood are still waiting to move in seven months after the start of construction, the finishing touches are being taken care of in and around the Volpert family’s house.
Of course, not everything went perfectly right away: some things had to be repaired – a leaking heating system, wrong sockets, the awning suspension, the joint from the basement to the ground floor.
But “We always found good, mutually agreed solutions. All in all, we would give Hanse Haus an ‘A’ for concept and execution,”says Margit Volpert, who will soon be ending her construction diary with a happy ending.