21 Steps to Building a Norwegian Loft House

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If you like log cabins, then you’ll love what I’ve got for you today. I’m honored to share with you a story in pictures from Swedish log building expert Sven-Gunnar Håkansson, where we get to follow along as he builds a classic Norwegian loft house, known simply as a ‘loft’ in the Scandinavian countries.

Sven-Gunnar is the author of “From Log to Log House“, practically the “bible” of log house construction in the nordic countries.

The 2013 edition has not yet been translated into English, but if you’re interested in getting your hands on his book there is a Canadian edition (ISBN 1-89457272-6, year 2003) released by Algrove Publishing and a US edition (ISBN 978-1-936013-15-9, year 2011) released by Blue Moon Press (both of the previous edition of his book).

Now, onto the building project! I’ll let Sven-Gunnar Håkansson take it from here:

“I’ve built many houses on my property, as I share in my book “From log to log cabin”. After the last big update of the book in 2013 I can’t see any further big update in the future. However, that does not mean that I’ve stopped building, and today I’d like to share with you my latest project.”

Disclaimer: if any log building expert happen to read this, I apologize if I’ve translated any of the construction terms incorrectly. Lots of strange and hard to translate terms in the log construction trade!

1. My son Erik and his wife Eka had a vision of building a “Norwegian loft” of this type. The “Vangestad”-loft in Flesberg, Numedal (from the book “Stav och Laft,” page 103, Oslo 1990.)

2. The loft has a core of timber that’s surrounded by extended galleries on the upper floor. In this model, the stairs up to the second floor is located in the uninsulated vestibule.

3. The lower floor consists of a timber frame that Erik hewed from leftover timber from the construction of the main house. It has been standing without a roof since it was built on site in 2010

4. Traditionally they use standing poles for the foundation (as can be seen in picture #1), but here we used massive stones instead.

5. The upper row of logs is taken down and here you can see the construction of the upper floor using the pole method of construction. The upper frame is being built using the lower frame as a “template”.

6. 12 logs are cut in one go while Erik is making floor joists with brackets and framework.

7. May 14. The first day’s work ends with erecting the poles. You can see we added some improvised rain protection on top of the poles.

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