“Unfortunately, we are not going to make it this year”, said Mark.
It was summer 2019.
What Mark and Zane started as a quick project came out to be more demanding than what they initially thought.
Fast forward 2 years, this radiant British-Latvian family is enjoying the summer in their brand new TRIO 75.
Mark and Zane are quite an interesting couple.
They’ve been living their life without compromises and they are truly independent people.
Two countries are not enough
Mark is a yacht captain and he was born and raised in the UK.
Zane is from Latvia and she also worked in the yacht industry.
They have a beautiful daughter and today Zane spends most of her time with the little one.
As if two countries were not enough, this dynamic family decided to settle in France.
That wasn’t just a caprice, but a strategic decision.
Monaco is in fact the ideal location for running a business that deals with yachts.
Sitting on a cliff’s side between France and Italy and right on the Mediterranean Sea, Monaco is a busy city (it’s actually a city-state!) where wealthy people travel to enjoy the sun… and the yacht life.
It is no wonder that Mark and Zane decided to settle here.
However, there is just one problem for them…
...the place is tiny and in summer it gets really crowded.
Over time, they started to feel they needed more space.
But there is no space in Monaco (or at least not one that normal people can afford).
So they thought to escape...
The escape plan
“We have just purchased a plot of land in Latvia. It is a 2400 square meters piece of land, with two building plots.”
This was the first thing Mark wrote to us, in February 2019.
The plan wasn't to leave Monaco for good but to have a place where to go in summer when the heat goes up on the coast of the tiny city and tourists come to flood the marina.
Zane is from Latvia and building a holiday house in her home country was a perfect plan.
Riga (the capital of Latvia) has a very busy airport.
Albeit not that big, Riga airport is very well connected with all the major cities in Europe and the land they bought is just 40min far from the terminal, in the middle of a beautiful forest by the sea.
...that was a very smart move, Mark and Zane, kudos!
So, with the land finally secured, everything seemed to be ready for buying a prefab kit home and putting up the house… in no time.
Not so fast...
When they first came to us, they were committed to set foot in the house before the end of 2019.
They had everything figured out ...and, contrary to most of the people who contact our office, they had the land already!
But building a house is no small undertaking… and what is scheduled to happen in 6 months can drift in time pretty fast.
We have seen this over and over again, that’s why we stress that proper preparation is important to make things happen and to avoid surprises.
The actual timeline of the project
You get the point.
Building takes time.
No matter how much you think you know, there are nuances of the building process that can make the difference between preparing a realistic plan and a plan that’s just fantasy.
But not everyone is a project manager or a builder (indeed, a yacht captain has a very different skillset from a contractor) and so it is very unlikely that the average Joe knows everything about building.
That’s why we have Guides and why we put together the Self-building Bundle.
The Self-building Guides are there to help you to:
- get the right information;
- set the right expectations;
- avoid mistakes in planning.
Anyway, what’s done it’s done… and for Mark and Zane building a TRIO 75 took over 2 years.
Sidenote: as they don’t live on the site, it took considerably longer to finish the house. If they were living there full time, they could have finished it in one year and a half.
Here is how events unfolded:
January 2019 - they buy the land in Latvia
February 2019 - they contact Avrame headquarters
- March 2019 - they start the planning process with a TRIO 100
- the planning process requires personalized plan sets.
March - December 2019 - working with planning, budgeting, contracting
precise budgeting and contractors also require personalized plan sets. Otherwise it is just a ''guesstimate''.
- December 2019 - they switch to a trio 75 model. Avrame makes new plan sets and price quote
January 2020 - they get the building permit and they finalize the contract with Avrame for the house kit
January - June 2020 - the house kit is produced (in 8 weeks) and stored before delivery
June 2020 - the house kit is delivered to the construction site
July 2020 - building works begin
September 2020 - the house is finished from the outside
- Summer 2021 - the house is completely finished
As you can see, most of the time went into deciding the house model and planning the entire project properly (March - December 2019).
Initially, Mark and Zane sourced a TRIO 100 plans set but then they realised that TRIO 75 was a better fit for their needs.
This meant they had to order another personalised plans set from Avrame.
Also, they had to add extra time in spring 2020 because their builder was not available before June.
We kept the house kit in store for them and delivered it right before the start of the building works.
Although the house was fully built by the end of summer 2020, it took several months for the builder to complete all the interior works.
Keep in mind that Mark and Zane outsourced the building works 100% and they were not on-site most of the time.
They did an excellent job.
If you plan to build your new home sometime in the next couple of years, it makes sense to make the first move today.
Because there are many things you’ll need to figure out and it all takes time.
If you look at the journey of Mark and Zane, you’ll see that a lot of time went lost in the selection of the house model.
This was because the house model they initially focused on was not the one they finally decided to build.
This led them to buy the wrong drawings set and they had to re-plan several things once they finally landed on the right model.
To prevent this from happening again, we created the TRIO Plan Set Bundle.
The Bundle contains the drawings and files for ALL the TRIO houses, so you can make your planning looking at the full picture from day one... and you can do that without wasting time.
Of course, the Bundle is a little more expensive than just one set of drawings (that’s cause it contains 5 sets), so if you are just interested in building a TRIO 75, you may find the TRIO 75 Plan Set to be a more convenient option.
No matter which one you choose, time is of the essence… cause your house is not going to build itself.
The sooner you start planning, the sooner your family can enjoy a housewarming party like the epic one thrown by Mark and Zane when they moved in.