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I was expecting to downsize but have upsized instead!

Granny Annexes

When a grandparent moves to be nearer their family they usually settle for something smaller. But Avril Thomas’s smart new log cabin is bigger than her old property and has the added benefit of being just metres away from daughter Julie’s house.

With its large sitting room, open plan kitchen diner, utility room, two bedrooms, craft room, en-suite shower room and separate bathroom, space is not an issue for Avril.

“Her old house was actually smaller than this. It had two bedrooms, one of which was very small, and it was built in the 1920s with a very narrow steep staircase. Mum’s new cabin is beautiful and cost less so made financial sense too,” explains Julie.

After Avril’s husband Chris sadly died, it became clear that living in the old family house was unsustainable. “We looked around for something for mum to downsize to and soon realised there wasn’t anything suitable. So then my sister Sally came up with the idea of the cabin, “You have the land, so why don’t you build something on it?” She then found Norwegian Log online and we all went to visit,” Julie adds.

Realising they could site a cabin on an underused part of the large garden owned by Julie and her husband Bernard, the decision was made, and Avril sold her property. She moved in with Julie and family in time for the groundwork to start. Norwegian Log organised a Lawful Development Certificate with the local authority and as Avril points out, “that was a real plus, as they took on anything planning related.”

“My brother has lived in Norway for over 40 years and built his own log cabin so we know just how good they are,” she says.

Groundwork started in March and the Norwegian Log team arrived on site in June and finished in early August. “Mum was here on site and could keep an eye on what was going on and sort any problems out,” said Julie. ”Jamie and Sam, who were later joined by Sean, were brilliant, working so hard in all that the British weather threw at them! Torrential rain one minute and 40 degree heat the next!”

The lodge has stunning views across neighbouring fields and woodland and sits next to a gorgeous orchard full of fruit trees. A south facing terrace is easily accessed through large French windows in the sitting room.

“The sitting room benefits from sun most of the day giving light and warmth to the room even on a winter’s day. The cabin is also so homely and doesn’t feel like an “add on”. It means that after work I can pop up to see mum, and my son can let her dog out if she is out for the day. In fact my dog and cat wander between the buildings! I see so much more of her," says Julie.

Avril agrees, "I can pop down to the house if I run out of milk and we meet up most days for a game of wordle. It’s just always felt like home. It’s lovely and so well insulated. I haven’t got under-floor heating, just four small oil filled radiators that I can programme to suit my needs. I didn’t need any additional heating in the winter.”

As well as making financial sense, Avril’s new home means there are options for future living arrangements. She says: “By having an extra bedroom and bathroom, if I need help later on I can accommodate someone, and in the long term it could become a home for my grandson Tom”.

A sensible and practical choice for all the family.

It's warm and it's cosy; it's solid and it's quiet. The fragrance of pine reminds you of Scandinavian forests and summer evenings. Your imagination starts to take you places. You imagine a wood burner, perhaps a desk or why not just some space to think?

Our show home is 35 years old, yet customers still say it looks and feels brand new. That's the quality of our workmanship and the materials. When you step into a Norwegian Log building you're stepping into a feeling and just like our buildings it's one that will last.

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