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Everything we wanted under one roof: our custom-made dream home

With its beautiful rural setting not quite ten minutes by car from Zurich, the village of Hüntwangen in the borough of Bülach is a popular place for commuters who want to enjoy the peace and quiet of country life after a hard day’s work. People like Andreas and Monika Leeger. They built their dream house with Swisshaus at the heart of the village of Hüntwangen.

«Like the needle in the proverbial haystack,» is how Andreas Leeger describes the search for the perfect plot on which to build the house of their dreams. The couple finally struck lucky at the centre of the village of Hüntwangen: 600 m² of land – and one motivated couple was ready for the exciting adventure «building ourselves a house».

Here we go!

Soon after buying the plot, the prospective homeowners stood in an already completed Swisshaus in a neighbouring village, whose owner was kind enough to show them round and recount his many positive experiences with the general contractor. Having heard the persuasive arguments of the owners of the reference house, the young couple made up their minds that they too would build their house with Swisshaus. A good decision, as would soon become evident; from the initial contact to the handover of the keys, planning and building went entirely without a hitch.

First, an Olma Bratwurst

«What clinched it for us was that the company builds turnkey-ready,» the qualified electrician emphasised in explaining his decision. The first meeting with the architect and construction supervisor took place in St.Gallen, and the planned collaboration – to the clients’ great delight – was then duly sealed with a tasty St.Gallen Olma Bratwurst.

What we want!

At the clients’ request, the architects’ plans combined the traditional elements of the selected house model, Elena, with the ideas and wishes of the young couple and with the local building regulations. Here the prime focus was always on Andreas and Monika Leeger’s ideas and wishes: they wanted a large, open and yet cosy kitchen, the bathroom should offer relaxation with a large bathtub and yet still be spacious, and they wanted a fireplace in the living area to radiate cosiness and warmth. Everything else was provided by the basic Elena house model and was carefully planned in line with the available budget. The result is now something to be proud of: at Winkelstrasse 6, rural surroundings meet modern interior design with cosiness and atmosphere. Just as Andreas and Monika Leeger had pictured it. After a short construction phase of just six months, a timelessly elegant building was created in modern country-house style.

Everything was done just right – from the word go

«Having signed the contract, we could hardly wait until things finally got underway,» Andreas Leeger beams. Even the groundbreaking ceremony was unforgettable. The moment was celebrated not just using a hand spade. Monika Leeger was allowed to operate the digger herself and dig the first hole in the property. «This was immediately toasted at the building site with a glass of fine wine,» Andreas Leeger recalls. But there were yet more memorable moments to come in the life of the young couple as they built their dream house. «Initially we were at the site every day and it took a long time to really believe this was for us,» his wife remembers. Then, as the house grew, besides watching in amazement from the sidelines, the client was also required to apply some of his own sweat and strength. As a «sparky» he put in the electrical installations along with the master electrician he’d learned under. And also laid the ceramic floor tiles himself with the help of a colleague, the talented craftsman adds proudly. And on the building site, everything was done in such a straightforward and collegial manner, he says. It was simply great. The workers commissioned by Swisshaus just accepted the industrious client as one of their own. Even when he decided on the spur of the moment to wall in the bathtub himself. The workers arranged everything he needed without grumbling and helped him in such a patient and friendly way, Andreas Leeger recalls enthusiastically with a broad smile as he recalls the many great moments.

And then came News Year’s Eve

With so many impressions and special moments, the construction phase flew by, they reminisce with satisfaction. Brick by brick their house grew fast. Soon winter arrived and the topping-out was celebrated before the first snow with friends and craftsmen in the garage. And then came New Year’s Eve. The most expressive moment in the whole construction time. Both become very quiet and remember how they sat on paint buckets with a bottle of champagne in the bay window of their still empty house, raised their glasses and simply looked around. «That was an incredibly emotional moment,» Monika Leeger adds, deeply moved. The handover of the keys, on the other hand, was quite the opposite. By then they were too caught up in house-moving and furnishing their new home.

A dream home whichever way you look at it

«A large and open kitchen was very important to us. We were prepared to spend more on that,» is how Monika Leeger explains their thoughts about the interior fixtures. The American-style cooking island with stand-up bar was a must. It was implemented – despite the extra costs. Today the couple stands proud and happy in their dream kitchen, which is equipped with the latest appliances and the kind of oversize refrigerator with ice-crusher and wine cooler that is seen in American kitchens. The dark granite worktop harmonises with the stainless steel elements and the wooden fronts. Their kitchen it is what you would call snug and cosy, they both agree. However with all the tempting ideas, Andreas Leeger adds, you should always keep an eye on your cost ceiling and set priorities. «Whenever we had special preferences, such as installing extra empty pipes, Swisshaus always gave us their recommendations along with cost estimates. This kept us permanently in control of our budget,» he explains and adds: «The communication went smoothly all the time, not only with regard to the budget. If anything got behind schedule, our construction supervisor responded immediately,» he recalls enthusiastically, praising the impeccable collaboration. The kitchen opens straight into the extremely generous open-plan dining and living area that looks out over the beautiful garden. To ensure that Andreas and Monika Leeger feel comfortable despite the modern layout of their open-plan rooms, the fireplace they requested acts as a divider between the living room and the entrance hall. «My smoker’s lounge» is what Andreas Leeger mischievously calls «his» fireplace, adding that enjoying a cigar helps him really switch off after work, as he relishes the memory of the exciting building phase.

Details create atmosphere

The floor on the ground floor in anthracite-coloured stone tiles is low-maintenance and endows the rooms with a certain noblesse. The elegant wall torches radiate an atmospheric light in the open stairwell leading to the upper floor. Here the spacious wellness bathroom under the slope of the roof with its corner bathtub and stepped surround, invites you to relax. The anthracite-coloured tiles here likewise exude sheer elegance. The orange candles were deliberately chosen to provide dashes of colour, hinting at romantic evenings. Instead of a children’s room, there is a large dressing room with spacious white wardrobes, floor-length mirrors and easy-care wood laminate flooring. The practical doorway takes you straight into the bedroom with its white soft-pile carpet. A small balcony with cast-iron garden chairs and bistro tables links these two rooms. The large office is both a personal refuge for the lady of the house and a guest room. There is more living space in the basement. Here the sports-keen owners created an atmospheric grotto with wall lights and a sea view, that they have turned into an inviting fitness room plus sauna. Next door is the laundry and technology room. Throughout the house, a computer-controlled air/water heat pump keeps heating costs low and creates a comfortable climate in the whole house. The wood laminate floor next to the car parking spaces painted with road markings makes the garage look very homely. Red walls, white cupboards with mirror doors that conceal the neatly ordered shoe paradise of the lady of the house, and three large-size framed photos, create a special atmosphere in the large double garage.

Plenty of time to dream

And what do the happy residents dream about in their dream house? «Of the next Swisshaus. I think I’d like the Kira house concept,» Andreas Leeger laughs. And if he ever built another house, then he’d do everything exactly the same way again – and, it goes without saying, the only general contractor he’d consider would be Swisshaus.

«Our dream house – an oasis of peace and relaxation»

Andreas und Monika Leeger