Let’s Talk Construction

With winter approaching (“Winter is coming!”™), I thought I’d do a blurb about the construction here in Finland, or at least in Helsinki and the apartments I’ve seen.

First off, there ain’t no winter getting inside! The windows are TRIPLE-pane glass, and very well sealed all the way around. You never hear the wind whistling through the cracks.


Secondly, look at this picture of an apartment building under construction. The walls are concrete, then solid foam insulation, then concrete again. If it weren’t for the windows, you’d think they were building a bomb shelter! The one problem this presents, however, is interior decorating. With concrete walls, it’s a bit difficult to hang pictures and the like. I’ve been using a variety of resources, such as that ‘sticky gum’ to hang posters, and Command Strips for other things. I have like two interior walls of plaster and all the others are concrete!

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Doors close solidly, and there are two doors at the entrance. Not sure why, but most doors don’t have exterior doorknobs. I guess it cuts down on break-ins.

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Windows seal shut like they are vacuum packed. You crank a handle to open them, and they swing open, then when you close them, you crank the handle to seal the closure.


This is how the place is heated. There’s one in the bedroom (pictured), one in the kitchen, and one in the living room. With how solid everything is, I can’t imagine we’ll be using these too much. Heck, it’s October and I am sleeping with the window open!


But the best thing of all, which I can’t show you in pictures, is that the tiles in the bathroom floor are heated. Yes! No cold tiles to walk on first thing in the morning. It also keeps the bathroom toasty warm, along with the heated towel racks. I feel so pampered. Depending on how cold it gets, I might not leave the bathroom. 🙂 But seriously, this apartment is built so solidly, especially compared to the one I left behind. I was awakened at night by the wind howling through the cracks in the window frame!

All in all, I am very impressed with the construction. I don’t know if it is typical of everywhere in Finland, although it does seem that most homes are this well built at a minimum. Still, somehow I end up with dust bunnies! And when Shiva gets here…oh, the Shiva hair!

4 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Construction

  1. Sounds like the Finns know it will be winter, and are prepared for it! They will not be prepared for Shiva, though! She sheds so badly, even when vacuumed once a month. Still, her hide feels like reindeer hide, so know she will be warm, even when cold. Maybe, just maybe, she won’t shed so much?


  2. If you think those windows are well sealed, you should see the modern ones. The type in your photo is from the 70s or 80s, and they’re being replaced by modern argon-insulated windows, building by building.

    The new type is 2-3 times better insulated and usually comes with air vents that use the escaping heat to preheat incoming air in the winter. (Here’s a neat animation about the subject: http://www.biobe.fi/tuotteet/venttiilit/thermovent.htm)


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