Unnur and Skúli are siblings born two years apart and raised in Hvammstangi. The two of them along with Unnur's husband Alfred, bought the house Sólgarður in 2015 from the children of the carpenter Snorri that built the house in 1956. The house is a landmark in the town of Hvammstangi. When it was built it was one of the biggest houses in town. The new owners are proud of having the opportunity to slowly renovate this amazing house to its former glory.
First on the agenda...
...was changing an unused space in the north end of the first floor into apartments for short term renting for tourists. It was not an easy task. Luckily the new owners group consists of a carpenter with years of renovating experience and a car mechanic/engineer that has a solution thinking mind and is very handy with all kinds of tools. Between the two of them, Alli and Skúli, worked very hard on changing this unappealing space into warm and welcoming apartments for tired travellers. All pipes had to be put in new, electricity had to be designed and installed from scratch, walls broken down and then put up again....well...this is tiring. lets just enjoy the results. Shortly after those two apartments were ready the started working on the apartment on the second floor of the Annex building, a three bedroom unit. The plan was to keep the walls and just put one new up, do the floors, bathroom and a few more things. As before when renovating you can multiply both estimated time and cost with Pi. They ended up tearing down all walls, putting them up again and renovate everything as with the first two apartments. The result...in total so far...three fully equipped and functional apartments available for YOU on your travels in northwest Iceland. Oh...we forgot to mention the garden. A project that took us almost a year and that we are super happy with, new parking, pavements, grass...A beautiful frame for the house.
What did the wife/sister do...
...when Alli and Skúli were working hard one might ask. It is important in any kind of partnership that all partners have their specific role. And Unnur does also have a role in this partnership. Having been working as a manager for 25 years she has picked up a skillset that came useful in setting up the business around the apartments, financing, the webpage, paying the bills etc. etc. This partnership is a fine example of each partner using his or her strengths. We probably wouldn´t be having this conversation if Unnur would have been the one holding the hammer, Skúli paying the bills and Alli in charge of the webpage. Just saying.
As you might have noticed there is still plenty of work to be done. On the first floor there is still room for two more apartments, currently under construction. On the Second floor is the apartment where Snorri and his wife Tryggva lived and raised their five kids. Unnur and Alli live in that apartment with two of their kids Guðni Þór 8 yrs and Birta Ögn 2 yrs and their two Beagle dogs, Pjakkur and Perla. The second floor apartment is a work in progress. Few walls broken down, some paint work, the bathroom in need of an overhaul etc...when that is all done we'll start...well - we haven´t quite decided...all windows need to be replaced, the roof is in need of some paint...who knows what we'll do next...we'll figure something out.
Oh...forgot to mention
You might have noticed that the house has a name. Houses used to have names around the time it was built. The name is Sólgarður, in english Sungarden. That is a pretty nice name we think and of course we kept it as the name of our apartments. Some say we are collecting houses with cool names. We also own Valhöll, e. Valhalla a little bit further down in town. That one was built a little bit earlier that Sólgarður and is the house that our father was born and raised in. So we are not new to this old house work. Crazy us.