Homely happiness at Hermann's feet

Do you know the East Westphalian town of Detmold? That is right, the Hermann Monument was built here from 1838 to 1875 in honour of the Cheruscan prince Arminius - better known as Hermann the Cheruscan, under whose leadership the Roman army was defeated in 9 AD. A popular excursion destination in the region. In contrast, the construction time for the detached house not far from the proud warrior statue, which the Kerkmann family recently renovated and moved into, was much shorter.

The Hermann Monument towers 386 metres above the Detmold district of Hiddesen, once a workers’ and farmers’ village and now a popular residential and climatic health resort that offers panoramic views and is characterised by plenty of greenery, nature reserves and hilly hiking trails. Perhaps it was this potential that L. Kerkmann’s great-grandparents recognised when they built one of the first houses on the “Nullbrede” in Hiddesen back in 1939. However, this was definitely a stroke of luck for the great-grandson, who renovated the house and moved in with his family in April 2022.

The challenging circumstances back then were very similar to those of today. Clay-rich soil and height differences of up to two metres towards the garden required precise planning and a great deal of effort. In 1939, the great-grandparents moved in with their children. To make that happen, the cellar still had to be excavated by hand. Due to the soil structure, a plinth of quarry stone was built to protect the building from sinking towards the street. Towards the garden, the plinth still compensates for the difference in height. An annex used to house chickens and other small animals. There was also a hayloft above it. Over the years, the house was converted to accommodate great-grandparents and grandparents with their children.

Another refurbishment then began at the start of 2020

The grandmother temporarily moved into assisted living and confidently let her grandson plan and build. During the gutting process, it turned out that the house had been rebuilt, so to speak: the new interior walls are based on the old ones from 1939. The extension, on the other hand, was torn down and completely rebuilt – becoming the centrepiece of the house.

What was particularly important to the family was that the new room let in plenty of light and looked harmonious from the outside. Siberian larch was chosen for the exterior façade, which harmonises with the quarry stone plinth. For natural light, a skylight was installed in the entrance area – as were two large QuinLine® lift and slide doors that lead directly into the garden. These make it easy to keep an eye on the children playing outside from the large eat-in kitchen. And thanks to their ease of movement, the Kerkmanns’ six-year-old son can easily open and close the lift and slide doors himself. In winter, the large lift and slide door elements bring both light and warmth into the living space, which has a positive energy-saving effect. In summer, however, the external blind elements are also sometimes used. The family wouldn’t want to be without the elements, as their favourite armchair for reading and story-time is right next to the lift and slide door.

The large amount of light was most important to us when choosing the lift and slide doors. They also save energy in winter, as they provide a lot of warmth through the light.

L. Kerkmann , from the Hiddensen district

Incidentally, the grandmother moved back into the renovated house with the family in April 2022. She even recognised the original layout of the rooms. Her conclusion on the renovation: A success! She was even able to celebrate her first Christmas in her “new” home with her loved ones before she unfortunately passed away at the beginning of 2023 at the age of 91. However, L. Kerkmann can be sure that his grandmother knew her house was in good hands.