It is never too late for a fresh start. The Offenhäusers have shown us. Long after the end of their working life, they built a new home. And not only that: They also left their "Heimat" in the town of Frankenthal in the Palatinate to lay the foundations for a new chapter of life in the northern Black Forest. 16 years they had been waiting for this.
Endurance is very familiar to the couple, who have been married for 55 years. In the past, they enjoyed their passion for marathon running together. Still today 81-year old Gert Offenhäuser goes running regularly. "20 kilometres in two and a half hours are no problem for him ", explains Gisela Offenhäuser, not without pride.
"Already in 2001, after the retirement of my husband, we wanted to build. However, then we were always too busy. That did keep us fit but didn't allow for the time to tackle building a house." A pivotal moment arrived, when Gisela Offenhäuser started suffering from a severe heart condition. They told themselves, it was to be now or never. They decided in favour of now.
"It was clear to us, that we wanted to build ourselves. We could have bought something existing and ready, but we wanted to design this ourselves and see it grow. Besides, a high standard of living and a healthy construction method were basic preconditions for us", says Gisela Offenhäuser. Moreover, the lady from the Palatinate was definite: She wanted to live in a timber house. "Years ago, I came across Baufritz, and my intuition told me to keep their details." Eventually, the time came.
The plot for their new home the Offenhäusers found in Bad Liebenzell. The around 600 sqm of land offered precisely what they were looking for: nature far and wide, enough distance to the neighbours and peacefulness. With their new residence, they did not enter completely unknown lands, as in the early 1980s they had bought a holiday flat in the area and had spent their holidays there since.
Good things apparently come to those who wait. Yet when the spouses had decided on a new build, things happened very quickly. After they had sold their old home, dissolved their household, packed boxes and put furniture into storage, they moved in the summer into their holiday flat, around a 30 minutes' drive from the new plot of land. In February work started on the house, in July the whole new home was ready to move into. So, another move and the sale of the holiday flat brought their journey to an end.
"Wood is natural and benefits people. We can feel that. When we come home, we feel well", says the woman of the house. "For us, it was important that everything we needed was to be on one level. After all, we couldn't ignore our age" – Gisela Offenhäuser takes a pragmatic view. Should the day arrive when they would like to invite help into their home, the upper floor would provide separate living quarters. A broad winding staircase leads to the upstairs of around 50sqm, where a generous studio, a guest room, a bathroom and a utility room are placed.
"Our Baufritz home has turned out exactly as we wanted it. Nothing is too much or too little. It suits us perfectly." Gisela and Gert Offenhäuser have arrived.