Before you (eventually) buy a so-called Finnish house

Under the name “Finnish house” is a small wooden modular house, which is relatively easy to assemble and was designed for temporary occupancy (lifetime was predicted to be about 30 years), for places that have a problem with a shortage of housing.

Interestingly, despite its name, both the material and the idea and actual design came from Sweden, not Finland.

Finnish houses on our territory

After the end of the Second World War, post-war Czechoslovakia, like many other countries, faced, among other things, a severe shortage of houses and apartments, although the situation here was not as severe as in some other countries, which were far more exposed to the destructive power of bomb attacks, especially aerial ones.

The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation and Administration (UNRRA for short) was behind the construction of these houses in our country, which helped countries affected by the war to solve problems related mainly to

  • the housing crisis
  • medicine shortages
  • food shortages, and
  • lack of clothing.

These houses were built throughout Czechoslovakia, but mostly in and around Ostrava and also in Pardubice.

In the 1950s, these houses began to be produced in the Czech Republic, and there was a relatively massive expansion.


Basic Prototypes

These houses came in ground floor and post-bay variants, with the ground floor ones predominating. They were often built as semi-detached houses, but it was of course also possible to get a detached building, which always had a smaller yard adjoining it, which included a garden and buildings used for utility purposes.

The basic Finnish house had a built-up area of just over 60 m2 and a very practical layout of the individual rooms. The house used to have a basement, which was very practical. It also had an attic, which was not originally intended for use as a living space, but many owners changed its purpose to this after necessary modifications. The houses were gradually modernised, both in terms of their insulation and the way they were heated.

Buy a Finnish house?

If you are interested in this article or have already visited a Finnish house and are considering buying one, you should also take into account other facts, including the lower resistance of wooden construction, especially to fire and water. Given the relative accessibility of this housing, it is also important to take into account that the houses may be located in socially less stable areas. In any case, research the area first and, as far as the condition of the particular house you are looking for is concerned, it is advisable to take a specialist who understands these buildings and their specifics to inspect them.