Author Archive

main bedroom

10/04/2018

I’ve spent most of the last month doing my favorite thing (NOT!), plastering!

We are still waiting for the window to be fitted on the outer wall so I’m just doing what I am able to do before that happens, once that happens the rest of the bedroom should get completed fairly quickly, very exciting!

First thing to do was to remove 5 or so layers of wallpaper from the chimney stonework, this is how it looked before:

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Then after I took off the  wallpaper:

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Next thing do, fit a slim piece of plasterboard to the new wall I made next to the chimney:

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Seems good! It turned out that we had just barely enough plasterboard left to do the outer walls of the walk-in-closet, so next job was to fit those! Very happy that we are out of plasterboard now, the end of my plastering nightmare is almost in reach! Definitely just going to use wall panels for everything else remaining.

Before:

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First bits:

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more bits:

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finished! :

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You might have noticed a bit of damage on the plasterboards, these are nearly all pieces of plasterboard I was not expecting to use, they were not in great condition unfortunately, but I was fairly confident I could make them look ok when actually plastering the seams.

Speaking of plastering…I then spent weeks and weeks plastering and losing my sanity! Thankfully I have some really good podcasts to listen to while I work, I am pretty sure I would have given up on this whole project by now if I didn’t have such interesting things to listen to while I work!

Here is the end result of the chimney wall + the new wall:

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The inner wall inside the walk-in-closet also has a bit of the chimney exposed, this bit of wall was badly damaged (not by us!) and needed some really extreme plastering, here is how it looked before:

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As you can see, it is pretty badly damaged and the top right is so damaged that the actual bricks inside the chimney are exposed! After half a bucket of plaster, it still looked quite bad and it kept cracking, so I added a layer of mesh tape to give it some structural support. I use these between each piece of plasterboard normally, otherwise they tend to show cracks after a while. I unfortunately did not do this for the first few rooms we did in the house so they have annoyingly formed a few wall cracks already, ah well, lesson learned. Anyway, here is the mesh I made:

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A few layers later, it had stopped cracking and looks okay enough:

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So now half of the room is ready for painting, other half is on hold until the window is fitted, here is a weird panorama of how the plastered side currently looks:

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Pretty good!

We had a few issues with our roof during the winter so in order to fix it we had to get a hatch fitted so the workmen could get into it, here is the hole they cut into the “loft”:

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It is a hole, but they just put some slabs of insulation over it to stop the heat escaping while it was work-in-progress. Here is the hatch completed:

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So that is where we are at currently! Time to get back to finding small things to do while we wait for the windows to be fitted!

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2 new rooms

09/03/2018

I was bored of doing small jobs, so I modified my plan slightly and started making the new walls upstairs!

Basically our plans for upstairs changed from the initial idea, I felt that our bedroom was too large and guest room #2 was too small, so we modified the bedroom into a hallway and spread the guest room into it slightly. The main bedroom is now smaller but I feel it is still big enough.

This is the upstairs floor plan for our original idea, the area to be modified is highlighted:

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and this is what we changed the plan to:

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So the plan is to remove part of the wall between the guest room and the main bedroom, then create new walls to separate the rooms as well as create a hallway with 2 doorways + a small closet, easy…!

So, this is how it looked before, main bedroom is to the left, guest room is to the right:

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First step was to buy 130EUR of wood, which I smartly did on the last day that we had +1c outside!

Next, I started creating the outer frame of the biggest new wall, the wall will be between the large window and small window, so the guest room will get an extra window. The guest room will be getting a completely new window as well sometime soon, that is a too big job for me to do though, so the builder will do that.

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First section complete:

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The vertical pieces of wood are very tightly placed between the floor and the ceiling, it took a lot of hammering to get them into position (and noise, our metal roof made every hammer strike seem x10 louder!). So I think they are helping support the ceiling now too, should help with the general stability of the house, hopefully!

Next I put some insulation in, not much point to it at this stage but I felt like doing it:

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Next, I made the corner wall of the main bedroom, which also passively made the hallway closet too (the left side of the pic)!

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Next thing to do was to make the wall between the guest room and the hallway and to finish up making the doorways for both rooms. This wall was a bit harder to make as it has a slightly angled section.

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So that is the walls completed! Next up is to delete the un-needed wall which was still lingering in the guest room, it looked like this before:

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This needed some careful deconstruction and also required removal of some wiring which we had not had connected to the mains yet. Here is after:

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It all went very smoothly overall, I just need to repair the new hole I made in the floor where the wall used to be and then this bit is done I think!

Feb Report

27/02/2018

About time for a blog I think!

I am waiting around for the builder to fit the new upstairs windows before I can do any major projects up there and waiting (since december!) for the electrician to come so I can fit the downstairs hallway floor and ceiling to finish it off. So while I wait, I am doing small random things which need doing. I did not get many “in progress” pics of these individual things, I’ve been very much in a “work mode” instead of “document every tiny thing” mode recently.

There are lots of small things which are not worth mentioning which I did not take pics of either, but some stuff was slightly interesting, like these!

First up: Our fallen apple tree was littering the garden, so I chopped that up!

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I did the other side too, but I was too tired and muddy to take photos 😛

Next up, I refined the archway in the kitchen a bit as it was still somehow unfinished! I did not take before pics. Previously, the corners of the archway were bare and unpainted plasterboard corners, so I covered them with corner pieces, a white one for the kitchen side and a dark one for the office side. I also fitted the skirting boards along the floor, this was kinda tricky a the skirting board in the kitchen and office are different (but the same size), so I had to transition them into each other nicely. Looks a bit odd on the photo but in reality it looks fine.

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Next jobs were fixing some of the remaining “holes” in the floors which were making it difficult to walk in certain places, remmeber it does not matter that these are ugly, we are putting nice floor on top of this stuff! First up, I put a floor in the walk-in-closet in the main bedroom. Before:
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After:

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Next was  random hole in guest room 2, before

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after:

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Next, the corner of the main bedroom where our bed will be going. Before:

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After:

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Here is what I did today, I made the wall at the back of our walk-in-closet, so now it is actually a room instead of being merged with the storage room behind it! Here is before:

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First I made a frame around the edges:

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Next, I added the vertical wood pieces:

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Next I started adding insulation:

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All done! :

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Pretty happy with the wall and was again surprised how fast you can put up a wall frame, think this took 4 hours!

That’s all for now! Hopefully the next one is a bit more dramatic! :p

Let’s go upstairs;)

24/11/2017

So, I finished fitting all of the insulated wall panels in the stairway, then I felt that since I was on a roll, I’d create the missing wall at the end of the guest room/overlooking the stairs, this is how it looked before I started:

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First thing to do was buy wood, they only come in 5m long pieces so I had to saw them manually at the DIY shop to fit them in the car as the car only fits 2.4m long in it. The guy at the store was very amused watching me sawing for an hour in the rain, lazy bastard could have helped !

Next thing to do was draw some quick plans then I got straight onto making making the basic frame. Our builder had already made a wall or two for us upstairs so I tried to emulate how he did it, this is how it ended up:

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So far, so good! The next step was putting insulation inside it :

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Then I installed the finely cut plasterboard, normal plasterboard this time, not the fancy insulated stuff we use on the outer walls.

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Then we had the first snow of the year! (26th of October, for future reference)

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Making this wall used the last of the insulation, so I had to order more, I wanted enough to do the rest of the upstairs so I ordered 12 packs or so on the DIY website since they had it on special offer! Normally I just buy 2 packs at a time physically since that’s what fits in the car.

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Also you might have noticed that our apple tree was totally wreaked the in the background of that last pic , that snow damaged it badly as well as some other trees around the garden, must have been unusually weighty snow!

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I’ve still not gotten around to clearing the tree mess, not looking forward to that! Never had to do anything like that before, there are some axes and a large tree chopping saw in the basement , left by the previous owners, I’m sure they will come in handy.

I spent the next few weeks plastering the seams of the plasterboard. Plastering is one of my least favorite things to do, it takes AGES and you feel like you are not achieving anything as after the first layer, it looks the same. I put 3 to 5 layers of plaster on these seams , each layer also needs sanding which is also really hard work and time consuming. This was the end result:

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Very smooth seams! Well I was very happy that the plastering was finished, time to put white primer paint on!

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Looks good! The horizontal seams around the stair wall will be covered with a wood strip eventually , if you wondered why that bit looks bad. Now it’s time for colour, we chose a light yellow! :

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Very happy with the result! We did not decide what to do with those ugly white doors yet, most likely just paint them since they are a bizarre size and not easily replaceable.

The next things to do are to install the floor and the ceiling, but I cannot do the ceiling until the electrician comes as wires go under (or over?) it. So while I’m waiting for him to come, I’ll start the major work upstairs!

I used up our supply of insulated plasterboard on the stairs, so I ordered more:

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I started with the corned of the main bedroom, installing the insulated plasterboard vertically, it took a long to to install just 1 piece as I had to make a new wood frame in the wall as, as usual, the wall wood beams are randomly placed instead of being 60cm apart like any modern building.

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I decided this is probably not the best way to do this wall, it is very low (90cm) as it’s at the edge of the roof. The instructions of the insulated plasterboard claim that installing them horizontal is fine, this would avoid me having to make the wood frame inside the wall for each small piece too, so I did just that:

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I then did the same to the opposite wall (guest room).

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Seems to work fine so far, next week I’ll continue horizontally along both walls.

That’s all for now!

Hallway/Stairway progress.

29/09/2017

Oh, it is me! Well, we did not do much house stuff over the summer as we had guests here at various points and I needed a break, but since they left, it was time to continue! Next “room” to do is the main hallway and stairway as they are connected. We have also completed the office and the living room by the way, but they have not had blog entries…yet.

To give some context, here are some pics from both ends of the downstairs hallway from a few weeks ago:

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M has already posted blogs about the start of the process, I just wanted to add a few extras.

Our house is primarily heated by a high tech heat pump these days, I had no idea that these even existed until we got one. It is pretty much an air-conditioning unit which takes heat from outside and puts it inside, then in summer you can “reverse” it and tell it to put heat from inside and put it outside, to keep you cool. It is pretty magic, it somehow even manages to find heat in the outdoor air when it is -25C outside! There is no heating element inside it what-so-ever, so it is really quite cheap to run compared to the other options, it uses about 1kW when under full load, which is not very common to happen except in winter.

ANYWAY I am sure that was boring. The indoor part of the heat pump has lots of pipes and wires which go along our wall and then outside to the outdoor part of the heat pump. We did not really want them on the outside of the wall like they currently are (you can see them on the first pic, those white pipes) so I had to find a creative solution to hiding them in the new walling, this was the result:

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I cut a small channel in the insulation part of the walling for the pipe to go in, it seems tidy and works well enough. It was really tricky to get the bottom pipe positioned correctly, the bottom pipe is a drain pipe for when the heat pump is on dehumidify or cooling mode as they make condensation on the indoor unit and that water needs to go somewhere. If the pipe is not heading downwards slightly, the water will just leak out of the bottom of the indoor unit instead of going outside! We had this problem during the summer as I was not aware of the drain pipe not being positioned properly.

You might (but probably not) have noticed, we are putting the insulated plasterboard directly on the old wood of the house in this area, in every other room we have taken the old wood out and the old insulation behind it and updated it with newer high tech materials. The reason we have left the old wood and insulation in these walls is that the stairs are actually built into the wood planks you see on the wall, if we removed them, we would need to remove the stairs too. That is not something we wanted to do, it is a lot of work and we like the current stairs anyway. The insulated plasterboard is a very good insulation material though, so it should be fine just doing it like this in this one area.

So anyway, I finished plasterboarding the hallway and put the first layer of plaster in the seams between each piece:

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This all went great, but…the stairs wall is the same wall as the upstairs hallway wall, and unfortunately the insulated plasterboard needs to be installed from right to left, so I had to head upstairs and start working on the hallway and balcony up there! This is after I put the first 2 pieces in (I forgot to take a “before” pic)!

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There were a few days missing from before the above pic, I had to remove a doorway and a wall to the left of the door, this used to be some kind of closet thing for the upstairs apartment, we are turning it into a indoor balcony area. As there was a doorway here,  the floor is a bit higher than the rest of the hallway floor, so I wanted to lower the balcony floor as I don’t feel having a “step” on a balcony is very safe:

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This involved chopping about 2cm from those long pieces of wood, to match the height of the floor in the hallway, I also added more of the wood chip insulation as it was not very full as you can see.

Here is how this area looks today:

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This is as much wall as I can put up without buying a new ladder, our current ladder is not tall or safe enough to reach the wall at the stop of the stairway area, I’ll probably have to go shopping for one next week so I can continue! Less interestingly (and again, no before pic), I fixed the wall to the left of the stairway window as it had a hole in it and was not suitable for putting the insulated plasterboard on, it is now matching the rest of old walling.

I did a lot of smaller work on the stair area to stop the cold air coming in from the basement as well as some work upstairs with the remaining un-insulated wall. It has made a really big difference, the house feels nice and warm currently and the draught I could ALWAYS feel before is not really there any more, the heat pump is also definitely working much less hard than before to keep the house at the 23C we are requesting, perhaps this winter we will have a warm house, we will see, soon!

Now time to relax for the weekend, phew!

Kitchen blog

07/09/2016

It all started a year ago!

So, where did I stop on the last blog post, ah yes, I had just finished fitting the kitchen floor.

Next step, make the kitchen! Lets turn this pile of IKEA boxes into something resembling a kitchen!

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It begins…:
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Success!
The next step was to attach it to the wall. The current IKEA kitchen system uses a funky “rail” system, where cabinets just hook onto them. This took quite a bit of work to get right as it needs to be straight and it needs to be attached to the wood BEHIND the wall in order to be secure enough. Normally this would be easy, as you’d mark where the wood is behind the wall, before you put up the front of the wall. But, we forgot to do that, so I had to guess where the wood was by just drilling holes every few centimitres to find them, time consuming and messy, but it worked, and the useless holes got covered by the rail anyway so nobody will ever see them.

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The wall the rails are attached to are not exactly angled at 90 degrees, but in order to secure the corner cabinets, you must ensure the rail is at 90 degrees even if the wall is not. IKEA simply recommends to put wood behind the rail where needed, to get the angle to 90 degrees, so it ended up looking like this:

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So, with the rails now up (on both sides of the room, I skip blogging about he other side as it was just the same process)  , we can fast forward a bit.

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Making IKEA stuff gets pretty boring when you are making this many of them at once, so I found a nice slot to fit a laptop so I could watch entertainment while I worked!:
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Next step was to fit the bottom rails for the lower cabinets, this was much easier since I now knew where the wood behind the walls was .

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Lower left cabinets fitted! Also I mounted the extractor fan (top right), that was a really tricky one as you really NEEDED 2 people to do it, but I managed alone by making my own alternative instructions, phew!

Next step: Cut the kitchen counter to the right size and fit it!

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Kitchen counters are seriously heavy and since they are so long, very hard to manuever around the place! Really really really difficult bit. The sawing was difficult too because the wall is not 90 degrees as I already mentioned, so it needed a lot of small cuts to get it to sit tightly in the corner.

Time to assemble and fit the drawers and the sliding systems they use.

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IKEA drawers and cabinet doors don’t come with handles or holes premade, so you have to do it yourself:
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Doors and handles everywhere!

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Next I did the lower cabinets on the right side, and fitted the dishwasher since it needs to go in quite early in the process otherwise you don’t have much room for fitting the pipes and power cables:

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I unfortunately did not get many photos of the countertop fitting on the right side. It needed extra holes cutting into it for the sink and cooker to fit into.

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Summer!

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We decided to try and do the “backsplash” tiles ourselves, think it turned out pretty ok, but not perfect! You can see the hole for the cooker too on this pic.

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We did lots of (mostly) smaller things which I did not get photos of after this, but none of it was super interesting anyway.

So this is how it looked when we moved in:

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and here how it looks now, 90% finished.

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That is all for this blog. “green room” update blog should be posted in the next few days!

Darryl blog thing!

03/07/2016

Time for an update of stuff I have been doing which was not mentioned in detail on the blog, be warned, there might be some time travelling backwards a few months!

Most importantly, our local supermarket is selling another brand of English tea! I actually hated this brand while I lived on that stupid little island but I am very homesick these days, so any English foods and drinks are great for me 😀

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Okay, onto real stuff. The electricians noticed that our kitchen worktop was too large and that it would stick out beyond the doorway! So I had to create a new wall inside the doorway to make the wall long enough to contain our kitchen ambitions, it was tricky, but I am getting quite confident at making walls now 😀

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I had to make some fancy wall section as the wall stuck out more before the doorway compared to after the doorway, turned out ok!

By the way: I did 2 more things that I did not take any pics of for some reason. 1 Was that I put wood planks on the ceiling at 40cm distances so we could put ceiling panels up there. 2 was that I then put insulation up there. AND 3 is that I dug up the floor in the kitchen AND removed all the wood-chip insulation to reveal the sewage pipes, then the plumbers did some shit, then I covered it all up again, IT WAS HARD AND TOOK AGES. Plumbers are lazy bastards and I will never forgive them. Yeah, I am salty as fuck about that. Plumbers have literally wasted weeks or months of this project, no other type of workmen has wasted so much of our time. I’ll take a lot of pleasure next time Mario gets eaten by a turtle next time I have a nostalgia session and play an old Mario game! Plumbers succkkkkkkkkkkkk.

Next thing to do was to make the arch between the green room and the kitchen. We noticed the walls I had made months ago were not the same width, so I made new wall sections to make it symetrical.

I think I had not made them symetrical for a reason at the time, but I don’t remember why!

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After some precision chopping, I made an archway! Not too bad for a first try.

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Here is the other side, with the wood exposed.

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Jesper did not help, but he was very tired anyway!

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He woke up though once we filled the food bucket! (This is just where we store food, he is not supposed to eat from here!)

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We also went to some hippy festival thing, it was pretty cool and there was an oldschool arcade in there! We learned that M is freaking badass at street fighter! …and most other fighting games we tried. OR maybe I am terrible at them, who knows!

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Then Summer suddenly happened! We have a nice yellow meadow garden, I should really cut it but I am too busy doing house stuff and our lawn mower is totally seriously crap 😀

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We discovered a stash of cocaine under the floor, M especialy enjoyed it:

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After a week or so of plastering between the plasterboards, (WHICH IS HARD AND STRESSFULL) it was time to start painting the undercoat (stupid white paint):

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Eventually after 2 layers, it was done, at it looked pretty good! Most of my silly n00b plastering mistakes were covered up by the paint, phew!

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Of course, the next step was to make everything green!

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After making it green, the next step was to put up the ceiling panels, some super strong tattoo’ed girl turned up to do the sawing!

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It went pretty smoothly, we had an expert chopping the panels, and the they slotted together really easily:

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Before long, it was done!

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This weekend, M is on some weird choir trip, so rather than wasting time on the jungle (garden) I decided to put the kitchen floor in.

It went pretty smoothly, but after a while there were some uneven parts of the floor, so I added more underlay foam stuff to those sections so the floor would (wood) har har not wobble.

The original floor in the kitchen is really messy as I had to take a large part of it out to reveal the sewage pipes for the stupid plumber as it was obviously a too big job for them. I then had to re-make the floor out of whatever wood I could find, so it is not totally flat and even.

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I had to make a cute square hole thing for the sink sewage pipes:

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After 5 hours, a few bucket of sweat, and a fantastic Sherlock Holmes audiobook later, it was done!

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That is all for now! I expect next week I will start making the IKEA kitchen stuff, exciting!

Darryl blög 3 – tre – kolme

29/01/2016

A grumpy old man was complaining about a lack of updates, so since I am staying home today, I will make one!

Progress has been slower recently since M is busy with her wedding dress and the weather has been bad, driving 120km and back is just not always sane in winter, especially since our poor car has also been showing us recently that it is really looking forward to retirement!

We also got a bit delayed since Mario (the plumber) arrived nearly 2 weeks after he said he was going to come…which completely halted the wall construction in the kitchen as we needed the radiator to be moved out of the way! I am also not sure what the roof situation is, they completed the outside work early in January, but they have not been back since! As far as I am aware, there is internal work still to be done.

Anyway, onto actual progress instead of just moaning and complaining! (Can’t help it, English national trait is to complain about everything)

here is M doing our first ever snow shoveling! we bought a bigger shovel now though 😀

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Here is some ice in my eyebrows 😀

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Mario removed the radiator from the hallway (bottom right) so it is easier to move through there now, there is still a pipe sticking up though, hope he removes it soon! I added some lines to show where there used to be a wall and storage, just in case people are confused. I was going to just add a pic of it before we removed the wall but I could not find one, oops! During the day, it is so nice and light in there now since the rear window shines through where there used to be the wall, it catches the afternoon and evening sun really nice!

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Here is the kitchen wall progress. We have nearly finished putting in the insulation and the SPU (hybrid plaster wall and insulation) , doing around the window was pretty tricky but I think it looks okay, all the gaps will be plastered over anyway :O As you can see, we really needed that radiator out of the way before doing under the window. Maybe we don’t even need to put it back, **cough cough underfloor heating**  /dreams.

I hope to put the ceiling back up again soon, we have sanded the old wood which used to be up there and it looks really nice now, you can see some of it on the floor. The problem is: some of it was badly damaged during removal (or installation when the house was built) so we had to chop the bad parts off before sanding them, which means that now they no longer fit perfectly, also, since we extended the kitchen by 70cm or so, we need more wood to cover the ceiling. Luckily we have lots of spare wood around from the walls we have been destroying, so we just need to find wood which is the right width and thickness to match the original ones and it should work fine in the end! Best of all, it costs nothing 😮

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Yesterday I spent the evening smashing the bedroom wall. If the roof workmen ever come back, I think they wanted the upstairs walls removed and all the juk removing, so I figured I should do that while they are still not here. It was quite easy once I got a good flow going, I will do the opposite wall next time I am at the house, hopefully I can do it in 1 session! I am finding lotssssss of newspapers from the 1940s and 50s hidden in the walls, maybe one day I will understand enough Finnish to actually read some of them 😀 I found an old wasp nest in the woodwork too, I took great pleasure in smashing it to bits with my crowbar, muahaha!

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T blög #2

29/12/2015

Today I tried to find a solution to our final kitchen wall problem, which is that the extended part of the kitchens wall is about 5cm out of alignment with the original kitchen wall! 

I came up with this:

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after:

   
 
it’s not finished yet obviously, but the solution I decided on was to put new wood horizontally along the wall to ensure that its straight all the way across, the stone bit is the extended part of the kitchen (and is also the chimney) and sticks out 5cm more than the wood beams in the original kitchen. 

to get the wall to be straight I needed to add 3 layers of wood horizontally in the kitchen, and 1 layer of wood on the stone, which seemed a bit much! so I figured if I remove about 2cm of the stone, that I could fit the wood actually inside the stone, which meant that I need 1 less layer of wood in the kitchen to get it to match the extended part! so I used a stone drill bit to make sections for the wood to fit into the stone. the new bits of wood are currently 60cm apart, which should be strong enough to hold the plaster wall panels and the weight of the cabinets, and if not, we can change it to every 30cm.

that probably did not make too much sense, but it works :p

also the roof guys took off the back side of the roof today, it was cool looking upstairs and seeing the sky from inside! it made it really cold indoors though, I was working in about -5c in the kitchen at one point! brr.

Täryli blög 1!¡

04/12/2015

I am going to start blogging here too now since I go alone to the house fairly often!

Today my mission was to remove some of the ceiling between the kitchen and the green room. first I had to tear up the floor upstairs so I could empty the insulation out of the ceiling below…that was a confusing sentence! 

So, this is how it looked from upstairs after the insulation was removed : 

 
Then I used my trusty clas Olson jigsaw to chop up the wood: 

  

don’t look down! 

 
this is how it looks from downstairs, probably a bit hard to see on the picture!  

 
that’s all for today!