Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

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:

IMG_0871.JPG

IMG_0874.JPG

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:

IMG_0900.JPG

IMG_0903.JPG

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:

IMG_0965.JPG

IMG_0966.JPG

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)!

IMG_0946.JPG

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:

IMG_0949.JPG

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:

IMG_0960.JPG

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!

Advertisements

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!

img_0089

It begins…:
img_0088

img_0090

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.

img_0092

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:

img_0094

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.

img_0100

img_0101

img_0103

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!:
img_0118

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 .

img_0117

img_0123

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!

IMG_0244.JPG

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.

IMG_0245.JPG

IKEA drawers and cabinet doors don’t come with handles or holes premade, so you have to do it yourself:
img_0127

Doors and handles everywhere!

IMG_0128.JPG

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:

IMG_0141.JPG

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.

img_0148

Summer!

IMG_0176.JPG

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.

IMG_0186.JPG

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:

DSC02017.jpg88985321.jpg

and here how it looks now, 90% finished.

thumbnail_FullSizeRender.jpgIMG_0240.JPG

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

Midsummer

25/06/2016

This week we finally got our shots against the incurable disease the ticks carry. As a result we’ve both had extremely sore left arms for a couple of days. But we have managed to almost finish plastering the seams in the kitchen. Sanding them down to be all nice and smooth is quite hard work. 

But enough about that. Here are some awesomely summery pictures from our garden, where I’m sat in the sun waiting for the barbecue to start. 

Rumour has it

15/06/2016

We have a working toilet, and I can confirm, it is true!

Yesterday since about 1600, I was gladly announcing that I was going to the toilet – because I can!! Cheering and waving my hands every occasion. Thankfully it didn’t stick and I am able to go normally now, without celebration. 

So today I worked on getting our mirror up, I did most of it on my own (I love IKEA – Lego for grown ups), and T was busy trying to plaster the seams in the kitchen. He will continue tomorrow I think. 

Well, here it is in all its glory, currently the finest room in this house (despite missing light and a working tap)!



On a side note, I cut my fringe yesterday and now I look 15 again…


Jesper was enjoying the view from the kitchen window today. He is such a little hero, he got badly beaten by Bully yesterday. Now I know the feeling of spray on my face when a cat comes in with a bleeding ear and decides to give it a shake…

But nothing ever breaks his spirits!

The adventures of Little Guy

05/06/2016

We had just had dinner and I was kicking it back in bed with Jesper when I heard these strange squeaking noises from outside. Jesper of course heard it too and zoomed out, only to return shortly with a mouse in his mouth. Ugh not this again. Well we were kinda prepared and I quickly got the box which we carried the previous mouse out in. I picked it up with the jumper and realised soon that this is not a grown mouse. Not soon after Kasper tried to bring one in as well, but he turned around. I’m pretty sure there must have been a nest right outside our window. Anyways, this poor little mouse in my hand seemed really on the edge of death and I was really dreading having to break its neck or whatever, but it was quite alive indeed once it received a proper poke! So I sat down on the porch trying to decide what to do. 


T retrieved a box for screws filled with toilet paper so we would have somewhere to keep it while we tried to figure out this mess. Google told us this mouse was probably around two weeks old. 


Soon I decided that the only option  I’d be satisfied with was to take our little friend on a car ride and release him in the forest, farther away from houses and gardens with cats. Of course, there’s a good chance something else will eat it, but at least we haven’t actively fed it to anything. 


As soon as I opened the box when we got out of the car, he became very lively, which I thought was a good sign. A couple of times he tried to skitter towards me so I helped him in the right direction and soon he was scattering out of sight into the underbush. 


Goodbye little guy!

Long live the Queen

04/06/2016


Maybe I’ll edit in some comments at some point but for now this is all you get!

Time flies when nothing happens

02/06/2016

That’s 5 weeks without a toilet. I’m sure something must have happened since coz there have been work men here, but everything is so slow. 

Tear up the floor in the toilet and realise there’s really not much to make a new floor on. That’s going to add to the schedule. But now we have a floor and a back wall (so pretty!) and I think the next step is tiles on the floor and wall panels. 

You’d think iPhones had a white balance option but no…

Yesterday the electrician was here to do the wiring in the kitchen!


So today T was eager to continue in the kitchen and Paroced the remaining wall. 


I’ve been mostly knocked out by a killer headache and an equally murderous stomach ache. We also had a bit of thunder. 

To not end on a negative note, here’s a pic from one of the two days we’ve spent on the beach this week!

Friday night realisations

06/05/2016

The hockey world championship started tonight. Since we still haven’t managed to get channels on our tv, we decided to hurriedly go to Turku and grab one of my old digiboxes. Of which we found two, but no remote controls. So we decided to buy a universal one. 

We also brought along our bikes!
Come match time and T still haven’t got the universal remote working, and about 45 minutes later he can but conclude they aren’t compatible (guaranteed to work on all devices my ass). 

What to do when there’s no hockey to be had? You check WWFs Saimaa ringed seal live camera feed of course! And YES! For once the seal is there!


The site doesn’t seem to handle the traffic very well though, the camera keeps freezing up. The seal itself albeit very cute isn’t very exciting as it seems to be sleeping. And here comes my realisation: seals are nothing but fat water loving cats. The seal woke up briefly, curled its toes, stretched all ways and wiped its face with its flipper. Squeeeeeeeeee

Itd dringh

04/05/2016

Now that it’s practically summer, Spring has hit full scale. Blowing my nose, sneezing, blowing my nose, itchy eyes, blowing my nose, you get the picture. 

Yesterday Jesper came in with yet another fresh slash on his nose. 


But! I think he got a strike on Black Bully as well, coz I picked this out of his claws:

And as usual, Jesper seemed to be in no distress at all, so all’s good. 

Just as I’m writing this, Kasper came in!! It’s way too early! Then again, I think I let him out 230 last night… He has visibly lost weight, which is good, since the vet told me a while back he really shouldn’t gain any more. Happy, purry cat. Often comes with a Christmas tree scent these days. 


Yesterday the electrician came to set up our new fuse box and do the wiring upstairs. He made sure we had sockets in tactical places for heaters but also added “not that it matters much, I’ll be selling you a heat pump before long”. 

Today roof guy and Luigi emerged to sync their status. Luigi apparently still had some piping left to do, but he finished by 1400 or so. I’m not really expecting anyone bothering to come on Friday. 

We decided to head to Ekenäs to see if the handicraft shop there would have a 1:4 ruler which I need for my entrance exam next week. Last year I borrowed one from school, since my own was gone. I have since found it but also lost it again, of course. Stupid thin transparent thing. Since we were there we sampled the sea and I regret a bit not bringing swim gear. The water was not cold. As proven by this fine Englishman casually standing around. 


When we came back, Black Bully was owning the street, lying nonchalantly on the sidewalk. 


Imagine then our surprise when we take a look at our garden!

This second black and white was however pawing playfully at something in the grass and acted a lot more cautious in general. Also noticed this one has a white chin. Rather cute. But they sure look the same at a quick glance!

Happy vappu!

01/05/2016

Vappu is the traditional Finnish celebration of the 1st of May, where you get drunk, assemble at a market place or park and stab someone (as opposed to Juhannus, which is the celebration of Midsumer, where you get drunk, go swimming and drown yourself). Some might argue it’s a celebration with balloons, wigs and funny hats, but I’m pretty insistent on my perception and thus never celebrated. 

This year, however having nothing short of summer (actually, I pointed out earlier how absurd summer is without any swallows), we decided to celebrate with the less traditional barbecue at home. 

First, we wanted to do some garden work. We bought a wheel barrow yesterday that needed assembling. So T handled that job while I raked the “sitting area” so it would be a bit nicer for our barbecue. 

Wheel barrel, assemble!

Now that T is the proud owner of both wheel barrel, wellies and a new spade, he was eager to start digging again. The plan is to dig a “path” out of our garden for the water, and then fill it up with something easily flooding through. We might add some stones or tiling on the top to make it a walkable path but we haven’t decided yet. I did my usual walking around taking pictures of everything I find interesting. 

 These look interesting, I wonder what they will be when they grow up!


I really like the shade of green of these swirly ones. 

Jesper came to keep us company and see what we were up to now and then. (We are slowly getting used to Kasper only popping in for about 4-5 hours once it gets dark.) He thought having his own pond flavoured drink dispenser was very handy!

Speaking of pond, we’ve only had it for a day, and already there are waterboatmen in it?!


Before long it was time to start the barbecue. 


Sun, barbecue, beer and f1 on the laptop. Does it get any better than this? We think not. 


All full of delicious food, T went back to digging and I went on to blogging. He warned me my face and shoulders are turning rather pink. Not sure if it’s visible on the picture, since it’s hard to make out things on a phone when you’re out in the sun.