Sunday, March 18, 2012

Settling in

It's been a while since I last blogged. We have settled in, and started turning the place in to a home. Plumbing is 100% done, and we still have few minor electricity-things left to do (worklights in the utility-room, configuring the smart-home system). We also need to buy some storage-closets and the like, since in our old home they were all integrated. We currently have cardboard-boxes here and there, and few loaner drawers and the like. We also don't have a study/guest room, since it's currently acting as our wardrobe. Also, we need to buy some more lights and stuff.


What else... We will be getting two pair-doors shortly, and a bit later we will receive two single-doors. They are custom-made, since the doorways are not standards-sized. Of course, we are still missing the kitchen and the balcony.


So what does it look like currently? Here are few pictures from our bathrooms:

(still missing the bathtub and the extra sink. You can see the preparations for the latter below the window)

This is our main shower. The showerhead is about 2.4 meters high (so high mrs. can't reach it), and it's 23cm in diameter. I love it! Here's our guest shower:

As for the other rooms... Here's a view to our living-room:

Notice the boxes hiding behind the sofa. From almost the same spot towards the TV:

The sofa fits really nicely behind the carved out wall, and the low ceiling makes it feel quite cozy.


We also got some lights installed on the beams in the living-room, bedroom and the... Um, second living-room? This picture is from the living-room:

Those lights don't look too modern, so they fit in quite nicely:

We also installed a light above our stairs. That light was previously in our bedroom, and in the temporary apartment it was in our living room:

We didn't plan on having that light there, but it looks good, and saves us from having to buy more lights, so why not?

Like I hinted earlier, we have a "second livingroom":

The chairs and the table are loaner-furniture. The bench next to the wall is and old bench I got from my mother. It was supposed to go to the area above our stairs, but we (read: mrs.) changed our mind. The doorway you can see is one of the two doorways that will get the double-door shortly. The other doorway is at the opposite side of the room. Our second sofa is on the opposite wall:

You could say that that is quite a few pieces of furniture for such a large room (about 30m2). But we don't have that much more furniture at the moment (and some of that we do have, is on loan from others), and we will not go to our way to fill everything up. Besides, the pillars in the middle kinda divide the room in to two smaller sections, so it works quite well as it is. I am thinking about getting one or two comfy chairs opposite to the sofa, but Mrs. is not entirely sold on the idea.

We still need to hang our various pieces of artwork on the walls. But ironically that could be quite hard, since the amount of suitable wall space is quite limited, even though or home is so large.


Well, that's it for now :).

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Rest weary traveller, sleep the journey from your eyes

That's right, we have moved in. It's not much at this point, basically just a bed to sleep in, but it's a start. Everything is a bit chaotic at a moment, because we really don't have space for all our stuff (our temporary apartment is not totally empty), so we have to put our stuff where we can. And we have some temporary loaner stuff as well, like those white chairs. 

The plan is that we will live in this end of the place (this is what will become our living-room), while the opposite end is finalized. Once that's done, we will move our bed there, and work will then start on finalizing our living-room. One room that is 99% done is our study, but it functions as our wardrobe at the moment. 

So, what else has been happening lately? Well, our main renovator has been on a well-deserved Christmas-holiday, but other workers have done some stuff. First of all, we got the door to our balcony:
Balcony is still missing, however. Besides that, we got our front-door:

Electricians have also been working, and it seems to me that they are almost done. They have installed the plugs for our ceiling-lights, and they seem to be working even. Almost all of our fixed lights have been installed, for example the utility-room:

And shower: 

Also, they have installed radiators, light-switches and power-sockets, so our home is finally self-sufficient in that regard:
And, we also got some interior-doors as well, for example, between the utility-room and our bedroom:

So, what's left to do? Well, the plumber needs to install some pipes, after that, we can finish the few remaining walls. Plumber also need to install showers, toilets, sinks and the water-heater. Electricians have few more things to, like configuring the "smart home"-system and fixing few things. But to me, it seems like they are 90% done. Our renovator needs to paint the floors in our kitchen and dining-room, install few walls and some paneling and do some finishing touches. After that, we are DONE! Well, we would still be missing our kitchen and the balcony, but those can wait. 

The journey has been really exhausting, but we are almost home. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Stairway to... Somewhere

So, we got the stairs!

That brown and orange stuff is just for protection so we won't damage the stairs while we are still building. The actual color is grey. It's the same color we have in rest of our floors. 

Alongside the stairs, we got railings:

The shape of the pillars mirror the shape of the bigger pillars in the kitchen. The color ,arches the color of our walls. It looks really nifty!

Other room that has progressed a lot, is our utility-room. We have almost finished installing the cabinets there:

We still need to hide the legs of the cabinets, Install the sink and the lighting (those are done by others) and sort out few errors in the shipment (one of the cabinets was wrong, and we got an extra unwanted cabinet), but other than that, it looks pretty good!

I couldn't get proper pictures of our bedroom in my last post, because the floor was freshly painted. But now I have few extra pictures:
And the living-room and the guest-bedroom:

That's it for today. Plan is that we will move in to the bedroom one week from today. As a bonus, here's a detail from our utility-room:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Paint it, grey

Ok, some geekery first: this blog-posts done entirely with an iPad, using blogging-app Blogsy. Let's hope everything goes well. 

So, what's going on? Lots. We are getting there. With little luck, we should be able to move in in a bit over week! There's a lot to do, still, but the place is becoming livable. Which you wouldn't believe by looking at it right now. 

Tomorrow we get our new stairs. Right now the stairwell looks like this:
We carried our utility-room cupboards through that. Yeah, it was difficult... But that will change tomorrow!

What else... We have worked on the exposed timber-surfaces. We can't leave them as they are, since it would be difficult to keep them clean. So we applied a reddish-brownish lacquer-surface on 'em:
To compare to the original color:
I can hear you thinking: "what's the deal with that un-lacquered square area?". It contains text written by previous owners of the house, from long ago: "Wirtanen omistaa talon", "Wirtanen owns the house". We'll be putting frames around it. 

We have also installed woodwork on the floor, and it has been painted in the bedroom (two layers) living-room and guest-bedroom (one layer so far). Bedroom looks like this:

Here's the difference between the painted and unpainted floor:
We will be having the same color across all wood-floors. It looks really good! It's a classic color often found in old houses. So we have three main colors in the place: grey floors, pure white walls and brownish-reddish timber-surfaces. We tried some other solutions for the floor, but they were not satisfactory. So we ended up painting them. 

So the bedroom is almost done. Electrician still needs to install electric-work there, and there are some finishing touches to be done. But the room will be livable. Our plan is to move in as soon as possible. 

I guess that's it for now. Here's a bonus-picture of Fasu the Cat:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Long and winding road

No pictures this time, just general musings about The Project.

It's been.... crazy and nerve-wrecking. Original timetable said that we would be more or less finished 3 months ago. But here we are, still unfinished. And there as been more delays as we get closer to the finish. We were supposed to get our new stairs in 2-3 weeks, but we were told yesterday that we will get the in December. Hopefully in the first half of December. So that delays our moving-time, since we obviously can't move to a second-floor home that has no stairs to it.

The good news is that the renovation-company is almost done. There's still few walls to paint, and they are out of there. After that it's just finishing the surfaces, finalizing the electric-work (that can't be done before we finish painting the walls and receive the cupboards in the utility-room) and the like. Some things will be postponed in to indefinite future. Things like balcony (hopefully next summer), heat-pumps (hopefully next fall), fireplaces (god knows when. Assuming we can get them at all) and kitchen (ASAP). reason being that we are way over budget, and I need to focus on things that are absolutely essential.

So, am I disappointed? No, not really. Of course I'm annoyed by the extra expenses, and I wish we could get more finished. But looking at the place, I can't really be all that disappointed. It's shaping up to be a really great home, and I can take joy from the fact that it's going to get even better in the future.

So why are we over budget and behind schedule? Basically, this is a old house with history (during Winter War a Russian bomb fell close to the house, seriously damaging it) we are dealing with. Had this been a "normal" house things would have been a lot smoother. But this place was about 20cm crooked, and it took a lot of time (and money) to straighten it. Oh well.

I still laugh at articles telling of "easy kitchen renovation!", or how modern homes are built like huge jigsaw-puzzles: just snap few parts together and move in. Takes few days. Our project is a polar opposite of that. We are now on day 311.

The funny thing is that we haven't really had any horror-stories to tell. You always hear stories of crappy workers, moisture-issues, accidents and the like. We have had nothing like that. Our workers have been top-notch, we didn't run in to any negative surprises (apart from the fact how crooked the place was) or anything like that. Things have been really smooth, all in all. Slower than anticipated, yes, but smooth.

But yeah, I'm quite tired.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Almost there...

It's been a bit over a month since I last blogged. Back then the bathrooms were taking shape, and we had started installing panels on the ceiling. So, what has changed in the last month or so? Plenty.

The bathrooms

Almost there  386

Yes, we have installed panels in our bathrooms! And the tiles have been installed as well! Only thing missing is the showers, sinks and finishing the electric work. So basically, they are almost done!

Here's where our main shower (Hansgrohe Raindance showerpipe with 24cm showerhead) will be located:

Almost there  380

View towards rest of the bathroom from same location:

Almost there  387

Our guest-bathroom is also tiled and paneled (spelling?):

Almost there  385


Utility-room is almost done as well:

Almost there  383

Almost there  384

Almost there  382

We are still missing shelved and closets, but the will be delivered in 4 weeks. Then it's really DONE!

What about rest of the place? Well, regarding the paneling (that we had just started last time):

Almost there  378

That's our dining-room. Our living-room and bedroom are paneled as well. Only rooms that are left is the kitchen and the area around the staircase. So paneling is about 70% done. So what does kitchen and the staircase look like?


Almost there  379

So we have floors, insulation is 100% and those little walls have been dismantled. Only thing left is dismantling the old staircase, and installing the new one. Once that is done, the renovation-company is DONE! That's about 1+ weeks of work! It looks like totally unfinished, but we are really getting there!

There is one extra thing for them to do though. I asked for their help in painting some of the bigger timber-walls. But those should be relatively easy tasks.

Here's a bonus-picture from sunday-morning, taken through the kitchen-window downstairs:

Almost there  381

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I mentioned in my previous blog-post that bathroom has been one of the focus-areas recently. And a lot has been accomplished:

Bathroom  378

(I hate to think how much blood, sweat and tears the tiler had to shed to get those diagonally cut tiles on a wall with an angled ceiling…)

Bathroom  381Bathroom  379

The bathroom is still missing the floor-tiles and the panels on the ceiling, as well as seams. But it's definitely taking shape. For reference, this was our starting-point:

Bathroom  382

Related to the bathroom, is the room next to it, our utility-room. It currently looks like this:

Bathroom  380

It too will be receiving tiles in the near future.