Sunday, December 11, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
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
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.
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:
View towards rest of the bathroom from same location:
Our guest-bathroom is also tiled and paneled (spelling?):
Utility-room is almost done as well:
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):
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?
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:
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:
(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…)
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:
Related to the bathroom, is the room next to it, our utility-room. It currently looks like this:
It too will be receiving tiles in the near future.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
A lot has happened with the project. We have received the panels, and they are quickly being installed:
Yeah, they are looking good! And those panels really underline the height of the rooms! In a perfect world we should have put those panels up a bit later, after we had painted the walls. But we have to install them ASAP, since we do not have much storage-space for them and there's a lot of them.
In the last picture you can see how the horizontal beam looks crooked. That's because it is. We could have tried to hide it somehow, but it would have been extra work. And we decided not to. This is an old building, and we don't have to, nor do we want to, hide that fact.
Other focus-area in recent days has been our balcony. The frame is now finished, but we will probably finish it next spring, in order to save our resources (read: money) for more urgent and important things. Besides, if we did it this year, we would be finishing the balcony in november or so, not exactly the hot balcony season of the year… But it does look quite impressive, and big:
Yeah, those beams are quite massive. But they need to carry the weight of the entire balcony. And they are well anchored on the ground:
There's a third focus area as well, our bathroom. I could post some pictures of it, but they are already obsolete. I will be taking new pictures soon, and make a separate blog-post about it.
What else… The installation of the floor has been started as well, initially using the old 120 year old floorboards:
We will sandpaper and paint them grey, so that is not our finished floor. We have old floorboards for about 40m2, rest will have to be new.
Well, that's it for now :)!
Monday, August 8, 2011
No, not "rooms", but something like them:
In one week we got the frames for the walls and electricity-work. This means that we now have outlines of our rooms that we can actually walk in to. We have doorways and we can see what the rooms will actually be like, as opposed to having to imagine that "the wall will be somewhere around here....". The visible changes in the site have been absolutely huge, and in only one week!
So, what's happening now? This week they will be installing plumbing and other pipework, as well as finishing the floors in some areas. We are planning to more or less finish the work in our study (minus paneling, since panels will not arrive in few more weeks). It's the simplest of the rooms, so we can use it to double-check what our color-choices look like. And once it's finished, we can move some our stuff there. After that, 11 m2 finished, 139 m2 to go. Tiny steps people, tiny steps. But after that we should get additional 30+ m2 done relatively quickly. Of course we might still be missing some finishing touches, but we would be getting there.
Since we now know where the walls will be, we got clearer idea about some things: we are re-thinking our kitchen. The original wasn't all that convenient, especially if we have our dining-table in the middle of the room. So we are thinking of moving the dining-table to the next room, and re-arranging the kitchen a bit. Instead of having the kitchen spread on opposite walls, we will be having a kitchen island with oven, stove, tablespace and storage-space. Fridge, dishwasher, washbasin and more cupboards will still be next to the walls, but the overall desigh of the kitchen will be more convenient and natural.
It has been a while since I last blogged, and now it seems that things are happening so fast that I can't keep up. I visited the site few days after those pictures were taken, and in that time they had installed half of the plumbing! Next week they will apparently actually close up the walls, so we will then have actual rooms, with actual walls. How about that?!
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Actually, there are several. Since last update, five new holes have appeared. Three of them are doorways, and two are dismantled walls. Remember this:
It now looks like this:
That's right, there's a new doorway. And there's an identical doorway on the opposite wall. Which means that we have an unobstructed view from one end of our home to the other:
That's a view from our "tv-room" through our living-room to our bedroom (where Mrs. is standing). You can also see the dismantled floors. The builders have finished insulating the floors, and they are now straightening them. We are considering our options when it comes to additional sound-proofing. My plan is to pump 20cm of sand in the floor, that sound insulate noise quite well. But we are still thinking about this.
This picture also gives you an idea for our heating-arrangements. There will be a heatpump above the Mrs., and there will be a second one in the opposite wall (where the picture is taken). This means that we can pump warm air (or cold air in the summer) thorough the house. Only rooms not directly heated in this way are the kitchen, the bathrooms and the study. This is a very efficient way of heating the house, and it's made even more efficient by the fireplaces at the opposite ends of the home.
Other new "holes" are here:
This is picture towards our "tv-room" (to the left) and study/spare bedroom (to the right). The picture with the Mrs. above is taken from behind the smokestack. The rightmost hole is dismantled wall in the study, which gives nice additional space for that room. The new wall (built from re-used timber from those dismantled walls) will be behind the smokestack, in front of the window in the middle. The hole between the old timber wall and the smokestack is the doorway to the study. You can also see the other dismantled timber-wall, to the right of the smokestack.
Things are moving very fast now, after slow progress for several months. I was quite pessimistic in april/may, since things were progressing very slowly, but I'm very optimistic and enthusiastic now! We might actually be able to pull this off! Who knows, maybe we'll be able to move in in about two months or so. No, the place will not be finished then, but we might have a finished bedroom and bathroom, and that's enough for us.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
The colours I mentioned in the previous entry? Forget them. We decided to re-do them. Floor will have this color:
That color is very classical grey, and it should look beautiful :).
The walls will be purer white, but I can't recall the exact shade at the moment. I _think_ it was this one:
But I'm not 100% sure, I need to check my notes later.
We spent quite some time painting samples (the actual material we have in our home) and comparing them to each other before we decided on these. It was hard, but now it's done.
Monday, April 4, 2011
What Mrs. and I have been doing is picking up colors. If I had to pick the overall colors of the interior, it would be "white". But picking up the right shade of white is VERY difficult. Especially when you are combining it with a grey floor. Picking up correct shade of grey is very difficult as well. We thought we had it nailed, but then we noticed that the color of the walls have a profound effect on what the floor will look like, and vice versa. So we can't choose them individually, we have to choose them together. And everything influences everything else.
Right now our choice for the floor is a shade called "Bungalow" (I have no idea where they came up with that name):
At least on my screen it looks slightly bluish, but in the paint-store (with more accurate samples), it looks a bit more grey. And when you add it to our choices of walls, it looks even less grey. Why grey? Well, pale grey is a traditional color of old wood floors at least in Finland, and we wanted something traditional. Brown is not suitable, since we want to maximize the amount of light.
Speaking of walls, we currently have two choices:
One of them is more a pure white (although on my screen it looks bluish, YMMV), while the other has slight yellowish tint to it. So we need to decide between colder and warmer shade.
I will be buying all three paints today, and I will be doing some test-painting, just so see what they look in reality, and how they play together. Who would have guessed that picking up white paint could be so damn difficult??