Installing New Windows

The progress continues. Now we have completed the installation of new windows on the top floor! ūüôā We have just a new balcony door to go. We chose triple glazed windows from Elitf√∂nster which are aluminium, these are grey outside and white inside. We chose these for a number of reasons, first of all they will keep the heat in and sound out. Also aluminum ages much better. We chose to not have all opening windows, some due to safety and others due to cost. Windows that open are significantly more expensive so we made sure that we strategically placed windows to allow for proper airflow.

Even though the finishing touches are not complete it has made a huge difference. Check it out in the pics below…

Back door/window

Before and After

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Living Room Windows:

Before and After

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During

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Staircase

Before and After

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So-to-be Kitchen

Before and After

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Soon-to-be Bedroom

Before and After

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Long time, no speak!

So it has been a while between blog posts and house updates. Unfortunate circumstances meant I had to take off to Australia for a few weeks, leaving Fredrik to move us in to the new house and keep the renovations happening. Of course he has been doing an absolutely amazing job (as always). His Dad spent a lot of time here while I was away to help him and the progress has been great and the quality of work is second to none. His poor Dad had to sleep in the kitchen!! That is commitment!

So what was Fredrik doing these long summer days?

  • Creating channels for the new skylights
  • Laying a slab in the new open-plan living room to even out the floor
  • Putting floor heating in the bathroom, electricity work, new ceiling etc etc
  • Cleaning up two downstairs rooms for storage

One job that ended taking a lot more time than anticipated was the skylights. It was a lot of precision work to get the right angles and consistency on all three (soon to be four) windows.

Here are some pics of our progress.

Rooms downstairs

Before and After Photos


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During the renovation

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Working on the Skylights

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Skylights

Our master plan is taking form, faster than we anticipated! My plan to create space and an open feeling includes 4 windows in the ceiling, we will take the ceiling up creating an amazing feature ceiling in the living area also as you walk up the stairs. Hard to explain, but pictures will come!

This one we didn’t do ourselves as it is very important that these windows are water tight.

Very exciting!

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Heating (Värmepump)

Well what an adventure it is to pick a new heating system in Sweden. It is a whole new world for me… I guess when you live in a polar climate it is pretty important but in many cases some of it does feel a little like overkill, but I guess the Swedes know just a wee bit more about heating than this Aussie!

Before even buying the house, the agent told us that changing the heating (v√§rmepump) was the first thing to be done, which was kind of obvious when you saw the old system. It was oil heating (oljepanna), which consisted of two parts. The ‘panna’ which I guess is a furnace in English, basically the big mean green machine, (shown below). There was also the MASSIVE oil tank. Besides being downright scary looking, this is an incredibly inefficient way to heat your home in 2013, so changing was the only option for us.

The oljepanna:IMG_5713 The oil tank:IMG_5716

Speaking of options… the world of options for heating systems (v√§rmepump) was just utterly confusing. Basically we were tossing up between two options bergv√§rme (geo-thermal) and luft-vatten v√§rmepump (which I have no idea what it is called in English, air-water heating pump is the direct translation). Anyway, the bergv√§rme is a really efficient way of ¬†heating your home and many will argue that it is the most efficient, this was my preference when going in to this as I had heard everywhere that it is the best option. The more we looked in to it, we found that the difference really was marginal. The cost of the bergv√§rme was significantly more, and the yearly running costs were marginally less. The calculation is around 20 years that you will break-even.

Aside from cost, to install a bergv√§rme just seems like a lot of work to me. And also the costs can increase if they need to drill more than they realise, which they don’t know until they start. Also they need to choose the right place to drill a whopping hole in your garden and our block of land is hardly ideal for getting a machine which weighs a few tonnes up around the back of the house. It felt like it would be almost impossible.

So in the end, with much advice from Energipojkarna we decided to spend our 96,000 SEK (around AUD16,000) on a luft-vatten pump. Not in this price was new elements (not essential), but included was the cost of removing all of the old equipment and an additional large water tank so I can enjoy my looooong showers. This is interesting to consider doing at installation, although it may add around 6000SEK, if you decide to do it later it will be around 20,000SEK and the installation will be different and it will use more electricity (so I am told).

The installation started with the removal of the old system and oil tank, then we had a delayed arrival of our v√§rmepump and delivery couriers who left it sitting on the side of the road, literally, 50,000SEK worth of equipment which weighed around 300kgs combined, just left on the side of the road. Arrrgh… don’t even get me started. But then the guys from NR Kyl¬†came, helped us get all of the stuff up to the house and began the installation.
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I have to say, the guys from NR Kyl have been amazing. Incredibly efficient, helpful, quick, friendly and have in 2 days finished the installation, which is more than I would have expected on these beautiful Summer Days in Sweden! They have been great from the beginning and we have been really happy with the service and results. And here, where the scary old oljepanna sat, is a fresh, new and efficient heating system!!

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To finish the job we decided to replace the existing delightful yellow elements with new elements (which are also not cheap), so¬†NR Kyl¬†will be back on Monday to do this for us. We are only changing the elements upstairs at this stage as we wont renovate downstairs just yet, and in the future we will have floor heating downstairs. Which I also wanted upstairs but apparently was not a good option, so I lost on that one! ūüôā You win some, you lose some!

Bathroom Renovation

It has been a busy week… absolutely exhausting. I will add more posts with the other things we have accomplished later but first, the big one… the bathroom!

We have had some help from Fredrik’s Dad and that man is a working machine!! It has been so good to have him here and he really likes to do things right, a bit of a perfectionist, which makes me feel secure that everything is being done to the highest standard. This bathroom is our small bathroom upstairs which we will use until we start working on our big lux bathroom downstairs.

It is a really small room and we are just going to keep it basic. The trick to making a small bathroom feel bigger? Use large tiles and make sure that the grout closely matches the tile colour… the less lines the more open, it will give the illusion of more space. So I have chosen large floor tiles in grey colour, they are 600mm x 300mm and big white wall tiles which are 550mm x 300mm, plus a feature if white mosiac tiles in the shower. We will have basic white furniture. Finished photos to come in some weeks, after Fredrik’s Dad comes back to help finish¬†up! ūüôā

The mosaic:

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All pipes were from 1959 so it was important to find and replace them all. So we did that and then have laid the floor. Next steps are floor heating, walls spackle, tiles, then connection of plumbing and furniture.

Want to see how they have done? Watch this…

Open plan living area

Finally, the wall is all down. In just 1 hour today we turned two bedrooms and a living area in to an open plan space which will be the new kitchen and living area. It feels massive now, super excited that the master plan is starting to become a reality. I can’t wait until we raise the ceiling and put in the ceiling windows… it is going to look amazing!

Here is a video of our demolition, you can see the before, during and after. 1 hour of work in 2 minutes…

Renovation Vacation

Now that our holidays have started it is time to really get cracking. We move in to the house in 3 weeks, so we need to make the inside a little bit more livable. We have prioritised one room downstairs which will be our temporary bedroom so we have done a quick paint job and thrown in some cheap floorboards. All experienced renovators tell us a fresh bedroom is REALLY important, so we have listened.

Sometimes it feels overwhelming, but we just need to keep focused and take it one step at a time.

Check out the photos of our progress:

The temporary bedroom:

Before:

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Is Fredrik renovating or Breaking Bad with Heisenberg? IMG_3492IMG_3495

It is a bit hot in plastic overalls:IMG_3498

Filling up the holes:

IMG_3579A coat of paint:bild (5)Floorboards in:
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Just some skirting boards left and we can sleep in here… oh… and a new light!!

Some other happenings on the constructions site have included:


Deliveries galore from Beijer:IMG_3565

A much anticipated bin, the amount of rubbish is just ridiculous! IMG_3575


Fredrik aka McGyver decided to make it easier to get stuff in the bin so instead of walking down the stairs, he constructed this little platform for us to throw the rubbish from. The boy is a genius.IMG_3581

 

We’ve also began demolishing upstairs ready for our living area:IMG_3580IMG_3589IMG_3203

A Swede and a Sledge Hammer

Today we had Nina over to show her the house and she was pretty keen to get in to some demolition, so we let her loose on the downstairs area. This room we are doing a quick tidy up with a coat of paint and floor boards so we have a relatively fresh room to sleep in when we first move in, until our bedroom is ready.

So we started with this room:IMG_5734

Carefully removed the skirtings first:IMG_3324

Then Nina got hold of this:IMG_3321

And this happened:

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I also had a bit of a go at it: 

Once the wardrobe was out, we began to remove the disgusting orange carpet only to uncover some tiles which look like they are brand new!

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It was a pretty fun day and anyone who messes with me… I have Nina on my team, watch that video of her with that sledge hammer… be afraid! After photos coming soon!

Removing Supporting Wall: Support Beam

Today we had to take on probably one of the toughest, most risky projects, we had a 9 metre support beam lifted in to a hole in the side wall of the house. As we wish to remove a semi-supporting wall we need to add a beam in the attic to support the roof, otherwise we might wake up one night with the roof on us… so here is the story…

On Friday, this truck from Beijer Byggmaterial (shameless advertising for Sweden’s best building supplies store with the most awesome employees ;-)):

 

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Delivered us this beam…

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Unfortunately that truck was too small to lift the beam, as it needed to be lifted around 20 metres from the road to the house and up around 12 metres which a standard crane truck can’t do… So we called in the big guys. Per and his somewhat larger crane truck…IMG_4893 (1)

 

At this point I left the site and let David take over. I felt like this was dangerous and risky and was really glad to get out of there! Here is what happened next….

Some precision crane driving (I think it took only 2 attempts), lifted the beam flat to the hole which Fredrik had cut from the facade.

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David was outside guiding it in to Fredrik who was in the attic pulling the 180kg beam in to the attic.

 

 

 

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All three of them then pulled the full beam in to the attic where we will soon secure it in place so we can remove the wall.

 

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I then could return to the site to see the beam safely in the attic ready for my new floorplan to start to come in to shape.

 

 

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Let the demolition begin! ūüôā

Calling All Garden Experts!

It has been a while between posts, but that is because we have been waiting patiently to get the keys. We finally will get the keys to our kingdom on Thursday… woohooooo!

We have been out at the house today, sneaking around the garden because the owners have moved out. There is a lot to do in the garden, it is completely overgrown and out of control. There are so many pretty plants and trees but we have to get rid of a lot. Before we do, we need to identify what is what.

Any garden experts out there who can identify any of the plants in these pics? I guess some of them are maybe weeds, but I can’t tell the difference! Let us know! ūüôā

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