Bedroom and Hall reno!

So, it has again been a long time between posts… but still plenty going on. I have’t done any reveal of the new floorplan downstairs, it was a pretty major change through just adding a hall way. Our objective was to gain a central hall with access to three bedrooms. It was a maze before as you will see by the before and after floorplan. 

I have a video before on my computer so once I get that I will do a proper comparison. The change is pretty massive!

 We still have a way to go with details and styling, quite empty but we’ll get there. A reminder of the before of our bedroom and the hall – 

Here is some after pics –

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And we have now moved downstair so now upstairs is a playroom/spare bedroom – 

‘You now have the best house in the Neighbourhood’

It was a risk, buying a house that looked like complete and utter #”%&, but we saw the potential. At first it wasn’t fun to see our friend’s reactions when they saw the house. Even with all of the warning that it is a full renovation, very run down, when people saw it there was only comments of ‘Oh. Wow. This is really a project.’ and it was actually like people felt sorry for us. It freaked people out, I think some people actually felt uncomfortable. We didn’t buy this thinking it would be easy, but we knew it would be rewarding and we knew we could make it amazing.

Maybe we are a little crazy, but we always had a vision and now it is finally starting to shine through. The new render on the facade is now complete and suddenly everyone is seeing what we knew would happen all along. It was one year ago that we moved in and now the neighbours are stopping in the street and saying ‘What a tranformation’ and ‘You now have the best house in the Neighbourhood’. While I wouldn’t go that far yet, it is shaping up to be a spectacular home and we are so proud.

Below are the before and after photos of the outside of the house. In these photos you can also see that the garden has been somewhat tamed in the last year, allowing for the house to actually be seen.

Now to get the top floor finished… 🙂

 

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Drainage Dramas

Leading up to this day, I was nervous. We have a block of land that isn’t really ‘digger friendly’ and many people were skeptical about whether is was even possible to drive a digger up to the house given the steep, uneven ground. So instead of hiring a professional digging company, we decided to give it a go ourselves with the help of someone to drive the digger. Sounds like a genius idea, right?

Actually, we didn’t really have to put in new drainage, we don’t have a problem with damp but it could happen in the future with a sub-terrain house so we thought that doing it now, while the garden is already a disaster is much better than doing it later.

So yesterday, this was delivered:IMG_5965 This morning, Johan, a colleague of Fredrik’s came to drive this bad boy and get digging. I went out with Lina and Elliot, as I was nervous and while I was out, this happened:

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Yep… the digger had sprung a leak so the mechanics had to come out and fix it. Despite being fixed and every effort to get it up the hill, it wasn’t happening, so the only option was to go up the stairs, like this:

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So, a visit from the mechanics and a set of stairs later (and plenty of swearing from Johan) and we made it past one obstacle, we were on the house level. Next obstacle to get around the back. Next was a couple of hours of this:

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After a near miss with the house, there was a hallelujah moment:

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SUCCESS! But the reality was it was now 17:00 and the digging for drainage hadn’t begun. Oh well… the boys got cracking and I continued hiding out inside watching The Real Housewives of Melbourne.

One of the things I said to Fredrik about doing the drainage is that I really didn’t want to lose these beautiful rhododendron bushes:

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I popped out to see how they were going and this is what I see:

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They were the next victims of the drainage. But actually, they did try to save them but despite all efforts to move them, this is what was left:

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So…. while I sit here and write this blog they are out there digging away. Such dedication, I am very impressed. I would have given up at the mechanic….

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When I look back at photos it is hard to believe that not so many months ago, this was the back of the house:

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Now it is this:

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I am pretty proud of what we are doing, just wait until my next update about the interior… it is going to be a dream! 🙂

Renovation Restart…

We have had a bit of downtime since Christmas when it comes to the remodel, and I think that is really important otherwise I think this project would drive us mad and it is probably the best advice experienced renovators have given us… take breaks! After coming back from the US and Mexico where we had an awesome holiday we struggled to get our mojo back, but with the new season of The Block being released we have suddenly found our motivation again and it feels really good.

Now we have finally started to get the plaster on the walls upstairs, the kitchen is getting ordered this week and the new windows for downstairs. Pretty glad that Spring has come early this year as it means we have a bit more time to some of the boring stuff like drainage around the house.

We sometimes forget how much progress we have made, but here is something that really shows it. Below is a photo of how the upstairs living area was before, this is it when we moved in, it was three rooms:

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This is it now… it is one amazing room with ceiling window, spotlights, new walls, new heating…. it is virtually a completely new house:

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This doesn’t happen all by itself… here are some progress shots:

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We have also done a rough renovation of the room I used to call ‘the crime scene’ as it was pretty damn gross! It is amazing what a coat of paint can do!

Before:

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After:

Renovated basement

Living in a Construction Zone

Living in the middle of a house that is being completely remodeled has its moments, you buy a house that is around 160m2 and you can only live in around 25m2, but it will all be worth it in the end. Most people are shocked when the see the scope of the project we have taken on, but everyone is always amazed at the progress. Our Real Estate Agent told us that this will be best house in the area if we go through with the plans we have, so it should pay off in the end.

Right now we have an old kitchen (which works REALLY well, plus we put in a dishwasher just because I am a bit precious), old yucky toilet, hideous shower and then a cosy, slightly renovated, room with our sofa, bed, TVs (yep we have two in one room) and then a room where I can have some clothes etc. It sure is cosy, but I think it works, it is clean as it could be (I have emptied about 20 bleach bottles cleaning the shower alone!). The thing I miss the most is having a nice shower, I mean the shower works, the water is hot and clean but it isn’t really relaxing being surrounded with old pipes and very interesting orange walls! In these photos, you can see it for yourself. I could have done the photoshoot on a day when it was all tidy, but why not show it at its worst, on the day when the sheets are in the wash and clothes are everywhere! 🙂IMG_6008 IMG_6010 IMG_6012 IMG_6001

On a more exciting note, we now have all of the pieces for the basin and cabinet in our bathroom. This one was designed by Amanda, made by Fredrik! We couldn’t find anything that matched the vision I had in my head that was going to fit in such a small space so instead we found all of the individual pieces and made our own custom bathroom basin and cabinet. I think it is going to look awesome!

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Bathroom Sneak Peak

So our first fully renovated room is nearly complete. I have been documenting the whole process so once it is done, I will do a complete blog about it, but it is getting exciting so I wanted to share a sneak peak. This was before, inside the door on the right:

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The tiles are now nearly all in place, just some grout, mirror, finishing of the fine details like corners and below are the basin, tap, shower head and toilet we have bought which will soon be installed… wiiiihaaaa!

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Soon, the full finished room will be revealed! 🙂

Goodbye Tree, Hello Sun!

We have been going back and forth a bit with the Lerum Kommun (local council) since moving in about a tree that covers most of the front of our house, is HUGE, unhealthy and that the entire neighbourhood has wanted removed for years. For me, I wasn’t so sure at first because I liked the privacy but a beautiful 100 year old Oak tree was hidden behind these tree and it kept our house in the shade for the whole morning and made the front garden feel very damp.

It looked like this, and this is after it was trimmed back once by the council a couple of weeks ago:

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The council told us to take it down was no problems, but it was just that we would have to pay for it… gee, thanks!

Anyway, we found a company called Edsås Träd och Underhåll who were super helpful and gave us the best price to take it down and remove everything (apart from the wood which we will use in our fireplace). So on Thursday morning they two people came by to take it down, and holy shitball!!!! It makes an amazing difference, it is probably the best thing we have done so far.

It was really cool to watch the guys take the tree down bit by bit, so I made a short video…

I haven’t posted much lately about the work inside of the house, mainly because we haven’t done much the last couple of weeks, though soon enough I will be posting with the results of our bathroom renovation! 🙂 Here is a sneak peak:

 

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Installing New Windows

The progress continues. Now we have completed the installation of new windows on the top floor! 🙂 We have just a new balcony door to go. We chose triple glazed windows from Elitfönster 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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