‘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… 🙂

 

IMG_5903IMG_5921IMG_5937IMG_5918IMG_5909IMG_5906IMG_5902 Before PhotoIMG_5901
IMG_6635 IMG_6638IMG_6631IMG_6630IMG_6628IMG_6627IMG_6626IMG_6625IMG_6621IMG_6618IMG_6617IMG_6614IMG_6615

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:

1947327_10153935142180587_512123866_n

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:

IMG_5990IMG_5991IMG_5992IMG_5994

 

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:

IMG_5995 IMG_5996 IMG_5998

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

IMG_5999

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:

IMG_3211

 

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

IMG_6003 IMG_6004

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:

IMG_6006

 

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….

photo (5)

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

IMG_5918

Now it is this:

IMG_6007

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! 🙂

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:

IMG_4559

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:

 

IMG_4621

What have YOU been doing?

There have been many questions and comments of whether I have been also contributing to the renovations or if I just watch Fredrik do all of the work with the video camera. I wish! I have been working my butt off. Fredrik’s Mum says ‘Amanda works like a man’… which I think is a compliment.

Here is a snap shot of 30 minutes of my vacation days:

More Before and After Photos

Today we worked a bit more clearing out the garden before it began to pour rain.  Fredrik even let me use the big grass trimmer… he was a bit hesitant because it is actually bigger than I am. After the rain started we headed inside and started to take down some of the wooden paneling etc in preperation for removing the wall this week. Tomorrow we will begin the stressful task of having a crane lift the supporting beam in to the attic to support the roof after the wall is removed. Photos of that to come… wish us luck! 🙂

 

Before:

IMG_5923IMG_5924

 

After:

 

IMG_3212IMG_3213

 

Before:

 

IMG_5910IMG_5913IMG_5916IMG_5918IMG_5919

 

After :

IMG_3207

 

 

IMG_3209

 

IMG_3211

Amanda with her new favourite tool! 🙂

bild

 

Week One: The clean-up

Now that we have the time, we are finally starting to take steps to get the garden under control. I told a lot of people that the garden was crazy but I don’t think anyone really understood exactly what I meant, many commented ‘I love gardening’, then when they see it they mostly seem shocked and say, ‘Oh, wow this really IS crazy’. I guess you could more accurately describe it as a jungle. The old man who lived there loved his garden but obviously he hasn’t been able to work in the garden for at least 10 years.

We have really started to see progress now, which feels awesome! Reassuring that this big renovation project is possible. Our neighbours have also been stopping by to say how glad they are to see that someone is finally clearing the jungle. One neighbour said she hasn’t seen the house in years.

So what have we done?

1) Cleaned out and painted the garage. We need to store a lot of tools and deliveries in here, so we thought this was a good place to start! We put in a new concrete floor and and gave it one rough coat of paint.

Before Photos:

Image

Image

IMG_3080After Photo:

Image

2) Taken the ivy down from the walls of the house and little outside area. SHIT JOB! That stuff is evil! I used to think it was pretty but it really is just a weed. It leaves all of the Arial roots on the wall which are pretty much impossible to take off. We started today to get these off with the high pressure hose, it doesn’t get them all but it makes a difference. I will put up some after photos when it is done.

IMG_5903IMG_5941IMG_3175

IMG_3177

3) Trimmed back bushes, cut grass and chopped down about 12 trees… that is right 12! Not all small either. The difference is astounding. So much more light and everything feels so much bigger.

Before Tree Removal:

IMG_5943

After Tree Removal:

IMG_3166

Before Trimming:

IMG_5901IMG_5877

After Trimming:

IMG_3087

IMG_3091

More Before Shots:

IMG_5873

IMG_5904
IMG_5878

IMG_5894

More  Progress and After Shots:

 

IMG_3178IMG_3090IMG_3126

IMG_3139

IMG_3141

IMG_3149

We also had a few helpers and our first picnic in the garden! 🙂

IMG_3156

IMG_3163

IMG_3169

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! 🙂

Click on the photos to enlarge.IMG_3005 IMG_3006 IMG_3007 IMG_3009 IMG_3010 Photo 2013-05-25 19 27 26 Photo 2013-05-25 19 29 01 Photo 2013-05-25 19 31 01 Photo 2013-05-25 19 31 57 Photo 2013-05-25 19 32 22 Photo 2013-05-25 19 33 18 Photo 2013-05-25 19 33 47