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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A whole new look…

Changing the facade is underway! This job we have outsourced… there are two guys who are doing an incredible job. Our original facade was an old rough render which had been patched and painted a million times, it was lose and falling off in many places. It also had the roots remaining from ivy that had grown all over it. What can I say about ivy? Well, that shit really sucks!

We have opted for a smooth render, painted white. It isn’t yet ready to reveal, it is completely rendered but the painting has just started on the front side. It is looking unbelievable! Below are some before and after shots. Will put all the photos up upon completion.

The whole game of replacing render, is a jungle. What to use, what to remove, how to make sure the house breathes. Crazy! We used render by Weber, with a glass reinforced mesh… along with other things I have no idea about… ask Fredrik. 😛 They started about two weeks ago and just have the painting to go. Definitely worth the investment!

We are totally in love with our new house! 🙂

Front door before:

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Front door after render and paint:

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Applying new render to the front:

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Front before:

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Front after all new windows, new render and painted:

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Side before:

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Side after new window, window changed to door and removal of door:

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Bathroom Renovation: Before and After

Finally, it is time to share the complete journey of the bathroom renovation. The truth is that it has been finished for months, but I have been too lazy to put together the video.

Eventually, this will be our guest bathroom but for the time being it is our only bathroom. This is a very small space but shows how making smart decisions can create a feeling of space. The large tiles and colour palette really help. This was also all done for less that 25 000SEK ($4000), which including all tapware, porcelain, floor heating is quite an achievement.

So we did everything, new pipes, floor heating, waterproofing, tiles etc etc etc. One might say it is a slight improvement… It is amazing what you can do when you want to! 🙂

So here is the before and after. Be prepared to be impressed! 🙂

The process from beginning to end… be warned my filming can cause dizziness:

Some more detailed photos:


Custom Vanity Hafa Vanity Complete Bathroom Remodel Large Shower Head DIY Bathroom Renovation Modern Clean Bathroom Design Complete Bathroom Remodel
Stylish Shower White Bathroom

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:

Remodel new plaster

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

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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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 (värmepump) 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 (värmepump) was just utterly confusing. Basically we were tossing up between two options bergvärme (geo-thermal) and luft-vatten värmepump (which I have no idea what it is called in English, air-water heating pump is the direct translation). Anyway, the bergvärme 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 bergvärme 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 bergvärme 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 värmepump 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! 🙂 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! 🙂

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…