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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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…

And the wall begins to fall….

Today we were busy little bees! We had some helpers from Västervik in the form of Fredrik’s Mum and Brother. The extra muscle definitely made a difference today, the wall is only about half way down and OMG does one wall result in a LOT of wheelbarrows full of rubble! I started off by cleaning out the room where the heating pump is currently located as tomorrow the removal of this pretty thing in the pic below is happening. Is it only me or does this look like something from a horror film?

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Otherwise… this is pretty much what happened today summed up in to a 10 second film:

The outcome?

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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:

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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.

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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:

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After Tree Removal:

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Before Trimming:

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After Trimming:

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More Before Shots:

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More  Progress and After Shots:

 

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

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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! 🙂

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We bought a house!

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March 28th, 2013 Fredrik and I took a massive step, we bought our first home. Sure, it is not our dream home, but we decided to try to enter the market at an affordable level and not get in to debt up to our eyeballs. We wanted something we could renovate that was in a good area, with good transport in the town. The market is down right now, so it is a buyers market and we think we got quite a bargain and think it will pay off in time.

With Fredrik’s skills and connections we thought it could be a great project for us an opportunity to create something awesome and showcase our skills. We have a little renovation experience from renovating a boat in 2012, which we plan to have completely finished by the time we move in. We really like working together and think we are a good team, Fredrik can build just about anything and I am the one who is planning, budgeting and trying to keep things on track. Some might say I am the boss (or b*tch… it depend who you ask).

The structure of the house is in good shape, it is build in the 50’s and the layout is very closed and old fashioned, plus it is WAY too brown and the wood panels make me quiver. We have big plans… WATCH THIS SPACE.

We get the keys on June 31st, so our next few blog posts will be about our plans. Then once we get the keys, the real blogs will start, we hope to share the transformations, how to’s, ups and downs. There will be plenty of drama to share, everyone who knows me is expecting that!!

About the house:

Built: 1959

Size: 150 m2

Land size: 1352 m2

Location: Stenkullen, Lerum. A suburb outside Gothenburg, Sweden. 20 minutes commute in to the city centre.

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