Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ignoring Traditions and Going Metal

Tile roofs are very common in Sweden and this has led to many discussions with family, friends and neighbors as Skip is sort of. . .well. . .fully against them. I am still not entirely sure why he feels so strongly about it but part of the remodel definitely includes changing the tile roof to a metal roof and I will not stand in the way.

This should look familiar by this time but a lot has changed since this picture was taken. 
We had some help from a newly "imported" American, Josh, to remove the tiles from this side of the house as part of putting up a new roof on the entryway.

A bit of rot was uncovered once the tiles were removed but at least only a small section was affected.

After a little work the affected area was removed and replaced with new boards. Just like a surgical intervention. 

The whole roof was then covered with a waterproof alsphalt-impregnated polyester mat. 

Skip hard at work!

We just have to wait for the chimney guys to come and fix our chimney now so that we can get the other side done and then place the metal roof on top. I have faith that they will come on Thursday as promised but if we have learned something from talking to neighbors and friends it is that Swedish carpenters/plummers/electricians are not always so reliable. Let's just say I hope that I will be doing a post soon about our new fireplace and chimney!

It is also nice that not much goes to waste. The tiles have already been placed on a roof on a new building our neighbor built on his property. 

Pictures of the finished roof will hopefully be seen within the next few weeks! We keep checking the weather forcast and so far we are in for an amazing fall here in Sweden which is helping Skip a lot.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

To Be or Not To Be. . .Weight Bearing. That is the Question

As Skip is working away on the old front entryroom, aka the mudroom, he keeps running into delays. Delays caused by previous work done on the house. Although I am not used to rebuilding, or building, houses I realize that things, like weight bearing structures, are important items to consider.

With that in mind, Skip became a bit concerned when he removed the inner wall of the entryroom. That is the wall connecting the room to the mainhouse. It seems that the weight bearing logs have been cut and other, shorter, pieces of wood have been used to connect everything. Sometimes with only one large bolt. It looks like a giant game of Jenga.

These structures hold up our roof and floor upstairs. At least for now. 

Needless to say, we can't just patch it up and pretend it doesn't exist so Skip will have to modify the structure so that we can actually trust it to hold up the house. At least we don't live in an earth quake region!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Creation of the "Mudroom" aka the Cat Apartment/Laundry Room, Part 1

So what do we do with the old front entryway when we have a new way to get into the house? Well, it will still remain an entryway and will be used frequently on muddy, rainy days to contain dirt. We are also planning on building the cats an awesome kitty-condo area as their home base. Lastly, the washer and dryer are being moved from the bathroom into this area.

Prior to Skip attacking the roof of the entryway, this is what the entryway looked like.

The ugly dormer over the entry was definitely on the chopping block and we wanted to match the roof lines of the 2 entryways. 

The cats will have their space to the left and the washer and dryer will be set up in cabinets to the right. We will add a big window where the current clothesrack is found on the wall to the right in the picture. We are also changing the door so that it matches the door on the new entryway.

Skip spent the afteroon and evening removing the roof, uncovering numerous wasp nests in the process. 

Finally, just in time for bed, the roof was gone. At least we have been blessed with nice weather this September and we could leave it "open" for the night. 

That is the pitch black sky as seen through our new "skylight."

The following day I came home to see that great progression had been made. 

Part 2, 3 and perhaps even 4 (and 5) will follow as Skip bounces between the two entryways. Thank you also to Magnus Kumlin who came over in the evening to make sure that all the holes were covered before night arrived again.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The New Doors

We have ordered our doors and without giving away the entire new color scheme of the house I will show you what the doors to the entryways look like.

The door in the new entryway will be joined by a vertical window next to it framed using the same color blue. It is going to look so good and more importantly, let in a lot of light!

The Making of a New Entryway, Part 1

The organization of our house is a little strange as you have to walk all the way around it to the back to enter through the front door. That just makes no sense so part of the remodel includes adding a new entryway to the front of the house.

To the left is the current entryway and to the right is the natural front of the house with the deck visible. 

First thing first. Dig a big hole. Where do you think some of the rocks seen earlier came from?

Then you create the foundation.

The window will become the door into the house from the new entryway. 

Each night when I returned home from work I would find Skip hard at work. 

As we are still waiting for the doors and windows to arrive, it is time to give the front a break and attack the back!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Letter Hidden in the Ceiling

Our house was originally a log cabin built in the 1900th century. Since then, additions have been made to the original structure. The original logs have since been covered by more modern materials.

To aid with the remodel, Skip has enjoyed making random holes in the walls and ceiling around the house to see the structure that lies underneath.

Here is a picture from the livingroom:

We figured that there was a metal beam in the ceiling here as any compass go crazy when placed underneath it!
This is what it looks like without the panelling: 

As Skip was removing the panelling, a letter fell from the metal beam. The previous, previous owners had written a letter and placed it there during the remodel in the 1980's. 

The letter simply states who lived in the house, when they moved here and when the remodel was done. What a great idea! We'll see what we will add to mark our remodel!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Earth Cellar Part 1

Skip knew how to make me happy and bought me a pickaxe. I don't know what is stranger? That Skip got me one or that I was happy about it.

Why would I need a pickaxe you might ask yourself?

Well, every decent Swedish farm house has an earth cellar. Where else would you store your potatoes (which every decent Swede grows on their property), jams and other canned goods? Unfortunately our earth cellar was like a sieve and rodents ate all of our potatoes last year. The cellar was also a bit of an eyesore with its metal roof.

Since this picture was taken the kids playhouse has been removed and set on fire during a great party!

Because of rodents, the earth celler was included in the renovation plans and I attacked it this summer before the new crop of potatoes would need storage. With my new pickaxe I lowered the floor first, then filled in all the holes between the rocks on the side and recycled a lot of step stones (pavers) from around the property for the floor.

I plan to paint the grout between the rocks white for contrast!

Skip was busy working on digging up the front of the house at the same time and placed all the extra soil on top of the cellar to better insulate now that we removed the roof. It doesn't look so good right now but come next spring we will plant lavender and sweet pea on it! It will look great.