At 8:15 our alarm went off. We got up, packet some last stuff, like bowls for the soup and cups for tea and then went off to the ABC construction store to get some new tools and some gloves and dust masks.
Around 10 we arrived at the house and started to get ready for the first day of our BYOT weekend in which we hope we will get most of the demolishing in and around the house done.
Voldemar was the first to show up and he started on the brick wall in front of the house. Soon after Mattias came to help.Eve was the next to join and she also had her mind set on breaking down some of the wall, so while the others moved the loose bricks to the container she took her place behind the power tools.
Just before the first tea break Kaspar showed up and man did he do a good job on the wall. While the rest of us had a cup of tea, he took down most of the wall. Unfortunately he did break the handle of the pick, so back to ABC to get a replacement.
When I showed the guy at the store the broken handle he asked for the receipt, which was in my wallet, in my pants at home. So about 20 minutes later, I was back and since the pick was only a few hours old I got a replacement handle free of charge. Great service ABC!!
Back home Laura and Kiku had showed up. I assigned them to strip the future sauna/bathroom area. These ladies cannot only drink wine together, before we knew it the room was empty and the walls around the chimney where stripped.
Gian-Luca and Lotte arrived and joined forces with the wall demolition team by helping them throw all the bricks in the container.
We had a soup break and after that the last thing for the day was to move the old shower out of the room to the container. This thing turned out to be made from concrete, so we had to break it into pieces to be able to lift it.
All in all a very productive day! Thank you very much to all our helping hands! We are looking forward to see who will be helping us tomorrow!
Today there was no work on the house. I just went there after lunch time to be there when the container was delivered. We choose the convenient ‘after lunch’ time frame for it to be delivered. I was happily surprised the truck was already there when I arrived. So I could show where the container had to be placed and get back to work. (In between I stopped at the house to start the pea soup I had planned for the weekend.)
At night there was the New Years reception at the Dutch Embassy.
With the BYOT party coming up, I wanted to make sure there wouldn’t be dangerous surprises with electrical wires. So I decided to take a day off and with daylight redo the electrical system.
After I prepared the area around the fusebox and got all the tools together I unscrewed the main fuses in the outside fusebox. The first one went easy, but turned out to have no connector inside, the second one came apart, but with a little patience I managed to get it out and the third one was a different type, which turned out to be have a copper wire bridging the fuse.
After that I took apart the inside fusebox and reassembled it on a different spot according to the rules. Pretty soon the entire system will be replaced, but I have to buy and assemble it first.
The result looks half way decent (except for the connection to the meter, but it will do for now. That will have to be replaced anyway. At least much better then before and at as a big bonus, I know which circuit breaker controls which part of the sytem. Maybe I will add some more wires that I have disconnected if there is a need for it later on.
When I put the main fuses back in, I found out the phases where not connected logical, so I made a not about that as well
To speed up the process of demolishing the old walls in the house we thought up a BYOT party (Bring Your Own Tools), so we created an event for Saturday and Sunday and invited people in the neighborhood. Estonia has strong women, and that is proven again. So far 6 people are coming to help for sure, 5 of them are female. Hahahah. Come on guys, what is the matter?
Besides I took out another wall around the heater and Mo demolished some old furniture.
We also tried to order a big container for this weekend. The first company who advertised a 10 m^2 container for 199 euro charged 329 euro in the end. So we checked the competition, who at first looked a bit more expensive, but in the end had a better deal. To bad the payment gateway had some problems. We’ll try again tomorrow.
Tonight I planned to remove the last remaining wall parts of the kitchen and shower. Do be able to do so I needed to remove or at least reroute some electricity cable. I decided to use this opportunity to make at least one trustworthy power cable.
I traced back a nice think cable to the fuse box and planned to detach it from there and connect it to one of the circuit breakers I found in the kitchen. Since it was night time I did not disconnect the power. When started to unscrew the neutral wire, my insulated screw driver did touch a phase wire that was close by and missing some insulation. I nice spark and a scare. I managed to rewire the the cable to its own circuit breaker and now I had my first ‘safe’ power socket. It is totally amazing with how much creativity this electrical installation has been connected. It seems they just picked a wire and connected it without looking at any colour coding.
After that the last pieces of the wall came down pretty easy. Another fruitful day!
After a lovely dinner at home, I enjoyed the digital Estonian society by applying for a contract with Eesti Energia and Tallina Vesi, the electricity and water company.
Just before write this update I checked out the insulation material my dad had found out about: A 19 layer insulation foil by IsoDiscount with a very high R-value of 5.80! I am pretty sure I will investigate if I can get this product here in Estonia, as this 35 mm thick product insulates almost double as good as the 10 cm traditional insulation material I had my eye on so far.
Today after work I went to the house for some more work. Marc came to help me carry some more or less reusable cabinets, the stove and the boiler to the garage. This will be useful to organize the stuff during the rebuilding. Also this creates a lot of space in the house.
After this I took apart the water system, and found out a 3 phase wire that I had not traced fully yet was going to the stove in the kitchen. A wonderful old fashioned plug.
Then another nice stress reliever: The wall off the kitchen went down quickly. More firewood! A good find was that under the water and sewer pipes I found covering plywood which was very much effected by leaking water, but it had protected the real floor, so the floor underneath was in good condition.
19 Hours after I had put the last wood in the stove, I came back to the house. It was pleasantly warm in the rooms connected to the stove. The stove was still radiating some warmth. It was very good to discover this part at least is working well, especially since the weather forecast for later this month predicts daytime temperatures of -10
The breaking of yesterday called for more. So I took out more walls. Some walls build after the original build of ’53 where build of 1 inch thick soid wood. That will give us some fuel for the stove for the next few weeks.
The original wall between the kitchen and the heated room was build of 3/4 inch rough wood. No match for my new 1 meter crow bar!
In the afternoon Mo came to help followed a bit later by Marc and Mattias. Towards the end of the afternoon Mo’s brother and sister-in-law came to check out the place. Another satisfying day!
Saturday would be the first day of working on the house. The plan was to check the electricity and do some quick fixes to it, heat the house, fix the firewall problem and make a plan for the coming weeks.
The stove was easy to light, but it was clear the house had not been heated for a while. It took about 5 hours of burning wood before the the first parts of the stove started to give off a little warmth. But towards the end of the day, you could hardly touch the stove. It is a pretty big stove, it can take 80 cm long logs.
After that I studies the fuse box. That took a while as the creator of this thing must have had Italian roots, considering the spaghetti mess I found. The connection has 3 phases. Each connected to one circuit breaker. A 25A, 20A and 16A one. (?!)
From there a 3 phase connection runs to the garage, which is also connected very interesting.
As part of the lights did not work, I checked the circuit breaker and found one was not working properly. I replace it and then I had light in the rest of the house as well
Anyway, pretty soon I will take out the main fuses and put in a new fuse box. With my local Dutch electrician we made a plan that will build later this month.
After this ‘spaghetti lunch’ I decided to take apart the shower. After taking out the mixer tab and shower head, I checked the walls and pretty soon two of the three walls where gone.
After that it was time to go home. A rewarding first day.
So, what is the first thing you need after you buy a house: Of course, an internet connection 😀 Good thing Estonia is the country where internet is considered a human right, so 10 minutes after I stopped by at the Telia office, I walked out with a 4G card for 16 euro per month. According to planning a glass fiber connection should be available by the end of February 🙂
At home I installed it to the 4G USB modem and connected it to a spare FritzBox! modem. The next morning I installed it at the house in combination with a Raspberry Pi with HomeAssistant and a security camera. The temperature/humidity sensor registered 1 degree Celsius and 86% humidity. No wonder it was uncomfortable to sit there installing stuff.
The openings in the firewall gave some trouble. Later on I found out this is caused by the extra network the 4G modem sets up. And with this firmware I cannot setup a DMZ connection to the FritzBox!, so this needs some more tweaking.