A fruitful day

Today I took the day off, as a matter of fact the next 4 weeks I will have the day off on Wednesday to work on the house. I had planned some investigations so from my findings I could adjust my plans.

One of the first things I planned to do was open the hatch and check out the cellar. It was smaller then I thought, about 60 cm deep and 2 by 2 meters more or less square. This will make any sewer plans more complicated.
Then I checked the living room for hatches but there where not any. So I checked out the hole in the floor near the water meter. It turned out all the floor board where laying there without being nailed down. So I took one out and discovered the floor was insulated.
I took out some more and found out the section of the floor near the water meter had a big nest of mouses ore even rats. I cleaned that away and will need to replace this insulation later on.

I opened the second layer of floor board under the insulation and found out here there was about 20 cm of space. To make sure this was all over the place I opened the floor boards in the corner, the place where we now are planning to bring the sewer into the house.
To check how hard it would be to bring the sewer into the house I also made a hole on the outside of the house in the corner. The good thing was that the ground was pretty easy to dig in. Up to half a meter it was black dirt.

After lunch I added some light to the hallway, to the corridor near the front door and to the former kitchen. That way we have to work less with extension cords passing doorways. I guess the rest will come after I can the new fuse cabinet.

The last thing for today was taking out the last part of the ceiling. Now, apart from some details the entire ceiling is free. I found 3 place where it has been leaking, so at some point I need to fix those leaks before I will put in a new ceiling.

Just after 21:30 I finally got home, where Mo had cooked another wonderful meal. It is wonderful to have her support me this way!

P.S. The container has still not been picket up …

The container is to heavy

Another day working from home. Good thing I had been heating the house well yesterday. As today it was a bit warmer. This makes me look forward to the time when I have put in the insulation!

Around 14:15 Mo called again to the container company. They would be there within an hour. Around 15:40 I thought I heard something and in deed, the truck was already trying to load the container. Unfortunately I had left my phone in the house, so no picture of a pretty spectacular lift of the front of the truck by almost a meter. The Russian speaking truck driver, was able to communicate to me: The container was to heavy! Tomorrow there will be a bigger truck.

The company called to Mo about this, they complained that we did not have mixed building trash, as the container had mostly bricks. They also told that in this 10 m^3 container we could only load 1.8 tons of trash. This seems pretty unreasonable, as 1 m^3 of brick already weighs already 1.7-1.8 tons, so I wandered what kind of trash they are expecting. We decided to take out most of the bricks, as the charges per extra ton are high and would easily pay for an extra container. Especially since Laura gave us a better address.

So, after some very fruitful days of work an evening of stupid work. Mo, Marc and Mattias came to help. Pretty soon we stumbled on all the other trash we put under the brick so it would not fly out during transport, but toward the end we had an about half filled container of what they will hopefully call mixed trash.

After that Mo and I had a nice talk about the canalization, where she suggested a different approach from the plan so far, which seems to make much more sense. Also she had a great idea on what to do with the very heavy foundation of the wall we took down: turn it into a rock garden. What a great plan!

Before going home I took out another piece of ceiling.

The container and the bricks
More bare ceiling

No container pickup

Monday I started to work from home, as the container company did not give any time they would pick up the container. On days like that it great that I have the option to work from home.

Around lunchtime I had a chat with Mo, as when you sit still behind the computer the house is not as warm as when you are working. She called the container company and they told her the container would not be picked up today due to some accident that happened. There you have Estonian customer service…

After my workday was over I took out the ceiling of the former kitchen and market on the wood the spots where I found traces of water damage on the ceiling plates. It was more work then I expected.

The water damage around the chimney does not have to be marked.


Day 2 of the BYOT party

The alarm went early again, but this time it was a bit harder to get out of bed. Once we did we send out a message to the people we where expecting to hot hurry as we where running late.

When we walked out of the door Mo asked if I needed my jacket. Since I would only hang it on the wall and we where going by car, I said I would leave it. When we got to the car Miikka called. He was already at the house.

A few minutes later we where there as well, only to find out the keys of the house where in the pocket of my jacket. So another round trip and we could start.

Miikko took down the last layers of the outside wall. It seemed they used different cement as these last few layers took almost as long as the entire wall.
Mo took down the last part of one of the wooden walls and I took down a wall in the future sauna area.

All in all a good day, with a less obvious result.

Mo taking down a wall


Day 1 of the BYOT party

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!


The container is delivered

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.

Electricity rewired

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

BYOT coming up

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.

First spark

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.

The result for today
Creative with colour
From a time of craftwork

The kitchen has left the building

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.

The last remains of the kitchen and shower room
The watermeter is the only thing left