More measuring

As the insulation of the house is one of the primary things that needs to be done, I need to know the amount of square meters of insulation material I need. Since I had no exact measurements of the roof, I spend the Monday evening taking measurements upstairs. I climbed to the ridge of the roof to measure the height. There I found an old folding screen and some sort of ladder device.

The upstairs of the smaller part of the house stored a lot of old stuff, almost an instant xmas card.

In between one of my Russian coworkers stopped by to go through the books we found in the house. My dad has a colleague who has been studying Russian for years, so we thought it would be nice to give him some books if there would be something interesting. We ended up with a few hands full of books, of which I will bring a few to the Netherlands during our upcoming trip.

Installing the fuse box

With the fuse box all wired up, it was time to place it in the house and take out the old fuse box. I made a plywood back wall to fit and put it into place. After that I once again took out the main fuses and transferred the wires to the new fuse box. After the main connection had been made the first wires I connected where going to a power plug next to the fuse box so I could hook up a light there for the rest of the connections. Then the moment of truth came. Main fuse on, residual-current circuit breaker on, circuit breaker on, light switch on. No sparks just light. A happy moment!

After this, I transferred the wires from the old fuse box to the new fuse box. When this was done I made detailed plans on which group would service what part of the house, trying to have two groups from two different phases next to each other in the living room and upstairs bedrooms, so in case one phase would fail the other can still provide some light.


Wiring up the fuse box

Today was a day of patient work in a warm living room. Cutting wires to the right size, labeling them and connecting the components. It was almost a form of meditation and the result was very rewarding even though it for sure takes longer then you would like.

First real shopping

Today was Wednesday again, so time to work on the house. I had a late start as we had a new co-worker coming in and something went wrong with his hardware, so I dealt with that before getting to the house.

I was clear the house had not been heated very long the past weekend, as it had cooled down to 1 degree. It had been like that for just over a day, so likely that is more or less the minimum temperature.

After starting to heat the place, I wondered what I should start on. As there now are so many things. Mo asked if the boys could help, so I asked them to check out the plan for the canalization and to find out details like size of the materials, depth and other things they could find out.

I decided to first move down the outside light so the camera has a free view. Of course this did not take very long, so the next thing would be to check out the materials for the new electrical system as once I have that in, I can always draw an extra line when I have some time left.

As I had to pick up some chainsaw oil from ABC, I checked out the prices and materials they had to offer before going to a specialist. At Esvika they carry the Harju Elekter line of enclosures I saw from several friends. They are pretty big and have an integrated place for the power meter. In real life it looked nice as well, so I decided to get one and get the components Henk had recommended. When you are from the Netherlands this kind of shopping is very nice, as the prices here are so much lower for this material.

Back home I fitted all components in the enclosure and then visited Martijn to check out how the wiring had been done at his place.

There I found out I had forgotten to get branch connectors as the 3 phases and the neutral need to be distributed to different components. I checked out the construction store, but I guess I will get back to Esvika later on to get some good stuff.

Insulation research

I think I have written before about he insulation material my dad found out about. It has 19 layers, is 30-35 mm thick and has the same insulation value (R-value) as 20 cm of glass wool! Since this will safe a significant amount of space, I was very interested to find out if I could find this material in Estonia and if so, if I can find use-cases and experiences.

Today before work I stopped by a some construction advice center I had found out about a few months ago when I was visiting a co-working space.

After entering I made a circle toward the right of the place, when I was almost fully around, I found the material. I made some pictures of the information as they where out of flyers, so I could look up the rest of the information online.

Unfortunately I found out later on that the local websites mentioned where not active anymore, but at least I have a brand name to work with. To be continued.

Creating a drawing

With all the measurements of last weekend, I made a drawing in floorplanner. I have a feeling they dumbed down the free version a bit, but it still is a nice tool to easily draw a 2D and 3D version of your house.

I added two exports. In the 3D version you see the rough sketch I made earlier on the base of the paper floor plan still in the background. At some point I will likely delete that part. The measurements in the 2D version are for both constructions, so they are a bit off.


Measuring brings knowledge

This was a weekend of little work as my dad and sister where visiting. They where impressed by the work done so far and really like to see the place in real live, so now the picture make more sense as well.

On Sunday my dad and I went to the house to heat it up a bit and take measurements. Especially for the planning of the bathroom/sauna part and the kitchen exact measurements are important. Besides we took down the last beams of the wall near the heater.

About ready to build

This afternoon I finished the last part of the room, cleaned the ceiling from spiderwebs, took out the carpet and than all of a sudden, this part of the house was about ready for some construction work. My dad and sister will be visiting this weekend, so I don’t expect very much work will be done, but after that at least the house will be ready.

Ceilings an floors are stripped down to the wood.

While I was cleaning the ceiling I checked part of the ceiling above the stove to see how heavy the beam was that was used over the former wall. I was happy to see it was over 20 cm, so there should not be any problem taking the beams that have been used for the wall from underneath. The ceiling surely will not come down.

A dusty afternoon

As I wrote two days ago already. The last meters go slow. Today was another day of ungrateful work. You see little progress, but the work needs to be finished before I can start building.

In the morning i started cutting some of the wood into piece that would fit into the stove, so I can heat the place easy. After that I took out some last pieces of the ceiling in the former kitchen and around the stove and vacuum away the spiderwebs. When I was done, I could clean up the saw dust that I found a lot above the ceiling and organize the wood next to the chimney.

Around lunch I took some time to do something fun. I installed MQTT on my Home Assistant and set up two automations for one of my Sonoff switches, so the outdoor light would turn on 10 minutes after sunset en turn off at 22:30. (I just need to rearrange the light, but for that I need a ladder.)

Then I started the work intensive job of taking down part of the old plaster work with metal mesh from one of the walls. I must say I am glad this is only found in one room. It is very time consuming and dusty work. But with small steps you get to your destination also.

I moved the trash to private trash sorting station and then was done for the day.

The last meters go slow

Another day of finishing off. Plus I wanted to connect the outdoor lamp and install a motion sensor to turn it on. And since the security camera should go at about the same place. I would install that as well.

To prepare for the installation I took out the last pieces of ceiling and some of the wall covering consisting of a layer of hard and some plaster plate. before you got to the wooden wall covered by some black cardboard I had found before.

The actual installation of the light took more time then I liked. It was -6, but the wind made it feel as -15, so it was not the most pleasant time to be outside and working with gloves on sure has it’s effect on the fine movements. For the camera I needed to drill a hole. I picked a spot near the original hole of the power cable only to find out the drill was not long enough. So I drilled inwards from the outside. I still could not see through. When I poked with a long metal rod I found out that exactly in the middle of the wall where the drill met there was another layer of the black cardboard. I punched through and then I could take the wires through the wall. The wall was about double the thickness I expected. This makes my preference for the thin insulation foil even stronger. Let’s see if I can find out about the availability in Estonia this week.

Once the light and the camera where working I found out the camera picked up a bit to much of the light, which blocked the view to the gate, so later on I have to lower the light a bit.

Time flew and after taking down some more left over pieces of ceiling it was time to go home already. No need to ask what I have to do later this week.

The lamp is over exposed in the IR light