May has started with nice weather, and with the vegetable garden being planted we decided to focus on planting the herbs and flowers as well. Sure there will be other days we can work inside and in the mean time they all can grow. I started with a small greenhouse I thought up based on an old Dutch sunshade I also have at the house in Leeuwarden, the markies. I first needed to make a planter, so I could practice my masonry skills again. I created a small foundation and worked my way up. Once it was done I put in a good layer of the hydro granules we found last year when opening the floor in what now is the bathroom. This will be a nice layer to regulate the amount of water in the green house. On top of that the dirt I had dug out when creating the foundation and last some dirt we got from the garden center. Next step, the cover. For the cover I got some wood to make three frames (I figured for this size the normal 5 frames would be a bit of overkill) and with the help of the mitter saw, some glue and some screws I quickly had the frame down. On top of that I put some thick plastic I saved from the mattresses. The greenhouse was ready for the herb seeds. A nice job for Mo. After this we started the tedious work of removing the ground elder from the plant border and from some big patches in the grass. I used a time consuming but sure way to remove as much as possible by sifting the dirt with an old crate. At the end of the day a few meters where ready to be planted with seeds and bulbs. Very exciting to see how it will look once the flowers come up. On Sunday I did a similar thing around the fence in the front garden, where we planted some more seeds.
With the materials for the floor in, I could hardly wait to start putting it in, but I had to be patient and let it acclimatize. At least I could put in the underfloor. A next important step will be the painting of the walls. This is always a challenge, what colour to choose. As the rest of the room is already white washed, we decided a RAL9010 pure white would be a good start, but once the colour was on the wall it did not look as nice as we hoped. It just did not fit for some reason. Anyway, the waiting was over, so I could start putting in the floor. Unfortunately I could not start using my mitter saw as Mo had online calls, so I started with the hand saw. Still as the panels where very long I quickly advanced. Now the floor is in and the walls are painted, it is time to do some brainstorming on what finishing touches need to be done. Mo and I took a cup of tea and sat down on the floor in our soon to be bedroom. While we where talking Mo noticed the main colour of her cup and then we soon knew the right colour for the walls. So off to the store to get it. Already halfway the first wall we saw it was the right colour. Meanwhile the weather was very good so we decided to finish of the first patch of vegetable garden, so we could sow the first seeds. Between the rows whe put a path of hydro granules that we found last year under what is now the bathroom floor. Once they where in we felt very accomplished.
While getting up to steam in the bedroom, Mo had to start doing online calls with the parents of her kids at school, so I created a nice ‘studio’ where she can have video calls without any disturbing background and where she can sit quietly. It worked so nice for her she almost started to enjoy working from home. Meanwhile I closed the last piece of wall on the other side of the room and finished the wallpapering. As the we weather improved as well, I cleaned up the garden from the branches and the scrap wood that come from the house and piled them up in front of one of the garage walls when Mo was having her video calls. When this was done I also started to clear a little strip in the back of the garden for our first vegetable garden. In between Jon Paul came over to help get the floor we found at K-Rauta. After one of the chairs came apart again, I decided to fully take them apart and glue them together again. All in all a very productive week.
At some point I realized there was good progress on the bedroom, but I had forgotten a pretty vital part. To put in electricity. So now with the walls and insulation in place it would be a bit more tricky. The good thing is that the holes that will fit the power sockets are pretty big and with a pvc pipe and the help of Marc it was actually smoother then expected to put the wiring behind the wall. After the power sockets where in I just needed to get the power to it from the central box in the room and suddenly there was a working electrical system. To prepare the walls for the finishing I plastered them smooth. The pre-made buckets or putty are a bit expensive but the work very nicely, so well worth the money. Next up, putting some fiber glass wall paper on the walls. Unlike the hallway there is a lot of making it fit, something where the fiber glass excels because of it firm structure. The result was nice and smooth. During the weekend we cleaned up the last branches in the garden. It starts to look half way decent.
This week I was on a role. The wall insulation in the bedroom went smooth. As I had read you could plaster directly on this, I gave it a try and the finishing is really nice! Next step plaster plate under to roof to finish off and protect the insulation there. During the weekend I had a talk with Marc about different finishes of walls, since he did not know one of my favorites glass fiber wall covering. I decided to show him by putting it on the hall way walls. It suddenly seems so much more done, but also it starts to scream for us to decide on colours. With the nice weather outside a nice morning spot to have tea is on the stairs of the backdoor. There I saw the window still had the wrong skirting around it, to i decided to fix that. And then there still was a lot of pruning to do. According to tradition you can prune up to Easter, so we had to hurry (although nature does not show to much signs of waking up with the cold nights we have) Carool and I took a new approach, I send him a lot of pictures and we called to discuss them. I am starting to get the hang of it so the cutting went quicker and more sure. For the last tree I gathered aabout all the extension cords from the house to reach it. Lot’s of wood came from the trees, so lots of small branches to burn. As the wind was not very favorable at some point the neighbor came to as if we could stop for now. Timo turned out to have lived there since his childhood. He told he had found this blog by accident and enjoyed reading it. He also had some nice stories about the old neighbors that lived in hour house before us. I am looking forward to go into more detail about the history of the house.
During the week it was beautiful spring weather. So every tree got a change to loose a lot of access branches. Unfortunately this wood cannot be use in the pellet heater, and is we where getting low on pellets I ordered another pallet. If all goes according to plan that should last us till the prices drop again early summer. With the corona crisis going on, I figured I better get some bulk plaster plate and some other building materials just to be sure I can continue building, even when construction stores will be closed as well. The plan was to use Mati’s trailer, but with a coworker that was tested positive that plan failed. ABC charged 88 euro to move the order the 2,5 km, which I thought was to much, especially for a bit order like this. Good thing Voldemar tipped me that the new online car rental CityBee also has vans, so I got an account, added drivers license, selfie and payment method and I was good to go. There was a van in front of PuuMarket, in between our house and ABC, so no access km chargers. The car unlocks with the app and I must say I am happy with the service. (Follow the link above for 5 euro of your first ride if you are a new customer) Marc and Mattias helped to load and unload the material and after and hour and 9 minutes and 5 km the order was in the garage for 13,51. Much better than that ABC’s offer. Later on I started with the insulation of the bedroom wall facing the neighbors.
In between all the work in the house the days are getting longer and the weather is getting nicer. Triggered by a friends post on Facebook, I contacted Carool to teach me online how to prune the old neglected apple trees in the garden. We started with on to get the basics down. I took pictures, send them to him and he marked which branches to take out. As I have a electrical chain saw I thought it would be handy to also have a power plug on the outside of the house, so I adjusted the light I installed in the fall. While waiting on feed back for the first tree, Mo and I decided to take out the two trees just on front of the garage. The had hardly any apples, stand to close to the building and don’t add to much to the garden. Once they where cut, it looked so much better already. And of course the nice thing about pruning is, you have something to burn as well. This early in the year it is not so much a problem.
After the canalization, there was also a need for water. This was already prepared, so it was relatively easy to connect to. After that the left over floor tiles just fit in the toilet space and we found a nice sink with a little cabinet and a mirror. Once that was all in I started to sand down the big beams on the ceiling so we can stain them with the white wash.