JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Painting fascia boards

We painted fascia boards for the south wall this week, and we finished the vertical support beams.

Monday 5 April

Hi there, it is Monday, and I am blogging again. It can feel like I am blogging about the same things repeatedly, but there are minor variations in what I am writing. Building a house and putting 300 trees and shrubs in the ground is a repetitive task. That is part of the game. I am partly writing for you, the reader, but I am also writing for myself, and this may sound egoistic, and I suppose that is what it is.

Today it was a compulsory day off from office work. It coincided perfectly well with our needs for a day off, to work on the new house. As you might know, I am less enthusiastic when the compulsory holiday comes when we don’t need it and cannot make use of it. As I use to say, if you give me something free, make sure I can use it as I like; otherwise, it is not free. For me, compulsory holidays should be turned into actual holidays as soon as possible. Then I can be free when I want it.

However, today we were free, and we had decided to work on the new house, are you surprised? We already had two days of hard work behind us, so I started to be rather tired. Working on the scaffold is tough. Hands, feet hurt. I got bruises on the shoulders from carrying around ledgers and planks. Because of this, we had a little slower morning that we gave ourselves as a luxury treatment. I made a cup of tea in bed. We have not had that for a long time. We arrived relatively late at the new house. It was half-past eleven when we came to the house.

Today also our son came with us to help. There was no vast task for him that we had prepared, which got a little frustrating. We planted all the plants we had prepared in pots in our old garden last spring and summer. Our son helped me with this. Then he created a path with wood chips next to the birch forest. That was it for his part today. Had he been with us Saturday and Sunday, he had been helping with the scaffold, but those days, he decided that he needed to work on his projects at our old home. With today’s planting, all plants have been put into the ground!

Our neighbor Mrs. EvdH with her husband, came by to thank me for preparing the ground for her sunflower plants. When the time is right, she will plant the sunflowers. I am looking forward to it. Perhaps I will need to stabilize the sunflowers later so that they will not fall over when it storms, but that is for later worry.

One bush came with the wind to our plot that I did not plant. It looked dead to me, but Marleen insisted we should put it into the ground. She put it in a bucket of water. It can be just the proper treatment so that it comes to life again?

From time to time, there were wind surges, and it hailed. I had a hat on, and that was good because the hail hurt when it hit you on the forehead. At one surge, the fence of a neighbor fell over onto the dirt road. Their compulsory toilet house was hanging as if it was just about to fall over, but it was still upright. I hope the owners will find the toilet house still upright tomorrow when they come to their building site because it is so much more pleasant to put the toilet on its feet when it has not been rolling around on the ground with the gory parts lose inside it.

Marleen painted the fascia boards today, and she had issues with bubbles in the paint. The new boards got a raw surface while the old boards were prepared in a factory. On the old boards, there were bubbles when she painted, and on the new boards with the same paint, there came no bubbles—the bubble mystery.

The wind came from the northwest side, and I worked on the south side. It was almost pleasant there. When I came around the corner, the wind was breathtaking.

One of the first things I did today was to correct the beams above the doors. I put up a cord to create a straight line, and then I adjusted the beam to follow the cord. Luckily I had screwed the beams above the doors, so this was easy to correct. Next, I extended beams from the left to the right between the floors. My wife helped me while she waited for the paint to dry. It takes a little longer than the same work on the north wall because I adjust all the beams for the uneven surface. The idea is that the next layer will be much easier, and putting up the planks will be effortless. Without adjusting already now for bulges would transfer unevenly to the next layer. Sometimes it evens out, but sometimes, especially at windows, the result can be undesirable. It is much more challenging to fix it afterward.

I take a beam, hold it on the wall, and poke with a pen to see where the bulge is and mark it. Then I router away a slot along the beam with the help of the table saw. It takes time, but it is worth doing.

In the afternoon, the ducks came to our pond again. They were eating for a while, swam around, and then had a nap beside the pond. When we went home, they were still there. I am not sure what they are eating, but they are sifting through the water. I suppose things are growing in the water that they are eating.

Wednesday 7 April

The Arctic weather outbreak is still influencing the weather. The air current is coming straight from the Arctic, bringing cold air and typical winter weather. I don’t see that type of wind direction very often because of the jetstream usually blocking the air from the arctic. On 31 March, there was a loop near Greenland and Iceland, but the jetstream over Europe was faintly available. The image here is from earth.nullschool.net, and I set the height to 250 hPa, where the polar jet streams are typically located.

The following image is from today in the morning, where you can see a wind blowing almost straight from the arctic down over Europe. It is then turning around Germany and continuing over Finland and the baltic states, making it cold. Usually, the cold air around the arctic should be trapped by a strong jetstream, but the jetstream has been weakened, making the weather patterns more erratic.

Other parts of the Netherlands received much more snow and hail. We were lucky that the wind came from the north since we are working on the south wall.

The first thing we did when we arrived at the new house was to inspect the plants. The apple trees have flower bulbs waiting to open. The gooseberry also has bulbs. We found that the chestnut trees are the least enthusiastic of all our plants, but there is significant garden progress for the rest. We found a hypericum plant near the dirt road. It came there because of a misunderstanding of where the verge started and our garden began. The digger had dumped slush over our plants in our garden. Then on 28 December, he came and “repaired” the damage. He brought a hypericum plant to the verge in that process that now grew up through the clay and mud slush. We sincerely hope that there will be more grass growing, but different patches have a different yield from our seeds. It is not entirely clear where we forgot to plant it or where it simply failed. Around the wastewater system, the grass is coming, so that is nice.

It has now been a couple of times that I have used the ladder, and I was not happy with the result. It was a bit difficult to reach the second level of the scaffold. One reason is that we placed the south scaffold nearer to the wall, so this corner is a bit cramped. Today’s first task became to adjust this so that it is easier to reach the second level. I placed two metal platforms such that you could step on them right beside the ladder. To make this, I put two diagonals to support the new extra platform. While tinkering on this, we also put up two extra uprights in the middle of the scaffold. The idea was to put the ladder there so that you could enter the scaffold from the side. We realized that we would like to remove the railing only after putting up the uprights. We decided not to do that. I had no energy left to take them down again. That is for another day.

My wife painted fascia boards.

Then I continued putting up vertical beams between the floors.

The work started at our neighbors on the east side. They had hired a company to create their driveway and dig out their water reservoir. It feels good that they are starting on the house as well. It is an unknown that will get filled in. It appears they will have a short building process, but we will see. If all comes true, they will be living in the house in a matter of days. Perhaps I remember it wrong, what they said, or I ignored exact days. It does not matter. They are welcome. The truck parked on the driveway is from the person making the driveway. When he tried to drive away with his excavator, the truck got stuck. I could see on the driver that this was very frustrating. He made various attempts to get the truck unstuck with the excavator’s help, but they all failed. In the end, he had to use his shovel and manually dig out the truck, and that worked. Good for him.

I had finished most beams between the floors at the end of the day. There still needs to be a beam on the corner as well towards the east wall. Next time, I will do some beams so short you could call them blocks near the windows’ upper part to support the horizontal beams above the windows. When this is done, the vertical beams are finished up until below the windows.

We discussed how the ventilation pipe would be mounted, and we decided on a snug fit with silicone around it. First, I had an idea about a window sill, but my wife suggested a snug fit with silicone. I suppose that will work just fine.

We still don’t know when the new beams will arrive. It can still be this week if we have a bit of luck.

I was just about to start work on the window blocks when our electrician arrived. He is saying that he will come and work in our house from the following Monday. One of the first things he will do is mount the outdoor socket and connect it. That will be grand. He also said that our plumber would be there as well.

Have the electrician and plumber been reading my blog post of last week?

In The evening we got the message that the package with beams will be delivered on Friday. That is good news!

Thursday 8 April

Today we decided to go to the new house to paint the fascia boards. On the way to the new house, I felt that perhaps the wood package had already arrived. I could give examples of when that had happened with truck delivery before, but my wife was skeptical of the idea, “it does not work like that.”

We came to the house and can you believe it? I had to laugh out loud because the package was already lying there. It had been placed in a perfect place. It was in total 113 kilos of wood.

Then we started painting fascia boards. My wife has been painting most of the boards, but she could take a photo of me, painting boards, anyway, but she thought it was funny.

When we were finished, we took a walk around the house to look at the plants, but it was too dark to see anything.

In the evening, I finally had time to get a list of plants and trees that we ordered, and I will put it here because I always forget what the plants are. Later on, I will make a new list with English names added and various plants’ photos.

 

Latin Name

Dutch Name

Package Count

Our Order

Acer campestre

Spaanse aak/Veldesdoorn

25

25

Alnus glutinosa

Zwarte els

25

-

Amelanchier lamarckii

Krent

25

5*

Betula pendula

Ruwe Berk

25

-

Betula pubescens

Zachte berk

25

25

Carpinus betulus

Haagbeuk

25

-

Castanea sativa

Tamme kastanje

25

25

Cornus mas

Gele kornoelje

25

-

Cornus sanguinea

Rode kornoelje

25

-

Corylus avellana

Hazelaar

25

25

Crataegus laevigata

Tweestijlige meidoorn

25

-

Crataegus monogyna

Eenstijlige meidoorn

25

-

Cytisus scoparius

Brem

5

-

Euonymus europaeus

Kardinaalsmuts

25

-

Fagus sylvatica

Beuk

25

-

Fraxinus excelsior

Gewone es

25

-

Hippophae rhamnoides

Duindoorn

25

25

Ilex aquifolium

Hulst

5

-

Ligustrum vulgare

Wilde liguster

25

-

Lonicera xylosteum

Rode kamperfoelie

25

25

Malus sylvestris

Wilde appel

5

-

Mespifusgermanica

Wilde mispel

5

-

Populus nigra

Zwarte populier

25

-

Prunus avium

Zoete kers of Boskriek

25

-

Prunus padus

Inheemse vogelkers

25

-

Prunus spinosa

Sleedoorn

25

-

Quercus petraea

Wintereik

25

25

Quercus robur

Zomereik

25

-

Rhamnus catharticus

Wegedoorn

25

-

Rhamnus frangula

Sporkehout/Vuilboom

25

-

Ribes nigrum

Zwarte bes

10

10

Ribes rubrum

Aalbes

10

10

Ribes uva-crispa

Kruisbes

10

10

Rosa canina

Hondsroos

5

5

Rosa rubiginosa

Egelantier

5

5

Salix alba

Schietwilg

25

-

Salix aurita

Geoorde wilg

25

-

Salix caprea

Boswilg

25

-

Salix cinerea

Grauwe wilg

25

-

Salix fragilis

Kraakwilg

25

-

Salix triandra

Amandelwilg

25

-

Salix viminalis

Katwilg

25

-

Sambucus nigra

Gewone Vlier

25

25

Sorbus aucuparia

Lijsterbes

25

25

Tilia cordata

Winterlinde

25

-

Tilia platyphyllos

Zomerlinde

25

-

Ulex europeus

Gaspeldoorn

5

-

Ulmus laevis

Steel-/Fladderiep

25

-

Viburnum opulus

Gelderse Roos

25

25

 

We ordered in total 295 plants. The tree “Amelanchier lamarckii” we only got 3 of the 5.

I think I will come back to this list many times.

Saturday 10 April

It was cold again. It was overcast in the morning, which gradually changed into more wet conditions until it turned into a steady rain.

During our morning walk around the farm, we noticed that our neighbor Mrs. EvdH had planted four of her nine sunflowers. They looked beautiful! We not only look at our plants, but we are also collecting stones from the verge from the rest of the dirt we “received” at the end of last year. We picked up the stones and moved them to our driveway to fill up potholes.

My wife continued painting fascia boards. We had decided that we would work on the top level of the south scaffold later today, but I found it a little wobbly at the top level. To solve this, I connected the west scaffold with the south scaffold. Until now, they were two different parts, but by connecting them, I made the whole construction much more sturdy.

Then I started working on support beams. I put up the southeast corner’s corner beam, and I put up horizontal beams above the windows. With this, I think we are ready to put up horizontal beams.

I unpacked the beams we received on Thursday and moved them to the beam stash that we have lying beside the west wall.

After my wife had finished painting her first set, the boards could dry, and in the meantime, she helped me put up ventilated beams for the ceiling fascia boards. I had to stand in a cumbersome position to screw these beams. Thus, I got tired in my back, which was not pleasant.

While we worked, the rain gradually increased, but I was all okay because the wind came from the northeast, and I was working on the south wall. The rain is good for our plants. The grass under the scaffold on the south wall needs some manual watering because it got nothing today. Besides, it was cold, so the grass seeds are dormant. It is not until the temperature is above 10 degrees that the grass starts growing.

I noticed buds on the apple trees that are ready to flower. I do hope they are staying a little longer as buds until it is warmer outside.

It would be good with a little warmer weather. Nothing hot, but a little warmer than 10 degrees Celcius would be satisfactory.

Sunday 11 April

The rain from yesterday continued into the evening and night. In total, we received 16 millimeters of rain, which was well-needed moisture for the soil. I think that sometime in the early hours, it stopped raining and started to get cold again. I am not sure if the sunflowers of Mrs. EvdH handled the night very well? They might have got frostbite. We will see. She got a second set of sunflowers that she will wait with planting until it has got warmer.

In the morning, when we arrived at the new house, it was still cold. Today both our son and daughter came with us to help us with the new house. I tried to get my daughter to help me with the building, but it was not a pleasant temperature for her, so she joined the indoor team painting fascia boards. My wife had lit a fire in the woodstove, so it was much more attractive to work in the indoor team today. I was left alone with the beams in the cold.

The wind was weaker today, but it still came from the north, giving me leeward. I started working on the bottom horizontal beam. It is essential because all the measurements are done with that beam as a base. Usually, we do a horizontal beam every 60 centimeters. Some beams come in an inconvenient place, and then we can decide to put the beam a little closer to the previous. At 240 centimeters, there was a seam between the two floors, so it was better to put it on 235 centimeters. The builder had put the vertical beams further away on this wall, and we decided to compensate for that and put an extra horizontal beam on the upper part of the wall.

My statement from yesterday that we were finished with the vertical beams was not true at all. Below the windows, I had to put short vertical beams, and we introduced two longer beams next to windows on the first floor to compensate for the long distance between the beams. With that, we were done with vertical beams.

After lunch, my wife left the indoor team and came outside to join the outdoor team. We measured and put up marks for where the horizontal beams would be placed.

I had a lot of work to do with the beams on the left side of the door. Here we implement the solution we created on 19 March to open the doors fully. I put up temporary red planks to make sure I met these at the exact correct place. The wall is not perfectly straight here, so I had to router out jacks in the horizontal beams to compensate for the curvature. I did not take away all of the curvatures but a little. It is also essential that the horizontal beams create a surface that makes up a perfect corner. The plank from the south wall will be screwed on the edge of the outermost plank from the west wall, and that needs to meet perfectly. It takes a little more job, but this is the time to fix that. It is no option to straighten up the corner later.

My wife started cutting beams to be used between the windows of the first floor.

While the paint was drying, my son came out and started raking the verge to collect stones. The idea is that we will harvest pebbles from the road slush that were dumped on our verge. Then we move these to our driveway to fill potholes. After a while, the rain will reveal more stones, and then we can harvest more stones from the slush. In the process, the verge will become more even and nicer to walk on.

It was a great day with the whole family gathered in the new house. Next time it will perhaps be a little warmer, and we can sit outside. Who knows?

When done with today’s work, I had a walk in the garden to check how things are progressing. We got two sorts of apple trees: The Alkmene/Early Winsor apple we acquired last year on 16 May. It was too late for the season. The trees were a birthday present from my wife’s sister. It has bulbs ready to bloom. The other sort is Belle de Boskoop/Goudrenet, and it has four times more bulbs ready to fire. We acquired those trees this year on 27 February. This time it was much better timing. It will be enthralling to see how the bulbs develop and how that coincides with cold weather.

The winegrape that I moved to the new house on 29 March is doing fine. It has a couple of places where it is sending out new stems. They are a couple of millimeters long right now.

My tour through the new garden concludes this week’s blog. It feels good that most preprocess steps are done and that we are making real progress on the wall. It feels good that all trees and bushes that have to be planted are planted. The promise from the electrician that next week the work will be resumed is also great news.

I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.

Here on this site I let you see my creations.

I create, that is my hobby.