JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Moved a pile of floorboards

The first part of the week, we rested from the new house. When we started working again, the cold was wearing off on our dedication. With a fire burning in the woodstove, we carried on and finished essential milestones in the project.

Monday 16 November

Today we received material to be used for the ceiling in the hobby room. We ordered more beams for the isolation. We also ordered beams and plates for the ceiling in the bathroom on the first floor. The shop we went to last Wednesday was the place we ordered our wood from this time. They also deliver if the value of the order is above 300 euro. To make it go over that threshold, we added four more scaffold planks. They are good people delivering things in good order. I would like to whine about just one thing: they don’t let us know when they will arrive with the truck. I cannot possibly sit at the new house for half a day to wait for them to arrive, and they can apparently not inform me that they are on their way. Slightly irritating. When they do arrive, they choose the best possible spot, so that is nice. It is just that I need to show up soon enough to salvage the things from the pouring rain, or thieves for that matter. Although I do think there are better things to steal than big things like wooden beams.

Tuesday 17 November

This weather was an amazingly dull regular 17 November morning. It is too hot for the year, which has to do with the galloping climate change that nobody is talking about. I had a morning walk in the old street. When I walked there, I was thinking that for me, this is currently the standard view. When the new house is finished, this reality is gone from my life.

Often new things in life are registered on photos etc., while the old is often forgotten. For example, at the new house, I wondered several times how things looked like just a couple of months ago. How many times have I not went back in my memory to how the plot looked like last year when there was no single house. I tried to find photos but found very few. I made a movie of me walking through the field, but there is no photo of the vegetation in detail. “What was actually growing there last year?”

It was a regular working day from the home office. That went fine. In the evening, I studied the manual of the solar panel control unit. It would be nice to be able to turn on that thing and produce solar power.

Today we ordered 9 cubic meters of compost to use when we plant trees and bushes, and we will initially put the pile along the dirt road. The compost will arrive this Friday at 4 PM. We also ordered wood to burn with our woodstove. That will arrive on the morning of 12 December. When we have that, we can continue to work in the winter when it gets cold for real, because that will happen. Climate changes will not erase cold weather. If you believe that, then you perhaps need to study weather systems a little more. If you follow this blog, you perhaps recall that I spoke about that the jetstream is weakened. That means that you can have very mild weather, but it can also happen that the jetstream gets configured such that for several weeks in a row, we get, for example, the air from Sahara over Europe or cold air from the north pole.

We also spoke to the company that will deliver our helophyte filter. They need a drawing of the plot and payment upfront, and when that is done, they will start planning. Obviously, we want them to come as soon as possible, but that means we also need to speed up the east side of the house because the roof’s rainwater is gathered on the east-north corned and it needs to be connected to our water reservoir. The scaffold is standing precisely on the spot where the pipes are lying in the ground. So that means we got an extra incentive to get going on the red planks.

While we are at future things, I will go to the town hall next Wednesday to order my new driving license, including the E behind B license.

Wednesday 18 November

It was beautiful weather today. My wife had a day off, so it was not handy to go to the new house and work there. I could arrange to switch my Wednesday half-day off with Friday, and the weather forecast does not look too bad for Friday. We will see how that develops.

Today we received the partial invoice for the helophyte, and we paid that immediately so that our project can get into the planning phase.

Our plumber and ventilation specialist brought pipes to the new house.

When working from our old home today, looking out of the window. It was so beautiful. The sun was shining. If I had been to the new house, I had been mounting the planks that are ready. But no, I was at our old house.

Thursday 19 November

Tonight it was about time to get to the new house and activate the solar panels’ inverter. The inverter is a SolarGrow inverter. It has a communication module that can communicate with all sorts of methods. One convenient method was WIFI. Well, that is rather complex if you take all steps into account. First of all, it that we don’t have WIFI at the new house just yet. We barely got electricity. We do get our phones I set up to connect the WIFI of the inverter. The inverter also needs access to the Internet, so it must be connected to the Internet via the router. We don’t have that, but my wife turned on her mobile access point. When the communication was established, the inverter wanted to update a system update. That would take too much time, so that plan was abandoned.

After a long time, I still did not know if the inverter was started or not.

The ventilation material was a lot of boxes. It was not a small task to move that into the house. The heart of our ventilation system was delivered to the hallway on the ground floor. It is a Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery, MVHR. In Dutch, they call it WTW or Warmte Terug Win. We will have this machine under the stairs. From there, the ventilation pipes will extend out in the house. The ventilation is a balanced ventilation system. The air entering the house is in balance with the air that leaves the house. Generally, in the Netherlands, you usually got a more straightforward system where the fresh air is gathered from ventilation openings next to windows, and the air is sucked up from wet rooms and the kitchen. The issue with that is that you cannot regulate the air entering the house. There is a constant lower pressure in the house to ensure the fresh air is fed into the house. Our system takes care of that. Used air is pumped out, and fresh air is pumped in. The air going out of the house is warming the air entering the house. It is possible to filter the air entering the house to make it clean from germs or pollen. Another reason for using this system is to heat the house with pipes installed inside the floors and a low-temperature heating system. When letting in cold air at the windows, you need to use high-temperature heating systems usually placed directly under the air intake to combat the cold air. In our system, we don’t have that. The air that enters the house is heated with the help of the air leaving the house.

Friday 20 November

This was the day I would have a half-day off instead of Wednesday. It was not going to rain today, so I was stoked to gain progress on mounting planks on the east wall.

The first thing I noticed was the impressive pile of ventilation pipes. Already on next Monday, our ventilation specialist will start to mount this in the house.

There was a beginning of the planks project. I am getting more and more frustrated that it takes us so much time and effort to work on these planks. We spent so much money on the scaffold, and the time it takes to measure each plank. The effort to figure out how to do this work and now we are underway doing it this way, and we decided that the rest of the house we will do it as the builder wants it. It is so tiring. Anyway, here is the beginning.

I have measured these planks with meticulous precision, and can you imagine I made mistakes. You cannot see it here, but the second plank from the left is one centimeter too far to the left. One of the planks was ten centimeters too long, so I had to shorten it when it was still hanging on the wall, and perhaps I did not saw in an absolutely straight line. The perfectionist inside me is screaming loud, but you cannot hear it because, on the outside, I am calm and muttering about the pain in my hands because it is so cold. The people around me can see I am not looking happy, I am sure about that, but there is not much to do about it. If a mistake is bearable, then it remains.

In the afternoon, our compost arrived!

The tractor with the compost arrived. We would get nine cubic meters and a neighbor six cubic.

The bus was in the way, so it had to be removed.

Okay, here we go. Bring it on.

Slowly but surely reversing in with the cargo of compost.

Okay, that was not much. Can we get more?

Alright. There is more coming.

Oh, now it started to move.

Wait a moment. Did we get all of it?

Yep. The plan failed. We got it all.


Later, we agreed to buy this whole pile of compost, and our neighbor will get another separate freight of compost. We will use all of this anyway. How we will use this is another question. I think a digger is involved in this because otherwise, I will break my back.

We went on making the next lot of planks for the east wall. Our electrician was busy at our house. When it was getting too dark to work outside, the plan was to move inside and do a couple of gypsum plates. That did not work out because I was too cold. We went to our old home and had Pizza. This lot of planks are slightly shorter than the previous, so perhaps we can paint the ends when they are inside in the hobby room.

Saturday 21 November

It was cold today. We have not used the woodstove for over a week. We have barely been in the new house, and you can tell, especially on the house’s temperature. Our electrician has been in the house, but he is just doing his thing, and he is not particularly sensitive to cold anyway. I am sensitive to cold. I lit up the woodstove because that is the only source of heating we have right now. The living room started at 12 degrees Celsius, and at the end of the day, it was 15 celsius. Perhaps 16. It was more pleasant being inside, so it was definitely much better inside.

The day’s first task was to rearrange the working room on the ground floor to have more open space for painting planks and dry in the room. Last weekend we had them dry outside, which was a terrible idea this time of the year.

I also had a little unsuccessful project getting the solar panels’ inverter to power up and be happy. It looks like it needs permanent access to the Internet to be able to produce electricity.

The next task was that we would get visitors. Our daughter studies at the University of Delft, and she lives in an apartment together with other students. It is more of a big household rather than separate apartments. This is an important distinction these days because of Corona. There are rules in the Netherlands of things you can do as a household compared to what you can do when you are just friends. They had decided to come and visit us. It was the first time we met all of them. Our impression is that they were excellent people. Some of them were studying Architecture like our daughter, and one was studying Computer Science. They looked around, and our daughter gave a presentation about the house. We kept a little more distance due to the Corona rules. It was just a short visit. After an hour, they drove off to do more activities elsewhere.

The following task of the day was a little more annoying. In our absence in the house, we got mice. I even got to see mice while we were cleaning up the working room. We decided to catch these. For this, we went to the hardware store and bought mice traps. We also went to a second-hand shop and bought two metal containers to store eatable things in. Mice can eat through some plastic types, but they cannot eat through the tin, which is good to have eatable things in. When we came back to our new home, we immediately installed two of the traps. There are consequences to this—no more sloppy storage of food in the new house. We need to have metal containers for any eatable material. I can admit we had been a bit too relaxed in our food hygiene. We left crumbles everywhere. The house is tight enough regarding mice. However, there have been extra holes drilled in the floor for water pipes, etc., so we are not one hundred percent tight anymore. We have work to do to tighten these holes. On the other hand, when the floor is finished, it will be made of concrete, and any opening will be tightened, so we need to be patient from that perspective.

Still, the cold in the house was wearing off my dedication today. I kept the fire in the stove burning, and after decluttering the working room, having visitors, fixing the mice issue, and finishing our lunch. Not until then, I started to get back to my usual old dedication again. We got the planks moved from the container into the working room. There I sanded the last part and painted the ends of the planks.

Then it was time for gypsum plates. We finished the south wall of the hallway on the ground floor!

After this, we collected our things to go home, and just before leaving, the first mice got trapped. We let it out outside and wish it good luck in its future endeavors.


Sunday 22 November

Today we started early. We woke up really early. After an efficient breakfast, we went to the new house to start work on our tasks. The first thing to do was to let out 4 more mice from the house. In general, today’s goal was to prepare the house so that our ventilation specialist and plumber could sufficiently start his work. He needs access to the space below the staircase, and it is a little challenging for him if there is no indication about what staircase there will be. For that, we had to declutter the area. Then we had to remove the temporary stairs.

That gave us another problem. When we put the stairs back, it will not be straight stairs anymore. Perhaps, or most certainly, it will be less comfortable to bring up the isolation plates to the first floor with stairs turning around the corner. Because of this, we decided to start the day by moving the pile of plates.

We decided to move the plates to the northeast room on the first floor.

On the ground floor, the pile was still impressive. The sun, what shining; it was beautiful. This is the original pile made by the builders.

Little by little. Moving one plate per turn.

Then before you know it, the pile has moved. It looks beautiful like this. Perhaps my perfectionism is visible in how we stacked the new pile.

In the living room, the pile was gone. It was an important milestone.

Now we could move our table to the living room!


Already getting more space in the living room was an outstanding achievement. I have been irritated on those piles. The weather outside was great, but we had to finish things indoors for our ventilation system.

Next, my uncle in law came together with his wife, and they helped us move stuff outside: The crab 48 scaffold, the gray plates, the roof tiles, and grey tubes. We moved this stuff away from the driveway’s right side to the left side on the house’s north side. On the right side of the driveway, we will install our helophyte filter system. The company doing this will need all space they can get to work there.

We still got green tubes for our ventilation lying in the way for the helophyte, but I don’t know where we will keep them for now. That is something I will need to talk to our ventilation specialist about.

When all outdoor moving things were done, we started applying gypsum in the space where the stairs will be located. We had not anticipated the gypsum plate’s place in the right wall of the utility room. Especially the seems between gypsum plates. For this, we had to install beams. Oh well.

On the left wall, we had the metal brackets and the lights’ hole in the stairs. We tried to indent the gypsum plate to make room for the brackets. It looked good, actually. Last time we tried inserting shims, which was not easy to do, mostly since creating the shims was difficult.

Then I drew the outline of the stairs on the gypsum so that our ventilation specialist knows where the stairs will be.

With that ended the work in the house this week. It was a great weekend, after all.

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.