JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Started working on the west wall

This was a busy week. We got wood snippets, scaffold planks, a ceiling in the bathroom, and we started on the west wall. The weather was gray and dull and eventually ended in a snowstorm.

Monday 1 February

It was Monday morning, and another week had started. Indeed my weeks start on Mondays. I was awake, but I had not got out of bed. The phone of my wife starts ringing. She picks up, and she is asked if the delivery of wood snippets can take place now? Like in right now? I really want those snippets, so I figured out that I could start doing office work from the new house. Then I could be there when the wood snippets were delivered.

This was from almost sleeping to instant full speed. While I dressed, my wife fixed the breakfast, and I collected the things I needed to do my work. It had been freezing rain this morning. There was a thick layer of ice on the windshield.

When that was removed, I could drive to the new house.

I got my temporary workplace settled, and I was ready for delivery. This was possible because our temporary Internet was working and it worked fine, luckily. It will be slightly more comfortable when we got permanent Internet via optic fiber, but this was not bad—office with a view. I could see a tractor arriving along the road.

Our snippets arrived with a tractor and a red wagon. I had moved the little trailer with the red wheels because we had it where we want the snippets.



The driver asked me where I would like to have the snippets, and I showed him the place. He was delighted. I did not understand why.



It turned out to be so that the wagon could empty the cargo sideways. We had the optimal place for the load.





















After the snippets had been delivered, I worked with office work for a while. Then I drove to our old home and continued to work there.

Wednesday 3 February

The first half of the day, we worked from our old home. It was raining. In the afternoon we went to the new house. It was not an incredibly efficient afternoon. I worked on putting up planks above the windows on the north wall, and the process I got soaking wet. My wife painted the sides of the fascia boards. Our carpenter called me, and we talked about the work he was going to do tomorrow. We had forgotten about it that he would come and put a horizontal ceiling in the bathroom on the first floor. The thing is that we had planned to have gypsum plates mounted before he came.

We started working on the gypsum plates. We worked long into the evening and forgot about the time when the curfew would be in place. It was not so that we knew this when we started packing our things. Our friends came by, and they brought a present for us: A first aid kit! After handing over the present, they said we were a tad late for the curfew. The goodbye became short because we hurried home, we got into the car and back to our old house, and we closed the door behind us three minutes into the curfew.

Thursday 4 February

Today I started working from our new house in the morning. This was because I was going to open the door for our carpenter. When he arrived, we talked through he would do for us: Putting a ceiling in the bathroom on the first floor.

The carpenter was curious about our scaffold. I told him we bought it. I planned to keep it for when I want to do work on the house. He then asked if he could rent it from time to time. It sounds like a good idea! We will see how that develops.

We also had another thing to be delivered today. Planks for the scaffold. They were also delivered in the morning. Here the driver is kicking off clay from his shoes before driving home. With this stack of planks, I can put up platforms on all scaffold parts as it is standing right now. The old planks are 5 meters, and these are shorter just 3 meters. It is possible to combine them to get a full platform, but no planks are lying on top of each other as they do right now.

Originally we planned on far less platform, and that there were 5 planks on a platform. The width of the scaffold doesn’t allow for 5 planks. We figured out that four planks work just fine. The person we got the scaffold from had 5 planks, and he let two planks be tilted a little. I cannot have that. I need to be sure that when I set my foot down, it is stable. With four planks, there is a little room over, but that is fine. I can handle that.

First, we ordered five-meter long planks. That means that we got three segments of the scaffold on the house’s east and west sides. Each segment is 2 and a half meters. One plank of five meters is fine, but what to do with the last segment? The solution until now was to have another plank of five meters on top of the first. I don’t like that because first of all it is not flat and secondly you got 2 and a half meters of plank double not doing anything. On the north side, we got the same issue. The last segment is a half plank. With the delivery of today, we can have 5 plus 3. It will be perfect. My wife was surprised when I presented the idea because we will use our planks more efficiently. “Oh, is it not more.”

I spent most of the day working from our old home, though. I got more and better screens there. It was time again to go to the new house and paint another layer on the fascia boards and look at the carpenter’s work in the evening. I was delighted, it looked brilliant.

The fascia boards got their second layer of sealer. When done, I concluded they will need another layer as well. I got home a quarter to the curfew, so that good.

Friday 5 February

I missed my wife’s birthday today. I am so embarrassed. In December, I forgot my mother’s birthday for the first time in at least ten years. Now it happened again. It has been a hectic week, and my wife is so special to me. This was not nice. She took it very well, but it is a little sad that it is happening. I think I am on top of everything, and from the outside, I am in full control, but this was not how I had anticipated 5 February.

We passed by the grocery store on the way to the new house and bought an extra delicious cake for the coffee.

The plans for today was straight forward. My wife would start by painting the fascia boards, and I started working on putting up the planks we got delivered yesterday. It was actually warm today with 8 or 9 degrees Celsius. It was not that windy, an excellent day for working outdoors.

Our son came with us, and he planned to make paths with the wood snippets that we got delivered on Monday. It is so delighting to walk on the path. Our son has no idea how much joy this is giving us. Before we slid around in the clay and got mud up to our ears. Now we can just walk normally and stay clean. It means a lot. When sliding around in the clay, you get physical pain as well because you are almost falling. Either that or you are falling for real. This is so beautiful. On the south side, he put the path in a straight line right outside the future garden.

The scaffold’s work is also joyful because it allows us to reach the house walls. All sides of the scaffold now have decent platforms.

After I took this image, I added reels on the second level and a diagonal to make the scaffold more stable. Here is the west side of the building.

Here is the northwest side of the building. There are two platforms on the north side and three on the east and west side.

Here is the northeast side of the building.


When I publish the photos like these, I often run the images through a perspective transformation. I think the photo looks much more natural when the vertical parts of the building are indeed vertical.

When this was done, I went to our old house and had a meeting with a roof specialist to look at our old house’s roof. There will come the point when we sell the old house, and when that happens, we want the old house to be adequately looked after. The specialist had a look and prescribed a couple of adjustments to improve the roof.

Saturday 6 February

When we went to the new house, I found that the New Year festivities’ last barrel had been removed. There is still a heap of charcoal and dirt. Amazingly, this stuff has not been spread around the entire street just yet. Let us call this, uh? An advantage?

My son is making a path around the new house with wood snippets. On the north side, we had garden tiles, and they had to be removed before he could make the wood snippets path. Yesterday evening, my son asked me if I had seen the garden tiles. No? I was busy with the roof at the old house. This morning I discovered that instead of making a neat pile of the tiles, he made a tiles graveyard. What should I say? It gives me a Calvin and Hobbes feel. Do you know the cartoon, Calvin and Hobbes? It is a young kid, that is Calvin. He got a tiger as a stuffed animal toy. The cartoonist is very good at showing the world from both the kid’s perspective and the parent’s perspective. From the kid’s point of view, the stuffed tiger is big and alive. One episode of Calvin and Hobbes made puppets in the snow depicting an accident of some sort. There are always big things going on in the mind of Calvin. Anyways, my son is grown up, and he is not having any stuffed tiger.

Today we started working on the west wall. But how was it we were doing the planks? I had forgotten how we intended to configure the planks. I had to go back and reverse engineer the plan as we did it on the north wall. I made a drawing of the plan.

  1. This is the concrete fundament.
  2. On top of the fundament, there is a wooden beam with a layer of leveling mortar.
  3. The building elements of the house often got two beams at the bottom. The elements are built like a frame, and the innermost side has OSB plates. On the outer side, there is the blue foil.
  4. We put vertical beams on the blue foil. Actually, the house was delivered with the vertical beams, and we just extend these where they are missing.
  5. On top of the vertical beams, we put horizontal beams.
  6. Below the planks, we put the gray cement bound plates. The plates are mounted on one ventilation beam. It is the same as the other beams, but they got parts milled away to allow air to flow. That is what makes them ventilated beams.
  7. This is the gray plate.

The wind came from the east today. It was brilliant. On the west side of the house, I was standing away from the wind. It was a cold wind. Usually, the wind is coming from south or west in The Netherlands, but the wind comes from the east when it gets cold. Around four in the afternoon, I had finished the vertical beams. My wife went indoors and painted fascia boards. She could not stand the cold. I usually cannot either, but it was okay today.

I am still filled with joy that we got all the platforms in place on the scaffold. It is such a nice feeling working with the right tools. I even got time left to put up two horizontal beams.

I had to adjust the horizontal beam to connect tightly with the north wall’s last plank on the northwest corner. I took out a little. I hope this will work out well. It s just something that has to be done. There will be no carpenter angel that will descend next to me, fix this corner, and tell me that I can better fix stuff before it is too late.

It was feeling right to work. I was absolutely alone today. Very few people had a reason to go to their building site today. There is a snowstorm predicted to reach the country tonight. It is not clear if we will be able to go to the new house tomorrow. We will see.

Sunday 7 February

We were slow this morning. Really slow. Today’s saying will be, “Gratitude is like honey; it is delicious but also sticky.”

Eventually, we got the new house. My wife was hesitant we would go there at all. Imagine we get stuck in the snow on the way to the new house? We got winter tires, just like we had when we lived in Sweden. We got to the house without any issue.

Our pond had a little edge of snow when we arrived.

When we left, the edge had grown bigger.


The garden tiles that my son had placed in a decorative group were playing with the wind. I have no idea how and when these tiles will get together and form a nice pile. What is the plan? Will we have this garden tiles graveyard for a long time, or is this just a temporary gimmick?

The west side of the house was still out of the wind, but it was not inviting to go there and start working. There had to be an indoor day today.

We got inside, and I worked on putting up isolation in the ceiling on the first floor again. We already had put up the isolation, but the electrician and the ventilation specialist had to remove isolation here and there. It is not such a nice feeling to have something unfinished. It has been aching my fingers to put back that isolation. I have not done that because we had such a good momentum on working on the outside. Today I worked on the isolation. Marleen, my wife, tidied up the “tabletop” of a pile of gypsum plates. Over time, we have collected more and more stuff there, and we cannot have that when we want to use the gypsum plates.

It was nice to tidy things up and work on the isolation. We kept the stove burning, so it was nice and comfortable in the house. I am looking forward to living here. Even when there is a snowstorm.

We did not want to push our luck too far, so we decided to get home before it got dark. The road was a little more untidy than in the morning, but it went fine again. When driving in snow, you need to lower the speed, obviously. It is handy to drive in tracks of earlier vehicles if present. When reaching a curve in the road, one has to lower the speed to avoid slipping off the road. Today it was dry snow with a lot of wind. Usually, in these conditions where there is leeward, there are snowbanks formed behind. When driving on the road with the wind coming from the side, there is a chance for leeward places. When there is a snowbank on the road, it is good to detect it well on time, and if the traffic allows, just increase the speed slightly so that the car plows through the snowbank without getting stuck. It is good to not increase the speed so much that you lose control and starts slipping. On the other hand, if the snowbank is too big, it is better to stop entirely and figure out another way to get around it. I plowed through a couple of snowbanks on the way home. Actually, the most untidy part was the road outside our old house. But also that went fine.

When going from the car 5 meters to the front door, our shoes got snowy. We went inside and left a mountain of snow on the doormat. I thought it was terrible to have the snow melting there, so I took out the mat and banged it with my right hand while holding it with my left hand. I banged for a while. My nerve system tried to figure out what I was doing. It actually took a while before it said to me, “you stupid is banging a mat with a deep wound on your hand.” I stopped banging and felt terrible about my stupidity. When I came in, my wife praised my driving skills, getting us home in a safe way. At that moment, the contrast between my internal feelings and what my wife said to me could not have been more significant.

When I come so far into the blog of a week, I am often contemplating what this week’s gist was. So also this time. This week we really started working on the west wall. It is not a flying start, but it is a start. It was a busy week. My head was full of appointments. Perhaps I can arrange that next week will be a little less busy. That would be nice. The weather is not cooperative right now for working outdoors, but that is okay. We do have a lot of things to do indoors as well. We will see how the weather continues. The predictions right now are that it will remain cold for another two weeks.

Another progress is that our son is doing more at our new house. He likes it. We are stoked to get this project going, but for him, not so much. Eventually, he will find his own place to live, but currently, he lives with us. But our new house is not so much his project. It was not easy to motivate him to get to the new house as long as there was no toilet. Now we got water, a toilet, and the Internet. It is almost livable! We hope that he will like to be at the new house and it has been great for now.

That is it for now. My hand is still tingling—time to make a cup of tea. Bye!


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.