|Started working on the west wall
||Tangible progress on the west wall
The fiber modem was mounted
This week the optic fiber modem was mounted, but the installation was not finished. We are still waiting for the Internet. We ordered window sills, and they arrived, and I prepared one to see how it works. That went fine!
Tuesday 9 February
Yesterday we placed an order for the window sills of the east and north side of the house. You know how much I hate unfinished projects, and it is a pity to have the scaffold on the east side just for the few small details. Such as the window sills. They are ordered now. It was not terribly expensive, and I hope it will not be challenging to bend the sills to fit the windows.
We ordered the window sills from a modern website with a unique price calculation algorithm late in the evening. Played around with the number of pieces to get a reasonable price. It all looked so automated that the window sills would be automatically produced by robots when we pressed the submit button. Within an hour, we got an email with a handwritten drawing and a question if this was correct. It was correct. It was just that we had not expected a human to work on that so late in the evening.
Today we got a message that our optical fiber has been welded and that we will get a fiber modem tomorrow, and the light will be turned on the fiber tomorrow afternoon. That is excellent, then we can start using the Internet much more at the new house.
It was better to stay at our old home yesterday than traveling on the snowy roads. Today it was still snow, but the roads were much better. After work, I went to the new house to lit a fire in the woodstove and checked if everything was fine. It was thirteen degrees Celcius (55 F) in the new house. That is not much at all, but it is not freezing (32 F), so our water pipes are safe, which is essential right now.
The wind had created a large snowbank behind the sea container, so I could not drive on the driveway.
Wednesday 10 February
It was cold today. I worked from home in the morning. While at work, I was called and asked if I could let in the optic fiber installer in our house, but I was at my old home? Was it not so that we had agreed that I would be there in the afternoon? We went to the new house as soon as possible to please the people from the optic fiber installation company.
Later in the day, the forecast promised an overcast, but there was a stunning blue sky when we arrived. There were footprints of a kind of dog. Could it be a fox? There were also footprints of a grownup walking around the house. All the neighbors had the same. That was less nice.
The water reservoir is filling up with snow. I like to see the shadows are not black but blue. This is because the blue sky is reflected into the shadow. Remember that if you are painting something outdoors and want to make the impression that it is a sunny day with an absolutely blue sky, then the shadows need to be blue.
It was thirteen degrees in the house when we arrived. It is as if that is a stable minimum temperature.
Then came the great moment we have been waiting for so long, the installer of the optic fiber came and installed the optic fiber modem. When the installation is finished, the installer will report back to the Internet Service Provider database that we now got access to the Internet via optic fiber. From tomorrow we can make contact with the ISP we wish, the installer informed me.
The cable with the optic fiber arrives through a gigantic pipe. I could make a little dent in the lid and put it back in the pipe opening. Later we will need to go and tighten the house for all possible openings for rodents. For now, it feels good to make it tight like this.
The optic fiber modem is tiny, 10 centimeters in a square, and it needs no power supply. We got an optic fiber modem in our old house three times bigger with a power supply. The whole operation of putting up this little thing took ten minutes, no more. I think there is a connection with another optic fiber at the bottom of the thing. This is new to me. I have not seen this before. I was confident we would get a box with a UTP slot. I have seen modems with optic fiber connections, but I have not seen them being used. It will be fantastic when we got this up and running.
I was not sure what we were going to do this afternoon. Since it was so cold, I thought that perhaps we could better work indoors, but my wife wanted us to go out and continue on the west wall. Actually, it was not that bad weather to work outside. Since it was dry, the gloves kept dry, and when dry, the hands stayed warm. Handling the beams that had been lying in the snow meant that eventually, that snow and ice came to the gloves, and they got wet and cold. Then I changed the gloves.
We worked on putting up horizontal beams on top of the vertical. It was a little tricky on the northwest corner since the last north plank will need to meet up exactly with the first west plank. Gaps will not be tolerated. The wall is not exactly flat, so near the corner, I need to adjust for the difference by making an indentation in the horizontal beams. My wife said that she doesn’t like that. Neither do I, but we lined up for this already earlier since we did not pay attention to how we placed the north wall’s last plank. For the southwest corner, we leave a little more room for the plank. I do hope we don’t forget that when we mount the plank.
While we worked, we were watched by our friend the buzzard. Perhaps we are no good friends, I don’t know. We are some kind of intruders. Am I just trying to find a euphemism for our role in this habitat because we are pushing away this creature from his land? Here he is sitting on the porch of a neighbor. It is a clean look in this picture. He got good taste, I like it.
In the evening, we ordered a ground drill machine. We will have our own! We will drill holes. So many holes you cannot imagine how many holes we will drill.
Thursday 11 February
Thursdays we are not so busy in the house. That is not to say there is no one at the new house. Today our plumber was busy with ventilation pipes. It was around zero degrees Celsius today, and tomorrow when we have a day off our regular work, it will be minus three degrees.
I was able to take a picture of the horizon right after the sun had set. I suppose that the sun-set is defined as when the “disk” is no longer visible over the horizon. I am not sure.
I called the ISP for the Internet connection. They had not received any message that we had access to optic fiber. Oh, well, let’s be patient about that. Have I waited since 24 November last year, then I can wait a couple of more minutes?
Friday 12 February
We had our last Friday holidays for this series of Friday holidays. Originally we planned to have five consecutive Fridays free from our office work. The week after my accident, we canceled the Friday after, so now we have only had four in total last Friday.
This morning we went to a second-hand shop for building material in Eemnes – inspiring! They got a rather old site, www.oudebouwmaterialen.nl, but that does not matter because the stuff you buy there is also ancient. We bought a roof tile for our old roof. Then we went to our new house and there our ventilation specialist and plumber were busy installing more of our ventilation system.
Before noon the west wall was in shadow. It was freezing minus seven degrees Celsius, so it was not particularly attractive to go out working on the west wall. The wind direction was, obviously, from the east. That is why it is cold. This means that our west wall was in leeward. We decided to continue on the inside with restoring isolation and then go and work outside when the sun reached our west wall. We have isolation issues of various kinds on the first floor. The hallway ceiling is hopeless, with many missing pieces. In the summer, we cut pieces of isolation with press-fit and pushed them up in the ceiling. Now they are coming down here and there.
The bedroom on the southeast corner of the house also has a pretty lousy ceiling. In the hobby room, we never started isolating, so that does not count. I wanted us to put back isolation where either the ventilation specialist had removed it or the electrician. Our bedroom got restored, and the bedroom on the northeast corner was also completed again. This is so much better.
When this was done, we went outside. We worked on beams in between the windows today. There will be two levels on the wall where we let planks have their joints. For this purpose, we decided to have two beams at these levels so that there is more room to fasten the red planks at the joints.
Today arrived the window sills. They came in bubble wrap. If the weather gets too cold, we can always unpack the window sills and start bending. I had the idea that you bend the window sills with a plier with wide jaws, but I see in a YouTube video that you can use a mallet as well, and I already have that.
Saturday 13 February
It is already Saturday. This morning the sky was pink. I think that is really special. I tried to find out why the sky turns pink when it is cold weather, so I searched for this. It is not that easy to find why. You can find more pictures of pink skies. But the reason why it is pink was not easy to find out. I leave this subject for another time.
When we arrived at the new house, we were STOKED to continue work on the west wall. We had already discussed the first steps to take while we drove to the new house. I took out our tools and put them on our excellent little carriage. Every time I see it, I call it the “Wonderfull carriage,” but it is just the bottom part of our son’s stroller. Yes, he’s grown up now, but that does not matter because it is still an excellent carriage. I cut off the top part of the stroller and built a platform to free the wheels when loading the carriage. Here I loaded tools to use on the west wall.
We had just two horizontal beams left until we finished the horizontal beams. With that essential milestone, we took a coffee break. It was still morning. Yesterday we waited with working outdoors until the sun arrived on the west side of the house. Today we started in the shadow. It was indeed frigid.
On the other hand, we were still out of the wind, and that was really nice. The scaffold’s planks were icy, but this time we conquered this challenge and sanded the planks. Where the sun reached the surfaces, it started to thaw.
When the horizontal beams were finished, we applied ventilation beams under the fascia boards.
We carried on, and eventually, the sun arrived on the west side of the house. We started to apply the fascia boards. The horizontal fascia boards need to be cut to the final size. We did not do that today.
The fascia boards project is tricky. We forgot to cut out the fascia’s top point to make room for the beam running across the roof’s top ridge. With that, we had to decide if we would cut out that top part of the fascia board or cut out the beam on the roof. I started working on the latter, but it was time to end the work for today. Almost.
There was a little bit of time left of the day, and I was thinking that when the ground is frozen, it should be the perfect moment to lift up the see container with our thirty-ton jack. I started while the sun was still on the horizon. Soon it got dark, and I was still working with lifting the container. I had to bring out a lamp. The ground under the container had not completely frozen. It gave away when lifting it with the jack, but it did not give away so much that the project did not work. It worked. The last time I tried this, the ground was wet, and no matter what, the container would not be lifted.
I managed to put one extra tile under the left side of the container. Today I was lucky that our son had made such as strange “tile garden.” I needed to put an extra tile under the container’s corner, but where do you get one when everything is frozen? I took a rubber mallet and banged the tiles standing upright, and so they got loose from the frozen ground. Had my son put the tiles in a neat heap, they had turned into one solid concrete block. It is so funny how conventional thinking is contested and proven inconvenient just days later, and I had no idea this would happen. I just had to have one or two tiles, and now they were still sticking out of the snow. They were challenging to get hold of because everything was frozen, but it worked with the mallet. The first tile shattered under the heavy load of the container. The second tile held up. When I released the pressure of the jack, the ground under the jack bounced back. Interesting. I think the sea container right now holds 25 tons. It is definitely less than 30 because I can lift it with the jack.
While I worked on lifting the container, my wife started calculating where the planks should be placed. Tomorrow we can start marking out the red planks’ locations, and then we can measure how long each plank will be.
Sunday 14 February
It was Sunday, we had a slow start today. Our plan for today was clear but now how long would it take? I finished removing the obstacle of the top ridge beam by drilling it away. For this moment, it had been handy with a multitool. We don’t have that, so I drilled many holes to remove the obstruction. That worked!
We mounted the fascia boards as much as possible. But it was not fitting absolutely perfect, and that was annoying. In situations like these, the perfectionist in me is getting an inner conflict with the other part of me that just wants to see progress. There will be no single person near these boards except my wife and me, and if it looks okay from a distance, it is okay. So it was okay, but not perfect.
The vertical fascia boards were finished, but the horizontal boards had to be cut to the final length. I did that. That means they had one new side exposed, so it was time to start sanding and applying the sealer again. It is not so fun with fascia boards. There is so much work before we can hang them up.
Next, up my wife started to measure the various planks’ location on the west wall, and I started working on planks above windows on the north side. For my wife, this was tedious work. I gave her a helping hand when needed, but she had a hard time with this. On this wall, we got an overall plan for all planks. When we worked on the east wall, we made smaller batches of planks. That became tedious in the long run. This time we decided to make one set for all inner planks top section of the wall. The next set will be all inner planks bottom section. Then the same pattern for the outer layer.
While she was busy with the west wall, I did some smaller tasks remaining on the north wall. The window in the living room on the north wall had an issue. The wall was not perfectly flat here so that planks bulged out a little near the window. Bulging planks are not so nice because then there are gaps. With gaps, the water can enter, and with water, the isolation value is depleted, and there is a chance that things will start rotting. I fixed this with a little wedge here and a screw there. When I was done, you don’t notice anything unusual with this place. Then I mounted horizontal planks above the windows.
I noticed something unusual with our sea container today. In the daylight, I noticed that the container had one corner hanging in the air! Yesterday I had not noticed this. It means that the entire container should also be lifted on the other corner, the same side, but I never dug a hole for the jack there. I tried with a shovel to dig a hole, but the soil was frozen and hard as solid concrete. I let it hang like that, and when I have a chance to dig a new hole, I will do that. For now, the container is hanging on three corners.
Before the day came to an end, I wanted to try out finishing a window sill. I did it with a rubber mallet. I also got a wood mallet that I will try the next time. It worked very well. Here is the sill with the protective plastic still on. Now we need screws to mount the sill to the wall. It was good to end the day with a successful subproject because it was a little tough to only work on preparations that you cannot see any immediate results of.
Next weekend it will be much warmer again. It is hard to imagine that we have had freezing temperatures. The temperature in the new house has been adequate, though.
This week, the Internet arrived in our new house, but it became an anticlimax because our installation registration was not processed in a timely fashion. Next week, I hope that we will see real progress regarding the Internet from the new house. We made good progress on the west wall of the house. We made that progress despite it being snowy outside. From that perspective, we do earn a pat on our shoulders by ourselves. I still got a wound on my right hand. I can use a regular patch instead of a bulky bandage. We decided on ordering a ground drill, but it has not arrived yet.
No, we did not ice skate this week. From the scaffold, we could see people in the distance ice skating on a lake nearby. It was gorgeous skating weather, but we had no time for that. No, it is not sad. We will be happy when the wall is on the house.
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.