JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

The small details to finish the north and west wall

This week we worked on small details to finish the north and west wall. We made a plan for how to make the planks around the doors. The remaining window sills were ordered.

Wednesday 17 March

I don’t think this week’s blog post will be particularly spectacular. When we came home to our old house on Sunday evening, I was exhausted. I could barely write a blog post, and that is saying a lot.

Then Monday morning, when I woke up, my back hurt. Supposedly it could have been a muscle ache, but I am not sure. When the back hurts or starts to hurt, it is crucial to relieve the back quickly. I had some stings in my back on Monday morning. I took that seriously and did all I could, not put any strain on my back so that I could rest.

It is especially bending over that is hard for a sore back. The pain can come very suddenly, and then it is essential to relieving the back within seconds. When doing that, I rest a hand on a knee, and that kind of tricks. I know from experience working with heavy things without a hint of back pain, and then the morning after leaning forward to put on socks is when the backache can hit like a knife. It feels like muscle fibers are tearing. No one can tell if that is what happens. It feels like something snaps, and my experience so far is that letting it snap completely hurts more than stopping what one is doing, even if it is something silly like putting on socks.

I started to do sit-up practice at first, very gently. I am not doing it with the entire back lift but rather the beginning of the back. I do straight sit-ups as well as sit-ups to the left and the right. It is essential for me not to lift the entire back. I never do that. I rather have the end of my back still resting on the underground and then let the belly muscles work. It is like a curl-up instead of a sit-up. I don’t need to do very many of these sit-ups but ten to fifteen each time. Then a few hours later, I do it again.

On Tuesday morning, I was already better. The same regime, though. From time to time, a couple of sit-ups.

Today at noon, it was time to go to the new house again. I could feel the back, but I was fully functional again.

We went to the new house and started planting more of the trees and shrubs. We did a group of trees etc., on the dyke on the north side of the house with perhaps 50 plants.

Then we did a group along the road where we previously had pallets with garden tiles. We still have garden tiles lying there, but I could clear up three pallets to make room for plants. Here we planted around 25 plants.

Finally, we made a group behind the sea container along the road. Here we were going to plant a dense oak forest. I made 25 holes. My wife came with the oak trees, and I placed them in the holes. I trust her blindly when it comes to these plants. Now we just had to fill up with compost and soil around the oak trees. One of the trees had a sticker, and I thought it was a pity that the sticker would be below ground, so I removed the sticker, and as I usually do, I read it out loud. “Lonicera.” My wife asked me, “What did you say?” I said, “Lonicera. It must be a form of an oak tree.” She answered, “No, absolutely not.” We rechecked the plants, and there had been a mix-up. We got the plants exchanged with real oak trees, and this time I did not know what the sticker said, but it was good this time. We planted a winter oak.

Throughout the day, I took no photos. It isn’t easy to take photos of brown trees with a brown background.

For the rest, not much else happened this Wednesday. I operated the ground drill, and it went well with my back.

One of our sticks along the road was driven over, and indeed the culprit also drove beside the road. The rebar became crooked, and the wooden block at the top got cracked. The driver noticed nothing. I replaced the rebar and put back the block of wood as well as I could. I also put one of my pallet trestles in that corner. If people necessarily want to run over this corner, they have to run over more stuff than just a stick that bends politely. I do understand where this is heading. It is an escalating process. At some point, we will need concrete pillars that will not fold away for a tractor or full-size 40 metric ton truck with a fully loaded trailer.

Thursday 18 March

This evening, I went to the new house to measure the window sills again below windows on the north and west wall. They need to be 7.2 + 4 cm deep.

Everything looked okay at the new house. It was windy and cold. I had forgotten my scarf, so I took a towel as a scarf instead, and then I went picking packaging peanuts at Mrs. PMTs plot. It annoys me to have this garbage flying over to our garden, and Mrs. PMT has not had any urge so far to pick up these things. She had problems with her back. Well, tell me about it. I am fine now, so I could use a little of my time to pick packaging fillers. Now about 98%, just guessing, of the packaging peanuts are picked. It feels much better for me. While picking, I recall seeing news that scientists found microplastic in the far north of Siberia. They also found fetuses of animals with microplastic already in them when born.

We did not order new window sills in the evening as intended, but instead, I continued repairing broken links in the blog. I finished all but one blog post from 30 September 2015 (Note to myself) that was especially broken. I will keep it broken with a sign “This is a broken blog post.”

Saturday 19 March

I don’t think we are fully recovered from last weekend. I woke up with a slight feeling of a stiff neck. Except for that, things are going fine, but perhaps we worked a little too hard last week. Today we had decided to work on more minor things. Like for example, we were installing the permanent downpipe on the northwest corner of the house. The pipe needs to be cut to a proper length, but it isn’t easy to find the correct height. There is one fixed point, and that is the bottom of the downpipe. The top of the pipe is complicated because it is a point where a diagonal pipe is meeting the vertical downpipe. For that, we held up the diagonal as if it existed and marked a spot on the wall where it would end.

The vertical pipe is made up of three pieces, and we need to cut one of them to the correct length. When that was done, we mounted the pipes from the bottom and up until we reached the topmost part. Here we now had a concrete point between the gutter and the vertical downpipe.

It was easy to precisely measure how long the little diagonal would be and cut it and finish the assembly. Perhaps easy is the wrong word because now, when everything fits together, there is no extra anywhere. I unhooked the gutter and pressed it up to make more room for the piping, but that was not enough. Then I took off the uppermost top section of the vertical pipe, and that way, I could barely get the pipe in place, snug fit. There is no possibility that this pipe will fall apart spontaneously.

Next up, I worked on cutting out the jacks of the windows on the west wall that we had forgotten on 26 February. My wife took away the excess foam around the windows I applied on 10 March. She painted the surfaces of the foam. Perhaps this will be the system for doing the rest of the jacks because this worked fine enough but with the advantage that you know exactly where the jack will be.

Then Marleen started planning for ordering window sills, and initially, we had thought that we order just the missing sills from the north and west wall, but how about ordering all of them at once, then we have fewer delivery costs. The problem with that is that we still don’t get a whole plan of how to do the doors on the south wall.

With that, it was about time to create that plan. The last time we were puzzling about this challenge, we did not develop a plan that ticked all checkboxes. For example, the doors should be open wide, and the beam construction behind the planks is not allowed to block moisture. This time, we had more experience with these things, and now we created a satisfying plan. So here is the plan:

We start with the door on the south wall that is 2 meters and 60 centimeters wide to explain the idea. Here I put two beams to represent the door. The floor represents the blue foil.

  1. The vertical beams that the builder of the house applied. These are the first layer of beams.
  2. On top of the vertical beams, we got the second layer of horizontal beams, just like on the north and west walls. These beams we put up with a 60 centimeters distance from each other. These beams are made a little narrower so that the top surface matches up with vertical planks.
  3. Next to the door on both sides, we got two vertical beams. These forms support planks on the same level as the door.
  4. Above the door, we got a horizontal support beam for the horizontal plank. This beam got ventilation openings routed into it by myself.
  5. Above the horizontal plank, we got the mounting back for the window sill. It has matching ventilation openings as beam D.

The mounting back beam is meeting up with vertical beams from the upper part of the building. Then on the bottom, there is beam F resting on the vertical beams.

The first layer planks rest on the door.

A second vertical plank next to the door.

On top of the second vertical plank, the inner layer is mounted, which is also the door sill’s edge. Above the door sill, planks are mounted in a regular pattern.


The order for how the beams should be put up will be:

  1. D and E first.
  2. Then C meets up with D.
  3. Extend existing vertical beams where necessary, down to E etc.
  4. Horizontal beams.
  5. Planks.

I hope this works.

Sunday 21 March

Today we had a slow start. We loaded the trees we had in our garden into the car and brought them to the new house. I thought that we would have time to plant these as well, but that did not happen.

It was windy today and cold and overcast, but it did not rain. It has been dry for a couple of days now.

We worked on small details again. My wife painted the corners of the windows. She applied a second layer on the north wall, and then she started working on the west wall. There she applied the first layer of paint in the corners. She also applied a silicone kit on some seams here and there.

I mounted horizontal planks above the west wall’s windows. It was our daughter who made these planks on 3 March. When that was done, I continued with finishing window sills above doors and windows on the west wall’s first floor. I could not mount them because the paint was still wet in the corners.

When my wife was done with the paint and kit, she ordered the new window sills—all remaining sills for the whole house. If things go well, we can get these in a week, but I doubt that. We will see if I get a handmade drawing this time as well.

It was so cold throughout the day. I worked in the lee of the wind with the window sills. My wife was on the scaffold in the wind, and the cold seeped into her bones. We had a fire in the woodstove to warm up, but that did not help much.

Our son came with us today, and he gave all the trees and bushes water that we had planted lately. It is a lot! Perhaps he ignored where we had spread new seeds for grass, but he did water the newly planted trees and bushes, and that was good.

In the afternoon, I started putting up new barrier tape on the east side of our plot. Right now, there is no house there. We hear from the owner that plot that the building will start shortly. When that happens, I want to have this border marked adequately. Throughout this project, we have avoided many problems by properly marking up where our plot starts. There are moments when we did not do that, resulting in situations that frustrated especially me. I don’t want that to happen, so I mark up the border.

Now we have our dyke, and with that, two of our neighbors have a resolved situation. One neighbor planted bushes towards our border, and another got a thick layer of new soil along the border so that it is easy to see where our borders are. It is also not easy to drive there with unauthorized vehicles. From this perspective, I see less need to mark up their borders. The parts of the border that is accessible with vehicles, there I still want to have barrier tape.

For the east border, I used spare wood that I had got from other neighbors. I drilled holes with the ground drill. I had a twenty centimeters drill for planting trees, but now I had a ten centimeters drill. In the first hole, it got stuck. To get it out, I took a pipe wrench and reversed the drill out of the hole. When I had all the holes drilled, I put sticks of the planks as poles from other neighbors into the holes. Between two of the poles near the new house’s corner, I even put up a plank. Then I stabilized the planks in the holes and finished off with new barrier tape. Looks good!

When I was busy with the ground drill, my wife recalled that we still had 20 lonicera plants to put in the ground. So with that, I continued drilling, and she planted the bushes.

On the north and west wall, we now got the following tasks

  • Paint the seems of the fascia boards
  • Put up a lamp at the front door on the north side.
  • Mount the window sills created today.
  • Wait for the ordered wider window sills.
  • Finish the remaining window sills.

I thought at the beginning of the week that we would do it a little lighter work. On the one hand, we have not once been climbing the scaffold on the south side. On the other hand, we have planted plenty of trees and worked on the north and west walls. Together with the windy cold today, it was not feeling light at all.

That was this week. I am delighted with the solution around the doors. We planted a lot but not everythings.

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.