JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Started working on the ceiling

This week we started working on the ceiling in the living room.

Monday 26 July

It is Monday evening, and it has rained one millimeter today. That is not much at all. In Belgium, it is flooding again. It is not entirely fair that we get so little while they are flooded. This is all down to the consequences of climate change. With one degree of warming, the air holds 7% more moisture. That combined with a weakened jetstream that parks weather systems in one region of the world for long periods. There is a heat dome over North America, and we got the opposite.

When we finished the northeast bedroom yesterday, we came to a kind of junction point in the project. On the one hand, we would like to finish gypsum work on the first floor. On the other hand, we do not have the suitable plates at hand to continue that work. We could work on plates in the hall on the first floor, but there is one outlet missing, so I called our electrician, and he will look into that tomorrow. He was convinced he installed the outlet, but I cannot see it.

Another solution would be to move around plates, but it is heavy and really not productive work.

For this evening, we decided to work out a plan for the ceiling on the first floor. We will put up beams every 40 centimeters. The gypsum plates will be mounted on the beams. Around all seams of the gypsum, there needs to be a beam above the seam. In most of the ceiling, we can do various solutions, but there is one place we don’t have that luxury. That is the steel beam in the living room. There needs to be a beam on either side of the steel beam, but that will work.

We got another issue with the ceiling on the first floor. The pipes for the heating water for the first floor have not been installed yet. We cannot put up gypsum plates until that has been done.

I wrote an email to our heating specialist to see if our plumber can do that work. I know we discussed this earlier, but it disappeared during our latest meeting. No worries, this can be fixed well on time.

Our sheep were a little annoying tonight. I had the feeling that if I gave them a ball, they had been running after the ball.

Our vine grape is doing fine! It is so fantastic to see that it recovered. It is shooting out stems and leaves, and it is coming from many places along with the old wood. I had already reconciled the fate of the grape that we failed to move it from the old house to the new house. It looked dead for a week and then suddenly it started the revanche. It is so lovely to see, it makes me really happy!

Tuesday 27 July

Tonight we went to the new house, and our daughter came with us. She is walking on sticks, and her leg is still hurting, but she is much more mobile than just a week ago.

Our electrician had not been to our house today. Although we have plenty to do other than the tasks blocked by him, I was a bit disappointed. Especially that part that he promised to come and fix the missing outlet and then not doing it.

It was rainy this afternoon; it had rained 2 millimeters from yesterday when we arrived. We had a look at the sheep. It was the first time our daughter met our ladies.

We were just going to have a cup of coffee when we started talking about how to set up furniture in the new house. I have not reflected so much about such matters because my head is busier with the building right now. It takes time to figure out how to deploy the furniture, to figure out what we got space for and where. On the one hand, we wanted to continue with heavy work, but it was also good to have a day of rest. It may sound strange, but we already got all furniture we need in the new house. It is perhaps so that we got too much and that we need to retire some items.

This evening we talked about where what furniture will be standing in the new house. Lovely to have a relaxed evening.

Wednesday 28 July

It is already Wednesday with half a day working at the house. The electrician had not been to our house. With that, we had no other option than start working on tasks on the ground floor. It is a tad annoying that he gives us promises he does not hold. Our plumber is handing out fewer promises that he is failing on. We will see how this goes, but now we were forced to switch work areas and tasks. There is a surprising amount of tools to move before all is up and running at the new spot.

The first task of today was to reinforce the beams in the hall on the ground floor. A ventilation beam is drilled through the beams, and to be absolutely sure we don’t get cracks and other annoying things, we decided to reinforce the beams.

When that was done, we started on the ceiling in the living room. The beams in the ceiling are 47 millimeters wide and 22 millimeters high, and they are really long, 4 meters and eighty centimeters. Today one was mounted along the east side of the ceiling and one on the west side of the metal beam in the living room. We mounted a third along the south wall. With this, we had three beams along the edge of the living room.

I was standing there looking at the wall and concluded that it is not that easy to take down the gypsum plate when we put up a beam along the wall’s top edge. In general, that should not be needed, but we made one little mistake on a wall opposite the kitchen. We put the temperature sensor for that room too low. Now it was time to correct this and to do that, we unscrewed the gypsum plate at all screws except the top line. This worked very well. The sensor was moved to the correct height.

While we worked indoors, it rained a lot. We received eight millimeters of rain this afternoon. When we finished for the day, the work inside, the sun broke through the clouds. We went out to the garden. There were some squashes and beans to harvest. I cleaned up a bit from the fifth fencing area where the sheep were last week. It will be so lovely when we live here, and it is possible to enjoy the summer evenings at the new house. I am really looking forward to that. For tonight we went back to our old house. My wife used the squashes for a vegetarian bolognese sauce. It was delicious.

Thursday 29 July

Today we had a regular work-from-home day. I woke up with a stiff neck. The last time I had that, we worked on the ceiling in the bathroom on the first floor. Now we work on the ceiling in the living room. Oh well, I will have a scarf on and eat some paracetamol from time to time. I am sure I will come over this little handicap.

It was not raining that much today.

I heard it will be scorching in the Balkan countries and Greece in the coming days. I think we might miss all that and I am delighted.

We went to the new house, and our electrician had not been there today either. We continued on to the new task: Putting up beams in the ceiling in the living room.

While we worked indoors, our ladies had a bit of a brawl in the garden. They bumped their skulls on each other. I hope this is not something they will try on me. If they start doing that on humans, we will quickly find out how to change that behavior.

We mounted nine long beams in the ceiling. There is a little piece missing on the other side of the ceiling, but we will do that another day. I think we will put up all the beams for the living room this week. That would be nice.

There is a little of a stacking problem with the gypsum also here. The topmost stack is green gypsum plates destined for the bathroom on the ground floor. Below it, we got the plates for the living room. So what will we do to the plates for the bathroom while we work on the second stack? For now, we postpone this and put up the beams first. That is also a way of solving problems, put them on hold for resolve in the future, somehow.

This is good. We have a start on this new era in the building of the house. It will feel totally different when the ceiling is in place. Already the beams are changing the character of the room. One thing for sure is that the echo will increase dramatically with the gypsum in the ceiling. I wonder if the room will feel bigger or smaller? It is not possible to look up through the beams in the ceiling. Perhaps the room will feel smaller. On the other hand, the ceiling will be one big flat surface, perhaps making the room feel bigger.

Friday 30 July

Today came two millimeters of rain. We finished beams in the living room. We were rather tired from working one whole week, so we just did a couple of beams this evening.

There is news from Turkey that the forest fires are increasing rapidly due to the heat dome currently stuck over the region.

Saturday 31 July

Beams, beams, and beams again. It is highly repetitive work to put up beams for the gypsum plates in the ceiling. It, however, feels rewarding to do these beams. The beams are put up quickly, and it is not awfully heavy and complicated work. Sometimes you need to find a clever solution to connect a beam to another beam or fastening the construction to the ceiling.

Today we put up beams in the living room and kitchen area. We decided to give the ceiling above the kitchen additional isolation. It is easier to isolate before the beams, so we did that.

Then it was time to put up the beams. That went really well.

After the work indoors, we went out in the garden and pottered around. The sheep were minding their own business until we came out. We were greeted with forceful enthusiasm. The ladies got their food supplements, and we looked after our garden.







It was a lovely evening.

Sunday 1 August

This morning we were slower than we usually are, but that is often the result of working hard the day before.

At our old house right beside the front door, it started growing oat. We have never ever had oat growing spontaneously at our front door in all the years we lived there. When we got a new house built on old farmland, we apparently brought oat seeds and started growing oat at our old house. I am sure that our old front garden will be decorated with rapeseed plants and a couple of phacelias next year. I almost forgot the two sorts of thistles as well. It will look great!

Perhaps we moved out of the old house by then. You never know.

At our new house, we decided to work on the wall to the utility room. Here we had to finish one of the to-do items from Gijs, namely enforcing the wall so that heavy things can be screwed onto the wall. He would like to fasten a three-hundred-liter tank on the wall.

We actually already inforced the wall with 12-millimeter thick plywood, but that was not enough. Gijs needed another 15 millimeters of wood. We had rest pieces from the failed fascia boards. A couple of the fascia boards were too narrow, so we had to redo these boards. Now we could use the discarded plates for the enforcing of the wall.

Here are the scrap pieces mounted at the back of the wall. Then we put back the isolation. Now obviously, the isolation got a little less room. The isolation is flexible, but there is just so much it will give in when compressed. We tried, and it failed. The screw came right through the gypsum plate. We decided on discarding the plate and start over. Well, with the isolation of that wall. We put the damaged gypsum plate in our gypsum scrap heap, and with a bit of luck, some part of it can be reused somewhere else.

We shaved off a layer from the isolation to make it fit better in the space of the wall. The isolation did not look so smooth when we were done, but that does not matter. It will not be visible when we are done with the gypsum plates. The rests that we took from the wall can be reused in a ceiling or wall somewhere.

Our second attempt of screwing the gypsum to the wall was more successful. We are using green plates here because that is the gypsum on top of the remaining stack of gypsum that we got on the ground floor. The green plates are supposed to be used for bathrooms, but our bathroom is not finished yet. Our ventilation specialist needs to finish the work in the bathroom. He might be on holiday right now. We don’t know. There are plenty of green plates left to finish the bathroom even when we have done this little wall. The next step will be to move the rest green plate off the stack, lean them against a wall where they are not in the way for other work, and then continue with the second part of the stack. That is, gypsum plates with all four sides are prepared for putty. We would prefer now to have to put the green plates to the side because it is unnecessary work, but it is difficult to avoid. We need to get to the second stack before the bathroom is finished.

So what should we do next? If our electrician came and finished a wall outlet tomorrow, we can continue working on the first floor. In the meantime, we can finish the living room ceiling on the ground floor. Here we had to prepare for the seams between gypsum plates. It is better to have something behind all seams of the plate. The end result will be much better, and the surface will be more even. It is challenging to apply putty between two gypsum plates if there is nothing behind. The putty just disappears behind the ceiling. The seams of the plates mounted on a beam hold them together, and the putty will fill a smaller space. That is the idea, anyway. Now we got beams running across the room from south to north, 40 centimeters apart.

The plate is two meters and 60 centimeters, so the end of the plate will meet the next plate at that position. But what should we do there? We decided on putting a beam across on top of the south-north beams. Then between the south-north beams, we fill up the gaps with smaller snippets. It became a little more complex when the second seam came almost in line with ventilation outlets. For this, we made squares around the outlets and connected the other seams to these squares.

Now it would be very nice if we had not discovered that the ceiling is uneven. I recalled what the roof tile people had said. “Jens, this is how you make something perfectly straight!”. It was great people. I have a photo of Robert on my blog post from 16 July 2020. It was almost one year ago. He taught me how to create a perfectly straight line. He said: tighten a thread across two points of the thing you want to make straight. Measure the deviation with the thread, fill it up with spacers. Voila! You made it straight.

So I started on this work. I finished straightening three beams. I am wondering if it is perhaps the stacks of gypsum plates that have made the ceiling uneven. It can be. We will never know, but it is just too much of a coincidence that there is an indent right below the place where the first stack of plates was lying. The floor/ceiling is made up of two frames, and they put a stack of gypsum on top of the center of both frames. The part of the ceiling that is bulging up is the sides of the frames. There is a difference of about 15 millimeters.

On the other side when we are done with the floor, this unevenness will be removed on the first floor because of the floor heating, that we will get an anhydrite fluid poured over the floor. When that is done, the floor will be perfectly even.

This concludes the work of this week. It was not feeling so fun with that uneven ceiling, but we will fix that as well. I do hope we get the electrician to finish some things next week.


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.