JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Gypsum in the ceiling on the ground floor

This week we started putting up gypsum plates in the ceiling on the ground floor.

Monday 30 August

Today I arranged that I can have all Wednesdays off in September. That is five Wednesdays in a row starting coming Wednesday. It feels like we got good momentum right now, but there is still an awful lot to do before the October deadline.

It was a bit chilly but sunny this Monday evening. We worked from our old home as we usually do during this pandemic. Our lawn mowers were calling for our attention this evening. It was persistent baa. Apparently, sheep are making baa sounds, according to the English dictionary.

We were starting a new activity this evening, namely putting up beams in the ceiling in the hall on the ground floor. We already finished the beams in the living room on 31 July. We stopped when we came to the staircase where the heating specialist still had to put in pipes. That is done now, so now we continue the beams in the ceiling where we left it.

There was a lot to figure out at this part of the ceiling. How should one do with the connection between the staircase and the ceiling? In what configuration should we put up the gypsum plates. At first, we had planned for smaller plates more times over the ceiling.

There is much going on here with cables, so it is the question if we can arrange beams strictly at the seams. With fewer seams, it is easier to have some beams at a slightly nonstandard position. Obviously, there will be a seam eventually, but they are fewer, and here it turned out to be so that the seam would arrive at a convenient location for a large plate. This discussion and measuring etc. took the whole evening.

Tuesday 31 August

It is already the last day of August. We worked from home again, and in the evening, after dinner, we went to the new house again. Today it was more overcast. Our daughter came with us. She wanted to take a photo of the sheep with her analog camera. She got a film on the camera, and she wanted a photo of the sheep on the camera. That succeeded. Or at least it looked like it succeeded. She will not know until the film has been developed.

Before the work for the evening, we sat down in our future living room and had a cup of coffee. It was peaceful. Then my wife got called. She got the message that the friend had died last night. We were shocked. Due to Corona, only the closest family will attend the funeral. This was a challenging moment. Before the weekend, she got the message that she had weeks to live. Now it already happened. I asked my wife if we should call off the work for this evening, but she disagreed; we would continue.

The beam along the edge was fastened properly with distancers. Then we started putting up beams across the hall with extra isolation. That was what we managed to do this evening. Tomorrow we got a whole day to work in the new house!

Wednesday 1 September

Early in the morning, we brought our daughter to the train, and then we continued to the new house. Indeed, we continued on the beams that will hold up the gypsum plates in the hall's ceiling along the south wall.

I worked on the beams, and my wife isolated the ceiling. It is good to isolate the ceiling just before the beams are put in place. This is because the beams help to hold the isolation in place to not fall down. It is possible to put isolation plates in the correct place to get stuck, but we learned the hard way that is not enough in the long run.

We had rather much isolation falling down, so we hate that. On the first floor, we isolated the ceiling in all rooms except the hobby room. When that was done, we concluded that we had to work on the house's exterior first. So we stopped working indoors. After a while, every now and then, isolation came falling down. At first, we did not know the sound of isolation plates falling on the floor but later, we knew how that sounded. We isolated many rooms on the first floor twice because of this, which was unnecessary if we had thought through the process a little better. For example, screwing the plates to the ceiling had helped a lot.

Here on the first floor, we also isolated the ceiling, and we had plates falling down, but I have been chasing after them, putting them up again, and fastening them with nails. It is easier, though, because the ceiling is only about two meters and 70 centimeters high. On the first floor, it is much higher.

Today, we stopped working on the ceiling when we had finished beams and isolation on the south part of the hall. It was time to fill up the trailer with garbage and bring it to the recycling center, and after that, we had lunch.

In the afternoon, we started working around the corner in the hall ceiling outside the workshop. It had been nice if that got finished, but no.

Here in this part of the hall, the gypsum support beams are mounted on the load-bearing beams oriented in the east-west direction. The load-bearing beams are not always in a straight line. It takes a surprising amount of time to get the gypsum support beams to become straight. I insert shims to fill up the gap, but the shims need to be of various thicknesses. For each and every spot needing a shim, I measure the required thickness and then cut the shim to size. Sometimes I have to cut the shim a couple of times to make it right.

It is tedious work and not that fun. Going up and down the ladder, you need to be concentrated as well.

We had an appointment with our plumber and ventilation specialist today, but we had not talked about a time, so we missed him. We will meet tomorrow. He told me over the phone that his injured eye is getting better. That was good to hear.

Throughout the day, occasionally, our thoughts were with the friend of my wife, how she got sick in cancer and how quick she left us. It was sad. A group of ladies kept together over the years; my wife was part of that group. They called each other the golden girls. They have been a group since before getting children, and I also met them several times. They have even been on holiday together. Now one member of the golden girls is no more, and we are all very sad about that.

We have not had any sad news from any family members or colleagues so far during this pandemic. I think this means that the people I know are taking good care of each other and listening carefully to the advice given about how to do during the pandemic. I do feel, though, that this good luck cannot last forever. We are entering the autumn here on the north half of the earth. It is getting colder, that is not to say it is getting as cold as it used to be because of climate change, but it will get colder anyhow. Because of that, people will stay more indoors, and the airborne virus can spread easier from person to person when staying indoors.

The virus will not kill so quickly when people are vaccinated, but that does not mean they will not get sick. The Coronavirus can leave long-term illnesses, even when you are vaccinated, and that is the part I fear the most. I am absolutely in need of the ability to concentrate. We are building a house right now, and I need to stay strong. I got no time for a long Covid sickness.

Thursday 2 September

This morning I woke up with pain in my right shoulder. It is funny I ended the blog yesterday by saying I have not time to get sick in Covid. I have no time to get sick at all. But my shoulder is having an issue, and it should actually need some rest.

Tonight we had a meeting with our plumber and ventilation specialist. He came early, and that was good. We talked through the work that must be done in the house to prepare for our floor deadline.

The ventilation will need to be finalized in the washing room downstairs. That is the main priority. We can put plates on the wall and the ceiling in the washing room when that is done. Our plumber will come to us and work on this next week. I suppose he said end of the week. It is a two-stage process because he will check what parts he still got lying and what needs to be bought. When missing parts are delivered, he will put the complete system together. When that is done, we can put up the plates. He will also create a possibility to install a shower so we will get all the pipes and drain for a shower so that if we do want, we can install a shower on the first floor.

This was the first part. Secondly, the plumber will finish the bathrooms on both floors after installing the floor heating. We will need to buy the tiles and all visible stuff separately, and he will put that in. We will try to finalize the bathroom and washing room soon after the floor has been done.

It was a lovely evening, but we had our meeting with the plumber and ventilation specialist, so we did not go outside to enjoy it all.

The neighbors on our east side got a lot of the load-bearing structures of their house delivered. With that, we can start to guess how the horizon will look on that side.

We put up one support beam in the hall just to have something done. It was a little tricky with my right arm. Tomorrow I will work in the office, and we will probably not work that hard in the evening, so perhaps I will be fit on Saturday morning. Let us hope so.

We still got some horizon where the sun goes down. It is not entirely clear what buildings will come here, but so far, it looks good.

Friday 3 September

Today I worked from the office for the very first time in a long time. I met colleagues, and it was like a good old time like before the pandemic. Kind of.

After work, we went to the new house, and we managed to sneak into the house without being discovered by our three attentive guards. They are so happy to see us when we arrive, especially since my wife is bringing them food supplements that they like very much. For them, she is the bringer of food, and that makes her very popular indeed. I am perhaps the person that rubs them, and they like that too. Actually, they are pleased to see any person, so when someone arrives, they will need to be invisible to make it to our house without being greeted with sheep baa.

We started working and soon after they realized someone was in the house. They went to our door on the north side of the house and had a look, and sure enough, we were there. Tonight they called for our attention for a really long time, according to my feeling. I hope they will stop do this a little earlier in the future. This might become irritating at some time otherwise.

I worked on the beams in the hall, and my wife worked on the isolation in the living room. The beams here need to be evened out, just like in the living room. I am adding spacers to achieve this. We stopped working tonight when I had placed the first beam to the left on the photo. Tomorrow we will continue.

Saturday 4 September

The day started overcast. As the day progressed, it got sunnier. We were enthusiastic about the work to be done today. Isolating the ceiling in the living room and finishing the beams in the hall outside the workshop.

It feels like this is the beginning of the end. Especially the end of tasks before our deadline. It is a good feeling. You have to enjoy the feeling of enthusiasm when you have it. Remarkably, we can still feel enthusiasm after such a long time working on the house every minute and every hour. It is at least a sign of good health.

Talking about health: my arm is fine. It is not so that I don't feel any pain, but I am not bothered about my arm. It went well the entire day.

When the hall outside the workshop had the beams ready, I went to help my wife with the last of isolating the living room. That is a dusty task; I had to put on goggles! We worked tirelessly on the task, and we got the ceiling isolated in the afternoon. This means we got one layer of 80 millimeters and now another extra layer of 40 millimeters of isolation in the living room ceiling.

Then it was time to start working on the gypsum plates; that was a great moment. I replaced the pole of our gypsum lift with a shorter version, and I took it down to the ground floor. The gypsum lift also got a bit of oil here and there to run a little smoother.

With all preparations done, we started the work of putting up gypsum plates in the ceiling. We finished three plates in the ceiling. Two narrower plates and one big easy plate. There will be plates with holes etc., but we can handle that. This was the beginning, and it is excellent!

We were not totally exhausted after the three gypsum plates, so we went out and pottered around in the garden. I have been neglecting the flower garden for a while, so it was overgrown with weed. I suppose that is okay when our top priority is to be ready indoor before our floor deadline.

My wife weeded in the vegetable garden and harvested a couple of courgettes and beets. The courgettes are plentiful, and they are not so sensitive to snails. Or, instead, the snails don't like them so much that we can have them. The beet, on the other hand, is delicious stuff. We got more than ninety percent of our beets eaten by the snails. We got a couple of them left that now reached full size.

My wife made courgette pankakes of the courgette. That was delicious. The beet became a beet salad.

I can predict that we will be trying out several ways of eating from our garden in the future. I suppose we will try out recipes and various things. It will be a research project without an end.

Sunday 5 September

We woke up and were feeling well. Lately, I found that it is often in the morning, right after waking up, that I discover some pain that I did not have before. This morning I was blessed with not discovering any new pain. Yesterday I had been busy working above my head the entire day, so it was entirely possible to get arm ache and shoulder issues, but none.

We continued working on the ceiling, putting up the fourth plate. I had three holes in it, and it went pretty well.

In the afternoon, we started working on the plate to be mounted over the steel beam. A complicating factor is that we got a stack of gypsum plates below the location of the plate, so how should we deal with that? The gypsum elevator could be tucked into the corner of the stack, and thereby it reached pretty well. The photo is taken with fisheye, it looks a little distorted.

We measured the hole in the plate, sawed it, and when we wanted to put up the plate, we discovered that the hole had come in the wrong place. So we had to take down the plate again. The mishap plate could be used along the north wall to repurpose it for a narrower spot.

When the repurpose was done, we returned to the plate that we missed. Took a new plate from the stack and measured it correctly this time. With this, we put up the final plate for today.

I was initially devastated by this error because we don't have that many spare plates in this stack. My wife was less alarmed because she was contemplating we will find a solution one way or another.

We put up seven plates in the living room. That is not bad at all. Next week will keep the momentum going so that we are finishing the ceiling from west to east. That will be great.

After the seventh plate, we went out in the garden and pottered around. I weeded thistles where the sheep are grazing so that they get better access to eatable grass. They are closing in on finishing eating on their current patch, so we will need to move them at some point next week.

On the way to our old home, we stopped by a new grocery store in the neighborhood. They are building with the same rules as we have. For example, hard surfaces like roofs and parking lots need to be compensated for with water storage. They got a huge water storage pond. They also had apple trees and pear trees. There is a park around the shop with a nice path. They got a field of solar panels as well as solar panels above parts of the parking. They have flowers to stimulate bees, and they got a bee hotel. What they don't have is palm-oil free products. They still got development to undergo. It is an excellent start, but there needs to be done more.

This is how this week ended. We feel almost confident that we will manage to finalize plan A, having all walls and ceilings provided with gypsum before the floor is installed at the end of October.

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.