JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

This week wet room floors were cast in cement

The bathroom and washing room floor were cast in cement this week.

Monday 8 November

Today we worked from our old home. After work, we went to the new house and prepared for the delivery of tiles tomorrow. I had two goals:

  1. Make room for the tiles next to the entrance of the workshop.
  2. Block the side of the driveway that it is not easy to drive offroad there.

I moved the temporary stove to the side, along the driveway. It is a bulky piece and a good start for blocking the side of the driveway. I had the temporary fundament of the woodstove that I also placed along the driveway. In comparison, a little insignificant heap. The garden chairs went there too. I had room for the tiles when done, making it less convenient to drive out of the driveway. I also moved the small carriage out of the way. Now the tiles are welcome tomorrow.

Secondly, I had been thinking about our design of the hay rack. When we built it, I had not considered our sheep jumping up on the lid and lying there. The lid had to be stabilized so that it could not slide off in any way because that would cause a sheep injury, and we would not like that. I screwed on blocks holding the lid in place.

Tuesday 9 November

Today Danny came to repair the kinks in the pipes. Because I wanted to be there when he did that, and since we received the tiles later in the day, I decided to go and work from the new house. So, today I worked from our new home. I really liked the idea of doing this. I had with me a lot of stuff, an extra monitor, keyboard, and mouse. I also got a little electric heated carpet under my feet.

I installed myself into the workshop, and it was excellent. I can see myself working from here in the future. Obviously, I will not do office work from the workshop. The office work will happen on the first floor in the southeast bedroom.

Danny came and started working on the kinks in the bathroom on the first floor. We have not had the bathroom cast in anhydrite because anhydrite should not be in wet rooms. In the bathroom and washing room, we will have some form of cement. That will be cast by the bathroom people.

First, Danny removed the pipe from the net, and then he squeezed the pipe to give it back the original round shape. Then he put the pipe back in a more gentle curve. He got a nifty machine automatically binding the pipes with the press of a button.


One of the challenges here is that the bathroom and washing room will be cast later. Had these pipes been cast on Friday, they had still been fine and stayed as so in the anhydrite. Now they had no other support than the metal wire, and now they had room to deform and get the kinks. Nevertheless, now it had to be fixed and worked out well. It went really quick.

While Danny was on his way out, our electrician arrived at the new house. He brought with him Annas, helping him out. Now there were four cars on the driveway.

This was just temporary. I worked on my office things, and the electricians mounted wall outlets elsewhere in the house. A little after lunch, the electricians left the house, and I was alone.

Now came the truck with the tiles!





The driver was a lady who did not want to get stuck because that would be a hassle. I tried to help her by suggesting we lay out two plates. She was okay with that suggestion. It did not work at all. She let the package slide off the platform and the wheels sunk into the plates as if they were made of foam. This pallet was 91 kilos. So now what? She could not get back because she was stuck, and she could not get her pallet lifter with her either. I suggested I take my car jack and lift the pallet, and put it on blocks of wood so that she could drag out the platform and pallet lifter from under the pallet. It worked!

The lady was so relieved. I asked her if it was okay to take a photo, and that was okay. Then she asked why. I told her it was because I would cherish this memory of successful delivery. That was a satisfying answer, apparently. I did not say it was because I am going to publish it to my blog.

With this, she drove away, and I continued working on my office work. Now the house was empty, and I could enjoy being totally alone in the new house. It will be good to live here. I worked on my laptop while our sheep worked a couple of meters away, chewing on their grass.


Wednesday 10 November

Today I did office work in the morning from our old home. Then we went to the new house. The first task was to unpack the tiles pallet and bring in the top things from the pallet.

After removing the wrapping and bringing in some small things such as the toilet and shower, only the tiles were left. There were too many non-square tiles compared to square tiles, which is strange because the bathroom and washing room have non-square tiles on the walls and square tiles on the floor. This ratio was not expected. It turned out to be so that only floor tiles for the washing room and bathroom had been delivered. The tiles for the ground floor were still on a truck on the way from Spain. The expected delivery of the missing tiles was on 18 November at the store. Then from the store, they would send the lady from yesterday again to bring the tiles to us.

We have a problem because we need these tiles to be here and installed in the utility room before the heating specialist can install the heating system. Now we had to call the heating specialist to see if he could come one week later.

In the house, the floor box would be provided with data cables and electricity cable. Our electrician has a belly of a more oversized format, so he is not suitable for getting the cable in place in the space below the house. The electricity helper Annas is also a man of a bigger size. No worries, two small men were hired today to do the task. They crawled into the space and got the cables installed. Now cables are sticking out of the floor box. We are getting there step by step. The small men came out safely of the hatch with sand on their clothes but ensured we had an elegant space below the house. There is not much room for maneuvering, but it is neat.

Most importantly, they told me, a space below your house makes it possible to drag data cables, electricity cables, water pipes, sewer pipes. It is also possible to repair things if it gets broken. It is so much better with a space below your house than filling it up with sand. If you get a leak in a water pipe, you might not discover it. Then it is spraying water without you knowing it, and you cannot fix it quickly. These men are dealing with people every week confronted with no space below the house. Usually, cables and pipes will need to be recreated above the ground causing unimaginable damage to floors that must be repaired.

I worked on the roof, gluing the loose slab below the solar panels. I finished this task! I also painted the hooks to the downpipes. Finished the northwest corner of the exterior. My wife applied putty to the walls. Before we went to our old home, we had a look at the tiles of the bathroom. They looked so lovely. They are 60 by 60 centimeters.


Thursday 11 November

In Asia, this is Eleven of Eleven with bargains in all kinds of shops. Here we will still be hit by a black Friday, which is absolutely bonkers because it was not a tradition of west Europe until a couple of years ago. This is a day known as the Funeral of Saint Martin or Saint Martins's day for the Dutch. Actually, it is all about the evening, when kids are going around begging for candy while singing silly Dutch children's songs.

Originally this day was the day that Martin of Tours had his funeral. He died 397 on 8 November, and three days later, he was buried. That is 11 November. Martin was a Roman soldier, not incredibly noble to be a soldier. After being a soldier, he became a bishop, and that is nobler. Once, he cut his cloak in half and shared the other half with a beggar having a bit of a cold. The social security system was not widespread around 397, so it was saintly if someone shared a cloth. So Martin became a saint, good for him. Now, these days, the Dutch kids run around in the evening of 11 November in the Netherlands begging for candy, singing, "Saint, saint Marten, cows got tails, girls have skirts, here comes Saint Marten" in the memory of this supposedly altruistic man. At the very least, this song is a gender polarisation message. I will, in the future, start to ask the girls coming to our door if they really got skirts on when they don't. I will ask them why they sing it; it will probably give interesting conversations about gender and gender polarisation.

This evening we finished our work from our old home and then we went to our new house and gave the sheep their food supplement. We had a look at the activities in the house. Here is the floor box that got the cables installed yesterday. Two data cables and one electricity. When the living room is finished, we will have our dining room table over this floor box, and I will put an extension cord under the table. This way, it is possible to charge things at the table without having a long cable running across the room.

If we get really creative, I create an inlay in the middle of the table with a lid that you can open and find the outlet there. That would be really cool.

Today our plumber had been to the house. He continued on the drain for the shower in the washing room. It is perhaps difficult to understand why we got a shower drain there, but it will be a dormant shower, so to speak. If we cannot walk the stairs in the future, we can put up the shower downstairs.

The drains in both the washing room and the bathroom need to be finished before filling up with concrete on the floor. Here is a work in progress.

After we visited our new house, we went to the old home, and here was the Saint Martin tradition in full swing. We really did not want to open our front door and have wave after wave of infected kids spraying Covid-19 virus parts into our house while singing silly songs about girls always having skirts. We dimmed our lights to act as if we were not at home.

Friday 12 November

Today we worked from our old home again. I did not get to the office this week because it is not going well with the pandemic in the Netherlands right now. It is getting serious again. We have to wear masks in shops, people are asked to work from home a little more, and fewer people are allowed events. Well, we are not party goers, so that was no issue for us. We had planned to go to the diploma award of our daughter receiving her bachelor diploma, but that event is not allowed for guests. I had already booked a half-day off, but that was not needed. We can log in via Zoom. How fun is that?

I went to the house during the lunch break because the people from the PVC shop wanted to come to us and measure the first floor. When I came, the plumber extended the hole in the washing room and redone the water and drain pipes. The new solution was so much neater. It will look beautiful when this is tiled. The drain is tucked beautifully towards the wall.

There was a small task left, and then the bathroom and washroom were prepared for concrete. That will happen tomorrow.

After the plumbers left, the PVC sales representative arrived. He measured the floor, and that was it. We will get a slightly lower price because he measured 3 square meters less than we had previously said.

After work, we went back to the new house to give our sheep their food supplement. Hannah had a bulge on the right side of her cheek. We wonder if this is going over by itself? For the rest, the animals are happy.

We had bought a gift to give at our daughter's diploma award, and now we sent that by post. Hope she likes it.

Saturday 13 November

When we came to the new house, the bathroom specialist was already there. I am saying bathroom specialist, but it is the same person as the plumber and ventilation specialist. The electrician is another person. Our bathroom specialist hired a helper to do the wall tiles and floor tiles. This is good because they know what to prepare for each other. The shower drain has to be at the correct height for the person applying the tiles, but if these things are handled by different teams, it can go horribly wrong. Now it is done under the supervision of our bathroom specialist, so it is done correctly.

Here is Redowan, the tile expert. He has been doing this work for 18 years. That is strange because he looks no older than 28. At first, he tiled in Italy, and now he is mounting tiles in the Netherlands. He will be in our house for a while. Here he is filling up the concrete of the washing room. He did it really well. On the wall one meter above the ground, he hung up a laser. It projected a beam around the room. With that, he can measure the height anywhere.

The concrete they use here is a ready-made, relatively dry mix in bags. It feels like moist sand. It smells a little bit like concrete but not much at all. They bought the bags of this stuff this morning, and it did not go as smoothly as it usually does. The bathroom specialist told me that the mixing machine had got stuck. The person operating it the day before had not cleaned it after use so that it got stuck. The people at the cement shop started to clear the machine, but they had small equipment at the cement shop. One option would be to get our cement next week, but that was no option since they would work on it today.

My bathroom specialist has much heavier machinery, and he had all his equipment on the bus. He said to the person at the cement shop, "Please step to the side, I can fix this," and then he used his own machines to clear the hardened cement. As a result of this, he saves the planning for today.

They loaded the bags into our house, and the ground floor was heavy enough to get the bags from the car to the house. The bags for the first floor was heavier. They had to be lifted through the staircase without any stairs. Here they put up a temporary scaffold with one person on the first floor lifting up the bags to the scaffold. Then one person on the scaffold lifted up the bags to the first floor. I helped out with a couple of bags, and they were heavy.

There was not so much for us to do inside the house. My wife plastered a wall. I finished applying silicone to the roof so that it is now finished. The toilet was removed so that they could work properly on the floor. Now it was standing in the hall. It was not feeling advantageous for us to be in the house. I helped out with a couple of small things. A hole had to be tightened in the bathroom, and I helped with that. For the rest, there was little for us to do. We went to our old home to eat a late lunch.

After lunch, I went back to the new house. The craftsmen were finished for the day. They will be back on Monday to continue laying out the tiles on the floor in the bathroom on the first floor.

Before they left, they told me they had a couple of bags left, and if I could use them, I could have them. I really did not know what to do with the bags at first. I decided to leave the bags to be picked up by the craftsmen to remove them on Monday. My neighbor was out working in his garden. He shoveled the ground, and I decided to help him. When we had finished shoveling, I decided to make blocks that I could have along the road, indicating that you should not drive past it. My neighbor helped me pour the rest of the bags into PVC pipes that I have had lying for a while. We will see tomorrow if they will work as anticipated.

I think that we are ready to take down the scaffold tomorrow. That would be so fantastic and scary at the same time.

Sunday 14 November

Today my first plan for today was to reinstate the toilet, because that is convenient. I mounted the toilet onto a board so that it will be standing more sturdy. That was the plan, the plumber brought with him the screws so I could not fasten it. He also brought with the connection to the water so after flushing it would not refill. I scribbled a question to the plumber if he had left the connection somewhere in the house, and I added a photo with an arrow in it. He had indeed brought the things with him.

I decided that we would flush the toilet with a bucket filled with water. It was just for today. On Monday, the plumber will come and connect the toilet to the water.

This took longer than I had anticipated. After the toilet task, it was time to take down the scaffold on the west and north side. We will leave the south side a little longer. There are a few tiny details still pending on the south side.

I started working on dismantling the west scaffold. The corner pillars are the most agonizing to remove, but I decided to build an intermediate platform, making it feel much better. This worked out fantastically.

I had removed all the top pillars when my neighbor came and asked if he could help. I said he could help me but not with wooden shoes. He went home and got shoes with rubber soles, and climbed up on the scaffold to help me. It worked out really well, no accidents. We took down the west and north scaffold much quicker than if I had done it myself.

My neighbor had to go around 4 in the afternoon, but we were finished seven minutes to 4. He was not in a hurry to leave; he liked doing this work.

Inside the house, it became lighter. It was a totally gray day, so it made a significant difference inside. When my neighbor left, I took in the scaffold feet and stored them in the container. I will tuck away the rest of the scaffold as well, but that is for another day.

We took up a part of the scaffold to the first floor in our bedroom to make it easier to plaster the ceiling.

Here end the activities in the house this week. We got the floors except the bathroom and washing room cast in anhydrite last week, and this week we got the remaining bathroom and washing room cast in cement. It feels like things are running smoothly now. We still need a resolution to the problem that the gray tiles have yet to be delivered.

There is another task I have ahead of me. The preparations for the outdoor unit of the heating system. I will need to create a platform for it, and a trench will need to be dug from the house to the platform. Before I can start on this, we will need to move the sheep from this area.

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.