JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Installation of the heating system has started

We got the concrete plate delivered, and the outdoor unit of the heating system was placed on the plate.

Monday 29 November

Today, we had an appointment with Erik, the pavement specialist, to bring the concrete plate we bought for our heat pump in the afternoon. He would come in the afternoon before it got dark. I was working from our old home, but I would be at the new house on time.

There were a couple of things that worried me:

  • Are there vehicles of people working at our house in the way for the tractor of Erik?
  • How will we do with the pallets on the driveway blocking the passage to the place where the concrete plate will be installed?
  • Is it possible to fill up the cavity without crushing the wood structure I built?

I am sure other people would not worry, but I was not sure this would come together by itself. I had to be the conductor here so that things would fall into place as I wanted.

Erik had told me he could first come with the bucket of gravel and put that in place and then go back to his workshop and get the plate and put that on top. That plan is good, but it only works if he had direct access to the location. I wondered if it would not be possible if he did it the other way around, first come with the plate with his fork tool. Put the plate away, move the pallets to the side, and then get back and fetch a bucket with gravel.

It was so complicated to make a simple story, so I gave up on that. I just called Erik and explained my worries, starting from one end. He understood what I said! He agreed with my suggestion of doing things the other way around. I was relieved.

There was, of course, another method he could drive off-road, but I would not like that. Besides, he got a big machine; you don't want to get stuck with such a machine in the clay. Erik told me he could come and deliver the concrete plate during my lunch break.

I went to the new house, and I parked on another street. Indeed, the plumber was parked on our driveway. I spoke to our plumber, and he agreed on moving his car; we could borrow our neighbors' parking for a while today.

Erik agreed on moving the pallets, but only if they would hold together. I strapped the tiles of the open pallet together.

Erik is on the way. The plate on the forks.

He came. Moved the two pallets to the side. Put the concrete plate down and went to pick up his bucket with gravel.

He put down a tarp used for road building at the bottom of our dug cavity. Then he filled it up with gravel. He filled it really gently so that I could shovel the gravel to the right place.

Here comes the concrete plate.


Then he picked up the bucket with the fork.

Then he drove back to his workshop!


Erik told me he had not seen anyone prepare for a concrete plate of a heating pump as well as I had done it in his whole career. He was impressed.

Now I hope that Gijs will be happy too.

I think it went really well. Erik listened to my suggestions, and this became an excellent result. The wood structure held up very well. With that, my lunch break was over, and I had to work again. I had brought with me my laptop so I could continue work in the new house.

While working on the concrete plate, a Kitter had been busy in the bathroom on the first floor. A Kitter is applying kit. It is apparently a separate profession; I had no idea.

He applied a silicone kit along the joints of the floor and corners.

It looked gorgeous already when he was done. It had to dry for 24 hours, so looking but not touching.

With this, I could concentrate well on my own job. I sat in the hobby room on the first floor while the plumber and Tiler were busy elsewhere.

Then in the afternoon, the Tiler told me he was going to run out of bathroom tiles. I suggested he start working on the floor tiles, and then I could order more tiles and have them delivered to go back to work on the bathroom. The Tiler just laughed at me. No, without bathroom tiles, I will stop work he said, then when you get the tiles, I will continue with the bathroom.

I really did not want to have him stop working on the tiles, so I had to go to the tile shop and get more tiles. Luckily it was the sort of tiles they had in stock to just go there and get four more packs of tiles.

While at the shop, I also brought the two basins that were incorrect. I could deliver the basins back to the shop. They indeed had four packages of white tiles that my Tiler requested.

On the way back to there was a beautiful sunset. It had been a beautiful day, but I had also been busy with other things than enjoying the nice weather.

In the evening, I was tired.

Tuesday 30 November

Today we worked from our old home the entire day. In the evening we went to the new house. We met the Tiler and the plumber that wrapped up their activities for the day.

We decided to modify the hay rack and make a bigger opening between the spokes. That is correct; we decided to modify the hay rack outside in the dark in drizzly weather. The Tiler had a really convenient battery-driven lamp that we borrowed. I used a jigsaw to cut out more space between the spokes. We only did this on one side of the rack. The other side will be done at another moment. Now they have greater access to the hay; what we wanted.

Wednesday 1 December

Today after lunch, we went shopping for more food supplements for our sheep. We moved the sheep to the round platform at the end of our driveway at the new house. It is much sturdier ground here, so they don't need to be standing in clay. Until now, we had to have the driveway only for vehicles, but now we can let the sheep use this space. Their little shed, the feeding bucket, and the hay rack all came up on the hardened platform. It was possible to put the fence here by using a hammer. I got it all figured out.

For the rest, we decided to both to work on the plastering. Or rather, my wife explained to me what she figured out regarding plastering. I got one lesson from her. The professionals we hired, such as the electrician and the plumber, know very well that they know people who can do this work far quicker and more efficiently than we can. They tell us that, not once, but several times.

On the other hand, we have decided to do this task ourselves. It will require learning and figuring out, but it will be possible. At any moment, we can give up and hire professionals anyway.

The electrician was in the house today. He worked on the utility cupboard, installing automatic shortcut breaks for the heating pump. He also put up the light switch on the first floor in the bathroom. Great!

But where is Gijs?

Thursday 2 December

Today we worked from our old home the entire day. I was even snowing a little today. We were glad that our sheep had a dry and hard surface to stand on from today when the snowflakes fell from the sky. A delivery guy called me at noon because he could not find our house. He was to deliver the final missing basin. I told him where the house was, and I could not figure out if he had delivered the basin.

After work, we went to the new house. The Tiler was wrapping up for today when we arrived at the new house. He told me that a delivery guy had come to the house and asked if this was the correct place, and then he went back to the bus, and it turned out he had forgotten to put the basin in the bus, so he drove to us for no reason. Stupid guy. He will be back tomorrow with the basin.

The Tiler had finished his work in the washing room on the first floor. The basin will be mounted in the washing room in the right corner. We will not install a shower here, but we will leave the shower uninstalled until we get old and crippled. Then we will put the shower up here. The Tiler could not understand this.

On the first floor, the plumber had mounted the shower and adequately installed the toilet in the bathroom.

Then my wife mixed a bucket of plaster, and we both went ahead plastering. She worked in our bedroom, and I worked in the northeast bedroom. It was feeling great to work on a task in the house again in the evening. We can do that because there is electric light. It is such a treat to turn on the lights in the house.

Tomorrow the Tiler will have a day off. That means tomorrow I will need to work from the new house for my daytime work to receive the basin.

All this progress is satisfactory, but where is Gijs?

Friday 3 December

Today I worked from the new house. I could not risk that the basin would be delivered, and we could not receive it. That would be unnecessary. So, I had to relocate to the new house. That is no problem because we have got Internet since 10 February in the new house.

There would also be another delivery, a colleague would come and bring a thing for work and look at the progress in the new house. While the colleague was still at the new house, I got a phone call from Gijs! "We would like to come to the house and start installing the heating system. Is that possible?" Yes, of course!

When my colleague left, I parked my car at the neighbors so that Gijs would have full access to the outdoor unit.

There is Gijs!

There he came driving. It was half-past one in the afternoon.

Gijs reversed in on our driveway with his trailer.

They could get the trailer in front of the concrete plate next to the sheep fence. Just perfect.

In the trailer, there was a crane. The outdoor unit was hoisted to the concrete platform.

Then it was time to drill the holes for the pipes.

Here the helper of Gijs is drilling the second hole. Then they installed the tubes going from the outdoor unit to the utility room.

Here is one of the tanks that will hold warm water.

Here is the other tank.

Here is the unit with the cables sticking up through the concrete plate.

Then all was packed, and they drove home.


Saturday 4 December

Yes, Saturday. Fantastic. Well, not really. This was feeling a little like the day after, really. It was a drizzly day where the drizzle slowly intensified until it was raining for real. That kind of day. The main event of today was bringing garbage to the recycling center. That is not something you can brag about, but it has to be done. We gradually filled up the little blue carriage with stuff, and today it was completely full.

I know it is not fun to repeat the same joke repeatedly, but I know you will wonder if I will mention the sign outside the recycling center. Yes, I will! It was 22 September when I first discovered the sign, and I loved it. It was broken in half, and the remaining text indicated that the site is guarded with the help of no less than deodorant cameras! The sign is still there.

We had a lunch break for the rest, and we plastered walls. My wife worked on our bedroom, and I worked on plastering in the northeast bedroom.

I made one single photo to document this epic day, a stack of rolls of the stuff Danny put up along the wall to prepare for the anhydrite floor. This creates a distance between the anhydrite and the wall to allow expansion if needed. Now the anhydrite is cured, the space is there, and the blue stuff is just in the way we work on the walls.

During lunch, my wife looked at me, and I had to ask if she was angry at me. "No, I am just thinking." Oh, about what? Well, she explained. Before I tell you what she said, I have to say that my wife is a number person. She got a good hand with numbers, not like something over natural but better than me. I just hate numbers; try to avoid them as much as possible. She counts stuff just for the fun of it. "I am worried we got too few tiles for the ground floor."

Oh!? If you recall, we have been to the tiling shop twice, and these tiles are imported from Spain and delivered late. It would not be nice to get more tiles and wait a couple of months.

My wife recalled that we calculated the floor area without the walls. It was the most sensible thing to do. Now she has seen how the Tiler is working and realized that the inner walls still "consume" tiles, such as an inner wall that prompts the Tiler to cut a tile to accommodate the wall, but the tile is still consumed. Occasionally the rests can be reused elsewhere, but that is not always the case.

So the north wall is 28 tiles (27.2), and the east wall is 10 tiles (9.9). That is 280 in total. The washroom is made with other tiles, and it is 20 tiles. So we need 260 tiles. We ordered 69 packages, and there are 4 tiles in each. That is 276. We got 16 tiles margin, and that is a fragile margin. Tonight I spoke to our contact person of the Tiler, The plumber, and he will discuss the matter with our Tiler. If we need to order more tiles, so be it. This house project needs some excitement from time to time. It is not enough to balance scaffolds seven meters above the ground with power tools; we also need tile shortage excitement.

Sunday 5 December

Today we had a slow morning. It was a solid gray day. Eventually, we came to the new house. My wife had planned to continue plastering the bedroom and the northeast bedroom on the first floor. I wanted to fill up the trench, perhaps even with the help of my son.

We started filling up the trench. Gijs had said it was crucial to pack the clay in the cavity below the holes. For this, I took a stick and pushed the clay in under the cables. We also filled with clay beside the holes from above. It was not fun work to do; the clay was sticky today. We also had a garden hose spraying water beside the holes to flush clay in tiny cavities. When all the compaction was done, we filled up the rest of the trench. It was such a nice feeling with all the clay that had been used.

It was impossible to get the clay back in such compact condition as when we dug it out. This has to do with the excavator running over this area when the house was built. The clay was very compact here. The rest of the clay we could not fill up in the trench we put beside the house's foundation. It also needs some filling up.

We cleaned the concrete plate and the machine to look nice and fresh on the plate when all was done. Gijs had forgotten a spade; I placed it next to the machine.

Then we had lunch. After lunch, my son and I started on the next outdoor task of today. To build an extra shed for the sheep. They have been growing a lot since they first arrived. Not all of them fit in the shed at the same time. We decided on making a second shed enabling us to move them on our little carriage.

We used four of our pallets to make the shed. Then we took a brand new tarp and screwed it onto the construction. I used stainless screws and stainless washers. The tarp was bright blue, which was not so beautiful, but I think it will do so. Now I hope all of the ladies can have a place to hide when it is raining and snowing.

My wife had made good progress today. She learned a couple of new plastering tricks. It will be so nice when we start painting.

This concluded the work at the new house for this week. At our old home, I started Fusion 360 for the first time in a very long time. The program wanted to be updated. Then the free subscription had expired, and I had to renew that as well. Then when all that was done, I could start loading the CAD model of the house. I wanted to see the configuration of the tiles as if they were laid out.

There are 28 tiles along the south and north wall and 10 tiles along the west and east wall. That is 280 tiles. Then the washing room is already done with other tiles. That is 20 tiles. Thus now we are on 260 tiles. We ordered 276 tiles giving us a margin of 16 tiles. I notice that along the east wall, there is an unused surplus. Perhaps those can be reused? On the negative side, the big doors and windows on the south walls also need tiles. Do we have them?

What it comes down to is that nothing may go wrong. That is realistic since tiles need to be cut to fit etc. Tomorrow I will hear more about this tiles issue.

Here ends this week with a couple of cliffhangers. How will it go with the installation of the heating system? What will we do with the tiles situation? How many more tiles, and how long will it take to get them? Will the Tiler and Gijs be able to stay out of the way of each other? Will the washing room get the kit?

Will we get the missing basin for the washing room, or will it be lost forever? Plieger, where are you?

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.