Sunday, June 15, 2014

A long overdue update

When we started this blog, we titled each post by the day into the project. Day 1, Day 57, etc. Day 134 (May 20, 2012) was that last regular post. The house was pretty well emptied out at that point and we decided to take some months off to consult with an architect. It was a year later (Day 507) that we were finally able to check in and say that the building permit was approved. And then... nothing really happened. We had a good excuse for a lot of the down time, namely a baby on the way (Julie, born 6 September) and a lot of projects that needed to be done in our rental before she arrived. But there was also a general apprehension for getting started on what had turned out to be a much bigger project than we originally anticipated. We needed to find a good partner that could help us with the execution, but also could respect that we needed to do a lot of the work ourselves. It took some time, but by early 2014 we had found a contractor that seemed to be as psyched about the project as we were about them (Egil Norli). By Easter we had an agreement on how to get started. And now, only about 10 weeks later, it feels like the project is finally moving full speed ahead - even though the majority of the work is still only happening on the weekends. 

If we were to continue with the original theme, today's post should be titled Day 889. But that sounds so depressing! Also, having a 9 month old in the house makes it nearly impossible to post updates regularly enough that we can pin the progress to be shared to a specific day. So instead, we'll just try to update what we can, when we can. 

Today's update concerns something that has not been the primary focus of work in the last few months, but one that has made a sudden and spectacular change to the appearance of the house. Our plan has been to tear down and replace the "new" part of the house that the terrace extended out from (built in the 1950's, and again in the early 2000's) with a completely modern extension. This weekend we got one very big step closer to realizing this vision. 

Here are some pictures from the spring showing the removal of the terrace:

And here are pictures from this weekend... 

Pretty awesome, right?

Es basically took a chainsaw along the outer frame of the extension, from ground to roof and around, to separate it from where it met the old part of the house. Then he went in with the digger and gave it a couple of good shoves. Down it came! Today was spent cleaning up the mess (a job that took even longer than the tearing down bit, even with three sets of hands involved) and removing the panelling and knubb that was the original outer wall of the house.

The garden is a sad sight. Our neat piles of stone and brick have multiplied into not so neat piles of splintered wood, insulation, roofing asphalt, etc. But most of the mess will be loaded on the work truck and hauled to the dump in the next week or so.

Hopefully in that time we can also share an update on the inside of the house.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Building permit approved!

Well, it's taken time (3 months to be exact), but we received notice today that our building permit is APPROVED! Below are the preliminary drawings from JTG Arkitekter (thanks Pål for the excellent solutions!) that were included in the application.

And some more current drawings that Es has made of the interior (first floor and second floor, respectively)...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day 134: Nearly empty

A 3-day weekend + 2 pairs of extra hands on Saturday = a nearly cleared out house! 

 Above is the "old bedroom," cleared of dirt/sawdust. The old part of the kitchen is to the right.

 The two photos above are of the far side of the living room, under the heaters (as shown below). 
It was filled with nice, dark soil that will hopefully make its way into a kitchen garden eventually. It has been dug out down to the bedrock here, although it doesn't look like it.

Above is the back bedroom. It was filled with rocks of all sizes. The big rocks on the right side of the picture are the bedrock. The rocks on the left side of the photo are still kind of cemented together. 
The door on the top middle leads out to the kitchen annex.

Above is the kitchen annex. It was filled with gravel. The mound under the walkway seems 
to be a base for a staircase. Perhaps this was the old entryway. 

 Above is a new pile created this weekend... gravel from the kitchen.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Day 115: Finally, something worth sharing

It hasn't been a completely unproductive few weeks since our last post, but progress has been slow. Finally, this weekend we managed to get in a couple solid days of work. And thanks to some (much appreciated) help from Es' parents, we have something worth sharing today.

In the two photos above you can see the concrete base that Es made for the chimney. Also notice the floors... they are clean! (As clean as bedrock can get with a shovel and a utility broom.) Es' mom and I cleared out the dirt/sawdust/rocks(/old shoes/bones/broken glass) from the kitchen and most of the living room (see below). Where did all that dirt go, you ask? See the "Piles" post below.

Above is the "old bedroom." It still needs to be cleaned out. Below is the "new bedroom" at the back of the house. Es and his dad cleared out a lot of the rock/cement, creating yet another pile in the yard. The photo just doesn't give justice to the amount of work that went in here.

Below are a couple photos from upstairs. Es pulled up the top layer of flooring and the remainder of the plumbing. We're now down to just one layer of wood, or nothing in some areas. We think it will stay like this for a while now.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Day 93: Lofty spaces and rock piles (Påske på Apenesfjellet)

Five full days of work (thanks to Easter holiday) and lots of extra help around the house (thanks to Es' parents) leave us with two big things to share this week. First, the second floor of Sg13 is cleared, save the floor. Second, all the big rocks on the ground floor have been split and are now in the garden. It was a long stretch of work, exhausting and filthy, but totally worth every sweat bead and tear (from my side, of course. I shed a few when I thunked my head so hard into a beam that I was sure I lost a tooth). Below are some photos from today. 


Above: The first two photos are looking into what was formerly the bedroom. The third towards the skylight that was in the former bathroom. The last two are looking towards the staircase, where there was a hallway in between the utility room (on the left) and bathroom (on the right). We removed everything, including the attic, right down to the actual roof paneling. Well, everything except for a small paneled wall in the corner of the former bedroom that holds the fuse box, which will be moved downstairs, eventually. There was some more sawdust in one half of the attic. But most of the mess up here was from the thick, black dust that had collected in the attic and between the roof paneling and the first layer of inside paneling. So happy to be rid of that.

Below: The photos I took inside the house just don't do justice to the work that Es and his dad did downstairs. They cleared out every rock in the kitchen and living rooms that are not holding up walls. Big rocks. Big, heavy rocks. This is the impressive rock pile that they created in the yard.

With all the rocks out of the kitchen it became obvious that really nothing much is holding up the chimney. So, Es has started preparing to fill it in with concrete. He put in reinforcement rods and built a box (out of the old bathroom wall panelling) to fill in. We were quite excited because this is the first act of rebuilding to take place at the house.

The demolition phase of this project is so close to being complete. We still have to remove the floors on the second floor and clear the dirt/small rocks out of the first floor. This could take another month or more, of course. But it feels like there is finally some light at the end of this dirty, dusty tunnel.