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A New Start

Blog series by Tikka consisting of 32 parts so far

Part 1: Introduction (11-08-2010

08-11-2010 02:52 PM by Tikka | 6 comments »

Those of you who know me from Lumberjocks, will now know that I have closed my workshop down in Finland and have moved to Belgium for a new start in life. For those of you who do not know me, you now know the story so far. or can read it here. I loaded up my trailer and van on the 4th August with as much tools and personal effects (minimum) to allow me to get started on this project, during the remainder of this year and probably well into next year, I will try to blog the progress of the...

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Part 2: Utility Room (11-08-2010)

08-11-2010 03:26 PM by Tikka | 5 comments »

I have been assessing the work needed to be undertaken and trying to prioritize that work – one of the first things that I notice here was that there is a lot of rising damp in a new extension that was built (old stables), it turns out that there is no damp proofing installed in the walls or the floor. The original floor is tiles set upon sand ( as was done 200 years ago), and the sand was upon the clay beneath the house, did I mention that this is a very old property. This part of...

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Part 3: Utility Room (12-08-2010)

08-12-2010 05:27 PM by Tikka | 3 comments »

Not too interesting today, just finishing off the demolition – now the chimney is completely removed – it is surprising how much material is in a chimney. The photograph now shows how much useable space we have gained. The old toilet caused some concern, this was just a small hole in the floor – or at least I though – there was some water in the hole so I decided to pump this out, before filling in the void with rubble. Well 1 hour passed ant water was still...

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Part 4: Utility Room (13-08-2010)

08-13-2010 06:58 PM by Tikka | 6 comments »

A short day today – the heavy work is catching up on my muscles – thankfully it the weekend and I can stop working on the house – tomorrow and Sunday I will spend some time with my son-in-law and help him with his house :) This morning I started the excavation of the toilet I knew that the hole was a little larger than just the sitting part - And the hole just got larger. this first part took 2 hours To excavate the whole hole took 3 1/2 hours in ...

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Part 5: Utility Room (16-08-2010)

08-16-2010 04:04 PM by Tikka | 3 comments »

I tried to have a nice relaxing weekend, but on Saturday I helped my Son-in-Law with a little work, the demolition of a garage – I was totally “Kaput” by the the end of the day, Sunday was good – washing clothes, moving the iMac and doing some needed administration work. So this morning I felt full of vigor and strength – that soon disappeared after re-starting the excavation work – well I did make some progress, as shown in the photograph. I need more ...

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Part 6: Utility Room (17-08-2010)

08-17-2010 03:51 PM by Tikka | 4 comments »

I am guessing by now that this part of the series is getting a little boring for you all to read, I can assure you that it is getting to me to. Apart from informing you of the progress, it also acts as a record of my work, should building inspectors need information and lastly and probably most importantly – I am able to keep my wife informed of the progress of the work, as she is still in Finland, some 2000 km (1250 miles) away. Well today I finished the demolition and ground wor...

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Part 7: Utility Room (18-08-2010)

08-18-2010 10:38 PM by Tikka | 4 comments »

The concrete block I encountered yesterday, turned out to be a rain water tank, which I guess was the main water supply for the house at one time. The tank holds 5000 litre (1320 gallon) and it was full. This may explain why the ground in the utility room is so wet. So decided to to empty the tank and remove the concrete top. I drilled a series of holes in the concrete so that the SDS would not be overtaxed breaking new concrete. A garden pond pump was inserted to the bottom...

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Part 8: External Services (19-08-2010)

08-19-2010 06:29 PM by Tikka | 4 comments »

Not much to report today, I have been planning the routing of the external services and checking the existing fittings. The picture above shows the new lines that have to go in this weekend. Apart from filling in the huge hole (still plenty of space), I made some useful new contacts today – Tool Hire store, where the mini-back hoe (3/4 ton) will come from. This will be delivered tomorrow afternoon. Local Building supplies supplier, only a mile down the road – I picked...

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Part 9: Outside services (20-08-2010)

08-24-2010 06:21 PM by Tikka | 3 comments »

It has been a long and hectic weekend – hence the reason for not posting over the last couple of days. Finding rubble for the hole, it is not as easy as its sounds – if I had only started at the other end of the utility room, I would have had plenty. Hind sight is a wonderful thing! Removed 1 ½ cubic meters of brick from halfway down the garden, to nearer the house – I also needed to move them to get access to the caravan. Waited for the delivery of the back-hoe, i...

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Part 10: Outside services (21-08-2010)

08-24-2010 06:35 PM by Tikka | 3 comments »

I got an early start on Saturday morning, I had a new “Big-Boy’s-Toy” to play with :) If you look to the left against the wall, you can see the mark left by the height of the soil about 300 mm (1’) above the damp course ( a big problem with damp) This shows the extend of the area cleared on Saturday, about 75 M2 (810 ft 2) and about 25 m3 (880 ft 3) – a long and rewarding day – with really good dry weather

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Part 11: Outside services (22-08-2010)

08-24-2010 06:59 PM by Tikka | 3 comments »

22-08-2010 I got another early start on Saturday morning, today was the day for laying pipes for Sewerage, rain water and gas - It started quite well, it was a little cooler than the previous day, which I was thankful for – we we quite happily making nice deep trenches The old sewer line exposed. The first trench completed. The sewer line is laid. This prompted a stop for lunch, and refueling of the digger – an hour later we were back at it – th...

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Part 12: Outside services, Utility Room and Kitchen (23 - 29/08/2010)

08-29-2010 05:18 PM by Tikka | 6 comments »

Well another week has been and gone, I do not know where the time goes, but I guess I must be pretty busy as I am full of aches and pains from the neck down. So here is a summary of what I have been doing this week. Sorry (especially to my wife) for not posting a daily blog, but I just have not had the energy at the end of the day. UTILTY ROOM. The first part of the week was installing the “First Fit” of the waste water pipes in the utility room – I also managed to fill the bi...

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Part 13: Outside, Kitchen & Utility room (30-31/08 & 01/09/2010)

09-01-2010 03:45 PM by Tikka | 2 comments »

Monday: Basically I took the day off, trying to recover a little after the really heavy weekends work. I have arranged for the concrete to be delivered on Thursday morning for the utility room floor. Unfortunately because of the state of the entrance (due to the new pipes being fitted, the concrete truck cannot get get to within 5m (15’) of the house, and the thought of wheel barrowing 4 cubic m (140 cubic ft) did not appeal to me for some reason! So I had to hire a concrete pump, whi...

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Part 14: Outside (02-03/09/2010)

09-03-2010 05:26 PM by Tikka | 2 comments »

Thursday: Was concrete day – the pump arrived at 07:30 – it was huge with a 36m (120’) boom, the concrete arrived at precisely 08:00. At 09:30 we were drinking a coffee and having a cigaret. It really went a hell of a lot faster than I thought it would, but both drivers and my son-in-law pitched in to help and it went quite smoothly (more than can be said for the finish). In that one and half hours I expended a huge amount of energy and I am now totally “KAPUT” – lu...

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Part 15: Inside and outside (04-05/09/2010)

09-06-2010 04:14 PM by Tikka | 2 comments »

Saturday: I finished off clearing the plaster board of the walls to the kitchen to 1m (39”) high and disposed of the waste. Finished of bricking-up the doors to the utility room. Removed the excessive plastic membrane from around the perimeter of the new slab. It is surprising how long all these small jobs take. Sunday: A day of relaxation,or so I thought – I finally managed to level most of the ground from the pipe laying, but I think at the first big rain (for...

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Part 16: Bathroom Extension

04-04-2011 05:42 PM by Tikka | 3 comments »

Wow it has been so long since I posted on this site 209 Days – I do not know where the time has gone – Well to fill you in on the last 8 months or so, not much has happened. I had some ideas for improving the property, which required planning permission (or building permits), this took quite some time, but they have all been approved bar 1 (for me the most important), my new workshop – at the present time I cannot build one over 40 sq meters (430 sq feet, I need that much s...

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Part 17: Framing the bathroom roof has started

04-05-2011 07:38 PM by Tikka | 3 comments »

The framing crew arrived on time this morning and despite the bad weather rain and strong winds they have progressed a lot further than I would have expected, as you can see from the pictures. ... When they started work, they were surprised that the existing roof, which is quite new had stayed in place, as the walls supporting the roof were not too sound and the connection to the wall was not as good as it could have been. Most of the morning was taken up by making the loose bricks sou...

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Part 18: Bathroom Framing and roofing

04-07-2011 10:03 PM by Tikka | 2 comments »

I missed the chance to post yesterday, so I will combine the progress of both days in this blog Yesterday they made the entrance from the new extension into the bedroom-- Here is a view from the other end. Here are a shot which show the strengthening pieces they put in to support the existing roof, which was pushing the outside walls outward. They also started to cover the roof in a breathable plastic membrane as a part of the roofing. .The architect came to visit today...

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Part 19: Roof and framing Finished (10-04-2011)

04-10-2011 05:48 PM by Tikka | 4 comments »

The crew turned up about lunchtime today (Sunday), just to finish off a few minor things – They were delayed a little by the existing roofing tiles we had on site – most were reused tiles that we removed from existing roofs – they looked the same from a distance, but there were 3 distinct types of tiles used and one of these type of tiles had 4 minor variations within the type, with measurements varying up to 6 mm (1/4”). .View from the back of the house. The ramp f...

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Part 20: The cladding goes on

04-26-2011 06:21 PM by Tikka | 2 comments »

It has been some time since I last posted – My son has visited me from England, My wife came from Finland to inspect the progress, as well as to see me, so it has been a busy 2 weeks, but not too much to show for it in the photographs. The cedar cladding on the long wall went on really quickly, but we had to remove all the tiles first and re-lay them along with some lead flashing. The Gable end took quite some time, as I had to do it on my own without any assistance, which mor...

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Part 21: Kitchen and ground works 29-04-2011

04-29-2011 06:33 PM by Tikka | 3 comments »

For some unknown reason the previous owners of the house wanted to put a staircase from the kitchen to the master bedroom (midnight snacks maybe :) ), well we did not like the idea, so it is time to block the hole up. As you can probably see the roof is made from pre-cast concrete slabs, which are becomming quite common in Europe these days. This is the temporary workshop/kitchen It is almost impossible and certainly not cost-effective to fill the hole with a concrete slab, ...

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Part 22: Bedrooms and Upstairs 05-05-2011

05-05-2011 06:05 PM by Tikka | 3 comments »

The next few blogs will cover the last of the demolition work (I hope) – for the last few days I have been carefully removing the chimney breast from above the living room. A couple photographs of the chimney from both sides before I started. After 2 days of demolition, because the chimney breast also supports the roof – the opening is made and still supported by 4 steel supports and 4 wooden posts A photograph of the living room with smoke pipe removed, the f...

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Part 23: Bedrooms and Upstairs 06-05-2011

05-06-2011 06:25 PM by Tikka | 3 comments »

Today I managed to support the roof where the chimney had been removed. I wanted to ensure that the roof would not move, as I did not have the necessary thickness of stock needed, I decided use a torsion box. I then used similar stock and spacers to create a vertical section to support the Apex beams. When the metal supports were removed, the deflection was measured very accurately and was less then 1mm (a little less than 3/64”). Here is a view of the space created ...

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Part 24: Bedrooms and Upstairs 08-05-2011

05-08-2011 06:10 PM by Tikka | 5 comments »

Not too much achieved this weekend The framing of the the first two walls is complete. The framing of the chimney wall looks asymmetrical, that because it is. the pitch on the roof on one side is steeper than the other, hence the central beam is not central to the room. still when it is insulated and the plaster board goes on, it will look symmetrical (I hope), especially when those curved parts of the wall are covered. This is the bedroom wall now demolished and framed. U...

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Part 25: New workshop

07-30-2011 06:37 PM by Tikka | 4 comments »

The original plan to build a 125m2 (1345 sq. ft) workshop was denied by the local planning department, after some time and consultation, they have agreed in principle that I can build a 65m2 (700 sq. ft) workshop garage, subject to formal plans being submitted. Today we started to remove the old garage – we need the space so that we can get machinery and vehicles from the front of the property to the rear. Today the fire (stove) and chimney were removed, the clay t...

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Part 26: New workshop

08-02-2011 06:14 PM by Tikka | 4 comments »

The demolition is taking its time – with temperatures of 30 C. (86 F.) full sunshine it has been hard going... The large concrete blocks we are going to re-use as apart of a retaining wall in the garden. We need about 200 blocks in total for this. we will make most of the number we need from the old blocks (saving the environment a little :). I am still not sure how we are going to remove all this rubble – I hope to get conformation this weekend from a guy who recycles the c...

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Part 27: Patio

08-04-2011 06:24 PM by Tikka | 3 comments »

Not a huge amount undertaken in the last couple of days, mainly cleaning up, a little more demo work on the garage, and made a start on the patio. All the concrete blocks used so far have been recycled from the garage – they may not look very pretty, but as they are only for a retaining wall, which will buried in soil and covered in flowers, strength in more important than appearance. Any of the blocks that are exposed to patio will be faced in a nice stone. It may look li...

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Part 28: Stairwell

08-07-2011 07:15 PM by Tikka | 5 comments »

WEll today we started the last stage of the demolition process – We are removing the stairs, the ceiling/floor (to make a double height stairwell, the old WC and wall. This is the stairs before we started. The stairs removed Acro props installed and scaffolding ready to start the work. On a previous blog I mentioned the floor ceiling was made from bricks – here is a shot of the construction, as you can see the bricks are hollow clay construction supported with cement m...

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Part 29: Stairwell - continues

08-09-2011 06:05 PM by Tikka | 3 comments »

Yesterday we got 99% of the remaining ceiling/roof down along with the toilet wall. It was hard going, as the part of the ceiling/roof above the toilet was reinforces concrete, only 4” thick, but I am not sure if there was more concrete or steel in the construction. We actually shattered one of the SDS chisels. The photographs do not show the real space. KD1001 I must give a plug for my 99€ Black & Decker 1000W SDS+ – ALL the demolition we have undertaken during...

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Part 30: Patio Porch 15-21 August 2011

08-21-2011 11:30 AM by Tikka | 4 comments »

The last 3 weeks my son, Nathan has been visiting and helping out. One of the most highest priority projects outstanding was to complete the cedar cladding on the bathroom extension, unfortunately this could not be done until the porch was built, the porch could not be built until the concrete bas was laid and the old garage was removed. With the base and Garage demolition covered in previous blogs, we can move onto the porch. Most of the timber is made from pine and the claddi...

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Part 31: Patio Porch 22-August to 6 September 2011

09-07-2011 05:40 PM by Tikka | 4 comments »

So work on the porch has continued, nearly daily, but no real time to post the progress, so here is a quick summary of the work undertaken. this is where I left off last time I decided to clad the bricks under the roof and around the door in cedar also, it was going to be rendered, but it looks much better with the cedar. I decided to update the gable end of old porch on the front-side of the house, just as well I did, there was a lot of water damage in the existing cladding...

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Part 32: Stairwell - continues 07 September 2011

09-07-2011 06:03 PM by Tikka | 3 comments »

Now that the weather has turned a little wetter and cooler, it is time to start the real work inside the house. One of the first tasks is to install a temporary stairs in the new style. I will be building the new stairs probably in the new year after the most of the upstairs is finished and certainly not before the plastering is done. Here is view from Sketch-up for the proposal, it was just a quick feasibility drawing, I will now do the full design in SU and Visio, when its finished I...

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