Renovation update: March 2024

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It’s been rather silent on this blog for awhile (years) and we’ve even ended up with a new domain name (.co instead of .com) due to my bank declining the renewal and me not checking emails but A LOT as normal has been happening on our old house renovation since my last update right before we moved in so here’s a quick update.

In all honesty, this whole renovation has been 4-5 years in one long blur and I find it hard to remember the exact what & in what order everything has happened in, looking through Google Photos it sometimes feels like I’m looking at someone elses renovation not my own. Anyway here are some of the highlights a lot of which I’ll be doing extended posts on in the weeks (probably months) to come so join the newsletter to get updated.

Jan 2022 – we actually moved in

Kids entering the house for the first time
Kids entering the house for the first time

Jan 2024 marked 2 years of living in the house albeit mainly downstairs and with a rather large todo list remaining but we have electricity, we have water, we have heating and we have shelter! Given the house is 320m2 the plan was always to initially just move in downstairs and slowly work our way through the rest of the house at what we hoped would be a more sustainable and enjoyable pace and for the most part that has and is happening. Without the time pressure (other than kids growing up fast & my restlessness) we are able to take time to plan and prepare the remaining renovation into sub-projects and going forward have more time to document it here in our old house renovation blog.

Clay plaster bathroom

Clay plaster bathroom

All family homes need a robust and functional bathroom and with upstairs not ready we had to squeeze a lot into ours. We also wanted to build eco-friendly and avoid the chemicals & plastics often used in modern bathroom renovations so we went for clay plaster bathroom. This was probably one of the most challenging tasks in the whole of the 1st phase of renovation, I had no experience of using clay or building in general and we also had no original bathroom in the house as it only had an outside toilet, placing the bathroom in a logical place and finding a sizing that was functional was a tricky decision not to mention all the steps involved in creating an eco-friendly bathroom made from clay plaster and wood.

Fast forward to now and we’re really pleased with the results and it was certainly worth the work, in-depth post about this coming up soon.

Kitchen remodel

Like a robust & functional bathroom every family home needs a functional kitchen and we’d always dreams of a big family kitchen being the focal point of the house having lived in so many apartments with tiny kitchen areas. We ripped out a partition wall to extend the kitchen to around 11-12 m2 so we have lots of space for cooking, eating and activities.

Hand made kitchen cabinets
Hand made kitchen cabinets

With the kitchen we took the decision to build all our own cabinets or modify furniture we already had so our sink cabinet & “island” are all handmade with the island top made of floorboards from upstairs.

A whole load of cleaning

After 2 years of the house being a building before we could move it it took nearly 2 weeks of cleaning to get it ready to live in. We hoovered, cleared piles of wood, scrubbed the old wooden floors and put up new furniture like there was no tomorrow and we just about made it in time for our move date which we’d already moved a few times already!

Rest of 2022

We painted the outside (well most of it)

House painting

Porch rebuild

Sometime during the 1970s the “porch” had been built in like an additional hallway which was close to the ugliest thing you could imagine, fortunately underneath minus a support post and the original fencing the original porch structure remained so we’re exposed the original porch, sured up the foundations and painstakingly rebuilt 67 fence posts in the original style. It’s not 100% done yet but a hell of a lot nicer way to enter the house than the 1970s add-on!

A carport & shed

Shed and carport

The house had no outside storage or outbuilding so often lawn mowers and tools would either have to live in the garden or upstairs so with the help of my father-in-law and his friend a shed & carport was built. Like with a lot of things it’s not 100% done and I have plans to make the shed more into a workshop but we recently had electric installed so for me it already feels quite the luxury!


New family members – our hens

We are now the owners of 9 Lohmann hens & 1 rooster called Slim Shading who now happily produce almost more eggs than we can eat! We have no outbuildings so we had to build a henhouse from scratch which will winter taking an eternity to pass at the start of the year become a bit stressful to say the least. More on this in a future post.

Wooden window making

hand made wooden windows
hand made wooden windows

In my sometimes optimistic mind I concluded that while making wooden windows should ideally be done with modern tools & machines that our original windows were all made by hand so if it could be done then then I could do it now, all with the relatively basic tools I already have. I’ll be writing a post on this soon but in short, I did manage to make 2 small double glazed wooden windows & 4 inner windows but if I said this was an efficient use of time, I’d be massively lying.
It took literally the whole summer to make 2 windows and while I really enjoyed it & the result was good it was a false economy and we’re unsure if me making more wooden windows for the rest of upstairs is the use of time. We shall see……….

First bedroom ready!

Bedroom renovation

Our oldest turned 12 in 2023 and was long overdue his own space so we fast tracked his room during late 2022 and finished it up in early 2023. Walls, ceiling and floors were insulated with tree fibre insulations, a rotten window replaced, walls straightened and then decorating was done as per his own “design”. We kept the high ceilings and that gives what on paper is a small room a much larger feeling, all round everybody is happy!

Office renovation

Office renovation

Not long after our sons room was ready I started work on my own office since I work from home 100% of the time as a web developer. This room is very original with 100 year old newspapers stuck to the walls which we’ve kept exposed on all the internal walls.
The plan was to insulate the walls & ceiling and make it “good enough” for now and come back to it later on. In the end we decided to cut out a new window which we do not regret and I finished the painting recently so while I’m still lacking real electric & heating which should happen in the coming weeks this done is liveable.

Finally a lock on the bathroom door!

Bathroom door lock

Joking aside, this simple addition has been groundbreaking for both family members and guests alike 🙂


And to now, winter came early and hard this time around and that kind of enforced a slower pace to renovation work as time & energy has gone into snow clearing, work and family life. However, getting this house “done” rarely leaves my mind for more than a few hours and now coming into March 2024 I will be taking some time off from work work to focus on our upstairs renovation work for the rest of 2024. Goal is to get upstairs “done” minus the upstairs bathroom, rough list being:

  • 2 more kids rooms
  • a parents bedroom
  • a massive landing
  • some usable storage space in the loft.
  • fix the outside panelling at the back of the house
  • A pathway up to the house
  • Some hand rails for the porch steps
  • Adding a fire oven (kakelung in Swedish) to the lounge
  • And quite a bit more……………

How much of this we’ll actually get done I really don’t know, with any old house renovation time, money & energy are ultimately the deciding factors!