torstai 2. heinäkuuta 2015

Nearly there!

I lied the last time I talked about the size of our new Home during the renovation: it's not four slash six people in 90 square metres but in 70 square metres. The first number seemed small when we still had the 150 existing ones... The reality has hit home a couple of times during the first month here - not hard, because we sort of saw it coming anyway, but let's say that out of the six different spaces we have here only two serve just one purpose each. That's the hall and the kitchen. The living room is also a storage room for clothing, linen and computer stuff, the future dining room multi-functions as a walk-in closet, a home office and an extra bed room, and the little girls' room is also the master bed room. And the bathroom tries to hold in our reminiscence of our old public bathroom, our private boudoir, the laundry room, the actual bathroom with the shower and the baby tub as well as the sauna.

This is the hall. Kitchen on the left, bathroom on the right.
The kitchen seen from the hall. The door leads to what will one day be the dining room.
The living room seen from the hall. There's another window on the left, not seen here.
The dining room seen from the kitchen. We'll make an opening to the living room on the wall on the left.
The one room upstairs that's in ok condition at the mo.
The bathroom of which half will turn into a staircase.
I have to tell you more about this renovation situation of ours. It's a three-phase scheme really: first we do ("we do" is actually "we have people do", but when it's on an abstract level like this, me depicting these wonderful ideas of ours to you, I feel I'm not bending the facts too much) the attic, then the basement, and then rip out the bathroom to make room for stairs to the basement.

We found this brilliant builder and two of his kin who have had their hands on old houses before. Applying for the building permit was somewhat frustrating, because the process took some time and cost some money, and in the end none of the lines and numbers on the blueprints count, because an old house is an old house and before you start working on it there's no way of knowing if any of the well thought-out designs will actually work out or even be feasible in practice. Some, or, honestly, all of the frustration dissolved once the builders got to work. They have the whole thing covered. They'll come to us and ask for our opinion on things, explain what's possible and what's expensive and what's just plain dumb and slow, but even if for some reason we insisted on something stupid, they just might do all in their power to make it work - unless of course it would turn out to be dangerous or something.

So the trio started to work the attic at the end of May, while Granny still lived in the house. She has bad asthma and didn't feel comfortable with strange men walking back and forth through the kitchen while they carried stuff upstairs and emptied the attic that had held treasures from 1925 onwards. I still feel sorry for her even though she's been fine and dandy for weeks now.

We moved in on Friday 29 May. We also moved Granny out simultaneously. The first days were horrible: even though we had taken a lot of our things to the garage we had rented, there was still stuff all over, and some of Granny's too, so we had to sort and find a place for everything so that we could have enough clear space to sleep and sit in. And once the weekend was over, Husband went back to work as usual, 7 to 4, and the builders came to work as usual, 9 to 5. Kerttu actually seems to think it's not only that we moved house, we also got three new family members!

Anyway, during the first week there was a lot of noise and dust when they built and reinforced the structures, but it got better soon as the insulation and the floorboards were laid. After that most discomfort has come from paying the numerous building-related bills, remembering to get as ready as possible with the morning routines before the guys walk in, and sharing the single bathroom with three extra people. Kerttu takes her nap outside in her pram (that's how we do it here in Finland, the land of clean air and few people - yes, I just leave her in the garden and then go inside to listen to loud music or have a cup of coffee and a read a magazine) and even though the builders use their power tools and circular saws and what have you got right there five metres away from her she's just not bothered and will sleep, uh, like a baby until she's not tired anymore. Considering that we have not lived in our new Home without the builders for more than the June weekends, it's actually no surprise! They came with the package, and this is what our life is like now. It's also about getting dressed in the dining room, storing stuff in the living room, and having six family members scattered around at nights so that four of us sleep within a space of 5sqm, one in the dining room and one has a sleep-over at Granny's.

Except that now there's no attic anymore, but a beautiful new room that only lacks the finishing touches from the electrician, the plumber and the wallpaper girl. The builder sr. said he'll come in to install the molding after everyone else is gone, and then that's it! Wow. Very strange.

Anyone want to fill in the void and come in daily at nine o'clock, hammer and cut stuff, have coffee with me in the afternoon and leave around five?

Oh. They'll be back sometime soon to start working out what the basement needs in order to become sauna, bathroom, man cave and storage space. No worries.

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