Third week of house renovation

After a bad start on Monday (heavy rain, so no work on the roof), the workers did their best to put tiles on the roof, both in front and back. As expected, it looks very nice as seen from the street, not so nice from the backyard. In the meanwhile I did some work on the inside as well, mainly sanding and putting primer on doors.

Front of the roof

Back of the house

I want to note that after almost 2½ weeks the progress is a bit disappointing. If I had to guess, they’re at the half-way point, instead of finishing up in days, as was promised in advance. Where the cantilever window has to be installed the roof is covered with (dirty and old) roof tiles. I suppose those will be removed once the cantilever windows arrive from the supplier. My guess is that it will take longer to deliver them than initially planned. In houses in my neighborhood that were already done, they installed the cantilever windows before laying the roof tiles. Now it’s the other way around for some reason.

Hole in the ceiling

I’m dealing with some ugly holes in my ceilings, and making use of the opportunity to paint the slats that are normally covered by a fireproof plate. It will look nicer if I do it like that than when the celing plate is installed. I’m in no hurry, though, since they’ll be waiting until the scaffolding outside is removed, a couple of weeks from now.

Bathroom door

I have also smoothed, sanded and put primer (twice) on the doors and frames of my bathroom and kitchen. Those should be ready to be painted with a final coat of paint lacquer.

Kitchen door

The annoying thing is that while in the first week of, and in the week leading up to the renovation work, I got lots of explanation from the company overseeing the renovation. Now there are no more visits from a friendly employee, and work indoors happens at the drop of a hat, so to speak, without prior notification. I asked the overseer, but even he doesn’t know what is going to happen when. It seems rather uncoordinated. Things get done when they get done, and after everything’s done, any damage done will be repaired, work that was done shoddily will have to be redone.

Well, I guess I’ll manage somehow. My house will look so nice both on the inside and outside, and it will feel comfortable to live in. Until then I’ll have to put up with some discomfort.



Second week of house renovation

Things are a bit chaotic at the moment. Luckily, it will be over in a week or two, maybe three. Plans seldom survive first contact in battle, or, in this case, realization by workers. Renovation is often underplanned and under budget, otherwise it wouldn’t get a “go ahead” by the house owner, who rather avoids spending money on old housing stock, rather spending it on new housing, much more profitable I assume.

Needs a final coating

Saturday I finished the upstairs by painting two doors that should’ve received their second coat of paint lacquer more than a year ago. I had put it off for too long. Now the upstairs is finally done!

Infrared panel

Monday morning, there was an unexpected ring on the door bell. It was a firm trying to install aeration for the downstairs part of the house, plus heating for the annex/outside bathroom (in winter, when it freezes, it got cold there, like 12℃ (-8℉), which was why I installed a small IR panel myself. Obviously, that is no longer needed, and I can repurpose it elsewhere in my house, using electricity from my—to be installed—solar panels.

Control panel of IR panel

It was a hassle, with an electrical short that had to be solved. It was, and I got a RF controlled panel to control my infrared panel in the winter. It will be so much more cosy, and no longer do I need to make excuses when visitors want to use the bathroom, that it’s so very cold in there.

Ceiling removed

Anyway, the ceiling will stay removed until the new aeration system is installed. Until then I will keep using the old one, very noisy and energy-inefficient. It would’ve been installed today, but it couldn’t; there’s scaffolding for the roof worker in the way. When that’s removed, the firm will return to finish the aeration system.

Control panel for mechanical aeration

Its control panel and CO2 sensor is already installed, communicating over indoor mains. The thing to communicate with has to wait a little longer.

Front roof

Back roof

The progress on the roof is slow, because eight houses are done all together with a single crew of roof worker (other crews are working on other blocks of houses). Still, judging from what I’ve seen already, I expect them to be finished by the end of next week, at the latest.

Then there’s the solar panels and mechanical aeration system to be installed, and the renovation is over. By that time I hope to be done with indoor home improvement as well.



Day 4 of home improvement project

The day started with a costly visit to the home improvement store (by foot this time).

Home improvement store basket

As my chore for today, I put primer on both my kitchen and bathroom doors, plus the doorpost of the former. It’s a nasty smell, which tells me it was the “good stuff.” The bathroom door’s side planes were bare wood and need a second coat. The doorpost of the bathroom needs fixing, because it was not flat (holes in it). So there’s still a lot to do.

Tiny hallway in two views

In the meanwhile, roof workers had problems with my dormer window. As I write this, they already spent a few hours fixing it. I’m sure they’ll get it done.

Unexpected problems



Day 3 of major and minor maintenance of my house

I decided to do some maintenance on the doors between my kitchen and my backroom (the latter being outside the body of my house, like an appendix).

Bathroom door

The bathroom doorpost needed the most attention, since it probably hasn’t been maintained by renters for years. I was hesitant to do anything about it, because it seemed so much work. However, the workers outside motivated me do it. Working on a roof is so much harder than doing light maintance inside, however taxing that is for a 60+ year old man, out of shape.

Neglected doorpost

Luckily, I had some materials from my earlier—unfinished—maintenance, one and a half years ago. I applied those, and will let it dry for at least 24 hours.


The work outside is slow, yet methodical, as it should be. I prefer my roof not to be leaking water after each torrentual rainfall, as happened to houses in my neighborhood that were done too hastily. Therefore, the pace has been slowed down, to allow for more precision and care of the workers, and the foreman keeps a closer eye on the work. The original plan has been modified accordingly. It will take longer to do the maintenance, but still within the periode agreed upon (three work weeks). There was already slack to allow for setbacks like this one.

Ongoing renovation

Tomorrow I’ll continue the maintenance of those inside doors. I hope to put primer on them, and on one of the doorposts. Sanding and—possibly—applying primer on the other doorpost will be done the day after tomorrow, so it’ll be fully dried.



Roof renovation and home improvement

Top of the roof

After an early rise at 6 AM, I only had 30 minutes before the roof workers arrived to remove the tiles from the front roof of my house. I went outside to take some pictures. I already shared one earlier today.

Renovation finally started

While the renovation is going on, paid by the nonprofit housing corporation Stadlander, I will be doing some home improvement I should have done when I came to live here, November 2019, one and a half years ago.

Should've been done ages ago

This tiny hallway connects my kitchen with an outside bathroom, and my backyard. Nothing was done to it by me; it even has been flooded during a downpour. Well, no longer!

Shopping at the home improvement store

Although I had materials, it wasn’t enough. So I had to do some shopping at one of the local home improvement stores (the closest-by, Praxis). Being a Dutch person, I went by bike.

Only one coat of paint

The door to my living room only was painted once. With good paint that should be enough, but Flexa Creations is mediocre to poor quality paint. So, since the bathroom door was filled with synthetic wood that needed 3 hours to dry, I decided to paint the living room door first, including the posts.

I was out of ammonia, so I used cleaning vinegar instead as a degreaser after lightly sanding the old paint, so the new paint would stick well enough.

Door painted

After a few hours (painting always takes much longer than one expects), I was almost finished. The side of the door you can’t see in the picture still needs its final coat of paint. I’ll do that tomorrow.

That’s it for today. I won’t push myself, because I know I’ll burn out, and will avoid doing chores like this even more in the future. I don’t mind the paint runners, caused by an unskilled house painter (read: me). I could always sand it off and paint over it.

Or not 😬🤭