Moved (House Update)
It's done. I'm typing this at my desk in the new house. It has been about three months since the last update, so I guess I have to catch up a lot.
In my last update I was still working on the wiring. For quite a while all connections at the fuse box where temporary only and I somewhat procrastinated to properly wire it up because that required cutting the cables to the proper length. And once you cut a cable you cannot undo it.
But got it all working and even used a bit of 3D printing to have a proper (and cheap way) to connect multiple wires.
I have to say, apart from the dusty work of sawing the channels, the work on the electrical system was one of the most interesting and fun parts and I learned quite a few new things. Eg. how to wire up a multiway switching.
The electrician came back for a final check and also to change a few things in the fuse box.
Oh the bathroom. This turned out to be one of our most frustrating experiences.
First of all the toilet. We were really unhappy with the toilet we had bought. It simply failed to flush the toilet paper properly, taking up to three tries to get it down. Infuriating for a 200 EUR toilet bowl.
Reluctantly we decided to dismount it and try to return it to the hardware store. Luckily the hardware store of our choice has a very liberal return policy and had no problem with taking back a used toilet bowl 💩.
I spent several hours with reading toilet reviews. Another thing I never thought I'd do. In the end we decided for a Geberit Renova Rimfree. It's not as good looking as the Jungborn Ella but at least it's working properly. And now I know how to attach a wall mounted toilet.
As you may remember from my last updates, J. was doing the remodeling of the whole bathroom for us. And while we were very happy with his work on the pipes, his tile work left a lot to be desired. Admittedly it was a tough task with a lot of the walls being very uneven. But he had to redo a couple of tiles that were just too crooked, others are still a little bit off. The same is true for the tile joints which he redid a few times and we reworked ourselves in the end again.
It was also very difficult to decide how to best use the little space that's available and also to find affordable furniture. It's insane what furniture stores ask for some simple cupboards. In the end we did pick the IKEA Hemnes series.
For colors we wanted to use some berry color and foolishly thought we could mix it ourselves1). After spending a substantial amount on mix colors and only getting a weird pink out of it we gave up.
Instead we went with a brownish cappuccino color - this time mixed right in the store. Of course even that didn't go smoothly as we first painted all three main walls in that color. But that made the room too small and also highlighted the crooked walls. So we had to repaint one wall white again.
Oh an did I mention that the heating doesn't work currently? The floor heating is fine, but the ordinary radiator is not getting hot at all. I guess J. will have to have another look.
We also learned how difficult it is to put silicone into the corner joints.
All in all the bathroom remodeling could have gone a lot smoother. But it's good now. Maybe not perfect, but better than before for sure - and still in budget.
When J. returned to work on the bathroom, he brought his friend D. who helped us with the walls and ceilings. And he really did wonders. He plastered and smoothed all the walls and ceilings and put on paint fleece. It makes such a difference to have smooth walls.
We then painted all the rooms (white for now) and put up some wallpapers in the bed room, kitchen and mud room. I think we did well for it being our first wallpapering ever.
We also continued to work on the cellar walls, which we plastered over with help by my colleague Anna again.
After all this work, the air was super damp and we decided to rent a construction site dryer for a week. It worked really well. In the cellar we had a consumer model running for a while longer - the colder air there made it harder to get rid of all the water from the plaster.
Kaddi and I also put out laminate flooring in all the rooms and vinyl in the mud room.
But before we could do that, we had to level the floors. Well, at least remove the largest dents. The floors are still somewhat crooked, but not as bad as before.
For the floor boards we want to use real wood “Alt-Berliner” style ones. I first thought of simply gluing them to the walls, but our crooked walls disagreed strongly. Instead we opted for screws and screw caps. Painter's Acryl helps to cover the remaining voids. We finished the bed room, but need to buy more boards for the other rooms.
Oh what a luxury it is to have doors We had ordered new doors back in November and they became available mid February. J. installed them for us.
The very first working LAN socket was set up in the roof. Since it was a surface mounted socket, the setup was relatively easy and worked right away.
Connecting our first “real” network socket in the living room was more troublesome and we messed it up a couple of times, but in the end we managed to get all green lights for each pair of wires. We'll see how well this connection actually performs in the end.
I finished the rest of the sockets over a couple of evenings after work. I employed "point and call" to avoid making mistakes and it seems to have worked well. 18 of the 24 ports on the patch panel are now used. I guess I will add some more cables in the cellar some time, but that can wait.
Cable Internet (and TV)
The previous owners had Satellite TV and DSL for Internet, but a cable box was already installed on the outside of the house. And since cable makes faster speeds available I decided early on that I wanted to go with that.
I wasn't sure how much tech the cable provider would actually provide inside the house and it was impossible to get that information from their service. So I tried to provide as much as possible beforehand.
When I finally hit the order button on a contract, they send out a technician just three days later. It turned out that I had bought at least one device too much (he installed his own cable amplifier) but other than that the installation went smoothly. A first speed test showed the ridiculous speed of 1.2Gbps2) .
For putting down the flooring, I first tried to work with a manual miter saw, but then gave up and ordered a Bosch GCM 8 SJL which is the first piece of our new workshop to be.
I am also eyeing a Bosch GTS 10 J table saw, but I am desperately waiting for a sale.
There are a lot more things I want, but I have to take it slowly because money .
Expect future blog posts on workshop upgrades. For now some of the furniture we had built in the old apartment is set up as shop furniture.
For moving we decided to hire professionals. Because first of all I am too old for carrying all that shit. And secondly I wasn't keen on disassembling and reassembling the larger wardrobes we have.
So all we had to do was packing up our stuff. Boy, do we have a lot of stuff. It was insane. In the end we had about a 100 boxes, plus furniture plus the various odd shaped things that don't fit into boxes.
Moving day was this Monday. And earlier this month, Corona came to Germany. I was super anxious if moving would happen at all.
But luckily it did happen. It took the movers 13 hours . I think they somewhat underestimated how much stuff we have and how long it takes to dis- and reassemble IKEA wardrobes. That was one very long day.
So here we are. We already have working computers. The bed room is mostly done. The Kitchen is usable. And everything is full of boxes.
And today, we had our very first barbecue out in the garden 😍.
We now have to get the old apartment renovated (we hired painters for that) and then we can hole up in our little house and wait out this stupid pandemic.