May 2021: Old house renovation update

Spring has finally arrived here in Northern Sweden despite a very chilly April and as always a lot has been happening with our old house renovation project and in life in general so here's our May 2021 renovation update.

Moving out of our current home

The kids getting ready to move
The kids getting ready to move

We have finally moved out of our old house in the town but fortunately & unfortunately (depending how you look at it) not to the summerhouse!

We had 3 years in our old house which were up and down, it never quite felt right there for us but was & is a lovely big family home. We actually moved out about a month ago to a lovely small rental house 5 mins away from the renovation. This has been great to be so close to the renovation & the kids school but 5 people in 70m2 can at times be a bit intense especially with both parents working from home 80% of the time!

We decided to go to a rental as a middle “hop” because the renovation is running about 3 months behind schedule due to the mess a carpenter made of our kitchen back in August, this is an ongoing legal matter so I can’t write more than that we had to redo everything he had done because the quality so just unbelievably poor! Court case has been & still is a huge stress on top of a renovation which is already a huge stress so we hope living in a rental for a few months will ease some pressure & refresh us to get the renovation done.

The last few weeks were all focused on boxing up our things and moving out of the old house so the renovation has been on the back burner. We did a lot of clearing out to make space of our belongings in the summerhouse upstairs.

Since then we’ve enforced a 2 week break on all house renovation to try to refresh ourselves, it’s the first break we’ve had in 10months solid renovation work! We’re both completely drained out right now but the weather is changing & spring is here so onwards & upwards!

Renovation current status

We’ve done a lot of soul searching about the renovation recently, one part of me has started to wonder if it’s all worth it so I’m trying to look back on what we’ve achieved so far (renovation before & now photos below) and I’m trying to get back to the “dream home idea” we had in the first place with this renovation.
It’s hard when you’re physically & mentally exhausted but if there’s one thing we’re good at it’s sticking at things & getting sh*t done! We will see this through (hopefully)!

Old house renovation before and after: Be prepared these are not “woow OMG” old house renovation before and after photos, they’re before & where we’re at now, still lots of work to do!! 🙂

Kitchen before & now

Before: Then we had to rip the lot out because the under joists were rotten!
Now: kitchen will floor back down & first lick of linseed oil paint on the walls
Now: kitchen with the floor back down & first lick of linseed oil paint on the walls

Playroom before & now

playroom renovation after ripping out the old floor joists & digging out soil
Before: playroom renovation after ripping out the old floor joists & digging out soil
Playroom renovation right now
Playroom renovation right now

Lounge before & now

Before: lounge renovation after ripping out the old underfloor & insulation & digging out A LOT of soil
Lounge renovation
Now: lounge with floor back down & wall panelling up. It’s since had paper put on the walls too

Backroom / bathroom before & now

backroom/bathroom with start of floor joists
Before: backroom/bathroom with start of floor joists
backroom/bathroom divided up, floor back down & Hasopor & piping in place in bathroom area
Now: backroom/bathroom divided up, floor back down with floor hatch & Hasopor & piping in place in bathroom area

Summerkitchen before & now

Floor insulation from 1700s
Before: summerkitchen with floorboards up showing the super old 1700s floor insulation
summerkitchen with floor insulation & wall framing up plus fireplace rerendered
Now: summerkitchen with floor insulation & wall framing up plus fireplace rerendered

Where next with the renovation

After our mini 2 week break we’re planning to push on with finishing the downstairs and also clean up the garden while the weather is better.

We’re going to take a new approach and work in what I call “sprints”, this is how I work in my day job as a web developer. Basically you work 2-3 weeks on something, this is a “sprint” and then you rest for a week or so, then you sprint again and so on. No idea if this will work for renovation work but my hope is by having mini-breaks we’ll stay fresher and have a better balance.

Downstairs: clay/cob bathroom floor
Bathroom floor made of Hasopor & clay (soon)
Bathroom floor made of Hasopor & clay (soon)

As I’ve mentioned before we’re trying to build a eco-friendly but modern bathroom out of natural materials. Part of this is the bathroom floor will be made out of clay & then finished with linseed oil with underfloor heating underneath. This is a pretty big job for first-time DIYers like us but we feel strongly about creating an eco-home for our family to grow up. Clay is an amazing material and i’ll write more on it as the bathroom progresses, the only downside is getting it to dry. We’ve had a very cold April which has meant waiting until it’s plus degrees overnight, moving into May we’re finally getting better temperatures so can start to move forward with this.

Downstairs: “summerkitchen” floor & walls

The floor insulation is down and I’ve started to put floor boards down already so the plan is to get the floor & wall insulation done so we have another room downstairs with floor & walls!!!

Downstairs: decor & tidying

the house has been a building site for basically a year, full of dust & rubbish, now we’re finally coming to the end of that phase and can start to put up decor, clean & paint in the kitchen, lounge & playroom.

Downstairs: a new but old frontdoor!!
our new front door

our new frontdoor is nearly ready, we’ve used the original frontdoor & had it insulated so we’ll hopefully get that in the next few weeks with the help of our ever-reliant timberman, William!

Outside rubbish dump
Outside rubbish dump

The garden has become a dumping ground for rubbish and also some belongings as we don’t currently have a garage or outside storage minus our up-cycled outside toilet or utedass! The plan is to rent a container & get rid of all the rubbish!!

We’re on Pinterest

Just a quick note to say we are now on Pinterest sharing ideas and inspiration about old house renovation & ideas. Follow us at

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