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Corwin

Corwin's house renovation adventure

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Like I said before, big fan of this thread and I love what you are doing with it. However, all this bad news reminds of this movie a lot:

 

 

I hope things turn out ok.

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The two extra appliances we had to buy (fridge and dishwasher) we chose to go for extra energy saving stuff (A+++) because electricity is expensive in Germany (biggest of our bills so far).

 

Is this going to be your first winter in the house? What about heating? That's usually a big cost factor - especially in old houses. I heard that a lot of French heat with elictricity powered radiators but in Germany that's rather uncommon. A new heating insulation will increase your renovation costs further but save you money down the line (and make the house more attractive to tenants/buyers if that day will come).

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It's true you could isolate the attic for the winter, i don't know if covering the roof or the attic floor with glass wool or rock wool would be very expensive ? Well at least, i don't know if it would be as expensive as the heat losses during the winter, that should be around 6€ the m².

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Definitely planning on isolating the whole thing before the winter (before the end of october is the plan), both the roof itself and the floor below it that we have to redo, or we'll freeze our asses off. When I mentioned "biggest bill so far" I was talking about other places we lived at since we are in Germany, we always got money back for heating and water but always paid extra for eletricity.

 

The heating system uses gas, and was installed brand new in 2007 so that's cool. I don't think I would have bought if either the windows or the heating were bad, but both are ok.The old isolation works suprisingly not too bad as far as I could see, it seems to not loose too much heat at least in the rooms we did heat when it got down to 8 degrees and below outside for a couple weeks in August. Sort your weather out Germany...

 

We broke all of the space between the beams under the attic floor today and removed all the dust. We start replacing the beams tomorrow and breaking the two walls at both ends of the roof. Photos coming soon

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Here's a photo dump of the progress of the first 2 days of work. We had one more bad news: one of the vertical beams in the corner is rotten to the core so we have to replace it and that means breaking part of the wall of the bathroom (basically the only room that we didn't want to touch too much) and since my wife and kids were holed up in that room and the one next to it, they have to move out. That doesn't raise the price much though, got a new estimation by the carpenter and we should be able to handle it. To make sure we don't get more bad news I spent part of the afternoon exposing all of the beams on the 1st floor so we could check them out, and it's all ok for the rest.

 

The carpenter got in touch with his old landlord and we get a small flat just across the road for 130 euro a month so that's ok. It's super old and crap and smells like the old caravan abandoned in the forest behind my grandparents' place when I was a kid, but that'll do for a week or two, and we are literally 100m away from our place if we need anything. We'll probably move there tomorrow and put the stuff in those rooms under blankets and such. It sucks to move out just when we just got the kitchen working, but we have to bite the bullet.

 

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You can see in that one how eaten the beams were. It's actually pretty scary to think they were holding the ceiling above us. Some break in half with just a hit from a mace.

 

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I have a roof now! We still have to put tiles on it on Monday, and finish the edges, gutters, etc but the bulk of the work is done. We also broke a whole lot more stuff with my brother to prepare for isolation/renovation of the walls and beams in the bedrooms (carving out some of the old dirt to make space to refill with plaster and such).

 

My brother left today, and we can't work on the house as it's a public holiday here, so I'll enjoy a long weekend to rest a bit from the work. Feels good to have made decent progress on the house in such a short time though, my brother was here only 2 weeks and we've removed the roof, changed all the horizontal beams under it, built a new one, opened a few walls, removed all the remaining wood panels in the house, and evacuated 6 waste containers of around 5+ tons each.

 

There will be some weeks before I get the windows to go in the attic, so after we're done covering the roof with the tiles and such, I'll focus on isolating it and the walls in the bedrooms for a bit. I can keep the scaffoldings for another 4 weeks if I want to so that's nice, I'll have time to do the shutters and install them.

 

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