January 2017

We spent the first day of January with friends, in a warm lovely house. Was a good and short relaxation, before we came back to our chaos. Was thinking of my upcoming birthday around the end of the month, and I come to the realization that the most probable birthday party like event will be in 1 or 2 years time. Oh boy! I was so optimistic 😀 You already know from the first posts – if you read it – that this “ride” began 3 years ago.

I already had some experience with renovating an apartment from a few years back when together with ex we had an attempt to paint the place we lived in. It was a 3 month hassle due to the age of the building, and the type of paint was used back than. Ugh… I had the memory of the mess, the cold and the misfortunes we had to endure with the old water stains coming trough the new layer of paint… and I knew it will be miserable!. When we bought the place, we estimated to need about 1 year to finish. And since we didn´t wanted any surprise, we instantly DOUBLED this time. And I think the most realistic estimation is going to be 4 year to completely finish it.

The reasons are very simple: money mostly. And the fact that we need to work for money, to live in the same place, and we do 99% of the works. From A to Z. From plumbing, electricity, installing appliances, changing the windows, the doors, installing the kitchen furniture and so on.

I won´t lie: I was frightened about the whole building, dirty place, dusty area, and chaos that will surround us for the way to optimistically estimated 1-2 years and it will make me mental. I knew it won´t be easy, I knew there will be ups and downs…. but despite all the issues we had to face, fix and re-calculate, I ended up actually enjoying the whole process. And let’s not talk about the financial side of this… I had absolutely NO IDEA how we are going to make the money required to buy the materials, tools we needed. Because obviously one of the MAIN reasons we had to do it ourselves was the lack of funds to PAY some experts to do it for us.

Sometimes I am wondering if this isn´t the well known Stockholm syndrome? The place keeps us hostage, and we are enjoying being here? Or at least me?

After 3 years of renovation – others would have renovated an antique bridge by now – I can say that we made a lot of mistakes but we learned so much that we could never learn without this deep dive!

But let’s go back to January, the following big/small things happened during this month:

  • realized that the simple paint job won’t make us happy. The walls are paper thin (11 cm, between the neighbours) and 7cms are the inner separating walls, and in order to be able to live here without going mental we will need some sound insulation. To the walls that separate us from the neighbours.
  • installed the washing machine. In the small bedroom adjacent to the bathroom. The bathroom door was narrower than the washing machine.
  • was a period of constant spin between very happy, barely happy, crazy depressed, worried about the future, full with plan, loosing the hope and just wasting time and thinking about possible solutions.
  • found one “negative” trait of the village where our apartment is: it’s to quiet, from the school that is about 300m away we can hear the 1-2 idiot kids who scream ALL day while in school.
  • found a second annoying issue: our worst neighbor who is a breeder, has already 4 kids and one of them is a screaming machine. Hopefully he will grow out of this.
  • bought a bicycle. Was broken. Is still broken. Future project. Maybe in 2 years we get there.
  • survived the colder days in January by “doubling” the window with transparent strech foil.
  • moved one door 65cm in the wall. Originally was placed right near the other wall, making it impossible to install a bigger drawer.
  • had 14Degrees Celsius in our living room during the day. Was not that cold as long as we worked 😀
  • staged the bedroom with a bed frame that we later killed
  • removed the old tiles from the kitchen.
  • the quest to find a way to soundproof/sound insulate our apartment began
  • husband managed to fix the leak in the roof, and after a very heavy rain, we were “leak proof”!
  • troughout the whole month – and the following ones – I was on a quest to find HOW to install the sound insulation/soundproofing by ourselves. Here, the local forums, websites had almost ZERO information on it. There were a few “experts” offering the services, a few sites, offering some products, but a well put together tutorial with MATERIALS that were available here… nope. It was great to see the “sound insulation green glue” solution everywhere, but getting the green glue… would have meant a fortune on shipping from outside EU. Great.
  • for my birthday we went to a concert 😀

And repaired (temporarily) the rotten kitchen window sil

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