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The entrance hall

All through the summer I've been slowly working with the entrance hall. Like, half a day one week, a couple of days one month and so. But I'd guess slow progress still counts as progress. Today I got it the main work (nearly) finished. It still lacks a finishing treatment. I think I will apply a layer of linen oil, as much as the timber will absorb. That should work like a natural lacquer. Once that is done, I'll get to the stage when I can install some pieces of furniture, like a rack for hanging coats.

Ah well. And the floor will most likely remain unfinished for the coming winter. That is because I don't yet know exactly what I'm going to do it. There still is the old sewer system, installed inside a layer of concrete on the entrance hall floor. At first I thought that I should definitely keep the sewer - but then it turned out that the kitchen sink is not connected to that sewer pipeline, but has a separate pipe. Which means that if I like to, I could keep the kitchen sewer and uninstall the entrance hall sewer - that would allow me to completely tear open and to remake all of the entrance hall floor. But I'm not sure if I really want to do that - what if I just cap some unused sewer connections, and keep the one which is about the middle of the entrance hall floor. If I then build a top layer of the floor, so that it will be slightly tilted, any water on the entrance hall floor should just flow into the sewer. That could be handy, if I come indoors with all wet clothes. Hmm, I need to think about it.

The entrance hall is kind of a divided into two or three parts - depends on how you count. The main part is properly insulated, and I hope the temperature in that part will stay above freezing for the whole winter. Then, there is upstairs, which is only partially insulated. It will serve as storage, and a summertime guest-room. The third part is a stairway connecting the two floors. The upstairs and the stairway will still need some finishing work, but at the moment I can't afford buying more materials so that has to wait.

Renovating an old house often means that nothing is exactly rectangular anymore, all the corners aren't sharp 90 degrees. To get everything finely installed, I had to make a lot of custom parts. Like, the last floor plank for the upstairs - it is about 4 metres long, and 12 centimetres wide. But, because of the irregular shape of the whole structure the plank didn't fit in as such. On the other end of the upstairs floor there was neatly that 12 cm space, but on the another end there was only 8 cm space for the plank. So I had to trim a long triangular piece away from the floor plank. At that point I was happy to have an electric circular saw. Anyone who has ever used a hand saw to make a cut parallel to the direction of the grain of the wood knows that it is significantly slower and heavier than cutting across the grain. But with an electric circular saw trimming a 4 metre long floor plank along the grain was quick and easy. This is one of the things when living on low budget - having proper tools makes work that much more efficient, but I can only afford to buy one new tool per year. But I'd guess slow progress still counts as progress =)

Trimming a floor plank
Trimming a floor plank
west-facing view
west-facing view
east-facing view. Behind that door is a ladder to upstairs.
east-facing view. Behind that door is a ladder to upstairs.
The upstairs
The upstairs
tags: 
diary
homesteading
up
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Comments

Ah well, Makita tools (judging by color)?
I too have a fretsaw. But it's much harder to saw straight with it.

And I recognize the second floor, looks good. By the way, I remember you mentioning last year, that there was a part of the wall, where you had to tear up some old cupboard... How warm is it inside now? Does it require a lot of wood burning or electric radiator warming up to get by?

Good luck from St. Petersburg :)

Indeed, it's Makita. I've found a lot of truth in an old Finnish saying: "A poor man can't afford to buy cheap tools." So when I have money to buy a tool, I'm willing to pay a little extra if I know that I also get extra durability and quality.

The autumn weather here has been rather pleasant, not yet very cold. So far I'm doing fine by just burning fire in the stove. But I'd guess that when the temperature gets colder I have to use electric radiators for additional heating. That is mostly due to lack of any kind of wood burning mass heater. A week ago I got visited by a chimney-sweeper, and we had a chat about possible ways to use my current chimney - now I have several ideas, but I'd guess I will just survive the coming winter and try to do some masonry the next summer =)

EDIT: Ps. When renovating the entrance hall I had to make the first floor ceiling higher than where it was. That was because the brand new outer door I bought was higher than the old door. So, to fit the door the ceiling had to be higher. Which naturally means that the upstairs room is now a bit lower than it used to be. But I think it will still work as a guest-room; a place for guests to sleep and to keep their personal belongings. I'm planning to have a tiny table and a small cupboard there, to make the upstairs more cozy.

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