You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category.

I moved in a little over two years ago. I figured it was time to post these professional pics of the finished house (even though these pics are a year old too)

entrance with bike hanging from the stairs

foot wallpaper on wardrobe/shoe closet

kitchen

and up we go

up another floor

and then finally, top floor

bathroom

pics here

I moved in the day after the Christmas. It’s still not finished but it’s good enough to live in.

Because people have been nagging…pic spam BP (=before paint)

View from the front door. Door on the left is the toilet. Notice there’s no door frame. No frame, no visible hinges, very expensive.

Turning right would take you to the kitchen, moving forward takes you to the dining room.

kitchen

looking up from the dining room

so now we take the stairs to the 1st floor

Lights in the steel beams (the red thingie on the ceiling is a smoke detector)

as long as builders/painters/blumbers have to come to the house, I’m leaving the cardboard on the stairs

the stairs take us to the living room

same angle, different lighting

view towards dining area below

with the reflection in the window

and up we go to the 2nd floor. Peek into the living room from the stairs.

view from the top of the stairs

2nd floor (doors with door frames and visible hinges, not so expensive)

one of the two smaller rooms

and then up we go another flight of stairs to the top floor with the bathroom

no mirror yet, but I do have ducks!

shower

For those who can’t read what it says: Tine thuis= Tine home. Tine slaapt= Tine asleep. I push the latter before going to bed and all lights in the house are switched off, ventilation goes to night speed, ditto for heating, stand by switches (for TV etc) are switched off.

bedroom

next update: most likely AP

I got to open so many boxes with new cool things in them this last week. Christmas came a week early (and I kind of have to pay for it all myself, but never mind). All my kitchen appliances were delivered this week: fridge, freezer, dishwasher, oven, induction stove. Also have my new dryer (condensation as opposed to the old one which needed an air outlet). And then the plumber finished my bathroom. More boxes with taps, toilets and sinks.

Warning: all the following pics show an incredibly dirty house. Tomorrow’s the big clean-up. The black tiles will eventually look black.

Toilet downstairs

Toilet upstairs

Yes, I’ll have fun shopping for red and green toilet soap pumps, toilet brushes, towels, etc.

Shower,  matching the toilet seat.

Bath

Bathroom sink (mirror has been ordered + I plan on changing the white socket to a black one)

The snow on my skylight refuses to melt (that’s a good sign!).

technical room with heat pump boiler on the left (I have hot water, yay!) and gigantic ventilation unit on the right. You can’t really tell on the pic but it really is pretty huge (not yet connected, that’s one of the few things that still need to be done).

Then yesterday, the kitchen worktop was installed (composite stone). My father and I spent the last weekend putting together all the drawers for the kitchen cabinets (which will be used for more than just the kitchen). My father thinks it looks like a laboratory. But that’ll change when it’s got a more moved in look.

Kitchen sink

looooong worktop

view towards the kitchen area: the fronts/doors for the fridge, freezer and dishwasher still need to be installed. And my oven is currently resting on the floor.

finally, a few stair pics when we removed the cardboard from the stairs

rubberwood

move-in date: 26-12-2010!

This week the electrician finished the electrical installation. We still need to program the different ligth switches. Currently there’s one switch that switches all lights on or all lights off. With the home domotics system, you have to program the different switches so that they know what lights should go on or off. I think I’ll have a lot of fun with it. I’ll be able to use my iphone as well to switch lights on and off, to control the heating and ventilation. So I’ll be able to switch on the heating from a distance so that the house is nice and warm by the time I get home.

Home domotics means a lot of wires. This is just one out of two. The red box is for the photovoltaics. They’ll be connected on Monday so from then on they’ll finally start producing electricity.

Touch panel for the domotics system. I can control lights, heating, ventilation, etc. on this one panel. I have a second identical panel in the bathroom.

door post

And we started putting up a few lighting fixtures. This is in the kitchen. It’s a new type of TL lamp, with the fitting on the side of the lamp instead of at both ends. This way you can leave the lamp bare and get a straight line of light.

with the light switched on

so far we put just one TL light in each beam, for testing. Eventually, I’ll have lights along the whole length of the beams. But you can start seeing the effect of the lights in the beams. For the full effect, I must wait until I’ve put them all up and have removed the plastic and cardboard from the stairs.

finally, the bathroom is also starting to look half finished. I now have a bath, tiles have been put up (next week: floor of the shower + grouting)

and for a touch of zen in the bathroom: RGB LED lights!

The house is slowly but surely starting to look finished. All the drywall is up, the doors have been installed, I have floors everywhere. Next week: bathroom tiles + electricity. Week after that: final plumbing. Then painting and ta dam…

And I got to take pics during daytime.

Let’s start at the top: main bedroom, looking towards to doors of the bathoom (left) en toilet (front)

You can’t really see the floors because of the white cardboard on top.

You can see part of the headrest behind the bed. I’m going to put lights in on the top, that’ll cast light onto the white wall. I’ll either paint or wallpaper it.

I have no pics of the second floor, but there’s not that much to see there, just floors and doors.

Let’s go down two flights of stairs

You can peek into the living room on the right. At the bottom, you can still see the temporary beams for the temporary floor that still hasn’t been removed. You pretty much have to crawl at the bottom of the steps in order to get underneath. Many have bumped their head. I suppose Rudi (one of the carpenters) must have hit his head several times.

“Watch out Rudi”

Same stairs, view from the bottom. I’m going to put TL lights in the steel beams. The wall on the right is going to be painted black from top to bottom.

View from the living room towards the stairs. With the back wall painted black, the contrast will be bigger.

Living room with IKEA bookcases built in (and my furniture piled up underneath old sheets)

A sneek peek of the floor underneath the white cardboard

And then down to the bottom floor. View towards the kitchen.

View towards the entrance

View from the entrance (the toilet needs a door)

View when you walk out the toilet

That’s it for now. The end is in sight.

 

The past week and half, there’s been quite a bit of activity on site.

First of all: putting up drywall on the side walls. This pic is from last week. The walls are now all done. It’s getting difficult to take decent pics as it’s nearly always dark by the time I can inspect the work.

Ceiling is also done

The structure is ready for the floor boards. This is where I’m deviating from how it’s usually done. Usually, about 6cm of screed is poured on top of the concrete floor (= type of light concrete) to cover all the piping and to create a flat surface. Tiles, wood, etc. is then installed on top. But because I like the way a traditional wooden floor sounds and behaves, I wanted a floating wooden floor. The technical room will have screed though as there are way too many pipes there.

Meanwhile, downstairs, the central block of cupboards has been installed. The block separates the kitchen from the hallway.  This is the kitchen side.

and this is the entryway side with coat closet, shoe closet, etc. This side is unfinished MDF at the moment. The plan is to either paint it or wallpaper it with a large photograph.

This morning, the cellulose insulation (= recycled newspaper) was blown in the roof. It took only three hours (set-up and clean-up included). I filled the machine in the truck with the insulation whilst the carpenter blew it all into the roof.

 

I’ve got no pictures of the insulation being blown in as I was downstairs filling the machine. You can see bits of insulation sticking out of the holes in the vapour barrier.

All but one of the side walls have been insulated as well. Pretty soon I’ll get to test the air tightness. And I could even test if 2kW really is enough to heat the entire house 😉

I’ve been doing a bit of work in the house myself in the past week. Mostly painting future floor boards of the small attick space, insulating around the windows, filling up some of the holes in the wall.

In the meantime, while all construction workers are on holiday, I’m at the point where I have to decide on finishings. I got a price offer for the electrical works and I’ve decided to have a home domotics system installed. I want to be able to control all my electrical sockets, want to make sure that with one touch of a button, I can swith everything off in the house, lights, TV, heating, ventilation, computer, etc. and avoid stand-by electricity use.

I also had a first price offer for design lighting. I happen to think lighting is important and can really change the way a room looks. So many choices, so difficult to choose. Choosing switches/sockets is already hard.

I’m probably going to go for the simple Niko Intense as it’s basic and not overly expensive.

The Niko Pure is nicer but far more expensive (it’s flatter, made out of steel)

Then there’s the Niko Mysterious but I don’t want to put my electrician through that. You can only see a circle, can wallpaper over it. Too expensive, I fear.

Then there’s the retro Bauhaus switches that I looooove!

It even comes in porcelain!

Unfortunately: too expensive, and it’s always just one switch. I’ll be combining about three switches in one switch.

I really like their regular switch too.

Then there’s bticino, which we have it home

There are more brands out there, Legrand, GIRA (rather nice too),… so many choices, and that’s just light switches. Don’t get me started on taps and baths and sinks…(that’ll be another post)

The home domotics system I’m going for is Teletask.

I’m not going to go for the fancy touch screens. I’ll have two of these though, to control everything (lights, switches, heating, etc.)

And I might get the Iphone application so that I can control everything in my house from my future iphone. I’m looking forward to playing around with the domotics system, programming it all, etc.

My uncle aka godfather sent me a few questions and I promised I’d answer. So here goes:

1°    Is your staircase going to be exactly like it is depicted?

1°1    I’m surprised by the way the flights of stairs as depicted turn at sharp 90° angles (at the bottom of the first flight, and at the tops of the second and third flights). The steps there are complete triangles, very wide on the outside, but with no stepping space at all in the inner corners. My parents had the same problem when building the Dennen-laan house back in 1970: the carpenter had drawn the turns in the stairs to the cellar and to the attic in precisely the same way; and I protested, saying that people/children/elderly people risk stumbling down if absent minded; but the carpenter shrugged it off, saying “it’s only a cellar stair / attic stair”. So I bought a technical designing manual (“Technisch Tekenen”), and designed the turns in the stairs my bloody self, based on a quarter oval in stead of a quarter circle: hence, all the steps turn gradually, starting from the very first step to half way the flight; and none of the steps are so shallow on the inside that you risk stumbling. I’m very proud of the result. Our stair in the existing house we bought in Kontich is satisfactory also, being designed along the same idea as my own.

A: it’s only a visualisation, so the eventual staircase will be slightly different (called ‘verdreven trap’ in Dutch). But it will be a turning staircase. It shouldn’t be a problem, lots of stairs are built this way.

1°2    In the visualisation, the landing on the first floor (U.K.) between the first and second flights of stairs (the ones that are in each other’s extension) looks very short, leaving you barely enough space to step safely into the living-room, or from the room onto the stairs. Or am I under a wrong impression?

A: the landing is 1.20m, that should be enough.

2°    In the updated design, you dropped the bathroom between the guest-rooms on the second floor (U.K.), using it fully for laundry and boilers. Indeed, two bathrooms in a small house might not be needed. But, don’t you choose to have just a toilet there anyhow, somewhere in a corner? That way, guests don’t have to go upstairs or downstairs for an urgent necessity. I remember my Red-Cross teacher saying, that many people postpone going to the toilet, if they have to go up to the trouble of taking the stairs; and that is not a healthy way of life.

A: I felt three toilets for such a small house would be overkill. Besides, I really need all the space in the boiler room. The boiler will take up a lot of space, as will the ventilation unit.

3°    Is there only one door to cross from the street to your living quarters? Or is there a second door somewhere between the hall (with bicycle) and the rest, to stop draughts from blowing through the entire house? If there is only the front door, and if someone enters from the street during winter, he can send the chill right up to your dining table.

A: There’s only the front door. It’s all very open plan, a bit like a loft. It’s a small space, I didn’t want to divide it too much but keep it as open and spacious as possible. You’re right, ideally, there should be some sort of air lock, but it’s not a public building, it’s not as if there will be people coming in and out all the time.  The windows and door are special passive house windows, they’re very air tight. So there shouldn’t be any draughts when the door is closed.