getting things done in the attic

Well its about time to cover our fancy “disco” floor(heating) with a decent floor. After building the nursery wall and covering our small storage room with beautiful salvaged wooden planks everything was ready for laying the floor.
We chose a vinyl floor with an natural oak look. (we had to go with vinyl or laminate because of the light weight heating system – wooden floors are unfortunately too risky to lay directly on this system due to temperature variations).
My whole family helped us Martin (I’m on maternity-construction-site-leave) laying the floor. They started with the nursery and worked superfast, the first few planks were pretty tricky but after a few rows it went really good (at least it looked like it was easy to do from my point of view).
After our lunch break they started with room #2 (aka our bedroom), while I sat on the new nursery floor trying to choose the colors for the cabinets we are going to built in the nursery. (we are planing to built storage space and a built-in-cupboard with 3 sliding doors.)
I chose farrow and ball paint (although they are pricy their varnish is perfect to work with! Totally worth the money and the colors are gorgeous!).
I picked red earth (looks in real live a little more pink), charlotte’s locks (a beautiful and bold, statement color) and london clay. (a warm brownish grey tint).
I was stunned – what a difference a day makes! What do you think about the floor? 

This post was written in advance – at the moment we are trying to spend as much time with our new family member ♥.


wood planking in the attic

On every construction site or major renovation project there are nooks and corners which you (have to) put in second place. Let’s face it – that’s totally normal you can’t fight all fronts at the same time. (actually, I think there are people out there who can – but for us it works better to reach one goal at a time). Our “renovation stepchild” is the attic – no doubt about this.
After we installed a new (construction) floor we left it like that and worked our way through towards other deadlines and milestones.

We are planning to put our bedrooms (we need a nursery as you might have noticed) and some small storagespace up there. So the first step was to cover the insulation material with wooden planks. And that’s what we* the boys did for the last couple of days.
* Tinka and I prepared the kitchen cabinets and assembled manymanymany drawers of our new Ikea kitchen.

Our gable walls are not perfectly even so first of all we installed the construction beams (for the nursery wall) and worked our way from there towards the walls. We used a level (good old bubble level) and a laser level (which can be tricky if you are working with 45 degree attic walls!) but the combination of both did it for us.
We decided on useing white-washed tongue and groove planks with a rather rough surface.
Those planks were mounted with small metal claws which you can put into the groove and we secured them with tiny screws. (you could also nail it with a air nailer but it worked better for us with the screws).
Throughout the week a lot of people gave us a hand with mounting the wood. (here you can see my brother, Martin, my mum and dad; but also Codo, George and Toby helped us during our nightshifts)
I really love the new look! Such a difference! Our (renovation)stepchild turned into a true (renovation)Cinderella.
Light and airy with a kind of scandinavian touch.
Next steps will be:

– installing the floor heating
– building the walls (nursery, our bedroom & storage)
– covering the bay around the windows with wood
– beauty corrections (mounting trims and borders)


thermal insulation – the roof – part I

The Austrian climate is a temperate one (and most of the time to cold for me! But I have to admitt: at the moment it’s pretty mild and almost spring. YEAH!) The houses over here are normally well provided with an excellent heating system, energy efficient insulated windows (at least with 2 or more panes) and if you want to have an attic to sleep in, like we do, you also need to insulate your roof. It’s like puting on a warm hat in winter.. only that the insulation will also help to keep your head cool in during warm summer nights too! (temperate climate as I told you: up to 35° C in summer and down to -20 in winter).
So insulation is a  M U S T in Austria.

Pretty early in our renovation process we discovered a material made by an Austrian company with very high standards and an amazing U-value (= a measure of heat loss in a building element such as a wall, window or roof; a low number indicates a better U-value). We ordered it and had the amazing amount of 76 bags full of blow-in-material and 5 huge towers of insulation panels awaiting in my parents tractor garage to be handled. (thank you mum & dad for your patience!)
I had two weeks off from work – in the first we worked on the attic floor and in the second we began with the insulation of the roof.
With the material comes a free introduction tutorial on how to work with the material. So Alpor send a skilled worker to us and we had also our most loyal and handy workers with us: Ray, Schorsch and my Dad.
We’ve been a little overvelmed with all the information and the harsh, caustically, rough commands we were yelled at by this (truely skilled but unbeliveably harsh) worker! phew! I think it’s not what you say, but how you say it… and this dude really couldn’t set the right tone.
Anyway. (Luckly we didn’t need to marry him but just learn the basics of insulating with the Alpor-system and that’s what we did!)

I think we moved 4 of those loads to the house. each day a new one (beacause the house is to small for storing them all at once!)
(my dad is just kidding with the bag on his shoulder… one of those had only less than 1kg!)
preparing the barrier foil which came between the trusses to avoid that the tiny insulation material will loose itself in the narrow gaps of the roof construction.
the boys learning how to mount the foil and my dad in the poor position of “the holder”.
After Martin finished from work he went straight to the treehouse to give us a helping hand. (thank you my ♥) He looked a little sceptic, because I think he wasn’t at all prepared to attend this insulating-boot-camp! (I guess I should have warned him..)
But we worked superfast and got so much done this first day.
Stay tuned to see how we did finish the instulation without the drill-sergent in my next post.