I started on the reno right after getting the permission to change the walls. First I had to get rid of the beams around the living room (here’s the before pics). They weighed a lot and were attached well, but I had a lot of enthusiasm and a crowbar!
Next I had to get rid of the unwanted walls. The material was AAC, a lightweight concrete called Siporex. Some of my friends suggested hammering them down, but I was afraid that would damage the bathroom wall and the waterproof lining (a layout of the apartment here). That would’ve been an expensive problem and one I very much wanted to avoid. So I bought a saw.
Looking back, it might have been easier to rent a motorized version, yes. But at the time I didn’t know how long the sawing would take, and the hand saw was cheap. I figured I could always rent the motor saw if it proved too hard to saw by hand.
Lucky for me, it wasn’t that bad. Saved me a bunch of trips to the gym, certainly, but it was also very fun seeing the pieces of the wall disappearing! 🙂
That’s the light switch hanging from the ceiling. I had to save that one for now – can’t go just cutting electrical wires! You need to figure out where the electrical lines and/or other wiring and whatnot run before you start demolishing a structure – especially if you use power tools, since then the risk of cutting something by accident is even higher. Just FYI, in case you hadn’t thought about that. 🙂
I didn’t yet have a permission to change the layout of the kitchen (yes, in Finland you need a lot of permissions…) when I was taking down the walls, so I had to protect the kitchen. I didn’t want to put money into a reno if I couldn’t get the kitchen the way I wanted it, so in that scenario keeping the old one would’ve made sense – but oh, how glad I am that I got to change it around!
With the extra walls gone the place really opened up! The apartment seems a lot bigger now, as the previously gloomy hallway and odd kitchen turned into usable space. Happy Happy Joy Joy! 🙂