Renovation: Off with the Walls!

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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.

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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.ย IMG_3240

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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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!

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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! ๐Ÿ™‚

Renovation: the Before

layout of the apartment

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The place didn’t look bad to begin with, not at first glance anyway. It had seen better days, but it was in totally livable condition. Very much like my previous rentals!

The apartment is 41 sqm, but the walls and especially the beams separating the living room from the alcove and kitchen made it feel smaller. The parquet was probably made from spare ends, as a lot of the pieces were just a couple cm long… and it was very, very worn.

The kitchen wasn’t that bad, having been updated in 2008. There was space for a small dining table, but it also felt very cramped, and I hated that if I put my table there, I would need to go around it to reach the fridge… the layout just wasn’t working out for me.

But there was a yard and a big terrace, and the windows were huge. I really liked the place and knew I could make it better! ๐Ÿ™‚