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Building w.s. – Insulation of dormer windows

March 29, 2019

The work at workshop building has been continuing throughout the winter. There wasn’t that much to write about because most work is painstakingly slow and there is little to see. Insulating the dormer windows with environmentally friendly material is such a job. The job needs to be repeated 6 times. Below is an image of one of the dormer windows with the semipermeable paper and the support boards for the paneling which follows later.

Another task I completed recently is to close the gaps between the logs and the roof trusses. For some reason (which I still don’t know) the roof trusses are 12mm above the logs. The gap between these two is open. Filling in the insulation material is another slow job fiddling around with the insulation material made from sheep wool.

Now everything should be ready for blowing the insulation into the roof. We’ll see how that will work out later in April…


Arlo Security Camera

January 19, 2019

We always wanted to know just that little bit more on what is going on at the Villa when we are in the city. Until now we could check from the home control unit whether any alarm was triggered or what the temperature is inside and outside. But seeing what was going on hasn’t been possible. Now, we have gotten ourselves a Arlo security camera system. One of the cameras is installed over the drive through of the workshop building.

The Arlo security camera system monitors the Villa and one can connect up to 5 cameras to the basic basestation. The system triggers automatic recording of HD videos based on a motion detector (not the one visible above which is for the yard light but one integrated to the camera) and an audio sensor. The audio sensor has been pretty useless for the cameras installed outside because they are only triggered by strong winds. But the motion detectors have been twice successful: once when the local farmer was plowing the snow from the yard and once catching a hunting dog running across the yard. The photo quality is okay-ish but not impressive. The videos that are of sufficient quality but not good enough to read license plate numbers of cars.



Building w.s. – Ceiling works, layer 4, 6 and 7

January 13, 2019

It took 6 weekends, some of the days between the years, and a lot of climbing up and down the ladder. But finally I managed to finish the a big part of the ceiling works in the workshop.

First I attached the wind-proofing boards between the roof trusses. Because of the mansard-style of roof, this isn’t straight forward either because one had to do it in three parts for each segment between the roof trusses. Those wind-proofing boards are layer 4 of the roof (the tar shingles, the tar paper, and the roof boards being number 1 to 3).

The next two layers are the semipermeable paper and the support boards that carry the weight of the insulation material (which comes later)….

In the photo above is still one row of support boards missing (the one in middle). This will be the place where I’ll cut a little incision in order to blow the insulation material to either sides of each segment.

While the actual ceiling is straight and goes across the whole width of the workshop, the dormer windows make the work again more tedious because the support boards need to be cut to measure (instead of randomly nailing them on the ceiling).

The bottom of each segment into which the insulation material will be blown is also a bit more complicated than I thought (see above picture). Somehow I didn’t plan this well. I had to make a custom board that is nailed between each of the roof trusses. I wish this would have been simpler…

Overall, I’m wondering why I’m bothering with all this effort to make the ceiling such that it can be insulated. I could have just stopped with the roof boards. It is after all just a workshop. But sometimes it might be nice to heat the place to do my woodworking also during the fall or the spring. And it is the ceiling that most heat fill evaporate through.

Now I can even heat the workshop a little bit (like this weekend, when temperatures dropped below -10 degrees). It’s not getting warm inside with a single 800 W heater but even -2 degrees are preferable than -10.


Building w.s. – Wall paneling

November 11, 2018

With the weather being warmer than usual for this season but still unbearable for working outside, I kicked off the inside works on the workshop. I’m starting with the wall paneling all the way up in the roof. The wall is unfortunately not made from massive logs but is a frame structure. Filling in the insulation material (this time I’m using some ecological friendly insulation material made from recycled paper) is the first job.

The insulation material, the so-called Ekovilla, is somehow harder to get in shape than the usual mineral wool I’ve been using in other projects. While one can cut mineral wool easily with a dedicated knife that resembles a bred knife, this insulation material from compressed, recycled paper is harder to cut. After trying out various tools, I ended up cutting it with a traditional handsaw designed to cut wood. It creates some degree of a mess because parts of the insulation material rather rip off then cut off, but it works reasonably fast.

The next step was to attach the semipermeable paper that keeps humidity moving at controlled speed between the inside and the outside (it actually works in both directions). The beauty with this sort of insulation material is that it “breathes” like massive wood i.e. the building is not a bubble rapped in plastic but rather a breathing building. Considering that this is a workshop and not a place to live in one might say that this choice is a little bit of an overkill, but then again why not use recycled material.

The last step is attaching the wood panels. This turned out to be faster than I thought and within less of a Saturday the panels were nailed on. Even the covering boards around the windows were installed on the same day.

Vallot sammuu! And other stuff…

August 26, 2018

The weekend was dominated by one thing and one thing only: The farewell concert of the biggest rap-artist in Finland called Cheek (okay, this has nothing to do with Villa Linnea, except we chose the Villa as residence for after the concert in Lahti). The entire family enjoyed a stunning performance from the beginning to the end when the lights went actually on in the ski jumping arena in Lahti (opposed to lights “going out” as the title of concert “Vallot sammuu” refers to).


On the day before the concert, I spent another few back-braking hours in the crawl-space under the Villa. With the roof of the workshop being in good shape I finally take the time to “fix” the things in the Villa that need fixing. What needed fixing in the crawlspace was the insulation of both the sewage pipes as well the crawlspace itself. In winters with temperatures for more than 2 weeks below 15 degree centigrade, the temperature in the crawlspace sinks below zero. This caused two problems in last year’s rather exceptionally cold winter: the sewage pipe for the toilet froze shut and no payload went through anymore forcing us to use the outhouse in -10 degrees. Secondly, the main supply pipe from the well that runs through the crawlspace also froze which meant no more showers. Now the sewage pipes are insulated all the way with Styrofoam. And also the walls of the foundation bricks are insulated with 50 to 100 mm Styrofoam. We’ll see whether that helps next winter.

And while referring to winter: I attached the first set of snow barriers on the roof of the workshop. Whether that really makes much difference in terms of real safety is another question, but regulations and regulation…

Building w.s. – More covering jobs

August 19, 2018

With the covering boards attached around the windows, I started attaching more white covering boards around the roof. Up first were the roofs of the dormer windows. Below is a photo without the covering boards…

… and here is the same dormer window with covering boards around the roof.

Another thing that needs covering are the holes in the logs which allow tightening the rods. These gaps a located in the second row of logs from the bottom. I did survive one winter without them, but with the entire workshop painted now, I can cover them as well.

The metal sheet covering the hole seems to have a much darker brown, but comparing to the Villa and a second round of painting, this darker brown should resemble the final colour after some raging of the logs.

Building w.s. – Covering boards

July 9, 2018

Covering boards for windows and doors make a big difference visually but are always a bit complicated to attach to a log building. The top board cannot be attached to the logs itself because they are settling still downwards. Thus, I had to attach the long top board over the door and the window on the window frame for which I had to drill first through the aluminium sheets.

It looks a bit strange without stairs to the doors but overall it gives the entire workshop a more “finished” appeal.

Next project will be the covering boards around the roof.