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Hello friends 🙂  Welcome to Vanha Talo Suomi!

It’s once again a bit rainy and wet here in Southern Finland – Uusimaa. Guess you have to expect this sort of thing especially in the autumn season. The leaves on the birch trees are all but gone. The maples and chestnut are a bright sunny yellow which are about all that’s bright and sunny these days. Overcast and gloomy or mostly cloudy is our typical daily weather this time of the year. The sun has been decidedly absent, but when it returns it will mean the end of the cloudy nights and that in turn will mean cold, and colder temperatures to come.

With the other half of the roof still to go, and with Lauri gone, I was promoted to the scaffolding crew to hand Pete roof supplies.  It was a bit scary at first but after a while I could stand there without having to hold on to the roof! 🙂

WP_20141007_008Yes, that’s my hand holding the tail of the roof truss. I have another picture of the view from up there!

WP_20141007_007If you think it looks a little wonky…well you’re right! and it’s a loooonnng way down baby!






Pete is up top nailing the boards in place that I’m handing him. Long boards (8m) nailed horizontally on top of shorter boards running vertical. It went pretty fast surprisingly, but my arms were feeling it later from hoisting those boards up and onto the roof.

This whole process might look a bit different from what you’re used to seeing in your area. We have a steel roof on order that should be here next week. We are using Ruukki products and choose the color black.  I’ve seen videos of their roof crews showing up on site and having the whole thing done in what seems like minutes. Pete and Pekka will be doing it themselves, maybe Lauri will be helping out, and of course I will be providing whatever support I can to the process! 🙂  As for roofing in Finland, it’s also customary to install roof ladders and snow guards here for practical purposes, so these will be installed too.

I was very happy to be off the scaffolding and glad that Lauri returned next day. He and Pete got the upper window in place, only to discover that the opening was a tad smaller than it was supposed to be :0 Surprise! Mistakes happen! So down went the window – a few choice words were uttered, then the opening was widened a tad. The whole process repeated with the window finally secured in it’s proper place.

WP_20141010_007Pete and Lauri are there holding the window, although it’s tough to make out with all the studs and framing in view. The window is a super high-energy model that is now mandatory by EU regulations. Luckily its style is similar to the older windows. The green boards are a wind block nailed to the outer stud walls. Just above the ladder on the left side is another window opening – this one is for the sauna room. The interior is still a stud shell until the inspector signs off. Interestingly, we’re waiting on the inspector. Seems like some things never change…no matter where you are…

Pete and Lauri have been tucking EkoVillaLevy between the wind block and the studs and have gotten almost the entire first floor area done. This insulation product comes in various thicknesses and we’re using it in combination with other FinnFoam products. You can see bales (green/white) sitting at the ready…

WP_20141013_001They managed to get the rest of this wall finished yesterday. All that remains is the wall facing the back yard.  In this picture you can possibly make out the door frame. There’s a another long narrow window on the right side of the door opening that a red and white cup are sitting on.

We have another teak door, this one purchased from Ylijaama which is a great remodeling/building wholesale warehouse located in Hämeenlinna. We didn’t buy the front door there because I thought I had a line on a door through Tori.fi…unfortunately once we saw the used door for sale, we decided to pass on it – which means another trip to Hämeenlinna and Ylijamma to get the front door from them. As it is, the door for the opening above is at the ready.

There will be stairs leading out of the back door above at some point, leading down a small slope which then goes to a patio and our back yard. But for now all traffic going in and out of the door opening is relying on a pile of stacked pallets propped up next to scaffolding!

Because the house is now sporting a beautiful tri-color scheme I thought I’d check online to see what flags are represented in red, yellow, and green. Surprisingly, there are a lot! This little site has some interesting information about flags! Give it a look-see 🙂 With this color scheme we are representing Guinea at the moment, who knew! 😀  Shout out to you, Guinea!!!

WP_20141011_004It will be great when the red siding wraps the whole structure and the roof is on.  The house will “look” done …at least from the outside! 🙂

The yard is another matter altogether. Considering the late time of year, there doesn’t seem to be much chance grass seed will germinate. Some portions of the back yard are impassable without risking a slip in the mud or the loss of a shoe so I’ll be thrilled when it’s either frozen over and eventually covered in grass. I did manage to finally get all the bulb and plant stock planted. Who knew hundreds of bulbs would take so long to plant! 😀 I can hardly wait until springtime to see the show!

Pete is off today and I’ve got my paintbrush working overtime painting up a bunch of trim/molding we bought last Friday at Enäjärven Saha.  This sawmill manufactures all sorts of trim and molding and had hundreds of style samples on a shelf to choose from. We’ve been looking around and discovered this place and they had the widest selection and best prices around.

WP_20141010_015There’s a guy above on the left side setting up the machine for new specs on a style template. All the guys spoke Finnish but I indicated an interest in knowing what they were doing and was permitted to go inside for a closer look.






Pekka was outside in the drizzle looking over the trim stock storage barn while I was floating on this guy’s shoulder.

He told me the machine was built in 1965, and it’s obviously still going strong!


I’m really happy with the wood we bought from these guys. They were really friendly and must have thought I was nuts for wanting to watch them mill wood. The shop isn’t nearby and it was a little off the beaten path, but well worth the drive.

Now, I just have to finish painting up all this trim then it can be cut and nailed up! Really looking forward to having it in place and know it’s going to make a big difference in the look of our interior design. I still have 1 wall to paint in the living room and will wait to paint that standing round wood stove until next year. We’re already burning wood at a pretty good pace trying to keep warm. Until the heat is on, it’s up to the wood stoves to keep this old house liveable.

Next up, the wait continues for framing inspection, roof installation, a few paint projects, and then we can tackle the sanding and staining of the wood floors!  The push is on to get as much done before mid November when Pekka and I leave for a much needed break to the states to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Until next time! ❤