Before They Catch Me

You might have noticed the words “demolition” and “listed building” in the previous blog post. It’s usually pretty hard to get demolition permits for listed buildings, as the whole idea of listed buildings is that they must be conserved. Funny enough, I don’t have a demolition permit for our building.

Before things get out of hand and you call the police, let me state that I do have a building permit for it. However, the existing permit is being revamped by us together with an architect, and naturally also with the building control department, who is in the end the one issuing the permits. So it’s not final yet. The general rule is that no work on a building shall commence before the permits are in order, and the building project has started officially.

But to save my sorry ass I use a permit which trumps everything: after I conducted a proper investigation on the health of the current structures of the building, it became quite clear that the upper parts of the building are an immediate health hazard. And I do not mean like you’d get a bad cough by living in it, I mean loose-pieces-of-wood-pierced-by-3-inch-nails-perforating-my-kids-heads-when-they-walk-past-it hazardous.

You see, we live on Reposaari, the Nantucket of Finland as I started humourously to describe it, and there’s a lot of wind here from the open sea. Last autumn and winter came with strong wind gusts, more frequent than normal, bringing down various pieces from the building roof. I’ll let the following pictures explain the situation.


The amount of debris which came down during winter.

No inner roof, no outer roof. Rotten throughout.

The garden-side half: no inner roof, no outer roof. Not very structurally solid.

That yellow planking is kept there only by the act of Beyonder. You can see it leaning forward, out of the wall.

That yellow planking is kept there only by acts of Beyonder. You can see it leaning forward, out of the wall – towards the garden.

Garden-side wall is more than wobbly. If that log slips away, the wall comes down. With the roof.

The garden-side wall is more than wobbly. If that middle log slips away, the wall comes down. With the roof.

Does it look like a parent would keep this around, waiting for a piece of paper, while a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old run around in the garden? Gewalt mit DeWALT, I say!

First Blood

Here’s an art piece I call “Zwei Tage Gewalt Mit Meinem DeWALT”, and it depicts the first demolition steps of the listed building we have on our yard, and which is to be reconstructed during the coming year. I say reconstructed because the previous owners not only neglected the conservation of the house, but actively worked for it to decompose during the last five years or so.

It’s a pity, as renovating it using most of the existing material would be more appreciated by us, the people living on this island, and the National Board of Antiquities, who keeps the tab on listed buildings. Anyhow, what’s done is done, and what’s not done, is not done. I will try to get out as much of the old logs as possible to be able to use them at least for interior walls and decoration, as they are not anymore fit for external walls. In any case, the house will be reconstructed to look as it looked before, but the internals will be completely new with a large guest room and a sauna department.



In the picture above, the first one is from November 2013, showing the state how it was when we bought it. The middle picture is from last week at initiation of the demolition work after I cleaned away some bushes and stuff. The last picture is the result of my two afternoons combining the power of the all-awesome DeWALT 18V, 4.0Ah DCS380 reciprocating saw and 9.81 m/s2 gravity.