When we moved to Sweden I was excited but full of anxiety. Things seemed too good to be true but I did have a few legitimate worries. one of the things I was most apprehensive about was the renovation work needed on our house.
The renovations we knew about when we bought the house but after the excitement of buying our own house we realised it came with responsibilities. One room in our hose especially needed work- since it had not interior walls!
While I was excited to renovate and keen to start, if a little daunted, there was one major problem… neither I nor my husband had ever done it before! On top of this, we were attempting DIY for the first time in a foreign country, where neither of us spoke the language.
Our first major hurdle was finding a supplier. We needed wood, boards, paint, screws… the list goes on. We began with simple google searches but we soon realised that the cost of having building supplies delivered is NOT worth while, especially if you live in the countryside. Instead we toured the industrial estates of our nearest large town and found a shop there- Jem and Fix!
Jem & Fix are a Scandinavian equivalent of B&Q. They were the perfect place to buy pretty much all of the things we needed.
Our second problem was getting things home. Jem & Fix do deliver but their deliveries were similarly priced to other companies so this was no good. Another possibility was to borrow a trailer. This would have been perfect and doesn’t cost a penny, however I drive a small hatch back (not the best car if you live in rural Sweden) which has no tow bar. Our solution was to buy a rook rack (tack raker). This was a whole challenge in and of itself but once we had it we were able to get supplies back to the house.
After finding a place to buy supplies and finding a way to get them home, we had the challenge of actually renovating. This in some ways was easier than the first two steps. We added extra insulation and then put up wall panels. I had the ‘fun’ job of papering the walls- my husband refused. Finally we were able to paint and I fitted a wall plug.
We know our work is far, far from Sweden’s finest but we definitely think our office is improved. The final steps will be to add a more permanent floor covering- maybe carpet which is not at all popular in Sweden, strangely- and maybe to add some more personal touches. But, I now have a place to study, which makes me quite proud to look at when I compare it to when we first moved in.