“Your cousins in Canada built a house with their own hands.” It was 1979 and I was 8 years old when I heard these words. They had a big impact on me. My cousins must be like Gods, I thought, having this miraculous building ability. I concluded that once you can build a house, you can build anything. An idea that became stuck in me and one day, after 36 years of incubation, it hatched.

It had obviously been waiting for us. After two long years, the house was still on sale. While the number of house-seeking visitors increased the asking price was gradually brought down. And then we walked in. It was at the end of a long day where we had seen several potential properties. None of those had ticked off our boxes. And we were tired of it. One more appointment and we could finally go home. Shortly after we arrived at the house, it happened. The moment we crossed the threshold, both of us knew: this house feels good. In that instant our decision was made.

We negotiated the price. We signed the contract. We got the key. The house was ours.

It was clear why many potential buyers before us did not want to touch this house. The last time it got any attention was in the 70s, over forty years ago. It needed a lot of work. We had to get rid of all the things the sellers had so proudly pointed out to us during our first visit: the wooden kitchen with drawers in the baseboards, walls that were either covered in carpets or fake bricks, and the slatted ceilings (take a look). In the end it all went out, I stripped the place bare.

Had I known beforehand the amount of effort this job would demand, I might not have started. In my blissfully naive mind, I estimated the renovation to last 3 months. In the end it took me 1½ years. Some of this difference can be attributed to unexpected circumstances that raised its ugly head. But mainly I grossly overestimated myself.

Although intense, it was highly rewarding. When it was all over and done I looked back at an incredible learning experience. I had covered all aspects of renovating: from electric wiring, plumbing and tiling; to placing windows, plastering and roofing. I had shown myself that I could learn, apply and bring up the muscle to keep going until completion.



You can book a stay in my modern and luxurious house through Airbnb. Book it with your partner or friends and enjoy it for yourself. All the comfortable amenities are present like the large bedroom, the walk-in shower, the fully equipped open kitchen, the floor-heated living space with Danish design wood stove and the glass doors that open to a large enclosed garden with BBQ. Click here to find the Airbnb listing.


Are you having plans to undertake a renovation yourself? I happily share my experiences with you to help you where I can. Whether it has to do with budgetting or planning, what projects to do yourself and which ones to outsource, how to learn new skills or where to get your building materials from. There are many aspects I can shed light on. Feel free to contact me.