So it's been a while since I posted any updates, not because the smog killed me, but mostly because I've been doing some renovations on my house.
Back in 2014 my wife & I bought a house in Bochnia, which you can read more about here. It's a 100 year old miner's cottage, because Bochnia is home to a really old salt mine and you can read about that on their website here. I've lived in Bochnia for 3 years now and still haven't visited the salt mine, so I can't comment on what it's like.
Our house is on a quiet street about 10 minutes drive from the town centre, but we have a hectare of land which is home to deer, foxes, owls, pheasants and much more wildlife. And it's only 30 minutes by train to Krakow. So it's really a compromise between town and country living.
This is from the top of our garden, looking out over Niepolomice forest. Behind me is the rest of our land.
We bought the house knowing that it would need some work, and so far we have replaced the old coal boiler with a modern gas boiler which is much more efficient and actually lowers our heating costs in the winter. I've also painted most of the rooms. The house came with all the furniture and fixings, including garden tools and we still have most of the old furniture but are slowly changing things to our own. This time we decided to hit the kitchen!
A very old, very nasty green kitchen, with lino on the floor and a ton of silicon filling the huge gaps between the sink & cooker. When I was growing up, I was lucky enough to spend my Saturdays working with my Granddad who was a plumber, and after school I went into the trade and actually fitted a few kitchens, so I at least had some idea of what was going to happen.
We also decided to redo the entrance hall which had an extremely wonky floor covered in 2 layers of 70's lino, which my dog had recently developed a taste for.
Unfortunately the floor was so badly built when they did the extension that we couldn't have anything other than lino there, so we have some new lino there and will need to save up to repair the poor job that was done by the previous owners.
However, the kitchen floor was in better condition and almost level even though it is also part of the 1980's extension. So we went for some tiles on the floor and got a friend of my brother in law to do the floor and wall tiles. Everything else, I did by myself. We ordered a flat-pack kitchen online from Leroy Merlin, and then headed into Krakow to buy some other things, like the worktop, sink and some other bits & pieces. I learned that my car will hold a 3 meter long worktop, although it will smash the windscreen if you push slightly too much. That's an extra 800zl on top of the kitchen costs :(
We had another issue with the floor tiles being smashed by the courier, but luckily the second attempt they managed to deliver them in one piece. Once the tiling was done, and Bogdan did a fantastic job, I booked a couple of days off work and got to work on the rest. It all went pretty smoothly, and over the course of 4 long days, it was all installed. I still have some minor things to do, such as putting silicon around the edge of the worktop and finishing the doorstep but we are really happy with the outcome. A new oven has been ordered which will match the style of the new kitchen as well. I've put some pictures below of the process
It was a tiring but enjoyable experience and I'm now keen to continuing improving the rest of the house, I'm just lacking the money at the moment! My favorite part has to be visiting a local sawmill to buy the wood for the skirting boards and doorsteps. The doorsteps started out as just rough planks, and I sanded and shaped them to look much nicer, I'll add a photo at some point after I stain and fit them, but they look amazing!
The costs were actually pretty reasonable, at around 7500zl in total (not including the broken windscreen).