House KUTSUROGI - DIY house restoration

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iamsen
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House KUTSUROGI - DIY house restoration

Post by iamsen » Sun May 01, 2016 10:48 pm

I decided to name my house くつろぎ and wanted to be a bit pretentious so I've decided to knight myself.
I am now a noble lord of the House Kutsurogi.
Knee, ye peasants.

This is a picture from the day when I got the deed. My friends popped in to check out the house. You can catch a peak of the 旧式トイレ to the left.
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P.S. If anyone knows how to dismantle that hideous accordion partition, please let me know. I tore the cloth out and it's all steel underneath. I don't see anything I can dismantle. Maybe I should just introduce it to my friend, the disc grinder.

I dismantled the toilet and the bathroom over the weekend. It's amazing what a single hammer (and a crowbar) can achieve. Jeremy Clarkson would be proud.

Toilet process.
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Toilet done.
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The 和室 adjoining the bathroom.
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Walls in between dismantled.
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No concrete base. Just some blocks of concrete on a pile of dirt. :(
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Zasso Nouka
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Re: House KUTSUROGI - DIY house restoration

Post by Zasso Nouka » Mon May 02, 2016 6:30 am

Congratulations on getting the deeds to your own property Iamsen, you must be well chuffed.
iamsen wrote: It's amazing what a single hammer (and a crowbar) can achieve.
Possibly the most useful item in anyone's toolbox :lol:, looks like you put it to good use. Are you going for an open plan layout ?

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Re: House KUTSUROGI - DIY house restoration

Post by gonbechan » Mon May 02, 2016 9:00 am

Congratulations on becoming landed gentry! :D
Looking great so far, I can't wait to see your progress.
The accordion wotsit. Just unscrew the rail from the ceiling and the whole kit and kaboodle will come down.

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Re: House KUTSUROGI - DIY house restoration

Post by xxxxtom » Tue May 03, 2016 5:01 am

Well-done iamsen on your new castle.
Where is it?
How old is it?
It doesn't look like your living in it, if so when do you plan to move in?
Am I right in thinking it's a bachelor pad ( castle) ?
Cheers

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Re: House KUTSUROGI - DIY house restoration

Post by iamsen » Fri May 06, 2016 3:04 pm

I need to update this, but in the mean time, anyone have any advice on how do get of some some bamboo I've chopped down?
I lost count but there's close to a 100 poles of bamboo laying in my back garden. I tried to drag some of them through the house to the front gate but some of them have grown too tall to do that.

This is from when I started. There's about 3 times more than in this picture.
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Also 20 pieces of badly maintained tatami mats.

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Re: House KUTSUROGI - DIY house restoration

Post by gonbechan » Fri May 06, 2016 3:57 pm

The bamboo you can cut up and put in the burnable garbage bags and get rid of it there on the right day.
For the tatami you might have to go and look on your ward office HP and see if they have pickup. If they do, you will be able to buy the stickers at a local conbini and then you call the ward office and find out where and when you need to put them out.

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Re: House KUTSUROGI - DIY house restoration

Post by iamsen » Sat May 07, 2016 1:55 am

Zasso Nouka wrote:Are you going for an open plan layout ?
To be honest, I haven't really worked out the finer details yet. I didn't want to commit to any fixed plans until I'm done removing all the interiors so I can see how sound the structure is. I'm basically just making things up as I go along. I've always wanted to live in a kominka so I'm planning a kind of faux-kominka style interior.
gonbechan wrote:The accordion wotsit. Just unscrew the rail from the ceiling and the whole kit and kaboodle will come down.
Thanks for the advices gonbechan. Helpful as always!
It didn't even occur to me to check to see how the railings were held up.
Initially, I tried removing the frames on both sides of the curtains where the magnets are, thinking that with those gone I could easily dismantle it from inside. But all it exposed was a wooden frame with the curtains stapled onto it. That was such a waste of time.

The neighbours said the same thing about the bamboo, just cut them down to about half a metre and leave the bundle by the gates and the nice people from the council will come collect it in the mornings. They wouldn't take the tatami though. I'd have to either cut those up into smaller, 30cm x 30cm slots myself and put them out with the combustibles, or have the tatami craftsmen take them in for about 1~2000yen each.
xxxxtom wrote: Where is it?
How old is it?
It doesn't look like your living in it, if so when do you plan to move in?
Am I right in thinking it's a bachelor pad ( castle) ?
It's in Nishi-Tokyo, just outside the 23-ku so there's surprisingly still a lot of farmland in this area.
It was built in the mid 70s, so around 40~45 years maybe?
I was half-expecting a rickety shack inside but the structural supports are surprisingly solid. There's even a steel beam running straight across the middle of the house! The lack of a proper concrete base was a bit of a worry but the contractors I've spoken with say that's not a huge issue. I could just pour some concrete in myself but they said it's more cost-effective to add 筋交い between the walls and bracing the current struts. Maybe swap the roof tiles out for some slates a couple years down the road once I've saved up some.

I'm planning on moving in around July, once the toilet and bathroom are done up. The rest I can fix it up while living in it. It'll be my own personal man-cave for the time being but I am considering renting out some of the rooms like a sharehouse once I'm done with the interiors. That's probably a year away. At least. That or Airbnb.

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Re: House KUTSUROGI - DIY house restoration

Post by iamsen » Sat May 07, 2016 2:26 am

Some pictures.

Failed initial attempt at removing the accordion.
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Here's accordion successfully removed, and a view of the holed out washitsu together with the tacky 70s living room and chandelier.
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The exposed beams of the 和室 after removing the ceiling. I thought the panels would be part of the floor above but it seems like it's a separate layer itself. I'll be staining this a darker huge to contrast with the white shikkui walls I'll be putting up later.
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The steel beam running through the house. This was a pleasant surprise. I've not decided yet if I want to leave it exposed or hide it behind some paneling. It's between the 和室 and living room and I'd rather have some proper sound proofing between them as I'd like to use the room as an office or study. The other end is on the kitchen's side though so maybe I'll have that end exposed instead.
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The floor supports.
The nails holding the supporting struts between the supports have all rusted through. A slight tap and they came right off. I'll probably have to replace those. As you can see, it's just a pile of dirt under the floor. I'll have to put in a vapour barrier myself.
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Removing the floorboards. I tried the crowbar approach but that was just too much physical labour, so I went at it with some nice bit of modern technology. The struts are still rather solid but the nails holding down the floorboards are rusted through too. Most of them broke off at the head when I tried to remove them so there's lots of little pokey bits of metal protruding through. Better not trip.
I'm not sure yet if I should replace the struts with new ones so I won't have to worry about the remaining nails, or if I should just hammer the nails deeper into the struts.
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All that bamboo.
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And where it used to be. I need to chop that tree down too, or at least trim it.
I'm thinking of knocking that wall down. It's a lovely view and I'd like to have it unobstructed. Maybe replace it with a short bamboo fence instead. The area's not that wide, slightly more than a metre. I'd actually like to put up a balcony there so I can enjoy the view from the 2nd storey.
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View from the back is so much cleaner now without anything obstructing it. The neighbour to the north had some kind of flowery vines growing on a lattice frame behind. I tried to capture it but the camera's focus wasn't playing nice.
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Lastly, that little bit under the roof. It was raining last night so I used the opportunity to check if there were any leaks. Some of the roofing tiles along the back edge had fallen off, probably due to the bamboo knocking into them but it all looked fine from the inside.
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Re: House KUTSUROGI - DIY house restoration

Post by Zasso Nouka » Sat May 07, 2016 6:55 am

Looking really good Iamsen,

Seems like the main structure is solid and in good condition. If you are going to stain the ceilings and beams then rerouting the electric cables along the sides of the beams where possible and painting them a similar colour to the wood helps them blend in immeasurably.

If you are thinking of replacing the roof in the future it might be worth looking into fitting either an OM Solar or an ECS type roof. Normally they would blow hot air under the house to heat up a concrete foundation pad (you could pour one now with the floors up) that provides warmth during the night but I don't see any reason why that hot air couldn't just be routed into the ground floor of the house if it is relatively open plan. You get free heating during the winter and with good insulation in the exterior walls it should stay toasty and warm for much of the night. We have the ECS system which is a little more basic than OM Solar but does the job sufficiently well and they have a good network of contractors.

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Re: House KUTSUROGI - DIY house restoration

Post by iamsen » Sun May 08, 2016 11:30 pm

Interesting. I didn't even know such a thing existed. I was thinking of maybe having solar panels on the south side and skylights on the other.