I’m Koen. I’m an engineer, with a love for cars, trains, music and much more. I’m happily married, living in a small town in the Flemish part of Belgium. Belgium is the country for beer, chocolate, french fries, waffles and so much more.
In my spare time, I mostly work on or around the house (or on this site). Just imagine what massive black hole I’ll fall into if ever the house is finished. Luckily I still have other interests. Sometimes I manage to squeeze together enough time to spin the decks or go scuba diving.
Milady & I both like to travel, but we’re also quite fond of our own house. Traveling destination by far for us is Italy, a lovely country with great food (pasta! pizza! wine!), masses of culture, lovely people, … Unfortunately, most of those speak Italian, Italian and maybe a tiny bit of Italian… You catch my drift, if you want to have any conversation at all, you’ll have to be able to speak at least a bit of Italian. So we subscribed for classes, one evening a week, learning Italian. Right now we’ve passed three years already, only four or so left to go! Unfortunately one year there were no classes organised in our town, so we had to put this on hold for a year at least.
In the meantime we became parents. Not once, but twice. Two boys, one born in 2016 and one in 2019. The joys of parenthood (which are plenty) do mean sometimes things take more time to accomplish, or get delayed in execution.
It all started way way back in 2007. Milady and I hadn’t even met yet. Koen’s parents had acquired the old family home and wanted to convert it.
And then they decided to do most of it themselves. BAM! Everything ruined! Or not…
Well, at least that’s how I got bitten by the bug called DIY renovation. Tearing stuff up, putting wiring and plumbing in place, drywall, tiling, you name it I’ve done it. Except for planning. That part was done by an architect, and my parents. Very instructive, but I’m not the kind of person that enjoys doing what other people plan week after week, month after month. It did provide me the insight that I am capable of and enjoy the whole fixing-up-a-house-thing.
In the meantime, Milady & I had met. When the first apartment in the renovation was done (or at least nearly done), we moved in and started our living-happily-together-life. Milady got a taste of the renovating life as well, and we started dreaming about our own house. Very soon though we came to realise that if we’d ever wanted to own our dream house, we’d have to make some big decisions:
- What size of house do we want? How many rooms?
- How big a yard do we like it to have?
- Are we looking for something finished, or not at all?
And of course those are nearly mutually exclusive, so we dove headfirst into the search for something that would fulfill our space request, and delve into fixing it up ourselves. Headfirst. You can read about that search right here.
Today we’re the very proud owners of our own house. We’re working hard on making it our own home. Sometimes things go fast, sometimes things stall. That’s the way it goes. But every baby step we make, we’re getting closer.
We’ve had some things done by contractors, but let’s just say most of those were less than satisfying. That’s why I’m always trying to do as much as possible myself. That’s why I’m always trying to learn new things. That’s why I’m always trying to push my boundaries. However, I do realise I’m still no expert, so when it’s really necessary we’ll call in the cavalry, and get help.
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Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope to see you on the blog sometime soon!