They took a shortcut to their dream house

Renovating an old timbered farmhouse from the inside out is a labor of love that takes time. But that didn’t stop Emma and Sebastian Åström from realizing their dream of a life in the country. And, thanks to pre-painted exterior cladding, they are managing to save both time and money!

Text Eva Rydinger Published 25 March 2024

PhotoVictor Lundberg

Emma and Sebastian Åström are renovating an old farmhouse in the small village of Butsjöböle outside Örnsköldsvik - far from the noise of neighbors and children bouncing on trampolines. Beekeeping, chickens and maybe even a goat are now the things on Emma’s wishlist. They have been working hard for around a year, and hope to move in by next summer. Inside, everything has been ripped out, and the next job on the list is tackling the windows and the outer facade.

“When we first saw the house there were torn curtains hanging in the windows and the yard was totally overgrown, so we knew it was deserted. But we tracked down the owner and asked if she wanted to sell”, says Emma.

“The house was moved here at the end of the 19th century. We found the year 1863 written on a log in the attic”, says Sebastian.

A house should breathe

When Emma and Sebastian began renovating, they needed to access the timber frame to check that the house could breathe and was in sound condition. They therefore removed everything - both inside and out - and are totally replacing the exterior cladding.

“Everything was crooked. We also removed the black lining from the 50s, as it could have contained asbestos. Now that we are preparing for the new facade there’s a lot of battening required before we can add the materials that will help our house to breathe”, says Emma

Pre-painted exterior cladding

Emma and Sebastian have chosen to use pre-painted exterior cladding from Norra Timber in order to save both time and money. Factory-painted cladding can be installed regardless of the weather and requires less maintenance during the facade’s lifetime.

“It is important to remember that time is money. Now we can install the cladding whenever we want, regardless of the weather. And you know what Swedish summers are like”, laughs Emma.

“Even if it costs a little more for the material than if you paint it yourself, this is a smarter choice. We didn’t want to risk renting scaffolding for a long time, and now bad weather doesn’t matter”, says Sebastian. 

Maintenance and Quality

Emma, who has previously trained as a painter, familiarized herself with what it would mean to work with pre-painted cladding. The CMP (Certifierad Målad Panel = certified painted cladding) quality guarantee convinced her. CMP ensures high demands are placed on raw materials, the color, moisture levels and the surface treatment process. This means the cladding also has a longer life. The paint is applied in full-coverage layers, with just the right thickness of paint used under optimal conditions - resulting in a perfect finish that is even and uniform.

“We didn’t know at first that you could buy pre-painted cladding, but it sounded like a good idea. One reason why we chose Norra Timber’s cladding is that it comes with a quality guarantee. It is essential to check that there is the right level of humidity when the cladding is painted, and that the itself wood is of the highest quality”, says Emma.

“We have chosen to put up similar cladding as there was before on the house. We don’t want it to look new, but we do want it to look fresh. We also took a color sample of an old panel in order to get the same color on the new ones. Feel free to follow our renovation journey on Instagram @butsjogard”, concludes Sebastian.