Do-it-yourself home renovation – window replacement, internal insulation, heating modernization, new bathroom, kitchen, wardrobe – cold and warm flooring

Besides general home renovations – such as replacing cold and warm flooring, kitchen cabinets, and sanitary ware – a crucial point was to create a low utility cost home.


Because of this, modern plastic insulated glass windows with shutters were installed, and the previous convector heating, open combustion bathroom heating, and the open flow-through domestic hot water unit were replaced with a single condensing boiler.

Since there is zero chance for common facade insulation in the apartment building in the near future, 10cm thick glass wool internal insulation was installed on the enclosing walls, with a vapor barrier heat reflective foil and drywall covering.

The transformation of the entrance hall:



In the bathroom, the requirement was that instead of a bathtub, a shower was more suitable, and due to the small floor area, the space freed up by the bathtub allowed for a top-loading washing machine.

Bathroom, replacing the bathtub and water heater with a shower cabin:


Since a shower cabin was being installed, in addition to a handheld shower, there is also the possibility for a rain shower and massage shower function. Additionally, it provides lighting, ambient lighting, and a radio. The intercom function of the stairwell was not connected.

Replacing the open combustion ceramic heater in the bathroom with a combi condensing boiler and radiator:


Considering the price-value ratio, the choice fell on the Ariston Genus Premium Evo 24kW combi condensing boiler because its modulation range is from 10-100%, meaning it can also heat with one-tenth of its maximum capacity. Compared to a 50-100% modulation range boiler, it can run quietly and continuously at low power during transitional periods, while a boiler with a higher minimum modulation will turn on and off more frequently and be louder due to the higher lower power. It is worth mentioning that a 53m² apartment could be heated with a 6kW mini boiler; these boilers are so powerful to provide sufficient performance for on-demand hot water usage.

The three-panel radiators placed in the rooms facilitate operation with low-temperature supply water, as the boiler efficiency is higher with a lower return water temperature. Ideally, underfloor heating would have been installed, but this proved to be a simpler and cheaper solution. Experienced professionals say about the three-panel radiator, why buy it (it’s expensive, heavy, and thick, ugly), is there a month when it might be needed? – It’s not a big deal that for one month the boiler doesn’t condense due to the higher water temperature. You can endure that one month of higher bills. True, but we buy the radiator for at least 20 years and gas prices may come to a point where we say it’s too much.

The transformation of the bathroom:



As an economical solution, two sets of Praktiker Malaga kitchen units were purchased during the Glamour Day sale for the kitchen. Thus, the length of the lower cabinets is 2×180, and the length of the upper cabinets is 2x240cm, with door panels made of tabac sonoma oak patterned chipboard. The countertop pieces provided with the sets were not used, as it was assumed that a freestanding stove and a full-cabinet sink would be installed. Instead, the choice was made for a more elegant built-in gas cooktop, Ikea-Whirlpool electric oven, and built-in sink, thus a thicker high-gloss white continuous countertop from Obi was placed on the lower cabinets.

The transformation of the kitchen:


The old and the new kitchen sink:


I won’t go into the details of the reverse osmosis water purification system now. Basically, it filters out everything larger than a water molecule, so there’s no need to carry mineral water from the store, and it has no aftertaste, unlike some mineral waters, and with a sodastream, the finest soda water can be made. When boiling, there is no limescale build-up, and during filter replacement, you can marvel at what was in the filter, what we have been drinking so far.

Reverse osmosis water purifier under the sink:


During the rearrangement of the double set of kitchen furniture, three narrow door panels were left out, for which a full-height corpus was made in the corner as shown in the picture below.

The kitchen renovation:


LED strip lighting installed under the upper kitchen cabinet and on the shelf with glass doors in an aluminum profile:


To use the gas cooktop according to the regulations, an Aereco – hygroscopic air inlet was installed in the plastic window, and the power supply for the extractor hood is connected through a current sensing relay, which ensures that the relay only supplies power to open the gas valve if the extractor hood is turned on, i.e., it detects current corresponding to the motor’s power. So, we can only operate the cooktop if we operate the extractor hood. If there is no power, there is no cooking with gas – hooray! Naturally, the extractor hood is ducted above the cabinet and through the wall, expelling combustion products and cooking odors from the kitchen to the outside.

The kitchen furniture, actually two sets of Praktiker kitchen furniture, slightly modified, with high-gloss countertops from Obi:


The yellow gas corrugated pipe was covered with a white cable duct because the gas can only come from above and outside the wall. There was a demand for the less aesthetic wall-mounted sockets due to their good grip. 🙂


The following picture series will blow the fuse for those who only accept external insulation. They could list the disadvantages and dangers of internal insulation for a long time – so could I. This is it. It’s worth it.
Just a few thoughts briefly:

  • Yes, the dew point moves further inside the wall, and the risk of facade freezing is higher.
    – Just like in an unheated apartment.
  • But in an unheated and unoccupied apartment, there is no vapor migration from inside to outside because there is no moisture-producing human activity.
    – Here there is moisture-producing activity, but that’s why there is a vapor barrier foil. The strongest vapor barrier is on the inner wall of the apartment, and as you move outward, it is vapor permeable, so the internal moisture does not enter the wall structure, so it does not freeze under the external plaster and does not cause it to peel off.
  • But there is a thermal bridge at the edges of the internal insulation.
    – Yes, and it’s better than if the whole wall were a thermal bridge.
  • But condensation will concentrate more on the smaller thermal bridges, and it will mold there.
    – Yes, if there were condensing moisture, but there are Aereco units on two windows, a kitchen extractor hood, and a bathroom ventilator venting into a chimney, and the bathroom has a separate louvered air inlet channel.

Insulating the external wall of the bedroom:


The herringbone parquet not only squeaked terribly but over the decades, the slag compacted well towards the center of the rooms. Because of this, the slope towards the center of the rooms was so strong that the cabinets leaned inward. Therefore, the herringbone parquet had to go. The level was adjusted with bagged dry cement, left dry – it was cheaper than bagged sand or gravel – who understands this?! Then it was covered with glued, screwed-together OSB boards.

Creating the laminate floor in the bedroom:


The Bedroom Wardrobe

A built-in wardrobe was installed along a 4.3-meter-long wall section, providing an impressive 7m3 of clothing storage.

The wardrobe’s sliding doors were made with Sevroll fittings:


From the Sevroll fittings, the rails, rollers, and door edge strips were used, but not the H-profiles that cover and hold the joints of the furniture panels. Instead of the H-profiles, the edges to be joined received 2mm ABS edging, which are glued together with flat dowels (biscuits). This gives a less metallic, softer appearance.

A clothing lift was installed along the top of the wardrobe:


Naturally, the four clothing lifts add up to over 4 meters in total.

The wire basket drawers in the wardrobe are Ikea system components:


The internal fittings of IKEA wardrobes are practical and very popular. However, these wardrobes are not built-in cabinets; the tops of the cabinets are unnecessary dust collectors, and the base section is also unnecessary, as the parquet looks good at the bottom. Thus, the Ikea accessories were placed behind Sevroll sliding doors.

The pull-out trouser rack and two-tier drawer shoe racks in the wardrobe are also from Ikea:


The Living Room

The external wall of the living room underwent similar insulation as the external walls of other rooms.

The transformation of the living room window and external wall:


Behind the radiators, that is, under the windows, only 2 cm of polystyrene was placed instead of 10 cm of fiberglass. The polystyrene is enclosed with corpus-white furniture panels everywhere.

What motivated such an action?
On the one hand, the thickness of the 3-section panel radiators is more acceptable this way, as they stand out less from the surrounding wall surface. True, the weaker insulation is the price. The use of furniture panels behind the radiator will be advantageous over time. Anyone who has seen a dirty wall behind a radiator knows what I’m talking about. Moreover, during painting, radiators are not usually removed; they are painted around. Not a pretty sight. However, a furniture panel is easy to keep clean and does not require painting over time.

The transformation of the living room:


The living room cornice received hidden RGB LED strip lighting:


For this, the electrical network was led up to the cornice to provide 230 Volt power. Inside the corner of the cornice, in a place not visible from the curtain, there is the power supply and the controller. The controller can be operated with a radio frequency remote control, allowing any color to be set, or various color play sequences to be initiated. The brightness and speed of color change can also be adjusted. It can be used as a pleasant evening mood element.

The reason for the light unevenness on the right side of the above image sequence is that the curtain clips are gathered there, and their shadows are visible on the wall.

Summary Video of the Entire Renovation


This article is merely a source of inspiration for those who feel similarly inclined to undertake a DIY renovation. Naturally, chimney lining or flue gas venting, gas installation, boiler commissioning, and electrical work required for gas use authorization must be performed by a professional. Beyond that, only individual willingness sets the boundaries.
Read up on it and do it yourself!