Thursday, June 30, 2005

Winterizing in July

One of the things that give me a chuckle over owning an old home is that you are always preparing a season in advance.

I really like my wood stove. I've mentioned it many times, and it was great to have heat our first floor in the winter. Unfortunately, it can't accomodate the whole house, so that left Karl and I sleeping/showering in 45 degree rooms. The kids had space heaters, so they were fine. Even then, on 0 degree days, I kicked in the radiant heat to get the home to 62 degrees in the mornings (then the stove took over just fine). The gas & electric cost to run the radiant heat was $300. Now, it WAS costing us $600 before the stove, so it was still a savings. It's seems like a waste.

It really go me thinking about the upstairs. We have a loft over the main stairwell, a little over four weet wide. It is inaccessable to kids, it's in a convienient location, because it doesn't take up room there, and it doesn't require modifying the room, to put in the stove. We could punch right through to the roof, a cost savings over running double wall chimneys up from the first floor. We already have a wood supply, we already have the equipment left over from the last installation, and I even have 30 sq feet of marble left over. That's a good sized hearth pad! The best part was that the cold air return for our central air is RIGHT THERE!. To me, that's nothing but a big blower! We have the UNICO system, so instead of several small returns dispersed through the rooms, it is one large 2x3 foot return, perfect for sucking up the heat from the stove and blowing it throughout the upstairs. I suppose now it's a hot air return.

I got a great deal on the stove (Napoleon 1400s), since I called all over the US for the price. It's not as pretty as the one downstairs, but it's convienient. It has a self-closing, large ash dump (pedestal model), with handles you just pull out, which is nice since it's upstairs. The soapstone model you have to shovel out, NOT fun when the stove has a 600 degree surface temp. And, we had to put the ashes in a large steel bucket and run to the outside, since it didn't have a lid. It has a front loading door, perfect for the narrow space it will sit on. Our other one loads from the side. This model only requires a 10 inch side clearance, which the other one has an 18. And, at this point, it was a bonus to have a viewing glass.

So, with our home being 2400 square feet, and between the two stoves covering 3600 square feet, maybe I'll get to enjoy a 72 degree home after all!

Here's a pic:

napoleon 1400s

Monday, June 20, 2005

Scratch that item off my wishlist!

A while back ago, I posted that it would be so awesome to put a taxidermy peacock in our home. I couldn't afford it, so I figured it was something that I'd dream about.

Well, my mother purchased it for me as an anniversary present (thanks Mom!!!), and I've rearranged my parlour to try to give this bird the room it needs to be showcased.

peacock 002

peacock 004

Now, I just have to ditch the very un-Victorian leather sofa, to make the room complete. But, that's for another wishlist, lolol.

Friday, June 17, 2005

You know your home consumes you when...

You have damaged your wedding ring while working on the house, and had it repaired three times in two years.

Then, you get fed up and but a $15 gold band from Walmart to wear instead...

Monday, June 13, 2005

The boys' room

I finally remodeled the boys' room. This is where the servant's staircase leads to. It used to be an open stair well at the top, with a rail, but given how boys are... Well, I figured it would be better to put a wall in. As a bonus with the addition of a wall, there was room for a real closet, something Victorian homes severly lack on.

Here's the before photo, when the boys got to destroy the room because I didn't care at the time (the room looked like poo anyways) Note the blue trim paint, that is what was covering ALL of the upstairs, yummy...:

temp 030

And here's the after photo, believe it or not, just missing all that crap (sorry the color is off, the sun was REALLY bright)

boysroom 001

Here's the other side of the room (it's a nice size), with the new wall and closet.

boysroom 003

We still have some ceiling work to do in this room, but it's good enough for now.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Busy Bee

Well, everytime I go through a bad time, I have to remodel something.

Our air conditioner (in which the blower is in the attic, a UNICO system) exhaust/drain had cracked over the winter with water freezing in it. Well, the blown in insulation had soaked it up like a sponge, effectively holding all this water until it coudln't take anymore.

So, needless to say, our ceilings damaged over night. Not only that, but that cute wallpaper I just put up in our daughter's room? RUINED!

I know people say to file a claim on this, but come on. We all know that those who work on their homes can handle the damage faster than any contractor, and do a better job. So, we'll eat the cost, because I don't want to wait to have it fixed, and just to have it all fixed wrong anyway!

Here's a pic of the damage to one room:

damage2 010

So, I've decided to get busy and fix up another room (I know, dumb, but I'm so mad at that room that we just made sure to pull out the bad insulation and fix the drain, and we'll get to that stuff later.)

I redid the guest bedroom, here's a before pic:

temp 029

And the "now" pic:

damage2 006

I couldn't find a before pic of the servant's staircase, but it was blue. So, here's the "now" pic:

boysstairs 001

I'm painting the boys' room as well, so I'll post a photo when I'm finished.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The guest bedroom

I've been working on the guest bedroom. We have a young lady from Germany spending July-October with us, and I'm having a blast remodeling it.

This week I have a cold, but I'm hoping to go out tomorrow to get the paint I need for the room. I usually frequent Menard's, but I have since discovered Behr paints at the Home Depot. I really like their enamels. It's true one coat coverage. I'm going to pick up a sade of lavender that compliments the bedding set I picked up.

I also want to spruce up the main bathroom a bit. That's the one room in the house we have not touched, and I think it would do some good to put up some new wallpaper (maybe) and a coat of paint. There's old laundry hook-ups in there, and I'm going to make a cover for them, so nobody has to stare at exposed plumbing. I don't want to take the pipes down, because I don't know what I want to do with the space yet.

The bathroom used to be a bedroom before indoor plumbing was installed. So, it's HUGE, with a HUGE closet. I don't need a large closet in a bathroom, so I'm toying with the idea of recessing the washer and dryer (currently in the creepy basement) in the extra space. Who wouldn't want second floor laundry!?!

I also get Architectural Digest (dream...), and I see the neatest bathrooms in there. I've been saving the pics I like, because I don't take baths (I'm a total shower person), and I'm thinking a REALLY large shower would be great.

Anyways, that's a long way off, unless I win the lottery sometime soon. Sigh...