Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Doing Our Part to Stimulate the Economy

I am thrilled to report that, despite the inauspicious beginning, Jody and I are half way through with our insulation projects. We had the water heater replaced with an HE unit and moved to a more logical position in the basement, the crawlspace underneath the 1st floor bathroom insulated, and old insulation pulled out from the sill boxes in the basement and replaced with sprayed-in foam.

Yeah, I didn't know what a sill box was, either, but I can talk a good game.

Next on the list is to have the attic air sealed, the old insulation ripped out and replaced with 14" of blown in cellulose.

To give you a picture of how badly we needed this work done, the old water heater was at least 20 years old, the 1st floor bathroom used to be a good 10+ degrees colder than the rest of the house when the door was closed, and while current building code requires that attic insulation is rated no less than R38, we've got about R6 up there. Oy.

My primary goal with all of this work is to first keep the house in good shape (read: prevent it from crumbling around our ears), with the second goal being an increase in efficiency. Apparently the attic improvements wil also keep the 2nd floor cooler in the summer, which is great, because it can really cook up there, despite the AC being cranked up.

I'm also hoping that the new attic insulation prevents new ice dams from forming (the old ones have just about completely melted away in the recent heat wave) because I swear to GOD that there is a new crack in the molding or along the wall seams every time I turn around and it is driving me absolutely BITCHCAKES.

In other house news, we had been thinking about having our garage redone. Currently, you can get a car in there, but being able to open the doors is another matter altogether. In this neighborhood, it seems like you have two choices: use your garage for storage or strip it bare to the walls so you can park you car in there.

We had given some thought to putting on a new garage, and then doing a garage with a bedroom on top, but I had a revelation about a week ago and thought what I would say if a neighbor were to undertake such a project. Since the answer to that scenario was "nothing nice," Jody and I have agreed to put that one on the back burner for the time being.

That's enough outta me for now--I'm going to go and do my impression of a Hungry Hungry Hippo.

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