May 19, 2009
Last weekend our water heater sprang a leak. Not a big leak, but a leak none the less. The water heater was a rental so we phoned the utility company. They dispatched a local representative who came out to the house in a matter of hours, assessed the problem, and informed us that they would replace the unit – scheduling an appointment for the next morning. The rep. was good enough to note that the venting on old water heater would no longer meet code for a new unit, and it would need to be replaced. He explained that ‘his guys’ would replace the venting – and charge me dearly for it – or I could replace it myself. I told him I would do it myself, and thanked him for the heads-up.
I visited the DIY store that same day and purchased some lengths of 636 pipe and assorted fittings, and spent the rest of the afternoon ripping out the old vent and replacing it with the new. (more agony and joy…)
January 18, 2009
Inspiration can sometimes come from the most unlikely sources. We decided to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon cleaning up our Christmas ephemera, and as per usual, we took it as an opportunity to do some puttering. Nothing major, a little bit of putty here, a touch of paint there – those ‘touch-ups’ that help keep the house maintained.
One such chore was to clean out the closet under the stairs. We keep a good deal of seasonal stuff – decorations, old coats etc in this closet, but have never really liked it. The closet is in the centre of the house and therefore always inconvenient to use – you simply don’t step in from inside and hang up your coat. Second, the closet appears to be an afterthought in the house – not one of the original features, as the door is cheap and the trim isn’t a perfect match. As well the door opens into our dining room, for a grand door-total of four doors and one passageway. Needless to say, we’ve never really liked it. (more agony and joy…)
January 21, 2008
Over the past few weeks Project Porchlight has been distributing compact fluorescent light bulbs to local churches, community centres etc., and offering a free 13w/60w light bulb to all families. The goal of the project is to help encourage homeowners to think green, and to save energy. Project Porchlight asserts that if every Canadian household changes only one light – their “porch light” – to a new CFL, the energy savings will be the equivalent to removing 60,000 cars from the road. (more agony and joy…)
October 15, 2007
In support of blog action day, here is a small contribution.
The first winter we stayed in oldstonehouse we were quite surprised at how cold the house was, as well as how expensive it was to keep the house that ‘cold’. Our average heating bill cost about 700% more per month then our previous home – and this was to simply maintain a temperature of 18C/65F! Needless to say we were fairly determined to remedy the issue.
(more agony and joy…)
August 1, 2006
One of the more interesting discussions about our house has to do with ‘dead air space’ and energy conservation. Our house, like all others of its era, was never insulated – despite this it keeps temperature/heat quite well. Naturally it is more expensive to heat then new homes, but I was surprised to find that it wasn’t as bad as expected. An older contractor explained that the reason for this was that the house was in fact insulated somewhat with ‘dead air space’.
(more agony and joy…)