If today was any sort of indication as to how this whole process is going to go, hold on people! WOW. You hear of the horror stories about people who buy a house and then a few days after it's all official they realize their plumbing busted or their heater explodes...I thought we were about to become the next stars of TVs hit 'Renovation Reality'. We got to the house this morning and realized the house was much colder than it should be. The thermostat read a balmy 54 degrees. 54F outside is one thing, break out the bikinis and fill the pool...54 in the house, WAY TOO COLD! With wind chills soon to be approaching -60 and colder this was a scary moment...think frozen pipes, water everywhere, mass chaos, crabby wife...you know, apacolyptic type conditions.
Crisis was adverted. Apparently the previous owners had practically run the fuel oil dry causing the heat to shut off in the middle of the night when we were not there. Just as I was trying figure out which of my organs we can sell to replace our heater, Joe whips out his tool set, pulls something here, wrenches something there and the heater starts 'bleeding'. If you don't know, when a fuel oil tank runs out, it's not as simple as just putting some more oil in, trust me, we tried; you need to 'bleed the line'. It's really not as graphic as it sounds. Air has to be released from the line to allow fuel oil back in. The oil that pours out is a reddish tint, hence 'bleeding the line'...clever individual that thought that one up. A few minutes later it kicked back on and we were cookin' with gas!...or heating with oil in this case but that just sounds lame.
We have also invested in an infrared heater for our main floor to help offset the fuel oil costs. We are totally fine with paying a bit more in electric than having to pay an arm and a leg, even both legs to fill the fuel oil tank. When I first heard how these heaters actually work I was a bit leery...look it up, it's interesting, but it works like a charm and keeps the main floor toasty.
The next big piece of news is our flooring. We had wanted to save the original floors by staining or simply sealing them. Ya, not so much anymore. At some point in time since the house was built in the 1930's some patch work has been done in the flooring but whoever did it didn't 'feather' the new pieces in with the old, they just cut a square and laid new wood in that square and that square only, it's hideous. We had our contractor come over to the house to look at the floors and tell us his opinion on them, if they are salvageable, if it's worth it, etc. End of story is we are no longer refinishing but laying completely new flooring over the ENTIRE main floor, tearing out some window framing and replacing to making it match the era of the house, taking down some wall coverings and doing some sheetrocking. I tell ya what, if you ever hire a contractor or do any sort of home-reno, be careful...it snowballs SO QUICKLY. If we didn't catch ourselves we would have ended up with an addition, a pool and an indoor basketball court. We're super excited about it all though, it will look like a COMPLETELY different house!