Showing posts with label neil kelly. Show all posts
Showing posts with label neil kelly. Show all posts

Friday, October 18, 2013

Done and done.

Well, our insulation is in. It was very stressful. And messy. Between weeks of the electrician and this project, I'd like to never have a sweaty man in my attic again.

The attic before

I've learned a lot from this whole project:
  • I shouldn't schedule big projects for the summer. Because I am the type of person who can only focus on one thing at a time, this project (and worrying about it) usurped everything else from July onward. I didn't enjoy my garden this summer because I was worried about it getting trampled. I couldn't blog, read blogs, or focus on anything fun because there was fretting to do!
  • I shouldn't be in the house when projects like this are going on. It's better for everyone if I just go into the office instead of working from home and stressing the whole time.
  • If you are working from home, the workmen will use their radar to sense which room you're taking a conference call in, then work directly above you with as much hammering and boom-boxing as possible. Don't try to change locations, they'll just follow you. Loudly. It reminded me of this McSweeney's piece, "An Imaginary Conversation Between the Construction Workers Upstairs From Me."

We did the insulation in two parts: the attic and crawlspaces in September and the walls in October. I wanted to hold off on the walls as long as possible because I had to remove all the plants around the foundation of the house.

The first snafu came immediately. I'd been given a number of different options by Neil Kelly, one that included removing all of the old insulation from the attic. I chose this option because we had so much debris in the attic from when the last roof was installed. It seemed like a fire hazard and I wanted a clean slate. 

The problem? They sent me the contract that didn't include removal and neither of us noticed. So they didn't schedule the guys to do it and my financing didn't include it. I really didn't want to redo my financing and put up with that awful man at Umpqua Bank condescending to me. Neil Kelly came down on the price a little bit but I still had to come up with $1200 on the spot.

But I had a nice clean attic for one morning.

I hope we never need to access any wires in the attic because everything is buried in 18 inches of pink stuff.

The wall insulation required that they remove the siding, drill a hole in each bay, then shoot insulation into it.

In the kitchen the old fan in the ceiling was removed.

And patched.

And I sold the old Pryne Blo Fan on eBay. For $26. Oh well.

And now we have a practically normal looking kitchen ceiling.

There were some other mishaps during installation, like a broken window and an orange soda spilled all over the basement walls and carpet, which required a visit from a carpet cleaner. There was a nicked wire that required an electrician visit. All of these things are normal course-of-work things and they were fixed. My only beef at this point with the whole process was that contract issue.

On the outside wall of the dining room, where I removed the electrical panel, there's the old access box. We have proof that we're snug as a bug.

Now I can finally get to work on the important stuff: getting the thousand or so plants I bought between July and now in the ground. Whew.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Garden bloggers' bloom day October 2013

 The blooms are in there somewhere.

How about the coloring on that dogwood?

I told the insulation installers that I would murder them if they harmed my babies so they staged my yard like a murder scene.

Touche, Neil Kelly. Touche. Be sure to check out real posts of real flowers at May Dream Gardens. Thank you, Carol!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dream big, baby.

Greg and I have a running joke. He asks me what I'd do if I won the lottery and I always reply, "I'd put insulation in the attic." And I really would. We have some loose insulation in the attic that doesn't do much to keep the heat out of the house in the summer. If I won the lottery I'd apply to be on This Old House, fan-girl over Tommy, have them fix everything in the house, and then live there forever. I'd finally buy that black daphne too.

Greg and I are taking a bit of a step and he is investing in the house. He's going to pay for some big stuff, like installing insulation and updating the electrical.

I contacted Clean Energy Works a while back to an energy audit on the house and draw up a bid for making our house more energy efficient. The proposal includes insulation in the attic, floors, and walls, as well as gap sealing. We're going to be working with Neil Kelly. It's one of those things where we need the electrical upgraded before we go blowing in insulation in the attic, so I've found an electrician to do the work. The harder thing has been finding time where he can get it done. I took off to California this weekend for my niece's birthday and Greg texted me that the electrician was mapping out the electrical in the house and "it makes no sense."

Tell me something that I don't know.

So yeah, we're having him pull all of the old original Romex (the cloth covered wire that disintegrates every time you touch it) with new Romex and wiring everything in a way that makes sense. He's also going to do fun things like put the microwave on its own fuse so the lights don't dim when you run it.

All of this is to say that I've been so busy trying to coordinate with a busy electrician and keep the house supplied with cool beverages and Romex that I neglected to take photos of the Casa Blanca lilies that came and went. They smelled nice.

I did have the wherewithal to create a drinking/bathing station for pollinators. (Do I want to know why there's a rock pie in the veggie beds? Greg asked. No, you probably don't.)

So yeah, July was here. I put some rocks in a pie pan. Have you accomplished anything bigger?