Friday, February 26, 2010

Continued Progress

Okay, I know I've been quiet of late, but a lot of that's been because I've been working, putting all of my housewarming gifts to good use. As I mentioned in the last painful blog, my electric bill was through the roof last month and most of that was probably due to the awesome cold weather and the major lack of insulation in my house. So off to Lowe's I went. (They have the best price on insulation in Brenham...) I purchased 8 rolls of R-13. Apparently the R factor (R-13) relates to how well the material insulates. The higher the number, the better the R factor and the cheaper your electric bill. Attics are supposed to have an R-49 for the best insulation. The walls, because they are studded with 2x4's can only accomodate R-13 fiberglass insulation. If I was unlimitedly wealthy, then I could blow in foam insulation which has a higher R-value, but let's face it, it I was unlimitedly wealthy, I wouldn't be redoing a house in the first place!!

One of the pictur
es features the new look in the kitchen with fresh insulation. Looks cheaper in there already! Actually, it's much nicer to look at clean insulation backing than it is to check out poop-ridden (sorry, but my 4th graders say show it not tell it) shoddy old stuff when working in a kitchen or any room for that matter. The other room I've been trucking away on is the living room. Slowly but surely I've been stripping all of the paint off of my built-ins in there, preparing them for new fresh paint that's free of nicotine stains! You can see signs of my slow progress in one of the pics.

You should also notice a new feature in the same picture. Working TV! I priced around and DirectTV was able to given me a killer deal on 250+ channels, including all of my guilty pleasures like G4, Sleuth, and then some others for visitors like Sprout and Disney. I must say I love having some connection to the rest of the world again.

The last picture (for me to describe, not necessarily in order) is of new electrical accomplishments in my house. Granted, I technically had NOTHING to do with them, but I'll brag on them all the same. Over a couple of days, Marc and Sara worked to rewire the entire
living room, removing old fixtures and replacing them with new holes and doing some specialty rewiring on the outlets. On two outlets, I now have them split so that the top outlet works off a wall switch and the bottom outlet is always hot. This means I can plug lamps into the wall and use them to light the way, during them on and off at doorways, instead of the harsh overhead lights. This is huge for me. (Not a big fan of overheads in case you can't tell. That and the fact that the room had two separate overheads with different switches on opposite sides of the room!!) The other big electrical addition will be great next Christmas. I have an outlet outside in my eave specifically for plugging in Christmas lights. The best feature about that is that it connects to a switch behind my interior door on the inside of my house. Yup, that's right. I can stay warm and toasty on the ground inside my house while turning my Christmas lights on and off outside!

Now, there is one picture that might seem a little odd looking. That was pulled out of my attic, from what I understand, laying on the insulation. While fiberglass insulation may not burn, the paper backing on it will and I'm pretty certain there are a few other things in my attic that would be more than happy to light up! For those of you not in the know, someone (not this owner) apparently took a something-something wire and spliced to to a something-something else wire to send electricity somewhere else in the house. While electricians splice wires often, (I think - else why give it a special name?), I also pretty sure that you're supposed to use wire nuts and follow code and make sure that no bare electrical wires are left exposed!! The joys of home-ownership...