Despite the large amounts of snow we’ve gotten the past 36 hours, yesterday I had to go and dig out our car and visit our house in Hyde Park. I wanted to go and check up on the furnace and condensate pump, and to just do a general check on all the bathrooms/sinks.
Knowing as little as I do about furnaces and furnace repair, I employed the one skill I bust out whenever my car isn’t behaving properly: I open things up, and I stare. I’ve seen several episodes of Sherlock, so I was convinced that through the sheer power of observation, I could fix the thing.
Prior to today, we’ve been running individual heaters in the kitchen and bathrooms. With the temperatures sometimes dipping into the single digits and no heat, we needed these in place to prevent our pipes from freezing. We even went so far as to throw in some antifreeze, anticipating some really cold days ahead.
With the new house, it’s kind of weird to find myself getting excited by things that should provide no excitement for me. Watching “Ask This Old House” used to be something I’d do while lying on the couch on a Saturday, too hung over to change the channel. Now, we can’t wait to watch new episodes.
After work, Bob and I met up to work on the gas lines some more. We discovered that we were missing a “T” that we needed, so Bob mentioned that it might be “an EQ” for us. Turns out, EQ stands for “Early Quit.” So instead of installing more pipe, we ended up cutting and prepping for when we’d return next.
Our house (and the building next to us) were built right along the property lines – so we are super close to our southerly neighbors. That brick is their wall, believe it or not.
A pipe vice, which holds pipe in place. The chain loops over each piece, and you tighten it down with the crank. It holds pipe remarkably well which, I guess, is to be expected… but it was super sturdy. There’s a small bit of metal that connected this to the joists above, so the entire thing wasn’t moving anywhere anytime soon.
If I had my guess, I’d say these keys are from the 50’s or 60’s, and in the neighborhood of 50+ years old. I’m delighted by the fact that someone simply *lost* them in the basement, where they’ve sat all these many years… only to be found by us, decades later.
Bob, working on spraying the wood and floorboards. We’re holding off on the walls and floor, since we want to clean things with a power sprayer. But we’re going to have a plumber come in and install some floor drains, and then we can really give the place a proper cleaning.
A clean basement! The eventual goal is to relocate the furnace over in the corner, and open up the basement a lot more.
We spotted some videos online of people using a heat or infrared device to strip paint. Instead of slathering chemicals over the paint, these devices supposedly heat the paint and allow for easier separation.
Stripping paint has its dangers – the primary one being splinters that find their way through latex gloves. Here Liz is receiving some emergency surgery from Bob (aka Dr. Robuston Bean).
Last night Liz and I went to the house after work, and spent a few hours stripping paint from the trim. We were a little uncertain if we would try to keep all the wood, as some of it is original and some of it was kind of “throw in” after the fact. But on closer inspection, we think that a lot of the wood in our place is yellow pine – something that’s rare, and harder to find nowadays (I think).
I cannot emphasize how dirty and disgusting the attic was. Liz and Julie braved the upstairs using Tyvek suits and masks, but from what they reported – the floor was littered with mouse pee and poop. There was a ton of junk up in the attic, and the mice/squirrels just had a field day with it all.
Spent Friday night with Liz, roaming the aisles of Home Depot. As many have told us, I’m expecting this to become our new favorite store. Although, given that we’re spending around $100 per trip… supplies really add up! We’re trying to be conscious of what all we purchase, as it seems like 10 small trips could easily see us spending $1,000. It’s crazy how quickly everything adds up.