Wednesday, April 11, 2012

If you Give a House a Repair

Do you know those kids' books, If You Give a Moose a Muffin and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie?

If not, what you need to know is that if you give a moose a muffin, then he'll want something else, and if you give him the something else, then he'll want something more, and if you give him the something more, then he'll want another thing, and if you give him other thing, then he'll want yet another thing, and so on. It's like the old for want of a nail the horse was lost thing, except it's backwards; that is, the thread isn't about lack, but about having/getting something, and that causing further desire.

My house is feeling like that lately:

I have a deck, but it has problems, so I asked the handyman to come look at it and think of some ideas, and so on. He did. And while he was doing that, he noticed (quite rightly), that the roof is in really bad shape.

So I called the roofing contractor, who came out (well, a couple of them) to give me an estimate, and said that yes, the roof really IS in bad shape (and showed me pictures from up there), and said that when you're having roofing done, it's an ideal time to have an energy audit, and then you can hire someone to add insulation.

So I called the energy audit guy, and he did the audit, which was pretty disappointing (but his toys made me oh so jealous! I love the infrared reader thingy!) because my house loses heat badly.

So when I get his report, I need to call an insulation contractor and have them do a proposal to do the work that's most cost effective for the roofing portion, and so on. (Some things are more cost effective for heating and cooling than others.)

But, the energy audit guy had to turn off the furnace to do the energy audit thing (because they suck air out of the house with a fan and then can tell where more cold air is entering from outside or moving around inside). And when he turned the furnace back on, it didn't come on.

So then I had to call the furnace company and ask them to send someone out. And he came, and then the furnace was more or less working, so he serviced it, and gently reminded me that I needed to change the filter, too, and also get the air conditioning serviced once it's warm enough outside.

So then I went to the store to get a filter, and remembered also that a number of people (including the energy audit guy and some friends) have told me that it's not too hard to put in a programmable thermostat, and if I do, it will be more efficient.

So I bought a programmable thermostat at the store.

And now I need to either woman up and put it in myself (which means turning off electricity somewhere, mostly, and doesn't look all that hard), or call and ask the handyman to come put it in for me.

And that's how getting ready to get an outside deck repaired can lead to a probable hospitalization for electrocuting myself. Or not. I really hope not. Remind me to get a really small screwdriver, though!


  1. Aren't you sorry you even thought about the deck?


    Our furnace started dying in the fall, so we called about replacement. And if you're going to replace a furnace, you might as well replace the A/C. And if you're going to replace them, you really ought to have an energy audit, because there's a rebate program. So you'd better sign up for the rebate program so you can get a rebate for the stuff AND for some of the costs of the energy audit.

    That was four months of our lives we'll never get back, but we not only have all that done, we even replaced our front door (which, if we'd thought about it, we'd have tried to do before closing the energy audit, but we didn't have the money at the time).

    I am NEVER giving that pig a pancake after this experience, let me tell you!

  2. Very moose a muffin indeed!

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  4. Please note: if you leave spam for contracting or repair stuff, I'll just delete it. Comment moderation kicks in after a week or so.

  5. Actually, I'm really, really glad that the handyman looked at the roof and spotted a problem, because it will be WAY cheaper to get a roof reshingled than to deal with water damage inside all the walls!

    And the deck will also be safer. And if I have additional insulation put in, and do the thermostat, then I'll save some money and contribute a little less to the depletion of natural resources and global warming.

  6. Ah yes, the joys of home maintenance. Needed a new garbage disposal, got a revamped kitchen...

  7. I think this is most like "If You Give a Pig a Party" ;)