This has been one of the warmest Michigan winters I can ever recall, but the days are still short, the nights still long, and the pace still slow.
Things are progressing, albeit slowly. We’re finding a new work/life/renovation balance; having this giant new project has understandably thrown us all for a bit of a loop and we’re all discovering a new rhythm.
Our electrician is still working on the upstairs outlets. I’m not extremely thrilled with the compromise that has to be made (essentially, we could either take walls down and make new runs or run external wire harnesses that look more appropriate for a corporate cubicle wall than a Victorian home). The cheap option had to win out; our renovation budget is not unlimited. For now, we’ll have to deal with ugly wiring in our bedrooms until such time as we can revisit the idea of doing electrical properly. Think 5+ years.
The hydronics fellows from Soley came by and spent an entire day pressure-testing the heating system. Based on the fact that the kitchen radiator had blown out previously due to freezing, I had a deep fear that there would be more damage to the system. My biggest fear of all was that some of the radiator pipes had burst inside the walls. Judging by the condition of the cast iron sewage pipes that were broken in the basement, it wasn’t a stretch to imagine the radiator pipes similarly degraded.
The news was good and bad: The bad news was that two more radiators were bad (Kyle’s bedroom and Lincoln’s bedroom). The good news is that replacements are relatively inexpensive and available at the Architectural Salvage Warehouse. The best news is that the pipes were all good.
Lincoln already picked up another radiator for under $150. We have a spare radiator in the basement that we’ll have to test. If it works, all we need to do is heft it up to the second floor and we’ll have a sealed system.
That means it’ll then be time to make the big move: A new condensing boiler system.
In the meantime, we have light. We have a relatively secure perimeter. The break-ins seem to have stopped the day the lights went on. We spent the weekend doing major cleaning and reorganizing. The living areas are all relatively clean. I made major progress in the basement laundry area with a shop vac. I cleaned up all the spider webs, dust, dirt, and debris and now the laundry room is actually starting to look functional. I even hooked up the washing machine and it works, although I discovered new leaks in the utility tub (Andy’s not gonna be happy about that).
The winter is long and slow, but the time is nearing when we have to start planning a move-in. In order to make the house livable, we still need to tackle two major areas: The bathroom and the kitchen.