Home Renovation – The Plunge
Over two years ago we started collecting high-end Andersen windows from Home Depot that we reduced in price for whatever reason. (we only had one problem with this method, but that’s a story in itself) This was our way to get started without breaking the bank. After all, the windows were going to be one of the most expensive material costs.
The summer of 2005 we didn’t do much physical work, but we did get serious about the design. (the pool table really was not going to fit) Using the various windows we collected, we figured out where they might go. (We were hoping we cold get something to work) It wasn’t completely hap-hazard… we came up with a design that required the purchase of just one more window and I started to put everything down on graph paper.
We also started to figure about how we might heat it. We considered extending the current hot water baseboard heat, but we had concerns about freezing pipes. We considered radiant heat, but I wasn’t in love with the idea because of installation issues and because we didn’t know what the floor was going to be. I knew I had to insolate the concrete slab from the actual floor somehow; plus the radiant heat seemed expensive and I wasn’t sure I could do it myself.
The ambiance of a fireplace or wood stove was appealing. However, because wood stoves or fireplaces require lots of maintenance and the risk of fire hazard goes up when running it all the time, not to mention the temperature swings and the fact that I want it warm when I sat down on Sunday morning with my coffee ruled that option out quickly.
There are other wall heaters we could go with, some efficient, some not; but we were looking for ambiance, not another eye sore.
We looked into natural gas burning, direct vent, wood stoves, such as the ones from Jotul. (pronounced, YO-dull) They have the BTU’s, and they have the ambiance and are low maintenance. They are moderately efficient and can work on a programmable thermostat. This could possible be the solution, but where would it go? Is it truly feasible to install? Well, because of a “spring sale”, we made a hasty decision and bought one last year and hoped the project would be far enough along in the fall to install it. Of course, we weren’t ready and the stove served as an end table for 1 ½ years.
It was, however, enough motivation to break ground, and in the Summer of 2005, I started by ripping the siding off the inside wall.
So I had a load of lumber for framing, the windows, and a beautiful summer. So, what did I do…?
I guess I wasn’t really serious about this project…
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