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Monday, October 30, 2006

two week recap plus future planning

Well, our project at work has been delivered. I could use a few days' rest and recuperation time, but freedom is pretty awesome by itself (I came into the office today and a coworker saw me and said, "So, how does it feel to finally be free?").

So I suppose now it's time to let you all know what's been happening, hey?

Well. Newsflash: it's autumn. Late autumn. So it's been getting cold. You might remember that we gutted our dining room and family room back in May. Guess where the thermostat was? Since we thought that we'd have a lot more done by now, we never anticipated needing to actually put the old thermostat back on. So when it finally got cold enough that we needed to turn on the heat, a couple of weeks ago, we dithered about it until Don finally got up the motivation to try to wire everything back together. Mind you, he's no stranger to thermostat wiring -- we successfully installed one of those fancy-dancy programmable thermostats in the old house -- but he simply hadn't bothered to make note of which wire went where when he took it down, since we thought we'd have HVAC by now.

Needless to say, he couldn't get it to work. Fortunately, his mom sent his dad over, who promptly fixed it for us. Whew! Then we turned the radiators on, setting the thermostat to bring the house to about seventy degrees.

At one in the morning, we woke up to a house which was about ninety degrees. The radiators hadn't turned off. And then we discovered that the windows in our bedroom don't open. Sigh. So, after having a screaming fight, fiddling with the thermostat, and spending an hour sitting in the living room in our underwear with all the windows and the front door flung open, we turned the breaker for the furnace off. Because, as it turns out, that's the only way to get the radiators to turn off. So, since neither of us ever gets home early enough to, say, turn the radiators on to heat up the house for the evening before turning them off before bed, we don't use the radiators now. And our house is very cold.

Mom, if I never properly thanked you for buying me that gigantic down duvet for Christmas many years ago, believe me, I'm thanking you now.

So as you might guess, our plans to get HVAC put in have suddenly become much more urgent. Fortunately, when Don's dad came over to rewire the thermostat that day, he took a look around and yelled at us. Normally it is not so fortunate when someone yells at you, but in this case, once he finished yelling, he informed us that he was going to press-gang Don, and the two of them were taking down that wall, dammit.

"That wall, dammit" is the wall in between the dining room and the family room. They're going to build little temporary walls and take down the wall and then put in a big header beam, and we will have a gigantic open space. And Don's dad says it will only take a weekend. They're also going to open up the large doorway in between the dining room and the living room.

The big change to the plans (other than the fact that we are actually DOING SOMETHING) is that we are not going to tear down the kitchen wall. Or rather, not right now. We're going to cut in a doorway, so that we can go directly from the kitchen to the dining room. Just a normal sized doorway, nothing special. It'll be right where the door opening will be in the eventual finished room (between the future breakfast bar and the future built-in bookcases, no less). Once Don and his dad have taken down the dining room/family room wall and opened up the living room doorway, the HVAC people are going to come in and do their thing -- and we are taking the radiators OUT. Then we're going to ignore the kitchen, while we finish the dining room, family room, and living room (the doorway from the kitchen to the dining room allows us to finish the dining room, since we'll be able to use it as a dining room if we can get to it easily from the kitchen).

I realize that a lot of this doesn't make sense unless you've seen our house and/or its floorplan. But that's not what's important here. What's important is that this is actually happening. In two weeks. Seriously. I mean, not all at once. But Don and his dad are going to be doing their thing the weekend after this coming one (Don's got a fraternity initiation to go to this weekend, or they'd be doing it sooner). And Don is working on getting some HVAC quotes so that those people can come in as soon as he and his dad are done. Yay! Progress!

And yes, we're getting the roof replaced. More on that another day.

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