Friday, October 16, 2009


One of the perks of our new house that I've been looking forward to is the radiant in-floor heating on both floors. Nice warm floors, lovely to have toasty toes this time of year.
That is if we could get the heating system to work properly.

It performed beautifully for the final plumbing inspection before we moved in.

Inspector: "Your boiler's not working."
Me: "Wouldn't that be because it's what, about THIRTY DEGREES outside so we've turned the thermostat down?
Inspector: "Hmphh, I don't know. Fire it up and we'll see."
Me: Cranking thermostat up to 35.
Boiler: "Brrrrrrroooooaaar"
Me: "See, it works, nothing wrong." (Aside from the fact that we'd rather NOT be working in a sauna in the middle of summer)
Inspector: Scratches out the word "FAIL" on our inspection report & writes "Passed"
Inspector leaves
Boiler promptly dies.

Although we didn't know it for a couple of months, until after we'd moved in and the weather started getting chilly enough for us to think we might like to have just a little heat now, thank you.

According the repairman, it wasn't the boiler itself that died but one of those small box-like things attached to it by wires & pipes. A regulator I think someone called it. Anyway, it's name is irrelevant as long as it works now.

Which it only sort of did, the first night. No sign of warmth in the main floor, the boys' rooms or the rec room.
But boy was it hot-hot-hot in the master bedroom. And not in a good way.
We felt like we were being roasted alive in our bed.
And our stone-tile bathroom floor? TOO HOT TO STAND ON.
Seriously, I had to do a little dance while brushing my teeth so I wouldn't scorch my soles.

The second repairman discovered that some of the valves weren't open and weren't letting the water circulate properly. Opened them up, checked the rest. Should work now.

And it did..... for 1/2 the house. The main floor & boys' rooms? Perfect.
Our master bedroom and the rec-room below it were having issues. Both areas were swinging (slowly, this type of heat takes time to change) from feet-scorching, melting-the-candles-in-that box-I-left-on-the-floor heat to icy, where's-my-parka-what-do-you-mean-I-don't-own-one cold for no reason.
No matter how we adjusted the thermostats in those two zones, we couldn't get them to settle down to anything resembling room temperature.

It almost seemed like the thermostat downstairs was controlling the upstairs zone & the upstairs thermostat was adjusting the heat in the rooms below it.
BINGO! My theory was confirmed last Wednesday by repairman #3 who then re-wired them correctly.

Fixed now?
I wish. I'm going to have to go out and buy myself that parka because in a fit of desperation Kim has turned the heat in our bedroom completely OFF, not just the thermostat but right at the source, the boiler-room.

I'll be very glad I insisted on a fireplace in my bedroom this weekend while we wait for the.... what are we at now?... 4th visit by a repairman in 2 weeks.


I keep telling him that he should try harder to be happy with what he has.
I tell him he's just tormenting himself spending all that time on-line looking at younger, prettier models that he can't have. But still:

"Oh no, Jem! I accidentally hit the 'buy-it-now' button for this red Ferrari.

"Well Kim, I sure hope it has comfortable seats because THAT'S where you'll be sleeping."

Monday, October 12, 2009

One room down...

I've been saying for a while that one of the most frustrating things about living in a 'work-in-progress' is that not one room is completely finished.
"I don't even have a closet that I can consider finished."

Well, now I can say I have ONE finished room.
Door hung, trim installed & painted. (the splotches on the floor don't count, that's a cleaning issue, doesn't affect the 'finished' status)

Vent cover installed, walls & ceiling painted, with no dings needing to be filled. Even the ceiling light is installed, unlike my kitchen & dining room.

My Pantry is DONE.

All shelves & hangy-things installed and just a few Costco trips away from being filled.

Well, at least it's one room down.
Or am I cheating by counting a pantry as a 'room'?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Legal now

We Passed!

Finally. On our third try.

We now have an occupancy permit and are allowed to live in our house.
After being illegal squatters for 3 - 1/2 months.

Our second inspection, one week ago, was very close. We had a few issues like attic ventilation and insulation and some little things that Kim had taken care of before I even got home from work.

Two of the things we failed for were actually the inspector's mistakes.
The "missing" insulation in the attic was not over living space, but where the wall takes a jog in towards the bathroom and the roof doesn't follow. No insulation needed there.
And that "grout" around the tub where there should be silicone? That's no grout, mister.
That's "Colour-Matched, Sanded, Siliconized Acrylic Caulk".
It costs FOUR times as much as regular silicone caulk and requires a lot more swearing at it to get it applied properly and looking good. So it's staying, Mister.

Now we can spend our limited 'house-work' time on things that WE want done, not what the city inspector thinks is important.

I'm off to put some holes in the walls.
(Hanging mirrors, shelves, curtains, robe hooks....)