Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Winter Plans

Now that the ground is covered with snow and will probably stay that way for the next month and a half, it is time to focus inward. No, not metaphorically-although that is a nice thing to do this time of year-but inside the house! I have spent so much time and energy around here focused outside, on the gardens and the chickens and the woods. The house got lots of attention last winter, what with all the painting I did before I ran out of steam and the earth warmed up enough to work, and it is time to finish up those projects and work on new ones.

The biggest deal around here has been the new heating system and the weatherizing of the house to go along with it. You just can't spend that kind of money and not be sure that heat is staying in the house! We have plans for more work in that area, but not till next fall, when we get some more insulation in the attic. C is feeling sucked dry financially right now, so we are giving his savings account a chance to recover before laying out anymore major cash on insulation.

So, other than some cosmetic taping of seams on the insulation in the basement, the big thing left to do, related to the heating system, is to rip up the carpet in the dining room. What fun! My house is going to be an absolute wreck for a month. I have half the room emptied, and it is already a mess. I still have to take the books off the shelves-what? you don't have a library's worth of books in your dining room, too?-, pack them in boxes, move the shelves out, pull back the carpet, remove the tacking strips and staples for the pad, patch and sand the sub floor, paint it and seal it, and then put all the furniture back! Whew! I'm tired just thinking about it and my back is slowly backing away shaking it's head with a look of horror on it's face.

Why do all that and what does it have to do with radiant heating systems? Well, carpet acts as an insulator and if the R-value of your floor+pad+carpet is higher than the R-value of the insulation you have below the heat, the heat won't travel up into your floors and the room you are trying to heat. So, up must come the carpet. Who puts carpet in dining rooms anyway? Almost as bad as in a bathroom! We are only going to paint the floor as a temporary measure until I find the perfect oak flooring to match the rest of the house. I want it to be reclaimed and finished the same way, with linseed oil, not polyurethane, so finding it might take a while. Hence the paint plan.

Also, on my winter house list is to finish all the basement projects, which include sealing the floor with a waterproofing product (any recommendations or experience there?), painting over the sealer in certain areas like the studio, finish painting the walls, install shelves for the pantry goods and holiday decorations, organize the workshop tools and all the art/sewing supplies in the studio, move the (full!) freezer and design the root cellar.

Then, upstairs, I need to finish painting all the trim in the house, paint both bathrooms, make/buy and install window treatments on all the windows, design an actual style for my living room, instead of the hodge podge I have now, hang pictures, organize and accessorize the girls room, organize and rearrange the office, including file or dump a million random pieces of paper. A few more houseplants would be nice, too.

Not to mention the luge run in the yard that must be perfected, assuming we get enough snow to do so! Oh, and somewhere in there we need to finish building the igloo we started New Year's Eve. And if it is not too much to ask, can I have time to knit a few things, mostly just projects that need to be finished? You think I can get it all done before the spring comes and the dirt starts calling my name?

Who said winter was a time for rest?


Tara W. said...

Holy crap Miranda! I hope you have it all done before we get there. ;) All I want to do right now is read, knit and sew. Of course, I have tons to do in terms of sorting, packing, selling and moving...But it sounds like nothing compared to your projects!

If you email what your basement floor is made of, I can ask Justin about sealing it.

Annette said...

So what are you going to do in your spare time? ;)

Anonymous said...

If ANYONE can get all that done, it would certainly be you!