It’s cold and snowy, but we plow ahead

Week – 50  Joe

After the excitement of finally connecting to the service panel last weekend, we naively thought we be able to get all the lights on that very same weekend.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.  Then we experienced a frustrating week of sub zero temps and a broken furnace that made work slow and somewhat painful.  The end of the electrical project is so close we can finally see the finish line, but it seems like we will never get there.  I’m sure other rehabbers would understand, that final 10% of each stage is agonizingly long, difficult, and tedious.

[Edit from Amy: While it doesn’t seem like we have accomplished much this past week we actually have done a lot of work when you go back over it! I for one have been very excited about making up all my electrical boxes one by one until I am able to turn on the light. This has admittedly been tedious for sure (and cold) but gratifying nonetheless.]

I normally love winter. [Edit from Amy: I do not.]  I thoroughly enjoy the snow, cold, and wearing winter clothes.  But, I do NOT enjoy winter when I am renovating a house, the temperature is barely above zero, and the furnace isn’t working.  It is especially frustrating when the work we are currently doing involves being in one place and working with our bare hands on cold pieces of metal while trying to do intricate wiring.

This was actually a relatively warm day

This was actually a relatively warm day

Yes, we have a new furnace – but it has only been working when the temperature is above freezing.  Amy and I can handle being in the house when it is 30-40 degrees.  No problem. Just put on extra layers and we are all good.  But once it gets into the 20’s (or lower) it makes working with your hands for more than hour near impossible.  Today the hvac guys came and fixed the furnace and also connected the 2nd floor furnace.  Now we have double heat and should be warm from here on out!  That is a small, but important morale booster for us!  Despite the promise of a heated house, I am still officially ready for spring.

Amy was been busy this week making up all the boxes so that we have working lights and outlets.  Most of these are pretty straight forward, but it is still tedious work.  My projects for the week included installing new porch lights, exterior outlets, and exterior security lights.  Trying to do these tasks with the cold weather numbing my hands put me in a cranky mood.  I did take advantage of one of the warmer days we’ve had (about 30 degrees) to install new boxes for porch lights.  The balmy temperatures meant I could shed the gloves and maybe somewhat enjoy the work.

I worked on the porch during the snowfall

I worked on the porch during the snowfall…  It was kind of nice, actually.

The functioning porch lights are only the second exterior item (after the windows) that show any proof of renovation happening on the house.

Porch lights ON!

Porch lights ON!

The security lights were not much fun.  Once again, I find myself disliking electrical work just because of the ridiculous installation designs.  Someone, somewhere, in a sterile work environment, free of any imperfections or oddities, designs security lights that can only easily be installed in perfect weather, standing on the ground (as opposed to a ladder), with absolutely no variables that one would actually find in real-world construction.  I will spare you all the details, but let’s just say I was not a happy camper by the time I got home. Yes, I did get the security lights installed and they work just fine.  But I’m still angry about it. [Edit from Amy: It does feel nice to have motion sensor lights up and running. Leaving the porch lights on at night also add to the security of our previously dark house.]

Motion sensor light for backyard

Motion sensor light for backyard

Next up, the exterior outlets.  When I sat down to cut the holes for the boxes I got about an inch cut before my blade snapped. [Edit from Amy: Par for the course.] And, of course, it was my last remaining jigsaw blade.  The downward mood spiral continued.

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom this week!  Things improved and we began to see the fruits of our labor.  Check out all this new lighting!

Recessed lights in the kitchen

Recessed lights in the kitchen



Playroom and hallway

Playroom and hallway

Dining room

Dining room – 3″ recessed lights and a temporary center fixture

Parlor - 3" recessed lights and temporary flush mount

Parlor – 3″ recessed lights and temporary center fixture

Accent lighting over the fireplace

Accent lighting over the fireplace

Here is our humble cottage with some really bright porch lighting!  I wonder how long it has been since this porch has been lit at night.

Maybe a little TOO bright?  I guess we'll tone it down a little

Maybe a little TOO bright? I guess we’ll tone it down a little

Our spirits are high today.  Yesterday I met with the insulation guy to walk through the house and talk through any little items we need to take care of before they do their work.  We found out today that our last remaining window has arrived and our carpenter is free to install it this weekend.  That means full insulation next week and hopefully drywall the following week.

It really will happen.


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