Saturday, May 23, 2015

Our Next House

My email, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts have been filled today with well wishes. My thanks to each you for touching base on my birthday. I thought I would use the occasion to give you an update on our physical move. It is only about three miles from the old homestead, which is now in the hands of my daughter and her family.

We are figuratively ‘bruised and bloodied’ but finally in our next house. I’m not calling it home yet because there is still a lot to do before it feels that way.

The plan had been to down size, but I think something went wrong with that plan. The house was previously owned by a professional hockey player. And I have been told the house was frequently an after game hang out, so it has taken some wear and tear. Thus, we decided to remodel and - renew the house before occupying it.

Our three month remodeling plan took about eight months, and there are still odds and ends that have to be done.  We had five destructive water events during the remolding. The first was an overflowing drip pan of an air handler installed in the attic. Then during a severe cold snap, we had an ice damn that damaged the ceiling and floors of the breakfast room. Both events did a lot of damage but were nothing compared to what we experienced during the water heater saga. It started when a traditional water heater also installed in the attic died of old age. Its tank burst sending water crashing through the ceiling and flowing down the walls of the living room and master bedroom suite. The contractor talked me into a tankless replacement so that I would never have that kind of problem ever again. Not so! After the drywall and other damage from the first water heater had been repaired, the tankless water heater froze and burst. It was déjà vu. Then the contractor recommended that I build a insulated room around the next replacement to prevent such a thing from ever happening again. Confident that the insulated room eliminated all risk of another frozen water heater, we went ahead with the installation of  new subflooring and carpet. The temperature outside dropped. The replacement of the replacement of the replacement froze and burst despite its protective new insulated room. In came the big fans again. Freshly painted dry wall was removed along with light fixtures, portions of the carpet, and subflooring. All had to be replaced, restored, and repainted. It déjà vu all over again!

This time I remembered the old saying “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” It turned out the tankless water heaters were installed in such a way that when the lights in the attic were turned off so was the power to the water heater. Which I later learned later, if installed properly, would remain unfrozen even at 30 degrees below zero.

That was the last straw when it came to a water heater in the attic. You see we already had a second traditional water heater in the garage. The only thing the one in the attic did was serve the master bedroom bath. “Guys, we are downsizing! Why in the world would two people need two water heaters?  I wish the contractor had thought of that instead of “an insulated” room. We rerouted the plumbing of the master bath to connect to that already existing other water heater—and finally I can say “We will never have to deal with that kind of problem ever again!”

We did get something out of this that most people don’t have—a nice insulated room in the attic. It is empty. The tankless water heater that once called it home is only a bad memory.

More to come—We were robbed!

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