Insulation Woes

There are things that I'm very willing to do in this house remodel and things I'm not. Most things I can be convinced to help with. Some things I'm actually excited to do. And a few things I have refused. Entering the attic is one of these things. It's not that I have a fear of small dark quarters or any major phobias that would keep me from the attic. But after venturing just my head through the small hole in our closet, it just didn't feel like a place I wanted to go.

The short story about our attic is that it housed not only old insulation (blown-in, old school cellulose - tested/no asbestos), but also had dozens and dozens of old knob and tube wiring that kept the majority of our overhead lighting running.

The first thing that needed to be done was add additional insulation around the perimeter of the attic - where there was none currently. So hubby ordered like a hundred of these funny little things called baffles that help air circulation between the roof and the insulation (I think). He also ordered a bunch of huge rolls of insulation to go between the edge of the attic and the blown-in stuff.

Armed with his attic suit, handy dandy hubby braved our attic to insulate the perimeter.
Below is a picture of hubby's handmade knee pads. Yes they are duct taped to his jeans. Awesome, right? I didn't know he had made these and when I came around the corner I laughed so hard I almost fell over.
All suited up and only one place to go. After a couple of hours braving the crowded and dark corners of the attic, hubby conceded, came down and declared that all of the blown-in insulation had to go. It was basically smothering all of the old knob and tube and was a potential fire hazard. So instead of being nearly done with our attic/insulation project it was back to square one.


Cold Nights, Warm Walls

The house is covered in polka-dots on the outside with live wiring on the inside. It's PERFECT for a Halloween haunted house! It may be hard to see, but if you look closely you can see the little white polka-dots that were drilled when the insulation was blown in on Monday. They must have drilled over 10o holes in the siding.

Add the new holes to our already scraped and primed, patchy paint and it's really starting to look like a sad little house. We have promised our neighbors that it will only be an eyesore until next summer when we can paint!
Something we didn't know about blowing in insulation is that it makes a mess!! Especially if you forget to cover new electrical outlet boxes. It was pretty hilarious going around the house and seeing all of the little explosions through the walls. It's only shredded newspapers so it was easy to clean up, but a very odd site to come home to.



It all started when our inspector said 'knob and tube'. I didn't know anything about wiring - but it sounded very old and hazardous. So it was from the beginning that we knew re-wiring was in the plans.

The hardest thing about remodeling a house with your spouse (or anyone for that matter) is agreeing on things. While I want to make things pretty and live in a nice home, my husband wants to tear down ceilings, walls, and outlets and make the house efficient (or as he calls it, new and improved). It's very difficult and constant compromise. Electricity falls into this category. Not because I didn't want new electrical outlets, especially ones that wouldn't make the house go dark when I turned on the blow dryer for more than 30 seconds, but it's just not that exciting.

We did agree that we would hire a professional to put in the electrical panel and while the guy was in the house doing the bid he suggested that one of his guys come back to show hubby the ropes.

The plan was to show him how to install new outlet boxes and run the wiring for six new outlets in the bedroom. Our plan was ultimately to add new boxes and replace all old - in order to prepare for new blown -in insulation that was scheduled to be done 2-3 weeks down the road.

Hubby's first wiring tutorial went well. Two guys. Six hours. Six outlet boxes. Almost no mess!

The solo work didn't go as cleanly - but it got done in time AND there were no trips to the emergency room! I didn't do any drilling, cutting, wiring, or tearing down of walls but I did take pictures!!If at first you don't succeed, cut another hole. Or kick a hole (that's probably not what happened in the picture below - but I wonder)Darth Vader. *AC, we will return this mask to you!! Promise.
Michael tearing out the ceiling in his room (basement bungalow) so that we could run wires to the new outlet boxes upstairs.
The new electrical panel! This thing seems more than twice the size of the panel we had before. Lots of pretty new switches that mostly mean that I can run the blow dryer and toaster at the same time. Awesome, right!?


Before & After

This is my second 'Before and After' posting. I bought this lamp at Second Use in SoDo (one of our favorite places to shop for house supplies). I think the lamp was $8 or $10. I really wanted a bright accent color in the living room so I bought a can of bright yellow paint at Home Depot and voila! I've gotten mixed revues of 'like' and 'not so much'...but I really love it. So there!
I bought a lamp shade to go with the newly painted lamp...but I'm not in love with it and am still looking for the perfect shade.
Oh...the chair and table that the lamp is on (which is now painted black) both craigslist finds. Chair $20. Table $10.

Sunrise on the Front Porch

It's a peek-a-boo view, but we have a view of the Cascades from our front porch and from the south side yard. When we moved into the house in March I remember seeing the sunrise peek up over the mountain and thinking what a great picture it would make. Finally, here's the picture. Fuzzy, but you get the point.

Back to Housework

After a short, but wonderful reprieve, it was back to house projects. While the weather was still nice we spent a lot of evenings outside pulling weeds and scraping and painting the siding to prep for the winter rains. We're not planning to paint until next summer, but there were a lot of patches of peeling paint on the south side of the house that needed to be primed so that the exposed wood siding wouldn't rot.
The house has a lot of white spots all over it now. The neighbors love it!

Year 2, Day 1

I'd heard from other married folks that alternating the person making anniversary plans keep things interesting. Year number 1 was my year, so I planned a sunset sail in Elliott Bay (which by the way if you've never done, do it with the guys at Sailing Seattle) with a picnic dinner and a bottle of champagne. Earlier in the week my hubby had suprised me, which is very hard to do, with a beautiful watch that I'd been wanting for a long time. I was able to surprise him, with the help of our good friends Chad & Wendy, with a replica of the Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Chair. Hubby has wanted this chair since around the time he decided he wanted to be an architect and have a fixer-upper house. I found an amazing replica at Area 51. He was so surprised when we got home from our sail and the chair was in the living room!!
Sunset over the Olympic Mountains
What a beautiful city!
The chair!! It's so comfy and looks great in the living room. Hubby looks great too (right)!?

Catching Up

Has it really be a month since I posted?! Four solid weeks of work mayhem (not making excuses. well, maybe). Taking some time to update everyone. On everything.