Tag Archives: Home


The roofers just left after doing a complete tear off and re-shingle.

They did a very good job and it looks great. … I do have a few take-away’s from this particular home project …

  • Make sure the roofer looks at the INSIDE Of the house as well as the outside before giving a firm quote. In our case the roofer didn’t know that the area above the living room didn’t have an attic.  As such, they were unsure about the vents above the living room.
  • Make sure you know what everything on the quote is for … the quote called for 6 extra vents … 3 of which were going to be installed in the garage.  Since we don’t spend a lot of time in the garage, only one vent is really needed.  We also needed an additional vent for the kitchen exhaust vent that wasn’t included.
  • Before deciding on a shingle color / style … make sure you see a full size example.  The shingle ‘chips’ that the manufacturer provides show the colors, but not the layout.  In our case it worked out well.  The shingle’s have black, brown and a little green, which works well with our brown gutters & trim.
  • For all home improvement projects, keep all the paperwork … turns out, when we had the gutters replaced, the guy didn’t install gutter flashing.  This COULD have caused ice damning.  Not exactly sure what I could have done about it even with the paperwork at this point … but, if I had paid for the gutter flashing before, I sure as heck would have gone back to the gutter contractor about it.

Now I have to get the vent in the bathroom replaced (Monday) and the bathroom ceiling fixed (later).

Utility Conundrum

I’ve got a bit of a conundrum about utilities … specifically, the Cable TV utility.

In the last few days Ginny and I had a major drainage issue in our back yard fixed.   We hired a landscaper to install drain tiles and pipe to collect water that was pooling in the back yard and route it into the storm sewer (they connected the sump pump to the same pipe).

Before the landscapers started, they called the J.U.L.I.E. service to mark all the utility wires to avoid interrupting service.

Late last week, J.U.L.I.E. came out and marked all the necessary parts of the lawn and the landscapers started their work.

Yesterday they finished the work and the lawn looks great.

Last night Ginny and I settled down to watch the premier of Warehouse 13 and were presented with a black screen with a message box floating around indicating that TiVo was searching for a signal on the cable.

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Ginny and I decided to get a new furnace & air conditioner this year … with the price of natural gas going up, we figured it would probably make sense to get a more efficient furnace … and our A/C has always been kind of wimpy.

As I always try to do, I got at least 3 quotes … in this case, four.

Three were for independent HVAC contractors … the remaining one was from Sears Home ImProvement (SHIP).

Three of the quotes were pretty close … one of the independent quotes was about half what the others quoted.

We decided to get a 80% efficient, two stage, variable speed, system by Carrier. We could have gone with the +90% efficient system, but I think the time to recoup the extra cost would take too long. The variable speed aspect was the only iffy bit … we were told by all the contractors that, because our house lacked adequate air returns, the variable speed fan would not be as efficient as it could be (it will still save us money, just not as much).

We ended up going with Sears … mainly because they were also willing to run the duct work necessary to add returns in the three upstairs bedrooms. None of the other contractors offered that. Well, there was a good reason they didn’t offer that.   The estimator from Sears (Ron) said it would cost an additional $2000 for the duct work.

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