Sunday, August 25, 2013


Home improvement is good but it’s a bit creepy to have strangers crawling around the house. They see all you messes and its rather embarrassing. Due to my continued poverty, I qualified for the Heating Assistance Program to pay for part of my heating cost. I was then eligible for a visit from the Home Energy Squad to help with some minor insulation and installing florescent bulbs. A Home Energy Audit followed with a comprehensive examination of my home’s energy use. I was thrilled to qualify for more assistance with insulation.

The first step was to replace my twenty-year old hot water heater. The new unit is large, quiet and gray. I think I shall call it Ellie the Elephant because the exhaust pipe sticks out the foundation like an elephant trunk. In fact, I’d love to paint the pipe dark gray. I’d commission a head of an elephant created out of sheet metal and nailed to the side of my house. A bit closer to my dream of an art house!

The second step was installing an exhaust fan in the ceiling of the second floor bathroom. The workers had a heck of a time since there was no easy access to an electrical outlet. They had to jerry-rig a connection to the bathroom light, which is attached to the medicine cabinet. I had the foresight to empty the entire bathroom before they began but I didn’t expect them to pull out the cabinet from the wall. It took two days for them to figure out the proper connection because whomever installed the bathroom light did it wrong.

They added insulation to the slants in the roof since the house is a 1.75. The second floor intersects with the roof at about five feet and the energy audit showed very little insulation. I’ve had a horrid problem with ice dams in the valleys of the roof so I hope that this will help. Insulation was added to small roofs over the kitchen and bay window. They also fixed an exhaust fan in the kitchen.

Unnerving to hear all the drilling, cutting, pounding, and other sounds of the house being torn asunder and replaced with new parts. During the repairs I was healing from the fleabites and somehow twisted my left knee. It hurt and swelled up. My health insurance at work doesn’t start until the first of the month. Actually, I will probably be rejected due to “preexisting” conditions.

The cats were placed on the porch while the workers were in the house. I knew that Zozo would be traumatized by the noise and huddle behind the couch. I didn’t want to risk Tilly running outside. Zozo complained bitterly whenever I visited them on the porch. She would try to run into the house. I had to use the water sprayer to keep her at bay. I felt bad but its better that they are safe than in trouble.

After the contractors finished with insulation they had to do a blower door test. I had to move the cats into the bathroom with little notice. Tilly went okay but Zozo was upset. The test took about ten minutes and then I had to return the cats to the porch. Zozo freaked out and scratched me. I had to chase them onto the porch and wipe blood off from the wound on my chest. Not fun. The house is better insulated but I had to clean the dust and debris before letting the cats back into the house. The contractors deposited hand smudges on the walls and it was rather annoying.

Fix this ol’ house!
Copyright (c) 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

No comments: