August 28, 2006

Housewarming vs. keeping the house warm

Filed under: House Blog — marcstober @ 2:17 pm

We had our housewarming party yesterday. Perhaps the greatest benefit was that it forced us to clean out the sunroom and dining room. The sunroom that we had written off actually seemed nice for the day. Of course we actually unpacked very little so this was just a shell game of moving boxes around.

We had way too much food. But the Weber grill did well and impressed people. I think a fully-loaded grill of food with lots of smoke and flare-ups actually makes the food come out better.

I don’t think my relatives were properly impressed by condition of the house itself. That is, we got a lot of compliments on the house, but people didn’t realize how much needs be done. This may be because as a picnic pavilion on mild day (which was the situation yesterday) the house performed phenomenally. Living in my own house isn’t supposed to feel like being under a rustic shelter at the park, however. It needs to be a place where I can put Hannah to bed without losing sleep myself, and a place where I can be safe and comfortable whatever extremes of weather or other challenges the outside world throws at us. Admittedly people have lived their whole lives with more primitive shelter (and some still do), but I live in twenty-first century North America, with a sizable mortgage, where single-family homes are expected to meet to certain standards. Eventually I showed Uncle Andrew and Aunt Diane the basement with our steam boiler and some of the electrical work, and I think they started to understand.

Speaking of the boiler, we did get the heat working. A furnace tech was able to get the flueways inside the boiler cleaned out as part of the regular annual cleaning and smoke is no longer going into the basement, the smoke alarm is not going off, and the radiators all seems to be getting hot. (I’ll wait until it’s actually cold out to try and balance them further.)

Nevertheless the house supported (literally) almost 40 people without immediate and catastrophic structural failure. I’ll take some comfort in that.