It’s been almost 10 months since I’ve posted here. I did get moved into the house and have had a number of time issues crop up which necessitated putting off work on the house.  A few other issues have cropped up as well, but the biggest one is money.

As I mentioned previously, I’m on disability, so it takes some time to save up and tackle jobs. One thing I did not really factor was that living here was going to be more expensive than I budgeted for. This is the first time I have lived here on my own since I was approved for disability. So, economically, it was a whole new ball game. And it’s been tough.

Nonetheless, I was able to work a few odd jobs here and there and get caught up on a few bills. Medical bills are the ones that kill me, pun intended.

So, as cold weather has arrived and I take stock of my needs, here is what I have done, and still need to do.

1. Landscaping. This is a huge issue, as the previous owners planted all manner of bushes and shrubs and a ton of plants and vines. It was so overgrown this summer I knew I could never take care of it myself. So I hired two guys to come with chainsaws and trimmers and $600 later I had all the bushes around the house cut down and removed, and the hedges bordering the property cut and trimmed. But I have yet to do anything about putting new bushes or mulch in place, so that is upcoming…

2. HVAC work. More on this below.

3. Kitchen and bath. The kitchen needs all new paint and a new floor, and I would love to redo the cabinets or at least get new counters.  The bath needs to be completely gutted and redone.

4. Back porch. Roof is leaking and must be replaced, including rafters. It’s a screened porch, and I would love to convert it to a bedroom since it has a full foundation, but that will be quite costly.

5. Dining room. This was orginally the back porch for the house, closed in many years ago. It has ugly paneling for both walls and roof. I want to gut this also and sheetrock it and paint it.  And the laundry room is off to the side of this room and also needs to be gutted.  There is ample room for a toilet and sink there so a nice half bath/laundry room combo makes sense.

That’s where I am.

Currently, I have been working on the old oil furnace that sits in the middle of the house. I’d never seen one like this, just a single large floor vent that blows the air straight up into the living room.  But it gave a warm, marvelous heat, and nothing felt so good on that first cold morning of winter when it kicked on for the first time. But it was partially submerged in a flood a few years ago, leaving it useless. In the meantime, I bought a used heat pump/AC to use. Works great, and I installed it myself, but it’s mega expensive to operate. My power bill jumps from about 96.00 a month in winter to about $225.00. So, I wanted to get that furnace up and running again, if possible.

Old oil furnace, minus grate. 

I went under there a few weeks ago to assess the damage. The flue pipe was completely rusted away, and the primary control board was toast. I replaced the board and got it to fire, briefly. So I then assembled a new flue pipe and screwed and attached the sections together, and fired it up…

And it would not work. Even with new fuel. At times the flame gun’s blower wouldn’t even turn. And after multiple attempts, the unit locked up completely, telling me either the motor or the pump had broken entirely.

I have ordered a good used burner with a new nozzle and a new pump assembly  ready to hook up and install. As soon as it comes, I will post pics and update….

Advertisements