Friday, March 21, 2014

Because You're Worth It

Our decision to renovate was based on our decision to make this our forever house.  So when we considered finishes and function, the choices we made were what best suited us.  Not resale.

But when people ask us what were some of the best decisions we made during our renovation, the top two answers are less about us or pretty finishes...and more about taking care of our investment.  Because it's worth it.

And funny enough, neither were in place at the end of the renovation.  Both were installed shortly after the "end".  Let me explain...

1) A Surge Protector

When we dug out and finished our basement in 2011, we kept the electrical panel where it was.

Look to the Left
There it is!

Forgive the bad iPhone pic.  I am not a professional photographer. 

It's on the wall next to the TV, but the simple doors painted the same color as the wall help to make it "disappear".  Yet it's totally accessible.  I'm happy we kept it accessible, because we've needed to have access to it far too many times than I wish we did.  I'll explain...


Same place as always, but upgraded during the big dig and finish.  Which was great, because during the even bigger renovation last year, we utilized that capacity.  But what we didn't do was this.

Surge Protector

Back up to the middle of July.  Renovation complete.  So many details, all executed.  So happy. 

Less than a month later and out of the blue, there's a surge in the hydro transformer across the street.  I'll spare you the gory details.  But one detail I missed was to make sure we installed a surge protector.  Of course. 

We lost our microwave, sump pump, basement bar fridge, many many potlights (not just the bulb but the whole can) and...the brand new range oven.  Dear God.

Luckily, there's a happy ending.  The range was new, so it was serviced for free and saved.  Wal-Mart was having a sale on microwaves.  And our contractor is amazing and replaced the brand new blown electrical....and installed a surge protector. 

I'm told electrical surges, like the one we had, happen less frequently than someone you know winning the lottery.  But for a few hundred dollars, that cute little box can save a whole lot of headache.  And if there's ever a surge again, I'll be happy to replace the protector instead of half the electrical items in my house.

2) A Furnace Humidifier

Our old house had laminate.  Our new old house has hardwood.  And lots of it.  Combined with a long, cold, dry first winter, you get this.


Silver lining?  I could get rid of some runaway paint.

I'm a glass-half-full kind of person. 

But to be honest, the gaps really were freaking me out.  Then, my contractor stopped by for a question I had and I think the gaps freaked him out, too.  I was in contact with his HVAC guy within the hour.

I lived with laminate floors and wood trim with 20 coats of paint for over ten years.  What did I know about swelling and contracting wood during winter?  I know a lot now.  And that humidifier is currently working overtime.

Humidifier Thermostat

This is on the front of the furnace.  It's cranked up to 45% because the humidity level in this house is sooooo low.  How to know when to back it off?  Look for condensation in the corners of the windows.  This sucker has been in place for 3 weeks now and I have yet to see any.  Yikes.

From Behind

It's hard to see the actual unit, as it's on the back of the furnace.  But it's directly connected to a water supply.  I'm crossing my fingers the humidity will make the boards swell up soon.  These gaps are making me crazy....

So there you have it.  Two of the best decisions we made during our renovation.  Which together cost less than a half of a percent of the total cost of our projects. 

Because they're worth it.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Meg, your house is a true inspiration. My husband and I recently bought a house that is in need of a total gut job, from top to bottom. I mean everything. We still want the house because of location and lot size. However, I was curious what the time line is and what kind of budget is required?