Friday, December 10, 2010

Good, warm Fire! [Not the scary bad kind.]

For the past few days Bob and I have worked painting the drywall that was replaced when the box for the stove went into the ceiling.Nicholasville Paint did an awesome job of matching the paint. I brought in a piece of the cut out drywall and they matched it without knowing brand or formula.

We are messy painters, so I taped and covered things well and Bob got on the ladder and did the painting. It was a bit precarious because the ladder had two legs on the hearth and two legs on a sort of nailed together platform that sat next to the hearth.

 We painted on two different days and then removed the draping and tape, washed the stove pipe and box which had drywall mud and hand prints and bits of paint, etc.

Finally installed. After all this time and going through a few different installers, it is finally ready to use. But, alas, we had to go home.

So, today, we fired it up. It takes such a tiny bit of wood to make a good fire. We used just a bit and before we knew it the internal temperature was at the magic number of 500 degrees, so we engaged the catalytic converter. It is supposed to burn most of the smoke so you don't see much at all outside the house and just a bit of wood gives the maximum amount of heat.

The soapstone adsorbed the heat and was radiating nicely. It felt great. We still have to install the trim around the ceiling box [you can see it laying on the hearth] but that is for another day. Today we cleaned the whole upstairs. Carpet comes on Monday.

It was a great day!

Take care,

Monday, December 6, 2010

Woodstove finally installed on coldest day of the year!

Finally, after nearly  10 months since I placed the order and over 7 months since we took delivery, our wood stove is finally installed.

Whew! It took 4 tries before we finally got someone to install it. A big thanks to Jason and Noel via our new Contractor Cliff Swaim, for finally getting the job done.

Although they had gotten started last week, because of some questions they had about installation and because they had to build a scaffold to get to the roof, they were not able to finish installation.

I arrived before 8:00 to meet the guys who were delivering our new mattress. We thought the carpet would be in by now and our new bed would be set up and waiting for the mattress, but it was not to be. The sun was just rising when I arrived. Red sky in morning--sailors [and wood-stove installers] take warning. 

Hole looking up from living room.
The problem is, it was 16 degrees with high winds. The wind chill in Lexington was 3 degrees, and you can be sure at the top of that hill it was MUCH colder. I sure would not have wanted to be up on a steel roof  cutting a hole all the way through and installing stainless steel stove pipe.

It was crazy cold and so windy and big flakes of snow were flying by sideways. I am not exaggerating, they were going completely parallel to the ground.  

At any rate, the wood stove guys had built a scaffold [last Thursday] up to the roof so they could attach the stovepipe. 

 Doesn't this look like lots of fun? The wind was just awful, howling around the corners of the house.
 A bit precarious, don't you think?

When I left it looked like this. They went for an early lunch to get something hot to eat and to get some tar to seal around the boot.  Later in the day, Cliff called to tell us they had finished installation and that we could now make a fire!  Of course, we really need to prime and paint the area around the chimney pipe inside where the drywall was re-done.

House from the road.
The whole time they were working I was inside doing touch up paint, caulk and organizing the supplies down there. The mattress was supposed to be delivered between 8 and noon. At noon, Bob got a call on our home phone that said they would be there in 30 minutes. At 12:50 two guys in a beat up old pick-up truck, with the tail gate down, drove up the long, cold, icy driveway.

My beautiful European Pillow-top King Serta Mattress was strapped down like a restrained patient. I guess I was expecting a regular box-type, enclosed delivery truck all tucked in-warm and cozy.

The two men, jumped out, unloaded my mattress into the basement and away they went without so much as a "Sorry we are late." It was covered in plastic and no worse for wear, so all is good.

As I was complaining to myself on my way home how I had to wait 5 hours for them and if they were going to call 45 minutes ahead of time, I could have waited at home and just met them out there. Just then, I came around a bend and off in a paddock of Shawnee Horse Farm I saw ten thoroughbred horses running like fire across the field. It was beautiful--the hooves and manes flying across the snowy field. It was breathtaking and I prayed they would not break through the fence. They didn't. They just ran along it, all together, like something out of a western. If I hadn't waited 5 hours, I would not have been at Shawnee at that time, and think what I would have missed.

All in all, a magnificent day!

Take care,