Monday, August 29, 2016

Bliss Cottage-THE RENO is Rolling!!

Our first summer in Bliss Cottage-2013
I shared with you last time our path to getting to our dream of Lake living! We have been here for 3 summers!  We knew when we moved in that the house had quite a few projects. We jumped right into updating all the switches and outlets, adding lighting that was more functional and up to our taste! Plus painting over old wood paneling in all the rooms, knowing that someday the paneling will be replaced!  We set out to tackle the BIG projects as money allowed, as well as we prioritized them according to importance! After our first year of living here with a 30 year old furnace and around $2000 in propane costs we knew the #1 BIG priority was making this 1965 Mid Century Modern house as energy efficient as we could!

Fast forward to today!  

WINDOWS: The former lower windows were aluminum framed louver-style windows. It appeared that at one time the previous owner had covered them in the winter with plastic and duct tape. They were very drafty!  The upper are aluminum "storefront style" solid double pane, none of them open. When it is very cold in the winter frost builds up on the frames...burrrrr! In the summer it is like living in a green house!  The windows at the peak are GOLD diamond patterned glass which we believe is original to the house. At some point someone came in and added single pane clear glass to the interior using L-brackets. I am sure that they thought it would help with heating and cooling!  

Our first summer here we replaced the lower sliders with Pella 450 series

The next summer out came all the lower windows, we replaced them with Anderson 100-Fibrex composite windows and BOOM big difference in the warmth of the lower level!  

This summer we have removed the upper Groovy GOLD windows and replaced them with walls.
OH BABY! They are so GROOVY!!!

Out with the GOLD and in with the new!
We had a few bids for contractors to do the work, yet in the end, we could not swallow the cost and took on the project ourselves, and with a little enlisted help! After we got all the Groovy Gold windows out and the new walls put up, Tim and I insulated and made the decision to put Shiplap up!  We wanted it to look like it was always intended too be there and to have the rustic appeal we were going for! Because the ceiling was stained tongue and groove we did not want to stain the shiplap and chose to whitewash it with the same color we have used throughout the entire house,  Valspar "Cream in my Coffee", a yummy cream color that works with the brightly colored accents throughout my house and blends well with the natural limestone we have on our upper and lower fireplaces.
Our Son working the nail gun!

Our GrandBug helping Daddy!

Shiplap in and painted! WOW what a difference!

We hunted for just the right shiplap product and in the end decided on a product that Home Depot sells called Barnwood Shiplap Pine board. It has the perfect touch of Rustic Cottage that we wanted! There is a huge difference already! 

This weekend, we're taking out the four windows at each corner and putting in walls. This will give us more wall space and the opportunity to expand the kitchen! The new walls will be finished half way down with the shiplap and then will have cupboards installed; the far left side will be a buffet/bar and the far right will be the kitchen expansion. We will also be able to add exterior lights beside the sliders as there is currently no light on the lakeside deck. (More on both those projects in the future!)

FURNACE & AC: As I noted above the propane cost was unbelievable that first winter!  We knew we had an old furnace and old windows but boy oh boy it was bad! So we added a pellet stove to the lower level. It made a good difference yet at night, this "Hot Flash Momma" could hardly sleep as it was a little bit too cozy for my tastes!  However it reduced our propane bills to almost half!  This summer, we made the decision and moved the pellet stove to the upper level! I'm gonna be saying hello to a better night sleep for sure! 

Last winter we bit the bullet and had a new furnace and AC unit installed! It was NOT as easy as just switching the old with the new! You can see in the above pics that our ceiling is pine tongue and groove, it is a solid 6 inches of is the lower level.  So here lies the problem, there are only four registers in our entire house-Two upstairs near the kitchen and two on the lower level directly under the ones above.  This house was built to be a cottage, so there are independent electric heaters on all walls in all rooms.  Due to the solid wood ceilings we were unable to add duct work that could be hidden within the floors or ceilings.  We talked with the HVAC company that was installing our units at length prior to the install on how we could have exterior ducts put in.  The upper level was not a great option because of the possible ice issues it could create on our roof in the winter. We were able to install lower ducts, yet we still have to box them in to hide them. 

OH the joys of buying a 1965 Mid Century Modern cottage...We are getting there peeps! 

I will update this post after next weeks window to wall project is complete!  

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