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The heat is on!

December 28, 2010
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The B.A.B. now has a functioning mechanical system in the apartment. It is hooked up to temporary power, but is cranking out the heat, no less. Besides the fact that it was mind-numbingly cold to work in the space, we needed the heat so we can start the tile installation in the bathroom. The system ran for the whole day and brought the temperature up to a balmy 42 degrees.

We have heat!

We’ve lowered the thermostat down to the 50’s, the minimal requested by the tile setter. We don’t need another utility bill like the one we got last year!

We know that nine-foot tall, single glazed, steel windows are not the best at keeping in the heat. It became very clear, now that we have heat, how much gets sucked out through the enormous windows. You can feel the airflow when you stand next to the windows. We are planning, long-term, to construct some interior storm sashes, and in the short-term to add some thermal window treatments, but for now we went with film kits.

Available in Extra Large!

The kits, which include the simplest materials, double stick tape and thin plastic sheeting, are installed over the windows and stretched taut with a hair dryer.

Whatever you do, don't snag the plastic

They were the winter salvation of my crappy graduate school apartments. We were surprised to see the sheets come big enough for the B.A.W.’s. We were even more surprised to see that a little sheet of plastic can really help, and doesn’t look too terrible.

I don’t think the installation was typical, though. The steel window frames were so cold that we had to heat them with the dryer to get the tape to stick. Then, the tape had to be kept warm with the dryer to get the plastic to stick to the tape. The cold air was blowing in with such force it required 2 rows of tape to keep the plastic attached.

Once hit with the dryer, the wrinkles disappear and the plastic is hardly noticeable.

Hair dryers- not just for your Farrah do

It has the added benefit of keeping the windows clean while we do the dusty work of drywall installation.

Can't even tell it is there

Speaking of drywall, we now have ceilings under the loft. We borrowed a handy drywall lift from Whit.

To aid in the drywall installation, Tom created his own drywall screw carrier. It’s really the Quick Trip jumbo soda cup with a belt of scrap electrical wire; very South-Side-Style. Click on the photo to get the complete details.

Handyman special screw holder

Machines separate us from animals.

Library wall with drywall soffit going up

The Library wall has OSB (Oriented Strand Board, also called Flake Board, made of recycled wood chips) attached to the studs. The Library wall will get a layer of drywall over the OSB for a more finished appearance. On the walls that will have shelves, where we don’t yet know where we need blocking, the OSB will allow us to install the shelves wherever we want. The OSB is cheaper than drywall and stronger.

Here’s the Library ceiling completed:

There's the one piece that didn't require any cuts.

The drywall on the walls is next. Even though there aren’t many walls, it is going slower than a larger installation might. There has been only one sheet of drywall that hasn’t required cutting.

Once we get the walls done, we have a guy ready to tape and mud the joints. That is definitely a job we’ll leave to an expert. He’ll require only 3-days. I’ve  sworn off spackle after being overly obsessed with trying to smooth out the plaster walls. Once the walls are finished, the trades can come back and finish their work. The plumbing fixtures, cabinets, lights, stair and everything else can be installed.

There are a number of tasks that we’ve back-burnered, like the kitchen backsplash, that can be done after we move in. The longer the construction is taking, the more things we are considering for post-move. Do we really need the closets done? We’re living out of boxes now. My tolerance level for chaos and disorder has truly been tested and expanded this year.

We’ve decided to not place another deadline on the move-in date. Like Douglas Adam’s said: “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” Thankfully, Mary remains tolerant of us taking over her guest room and our odd-hour comings and goings. We’ll keep plugging away. It isn’t like we’ll ever really be Done, anyway!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Patrick Kelly permalink
    December 28, 2010 7:13 am

    I am so sad that Christmas has passed because I want a screw holster like tom’s so much!! I assume it works well but it is such a fashion statement, Tom is realy stylin.

    • Tom permalink*
      December 28, 2010 10:45 pm

      Patrick – I will gladly make you a custom holster! My product line just has two choices: Big Gulp, Super Big Gulp, or Double Gulp, and ground, hot or neutral wire for the belt. Wait – I’ll bet you’ll choose “hot”…

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