What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Solving Small Problems

Despite the fact that we are constantly on the outlook for any air leaks year round I tend to go into serious overdrive just after the busiest canning season. This will be our third winter here. I honestly do think it takes a full three years to seal up a house after just moving in. That is because you are still discovering problems that were overlooked or incorrectly repaired by the former owners. Quite often the larger more demanding repairs take precedence over the smaller, minor ones as well.

When we moved in we immediately started replace the electrical outlets. There were a few issues with the older plugs and we really like the look of the European style outlets. Our main level bathroom while smaller but most used is slated for a complete renovation that will include ripping everything out and making it bigger. In order to do this we have to replace the furnace and hot water tank to free up room for the expansion. That means we did a quick paint job to make the bathroom presentable and changed out the outlets.

We installed a timed switch for the bathroom fan. It was one of the dial styles. Last winter it suddenly stopped working. It would turn on but the timer function simply stopped working (the problem). The other day we were doing a bit of home improvement shopping expecting to pick up the tankless hot water tank for the kitchen but apparently Home Depot® don't keep those eco-friendly devices in stock! However they were offering green coupons for other eco-friendly products. We found a great push button style, hard wire timer replacement for $24.95 with $6 off so it ended up costing us $18.95. Installing the timer was as simple as turning of the breaker, checking for no live electricity then removing the old timer and wiring in the new one. Problem solved.

One of our outdoor outlets was missing part the weatherproofing cover. Now this outlet is controlled by an indoor switch that is always off unless the outlet is being used. Still this was a problem in terms of safety when the outlet was switched on. Not only that it just didn't look nice. The box itself was still fine so we picked up a replacement cover for $3.58. It took a bit of chiseling to remove some of the surrounding mortar but it really was a fairly easy repair.

It's amazing how doing one or two low cost minor repairs each weekend can make such a difference in your home. These two repairs cost under $25 and took less than a half hour total to complete for both of them. This approach really helps to keep small repairs from becoming major ones. At the same time spending a half hour or so on your house each week just feels good. This is what home maintenance is all about.

Garden Gnome