Preparing for cold weather

At the first sign of cold weather, I dig out my wool hat and wear it everywhere.

When the olive oil freezes on the kitchen counter, it’s time to stoke up the woodstove.

As a placebo, we brought home a big stack of drywall and pretended to be warm.

I’d say we don’t mind nights in the 20’s but I’d be lying. All other projects have been dropped in favor of house wiring. Tomorrow, if all goes well, we should be installing the first sheet of drywall on the upstairs ceiling. This step has been three and a half years in the making.

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13 Responses to Preparing for cold weather

  1. Snowbrush says:

    Oh, my god, you don’t even have your upstairs ceilings covered! No wonder you’re cold.

    • lee says:

      Yeah, it’s no mystery why our house is cold. In the past we’ve had plastic stapled up on the ceiling to hold in the heat, but last spring it got pretty ripped up when we were finishing up the framing. We’ve torn it down from most of the upstairs so we can just work quickly toward drywall. I can see 30′ of ridge vent from my bed .. it’s very effective at exhausting warm air, both from attics and from whole houses.

  2. ..won’t that be sweet! ..not that drywall is going to keep you warm..unless you burn it in the woodstove. hehe..and speaking from experience..the jobs that wait 3.5 years are always the ones are always the ones you get the most satisfaction from..not like the homemade wine I found that I should have drank 3.5 years ago! good luck..and don’t forget your t-brace!!

    • lee says:

      I built a pair of T-braces tonight, so we are all ready for drywall tomorrow. If long delays make a project more satisfying, Robin should be positively enraptured for weeks after this first sheet goes up!

      I have 3 gallons of that should-have-drank-it-a-year-ago wine too. Wine experiments gone awry are a staple of homestead living. 🙂

  3. Ann says:

    YAAAAY…things are getting exciting now! I’m sitting here with baited breath hoping you’ve already got a few sheets up. What are you using as insulation, and have you given any thought to using a reflective membrane? We used Ayr-Foil and were blown away by the increase in comfort.

    Keep up the good work, you’re nearly there!

    • lee says:

      Some things came up earlier in the month which slowed our progress, but we do have the drywall ceiling up in one room. We’ll post pictures when the rest is done in a few days.

      I’ve looked at the reflective membranes, but we are just going for a really thick layer of conventional insulation. The membranes are hard to beat for space efficiency though.

  4. Benita says:

    Brrrr! Our olive oil freezes in the cabinet above the stove every winter but that’s only because of the exhaust vent. I set it out to thaw it.

    We keep the house set at 60 during the day and 50 at night during the winter because of the cost of propane to heat the house. You’d think it was cozy here, wouldn’t you? 🙂

    • robin says:

      Yup, your house sounds cozy! It’s probably best we don’t have a weather temperature gauge in our house or the whining on my part would go up substantially. hehe

  5. Snowbrush says:

    “When the olive oil freezes on the kitchen counter, it’s time to stoke up the woodstove.

    Call me a woos, but I would do it before that happens.

    “I’d say we don’t mind nights in the 20?s but I’d be lying.”

    You don’t mean it! You actually OBJECT to frozen olive oil?! Where’s your pioneer spirt?

    Here’s what you do, Robin, you leave Lee, and come live with us (we’ll put you a pallet in the living room, and you can hang sheets for privacy). Then, when he gets your house all air tight and cozy with a good fire in the stove, you can go home. Gosh, but you guys are brave and hearty. I don’t need to read Jack London anymore; I have only to read your blog to learn about people who are shivering in the cold.

    P.S. Looks like you’re using 14-gauge wire, so I’m wondering if that’s still standard for the whole house, or if you’re just using it on a lighting circuit.

    • lee says:

      We burn more wood when it’s cold to keep the heat up, but without a ceiling it doesn’t really make a lot of difference by the morning. That should change in a couple more days.

      I’m not a fan of your plans. 🙂

      It’s still code-legal to wire a whole house with 14-gauge, other than a few select circuits (kitchen, bathroom, utility room). I’m not one for doing code-minimums though, so we are only using 14-gauge wiring for the lighting circuits. All the outlets are run with 12-gauge wire and each room will have its own 20 amp breaker.

  6. Bruce King says:

    Are you using a drywall jack for the ceiling rock? It’s so much easier to do. Makes drywalling the ceiling an hour or two job, lot less strain on everyone.

    I had never used one before, but rented one on a friends suggestion a couple of houses ago and will never do a ceiling without one. About $35 a day.

    • lee says:

      We’re just putting these up by hand, but we have the advantage that there are only about 5 full sized sheets on the second floor. (I’m sure we’ll think this a disadvantage when we starting taping.)

      I’ve also used a jack at someone else’s house, and it’s definitely a huge saver of both time and backs. I plan to rent one when it comes time to do the bulk of the first floor drywall.

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