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Showing posts from February, 2011

"Value Engineering"

All the bids came in.  It took a while. We briefed most of the contractors around Thanksgiving... but this is Ulster County.   We have a lot of different types of work to do on the house this means a lot of different subs.  Electricians, plumbers, plasterers, mechanical engineers, painters, carpenters, mill workers...You name it, we got them all. As the prices came in, we realized a couple of our dreams had to give. The open loop  geothermal system , that took advantage of the high water table, was turning into quite a high ticket item.  The system itself was expensive but when you added the cost of drilling additional wells to supply enough water it really became prohibitive.   We will still be using air handlers on a conventional propane system, so at some point in the future we can review this and easily integrate it into the system.   Rebuilding all three chimneys was also costing a fortune.  We reduced this cost by only rebuilding the living room chimney which will also act as

Snow on snow on snow on snow

First got much deeper from here on. Wow, what a winter.   Thanks to Mother Nature we were pre-warned.  In the fall we went on a number of river trips in the canoe.  On one of these trips, we were exploring one of the tributaries and we thought a squirrel was throwing acorns at us because all around there were projectiles hitting the water.   As we continued on our 'paddle', we realized that all of the oak trees were dropping their acorns, not one at a time but a huge deluge.  It sounded like it was raining little stones into the water around us. Later, when we were driving along Springtown road we saw the same thing all along the road.  Millions and millions of acorns had fallen within 24 hours.  The road was covered with them (and also covered with the carcasses of dead squirrels that had been hit by cars as they feasted on this bounty...I kid you not). It was so remarkable that we mentioned this to several people and discovered that this was a sure sign of a