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There's a whole air flow

Back in 1912, when my house was built, Portland was booming, and housing for railroad workers was going up fast and cheap. They dug a hole, set some sturdy timber posts in concrete piers, laid beams across them, and put up walls and a roof.

There was a woodstove. No central heat, no insulation, no double-glazed windows; just a box of wood and glass, hovering about three feet above a depression in the soil, with a thin wooden skirt between that crawlspace and the east wind.

Fast forward a century, and a tiny house in an ungentrified working-class neighborhood is, not surprisingly, hardly improved at all. There are electric space heaters now (of the recalled-for-fire-hazard sort), and some cheap landlord of the past insulated the roof to 70s standards, but the house is still bloody cold in the winter.

Well, that's all about to change. The Clean Energy Works contractors spent the morning here assessing and measuring, and whee! It looks like I'm getting not only big fluffy insulation on all six sides of the cube, but what amounts to an actual heating system, too.

Just think! I'll be able to sit in my living room on a January night, rather than having to go to bed just to keep warm.

It's homeowner geekery at its finest, but I'm really pretty excited.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments. | Comment at Dreamwidth.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 1st, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC)
Awesome news! So, are you paying for this, or is this a city mandated improvement they'll pay for?
Sep. 1st, 2010 10:12 pm (UTC)
It's a low-interest loan financed by Recovery Act money. I'll repay it in small monthly increments appended to my electric bill. The lien is against the property, not my credit, so it transfers with the house if I sell.

It's a spectacular deal. I'm not just "taking" money from the federal government, but I won't feel the pain of repayment too much, and meanwhile local contractors get work doing energy-saving improvements. Win all around.
Sep. 1st, 2010 10:36 pm (UTC)
"Fast forward a century" -- Interesting history, this house.
Sep. 1st, 2010 10:53 pm (UTC)
I plan to move an interior wall at some not too distant point, and I want to build a time capsule into the new wall: a document stating my own history in the house and everything I know about it.

All I've ever found in the work I've done is a 1912 nickel under the original front door threshold, disproving the county record that lists the house's date of construction as 1906.
Sep. 2nd, 2010 04:12 am (UTC)
hey! that's awesome! a nice comfy house in the winter is made of win!
Sep. 2nd, 2010 04:33 am (UTC)
And it will be so much nicer if you come to visit in the spring!
Sep. 2nd, 2010 06:20 am (UTC)
This is such a good investment and a fitting part of your big project.
Sep. 2nd, 2010 06:26 am (UTC)
Yes, thanks. It seems like a tremendous bonus to me in my pursuit of a Nice Place To Live.
Sep. 2nd, 2010 07:57 am (UTC)
That sounds fab! Cosy warm winter evenings in Portland. :-)
Sep. 2nd, 2010 05:36 pm (UTC)
I'm overdue for a bit of winter comfort in this place. It's cute, but it's like a cute sieve in January. I'm looking forward to discovering what cozy feels like at that time of year.
Sep. 7th, 2010 05:16 am (UTC)
That's a pretty awesome program; I'm glad you have it there. Yay, homeowner geekery!
Sep. 7th, 2010 05:26 am (UTC)
Considering that in the one thermostat-controlled room in the house (my bathroom), the heat came on this morning, I'm pretty excited about the prospect of better insulation.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )



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