And So It Begins…

It would be easy to assume that nothing has been happening for the last little while. And nothing could be further from the truth. It’s just that most of it involves lots of follow-ups and discussions and preparing quotations and figuring out just what this little renovation is going to cost us. That was a lot of Gene working behind the scenes, developing specifications, producing drawings, conducting site visits and getting quotes, until he could put a number in front of us. And what a number it was.

But we are now beginning. The paperwork is signed and we are officially underway. We did a detailed walkthrough with Gene and Seren of the plans, the quotation and what that would mean in terms of work. Neither Dianne nor I passed out, which we are certainly taking as progress. We also did a detailed walkthrough of the house itself, to go over clarifications and be able to get a real sense of what would go where, when that would happen and the questions that would need answering. We have already made changes as well. Which took all of about an hour to start identifying. Add a new toilet, change the approach to heating water… it is mind bogglingly amazing how easy it is to add things on. And it is amazing how much discipline is required to keep a project on budget. Based upon our track record to date, our amount of discipline would appear to be highly questionable indeed.

Some of the changes are quite reasonable, on the face of it. Rather than a new and larger hot water heater, we are taking the plunge (as it were) and going with a tankless, on-demand system. We had done some research earlier that raised a few cautions about proceeding with an on-demand system rather than a traditional hot water heater. In particular, early systems (and by early, we are talking only a few years ago) could run alternatingly hot and cold, and took some time to deliver heated water. Depending upon the draw, a trickle of water might meant that the hot water doesn’t engage. And when the final verdict of Consumer Reports is that many homeowners are better off with a newer model, high-efficiency traditional water heater, it’s enough to make you think twice.

Certainly there are pros and cons to both: the tankless system is a more expensive up-front cost, but saves on fuel costs over time. The hot water heater means you have hot water right there when you want it, but uses a great deal more energy and has a finite amount of hot water; a couple of showers later, you are waiting for more hot water. But the prices on tankless, on-demand solutions have come down, the reliability is going up, and given that we will be back and forth to the house, we won’t be paying to keep a really big tank of water really hot around the clock. So while we had originally veered in the direction of going with a traditional hot water heater, we are now going the on-demand route. We shall see how that plays out going forward.

In the next couple of weeks, we will be getting to do some of the fun and exciting things about renovating: choosing stone, flooring, paint colours and lights. For now, we get to face the fun and exciting challenge of paying for it all.

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