Monday, December 19, 2011

Saving $'s a crack and a flush at a time!

Delayed post: July - Oct 2011

When we bought the house, we knew that there were some things we would need to do like, painting, changing out the floors, a roof (ugg!), insulate the attic covered by said roof (double ugg!), etc. 

Since our govt re-started the Eco energy programme, which we knew combined with our Provincial Eco energy programme, could equal big moolah for the changes planned to the house - both the wants and the (ugg) needs!  So, back in July we signed up for our pre-audit, dum dum duuuummmm.

The whole thing was pretty painless, the guy showed up set up his new-fangled contraption (it's a fan which reverses the air pressure in the house so you can find all the nooks and crannies that are leaking air, aka where our dollah bills are flying out of the house!).

We were surprised that the  biggest culprit was.... our fireplace!  over the last 50 years our fireplace has slowly separated from the wall, exposing a nice floor to ceiling crack on both sides which was allowing the cold attic air into our house, and the nice heated air to escape out.   During the little test, the amount of air blowing in was enough to give me a mini Marilyn Monroe moment! Our surveyor estimated that ~ 80%  of our house's heat loss was through that one crack alone!  So, we knew we needed to form a plan of attack.  With the Canadian programme ending in March, we had limited time and a limited budget to work with so we had to take the surveyors recommendations and make a list of our top (affordable-ish) priorities, which were:

Since then, we have already tackled a few of the items.   back in October, in preparation for the winter, we...

1.  Sealed up that monster of a crack.  It nothing a little expanding foam (2 cans worth!) and clear paintable caulk couldn't handle.  That $25 worth of supplies and ~1hr of our time will hopefully cut a big hole in our house's heat loss ... errrm, maybe that shoulda been "patch a big hole" in our heat loss?  Anyways, it it was a cheap and easy fix and should pay for itself this winter alone!

(PS- gotta love that pinky-purple hue of our fireplace bricks, eh?! Gotta love the 60's!)

2.  Swapped out the toilets, like this pink one in our basement... Oh dusty rose toilet with a broken, dis-coloured  seat, how I do not miss thee!:

Oh yeah, we went for dual flush, white, and a way slimmer design!  And with the Eco incentives from our local govt (yay District of North Van!) and the Canadian govt these skookum (for all you non-Canuck the transaltion of skookum is here!) $225 toilets will cost us ~$50 each when all is said and done thanks to:
  •  Sale at the Home Depot ($65 off)
  •  N Van govt credit ($50 rebate)- which we have already received!
  • govt rebate (extra $65 rebate)
That's $225-$65-$50-$65 = $45/ toilet, can I get a woop woop!

3.  And insulated out the plugs and switches, which was a 20 minute job thanks to these super simple little foam jobbies from the local DIY center.  At $5 for a 10 pack we were able to do the whole 2400 ft2 house for under $40 bucks :

image source

So, that leaves us with:

The last three will be part of our basement reno, which we will hopefully be kicking off in January, and the attic is a big job which we've been saving our pennies for 'cuz at ~$1500 on top of our basement reno it's been a whole lot of saving going on around here.

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