Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Nothing says Summer like Rest(oration)

Things have been quiet lately as we settle into our completed renovations upstairs. It's so nice to rediscover little things. For example, our queen-sized bed seems infinitely more spacious in our new master bedroom than it did when we had it in a tiny room in the basement (with ductwork over our heads).

And it's nice to feel some of the design decisions we made pay off so well. With summer in Chicago, we've mostly just been using our second HVAC system to keep the second floor from becoming too hot, and just Powerzoning our basement's cold air to cool the main floor. This has held up pretty well so far, unless it gets really humid out, which saves us from using both AC systems.

Also our decision to incorporate Velux daylighting suntunnels in the converted attic makes it seem brighter and more open. These amazing 10" light sources keep us from using any lights almost all day long. All that electrical work for nothing! :-)

Jen and I have discussed delving into the next major project (kitchen remodel!), and decided to postpone this until fall. We'd like to spend 1 summer NOT in the middle of a major project, and actually get to enjoy it some.

But remembering that there is no "rest" in "restoration", we will still tackle some loose ends here and there. For example, the front porch is no longer a storage area, and I was finally able to hang the 2-seater swing we purchased 2 years ago.

Other projects on the horizon include wrapping up some loose ends upstairs (trim) and installing a floor for the tiny laundry room so we can move our washer and dryer up. And I'm also planning to disconnect some downspouts and install a rain barrel to conserve water, and slow-water our garden.


Carol said...

I also love the daylighting tubes; are you using SolaTube? I hope we can put those in the house we are planning to build. I notice on their website they have a lot more products than they had a year ago when we explored ordering from them.

jay said...

We actually used the solar tubes made by Velux, available at Menards I think. It was a tight squeeze to get the tubes to fit in our old roof in between the rafters and ceiling joists, and we needed to make the tube itself much shorter. We didn't even use the "straight" section they provided--only the bendy "elbows"--but after some trial and error, we finally got it to work. And our life has been brighter ever since!