My wee family happily burst out of the camper in mid-December for a long-standing Christmas holiday date with family in Australia, just in time for the apocalyptic flooding, expecting to return to a mostly done house (since the project completion was slated for January). Instead we returned to freezing weather, no electricity and a water leak in camper (trouble shooting took 24 hours with numb fingers), a house that looked the same as we left it, big decisions in limbo, and ever-growing budgetary concerns and project delays.

before

after

The completion date was pushed a few weeks, then a month, and as of today we’re probably looking at early to mid-March. If we’re lucky.

But I’m always cranky when I’m cold.

Current problem to solve is choosing an LG ductless hvac system. Our recently discovered that our contractor was apparently relying on the subcontractor’s knowledge because the systems aren’t common in these here parts, so Richard and I are now spending a lot of extra time researching and talking to people to educate ourselves about our options. Since the house can’t be completed or lived in until this is done, it is an Urgent Decision.

If you’re not interested in the details stop reading this paragraph now, otherwise ductless systems are kinda neat. We chose ductless because it allows us to raise the dropped ceiling height a sorely needed couple to eight inches (we run thin drain and condenser lines instead of big fat air ducts), and we chose LG because they have the purtiest evaporators (the bits inside the house that contain fans to blow either hot or cold air). We get the added benefits of higher energy efficiency and better greenie status, too, since the condensers run at multiple speeds and use R410 instead of freon. Imagine chopping a window unit in two pieces – the ductless system has the condenser part outside (smaller and quieter than a standard forced air system box thrumming away outside), and the fan part (air handler or evaporator) inside. But one condenser unit can run to multiple room units in the house AND can simultaneously run heat through one unit and cool through another AND more efficiently dehumidifies at the same time. Decision-wise, there are commercial or residential systems that will do the trick, but how to compare? I know, I know, you’re as enthralled and mystified as I am.

The electrician from United started today and will start on the exterior so that as he finishes bits the house can be insulated, sheathed and ready for siding. The very last bit of steel was installed by fabricator Haskell’s sub today, Dandeneau Contracting has framed almost all fixed glass openings, Willy has ordered the glass WinDoor systems, and Walter from Lee & Cates is teeing up the fixed glass (as much low e as made sense for energy efficiency). (I realized today that we only have one solid exterior door in the whole house, the rest is glass. Weird.) We had a 4 hour meeting to cover lots of other details but those are the Big Decisions.

For those of you who have them, revel in your centrally heated, insulated homes running on power supplied by your municipality, with large hot water tanks and plumbing lines you don’t have to empty yourself. I yearn to be you.