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Change of Plans – Blackout Curtains

October 15, 2014

I didn’t actually work on a new jacket today. As it turns out, I worked on blackout curtains. Some of you know we moved to WV in February. The winters here are brutal. Even with double paned replacement windows, the glass just zaps all warm air in a room. Last year, I made some window cozies with insulated batting and it helped a lot. This year, I have an additional 800 squ ft to heat and want to get the heating bills under control, as well as insure an environment very conducive to sleeping a full 8 hours. So I bought blackout lining and am working on blackout curtains for all bedroom windows. Shortly thereafter, I’ll have to do something to cover the large windows in the last room to be renovated, the living room.

So, today, I made blackout curtains for one window in my husband’s bedroom. I tend to buy girlie fabric, so when my husband saw BIG, BOLD flowers in deep, earthtones, he knew he better claim that fabric for his room.DSC_0001 DSC_0002 It wasn’t going to get any more masculine than that. I disassembled an insulated drape that I was using to keep the draught from entering at the back door, which I did as a makeshift project last fall, when the December utility bill was $1300 with no one living here! I found out that my contractor was running the heat at 80 while he had the doors open all day and fired him, the first chance I got! In any case, I needed to make sure that even with the additional living space, the bills are less than $300/month in peak months. We put a ventless propane heater downstairs in the stairwell. This will insure that the pipes, which are all in the core of the house, won’t freeze. It also allows heat to rise to our bedrooms upstairs and offer us a great deal of heat before we even turn the heat pump on.

Next, we will insulate all windows with 3M plastic seal, then put the blackout curtains over each window. In addition, we are closing vents to all bedrooms that aren’t in use and have finally gotten doors for those rooms, so we aren’t heating rooms that we aren’t using.

While I was making curtains today, my husband was building the stoop for our back door. This has been an “on hold” project for months and it has finally really come together in 3 days. As we have chatted about what we each wanted from the stoop, John decided that maybe what we really wanted was a mud room and he enlarged the base by 2′ in each direction. When we went out and again chatted about it, we realized that the upright freezer that we absolutely needed and absolutely couldn’t find a place for was going to fit in the mudroom and would pretty much heat it for us! Obviously, it’s not going to be cozy, but  as we come in from the cold, we will be protected from the elements and come into an area that has the heat from the condenser partially heating the space. What it will also do is give our draughty back door some protection from the wind. I’ve also bought some very heavy piping to build into the frame of that door to offer more draught insulation. I’ll post pictures when I’m done.

Same for the curtains. Once John gets in from working on the mud room and we get back from open mike/comedy night at the local restaurant, I’ll try to get pics of them up. Life is good and we are preparing for our first WV winter. BRRRRRRRR

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