Homeowner nightmares…

Owning a home is empowering but also scary as hell.  Especially when your home is 100+ years old.  In the close enough to 20 years I’ve lived in my house, thousands of dollars have been invested in improving the space to both suit my family and our lifestyle, and to make our home more comfortable and energy-efficient.  Wood floors have been sanded and refinished (Kustom Floors did an awesome job), walls have been removed while all the others have been painted, a second bathroom, as well as a deck, have been added and the roof (Ipek – great to work with) and every window have been replaced.  It’s what you do when you own property.

I’m currently on my 3rd dishwasher, 2nd washing machine and both hot water heaters have been replaced – yes, I have a two-family home and many of the items are purchased in multiples of two.  Eek!   I have a total of 3 bathrooms which can potentially spring a leak and two kitchens which need functioning appliances.

As the holidays approached last month, my living space felt a bit cool one night.  Now, granted I keep my thermostat set pretty low and the difference between “comfortable with a sweater” and “Siberia” may not be discernible to most many, but it definitely was chilly – even after a 5 mile run.  I investigated, which means I cranked up the thermostat and waited to feel some warmth from the radiators.  Nope, nothing.  I bundled up and went to bed hoping for a heating miracle…

In the morning I called one of the big Heating & Cooling outfits who, unfortunately, weren’t taking new customers – note to self: encourage my sons to pursue a HVAC career.  They referred me to Family Danz and I couldn’t have been happier with the service, attention and professionalism with which I was treated.  They patched something together to get my house warm and after looking (maybe for the first time ever) at my boiler units, I realized that it was definitely time to replace the beyond vintage boilers that had more than done their duty for the past 50+ years.  I knew that this day was going to come, so it wasn’t a shock, just a blow to the finances, but, hey, that’s when good credit comes in handy.  The cost?  Well, remember we’re multiplying by 2, and there was naturally some asbestos to be removed, so let’s call it close to $11,000.  Not quite what I wanted to get for Christmas, but there is a certain charm to having heat, don’t you think?  Check out the before and after and feel free to share your own Homeowner Survivor stories.  I’d love to hear them!

The one that had been installed in 1956!!!

The one that had been installed in 1956!!!


Our family Christmas gift!



Filed under house, Local, Recommendations, Uncategorized

6 responses to “Homeowner nightmares…

  1. Wow. That’s crazy. We have an oil furnace and had an old one crap out a few years ago at a bad time. We’ve always used Main Care and they sprang into action. We had space heaters all over our house within hours and a new furnace was installed within a few days. Our furnace cost a lot less than that – but then again, our annual oil bill is outrageous, even when prepaid.

    We’re currently paying down a half a year’s worth of renovations from last year. We did a top to bottom makeover with new paint, flooring, windows, window treatments, deck torn out, etc. So painful to the bank account, but has drastically improved the house. Oh, homeownership….

  2. Glad you are okay with your deal. I would not have been. Main Care gives lovely service but they are very high. Got my furnace for half of what Main Care was able to offer. and got the same product. Still, if it is winter and you’re cold, comfort triumphs bargain I guess. This was a great post, very tight and witty. Keep ’em coming.

  3. So far the furnace is working well but I spent 3 hours this weekend jackassing a heavy wooden ladder between some shrubs and the house so I could reattach a few pieces of siding that came down earlier in the week. I’d call the end result fixed-ish.

  4. Thanks for sharing the pain, friends! I’ve only gotten one Nat’l Grid bill since the install so I don’t know what my savings really are yet, but I imagine I’ll realize some savings each month. It’s always something, right?

  5. Chris VanDoren

    Your readers should know that National Grid will loan you the money to do energy improvements in your house and you pay it back with your electric bill. In the extreme case of replacing an old oil boiler / furnace with a new Natural gas one, the monthly savings are big enough to offset your payments so that you don’t actually pay anything!

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