Saturday, March 22, 2008

Back At It

I’m trying to get back in to the swing of things this weekend. Aside from the unfortunate events of last weekend, I also had family in town. None of these things are conducive to plowing through a project.

Today I picked up where I left off with the utility room. I’m putting up salvage, 10-foot long pieces of 1X6 double-bead beadboard. They are going vertically on the wall, so imagine all of the fun of installing a wood floor, only you’re doing it on a wall. Some boards can take as long as 20 minutes to finesse them in to place. Lots of up and down on a ladder with tools between your legs and in your teeth.

I had finished the 3 easy walls two weeks ago. These were the walls with no plumbing on them. Today I started in on the wall with the laundry hook-ups and the water heater. The pace pretty much ground to a halt.

Not only is it time consuming to measure and cut holes for water, gas, and electrical outlets, but I’m also at the bottom of the pile with the salvaged beadboard. I had kind of planned it this way. Much of this wall will be hidden behind appliances and shelves, so this is a good spot for some of the more questionable pieces of wood. Still, I’m spending a lot more time at the wood pile picking just the right piece of wood.

It took me 5 hours today to install just 9 pieces of wood. That is a blistering pace of 33.3 minutes per board. This also included draining and moving the water heater. This is earthquake country, so that baby was strapped to the wall pretty good. I also had to be very careful marking the studs so I could sink the lag bolts for the strapping back in to the studs. More careful measuring.

I toyed with the idea of a tankless water heater, but in the end decided it was not in the budget at the moment. The current water heater is almost new, and a few years back I put in a new vent flue for it. It turns out that I can’t use the current double walled, insulated vent flue for the new tankless water heaters.

The one I was looking at is $931.00 on-line, plus another $250 for a vent kit. I would also need to install a secondary air intake for it. The same exact model locally costs $1,300, plus $300 for the vent kit. Go figure. Not only was there the cost, but I’m too impatient to wait for delivery of the on-line one – I don’t want to put the whole project on hold for a week or two – and I can not, with a good conscious, pay $419 more for the same exact thing if I buy it locally.

So, I’ll remain in the dark-ages with my 40-gallon behemoth of a water heater for a few more years. I feel like such a savage every time I look at it now.


Anonymous said...

Savagery is good, especially if its paid for. I have a fairly primitive HVAC that still works.

Tool belts are where it is at, unless working in finished space. What type is up to the individual user. Some go with a large pouch on each side like a beast of burden. Then there's the batman utility belt style, kept losing track of what was where .... on my own person.

I like a fairly compact tool pouch on my right side, since I'm a righty. Hammer, 25' tape, nail puller, pencils, two nail sets, cell phone, two screwdrivers, speed square, and whatever fasteners I needed. One tends to lean to one side but it works.

Greg said...

yea, I have a tool belt I was forced to buy for a residential wiring course. I never did like wearing it. The main tool between my knees was the nail gun.

Derek said...

We still have a 40 gallon behemoth as well, and I've been thinking of tankless. The tank seemed new when we moved in, so it can't be more than 6 years old. It seems a shame to get rid of something that still works. Ours is vented in to chimney, which is unlined, so we'll be changing to direct vent. Nail gun between the legs sounds dangerous...