I know, I know. I said I'd be back here yesterday with a full report of everything exciting that's been happening. I had a ton going on, though, and it simply didn't happen.
Monday night, one of my errands was ordering flooring for my dining room and what is supposed to be a formal living room/front room. We use it as my office, my sewing area, and the kids' "office", in addition to being used as a playroom. Our plan is to hire someone and install built-in bookshelves and cupboards all around the room, with 2 built-in desks in the corners, and use it as a library. Hubby even wants to have a nice table in the middle of the room for the kids to do their homework at... eventually. Conservatively, this project will run us 3-5K... which is why it isn't done yet (and we've been planning it since we moved in, 2.5 years ago). So anyway, I bought 400 square feet of prefinished solid-wood flooring, and it was available for pick up on Wednesday. While hubby was at work and the Prince was at preschool, I went over and let them load it all into the back of my van, then came home and unloaded it while the Princess took a nap.
Wednesday morning (before I picked up the floor), we had an appointment for a consultation with a "Comfort Advisor" (SALESMAN) from a local Heating and Cooling company. We'd finally called them after receiving several promotional offers in the mail, knowing that we would have to replace our system soon. Both our furnace and air conditioner were original units (the house was built in 1984), and the furnace had a manufacture date of 1982 stamped on it... really, they aren't made to last 20+ years. This guy was at our house for THREE HOURS. I kid you not, THREE FRICKIN' HOURS. He looked at all of our old power bills (which are apparently almost double what they could/should be!), discussed our HVAC desires, and looked at our current equipment. He talked about some of our options and made a couple of suggestions... Hubby has an MBA in International Economics, and loves to negotiate- but this guy had zero negotiating power, and we were already getting the promotional price. Hubby asked Salesman to call Owner of Company (local company) and ask if Owner would agree to the price that Hubby was offering... over $1000 less than the promotional price. Salesman was not excited about calling his boss- you could tell that he was rather nervous- but did it anyway. Salesman almost crapped his pants when Hubby negotiated his way to the price he wanted and Owner agreed... Hubby stood his ground and was firm on his price, Owner ended up LOSING 5% on the sale!!! (Holy smokes, batman!) We just had to agree to give them a referral... we've given several already.
Thursday morning their truck pulled into my driveway and two days of unending joy began. (Can you feel the sarcasm?)
They turned off the furnace and began dismantling the existing system, by the end of the day the new furnace was up and running... they left after 6 PM. Friday morning they returned to hook up the air conditioner and heat pump (we decided to get the more efficient technology), and to clean out our air vents/duct work. This cleaning meant that they had to get to EVERY. VENT AND DUCT. IN. THE. HOUSE. I have only floor registers, luckily only one is covered by big furniture (the entertainment center and TV!)... 2/3 of the cold air return registers, however, are covered by furniture. So the moving of furniture and cleaning so they could get to all of the registers was a pain in the ass. Seriously, would you let someone into your home tomorrow and show them every register in your home? Ugh. But it's done, and everything is clean and sterile (they spray an antimicrobial throughout the ductwork to kill anything that is living in there!)
They also installed a new thermostat, one that works with the heat pump. I read the manual, and programmed it, following the the instructions word-for-word. It was supposed to drop down to 65 degrees at 10 PM... but my thermometer (and the one on the thermostat) said that it was 75 inside. I told it to go down to 63 degrees. By 11 PM, it was 77 in the house. I turned it to OFF. The furnace didn't turn off.... and we called the company. The service guy showed up, did some troubleshooting, and decided that the thermostat was faulty. He replaced it and left, well after midnight.
Now, after days of excitement, I am trying to unwind a bit. We'd planned on installing the flooring this weekend, as it is a 3-day weekend, but I decided that it wouldn't be a good idea; as the wood is supposed to acclimate to the environment of wherever it will be installed (temperature-controlled!) for a minimum of 3 days prior to installation. If we hadn't have had the furnace and air conditioner replaced, we would have been A-OK, but considering the inside temp has fluctuated between 60 and 77 degrees, it probably isn't the smartest idea... we'll plan on another weekend soon to tackle that project.
I'll get pictures taken and added to this post asap- the camera is being used by Hubby for some of his work stuff right now, and it's too darn cold to go outside anyway. (2 degrees, with a windchill of NEGATIVE 13.)