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Home Repair and Maintenance


We had an appointment for 7pm tonight for the Energy Smart consultant guy to come to our house and go over our Comprehensive Home Assessment report with us. He called me at 6pm tonight to saw that he looked over our report, and found that the second half was screwed up. He said it looked like it was for another house. So now he has to get it redone. We might be able to get it tomorrow night. I am not real happy. I have been looking forward to getting the report. I has been weeks since the audit was done. I want my frigging report!

I wanted to caulk around the box with the switches for our downstairs bathroom. The box was poorly installed and moved alot when you toggled the switches. I wanted to replace it with a more solidly mounted box. I shut off the breaker, marked the wires, pulled the switches, and with a bit of destruction managed to get the box out. I had a new box that would clamp on to the drywall. I went to install it, and the hole in the drywall was just a little too big. Grumble! After alot of consideration, I decided to cut out a chunk of drywall and replace it with another piece, but leaving the space around the new box tighter. I had to pull off the trim from the bathroom door as the drywall went under it. I cut a new piece of drywall to fit, screw it into place, taped and mudded it. Now I am waiting for the mud to dry so I can sand it, and put on a second coat if necessary. Hopefully tomorrow I can get the box installed. I am not going to paint it at this point, but wait until we repaint everything later. I can feel cold our pouring our from behind the box, so this will help seal out house some.

I got a call from the Energy Smart consultant, and he was going to pick up the energy audit report today. We made an appointment for next Tuesday evening to go over the report.

I replaced some more outlets and switches last night while caulking the gaps between boxes and the drywall. I also caulked a couple gaps in the drywall in our garage ceiling. I need to do some more sealing in the garage, to keep the cold air from getting into the rest of the house.
I want to spend some time examining our Andersen windows. I know a few don’t seal well. A few don’t open/close well mostly due the cranks. A buddy of mine used to sell Andersen windows and said I can replace any part on their windows. So I figure out which cranks don’t work well, and if it is a problem with the crank or if they just need lubed or something. I have to check the seals as well.

Still wating for the report. The consultant guy said a couple weeks. His company’s website said an average of 5-7 working days. It has been two weeks and two days (11 business days not counting Martin Luther King Day) since the energy audit, but still no report yet. I talked to the consultant guy on the phone, and he said he has not gotten the report back from the state yet. He thought in the next few days. Seeing that today is Thursday, I am hoping by early next week.

When we bought our house, many of the phone jacks were the old square kind with four holes in the corners. I replaced these with modern style modular jacks. I wanted to do it nicely, so when I removed the old jacks, I cut a rectangular hold in the wall. I inserted a metal bracket into the hole that had tabs that could bent to grip the drywall. This bracket had holes that a phone jack plate could be screwed to.
This was fine until now as I am setting about to seal my house against infiltration and exfiltration of air. I have been caulking the small gaps around my outlet and switch box, yet I have big gaping holes hidden behind my phone jack plates. So I bought some boxes that have little plastic tabs designed for this. I removed the phone jack plates and the metal brackets. I had to cute the hole just a little bigger for the new boxes. I spread a bead of caulk around the inside of the hole. I ran the wire through the box, and inserted the box into the hole in the wall. There are screws that you tighten that will flip the tab out, and then clamp it down to hold the box tightly in position in the dry wall. I added a caulk to fill any remaining gaps around the box. I also replaced the plates that had the phone jacks built into them. I bought a few phone jacks that screw into the box like and outlet or a switch. I then screwed the palte into place. I tried the little foam pads, but they didn’t work well for these and left the plate raised above the phone jack part.
I also caulked and replaced a couple outlets and a switch. I noticed that behind my baseboard heaters there is a hole where the wire comes through the wall. I havne’t figured out the best way to seal this yet. Probably expanding foam, but it seems like the wire needs to slide through the hole a bit to position baseboard heater against the wall.
Still haven’t head back about the home performance energy audit yet. I should call the guy. It has been over two weeks since we had the audit done.

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