Sometime during the month of August, Eau Claire Electric Cooperative offered a service in which they come in to your dwelling and point out where you are losing heat to the outside world and wasting energy and money. The service wasn't free but we decided we really should have it done with propane prices skyrocketing annually.
About that same time, Kim and I did a TV commercial for Chippewa Valley Siding, Roofing, and Supply. We were both impressed with the professional manner that owner, Gary Schilts displayed and so after the energy study, in which we found that the house leaks like a sieve, we gave the bid to Chippewa Valley Siding, Roofing and Supply. (notice how I got that plug in twice?)
First we had our good friend and carpenter Ron Wendt come out and do all the basement walls, which were unfinished concrete. When he finished we could actually feel how much warmer the basement had become!
Then Gary's crew, and Gary himself, came out to tackle the main floor's leak problems. They spent nearly two days sealing off various cracks , nooks and crannies where heat was escaping around such things as window casements, doors, and closet walls.
One of the biggest heat losers was the entire fireplace fixture so we had to make a big decision. We were aware that our roof and the current shingles were starting to be less than up to standard but Gary thought they could last another three years or so. However, insulating the chimney was going to be nearly impossible until such time as they actually opened up the area from above and could see what needed to be done to really get it insulated properly.
We thought it over for several weeks and decided that if putting a new roof on with entirely new blown insulation topped with regular insulation and brand new 50 year warranted shingles would really seal up the house and have a real effect on our heating costs then we might as well do it now as who knows what materials will cost three years down the road - certainly not less!
To top it all off (no pun intended) the weatherman gave us temps in the 40's this week from now until the weekend, by which time the crew pictured intends to have the roof entirely insulated, re-boarded, and shingled.
The only real casualties in this project are our two cats, Stella and Hammy. Every day it must sound to them like the world is coming to and end with the incessant pounding and scraping they can hear coming from above them. They seek refuge under the bed all day every day, quaking in their little fur booties. It is only after the crews shut down for the day that they come out of hiding to eat and take care of their bath room duties.
But we keep telling them how nice and cozy they will be for the rest of their lives!