31 January 2009

Heat Lamps in Cold Bathrooms

One of the greatest things we put in this house are the heat lamps for the bathrooms.

Mom was the one to suggest it, and knowing from experience how nice it was in grandma Millie's bathroom, I knew it was a good idea. Particularly since there is no heat source in either bathroom.

We did discuss putting in the mat type of radiant heating at one point, but my dad said he didn't think it was a good idea. Too much of a risk with leaks. I think he's wrong, but what do I know? I just think he didn't want to be the one to install it. Daddy and grandpa don't like technology.

Anyway, I think it would have helped take the chill off the bathrooms a bit better than the heat lamp on those cold winter mornings. I know you can put them under tile, and I'm pretty sure you can use them with cork as well.

But anyway, the heat lamps are great, and I'm very glad mom suggested them.

They have a timer, I guess so they don't overheat, but I often use the timer like an alarm in the mornings. When the heat lamp goes off, it's time to be done in the bathroom.

I only wish they came in some kind of cool, retro finish. This plastic doesn't really say bungalow to me.

29 January 2009

Comparing Bungalows

We went to an open house on Sunday. It is a little bungalow, similar to mine, built in 1938. Mostly I wanted to go out of curiosity. Actually there have been many open houses I've wanted to see over the years, but I've been too timid to go since I am not actually house hunting. But this time was different. First of all, I talked mom and Lewis into going with me. Secondly, they are asking almost twice what I paid for my house just five years ago, and I wanted to see how Oliver's Bungalow would compare. We've put a lot of money into our house, and I've been afraid that, at least right now, we have more money sunk into the house than it is worth. Market value worth, not, you know, what it is worth to me. I know that most of the improvements we have made were necessary, long-term investments. But it is interesting to see something so similar, in our neighborhood, on the market for this price.

This little brick bungalow has some things that we don't have, but I still think our house comes out looking better. And if they really get anywhere near their asking price, I'm gonna feel a lot more comfortable about all the money we've spent.

Stuff the Open House Bungalow has that Oliver's Bungalow doesn't:
+ brick construction
+ driveway, off-street parking
+ - one car garage (straight into basement with no dividing walls, safe?)
+ beautiful back porch
+ cool beadboard porch ceiling
- new breaker box, but older electric wiring, outlets and switches
+ central air
- + tiny, tiny, but level lot, nicely landscaped
+ - wash up sink and urinal in basement (what girl doesn't have that on her wish list?)
- steep staircases
- no attic to speak of
+ more nook type storage spaces
+ first floor laundry
- possible foundation damage
- painted, but pretty, wood work (probably oak)

Stuff Oliver's Bungalow has that Open House Bungalow doesn't:

+ all new plumbing
+ two new, larger bathrooms
+ all new electric
+ all hardwood floors
+ restored chestnut wood work, more detailed
+ terrific wide staircases, with easy tread to riser ratio
+ more character
- metal siding covering stucco (in who knows what condition)
- crazy steeply sloped lot
+ more spacious, taller ceilings
+ more closet space
+ better kitchen cabinetry

All in all, it is a cute little house, with a lot of potential, but it needs some major work, just like my house did.

23 January 2009

Loafin' Around

With the winter doldrums, Oli and I have been hunkered down in the house trying to keep warm, watching lots of movies and television.

Oli particularly likes Lauren Graham on Gilmore Girls. His ears perk up when he hears her voice, and he stares at the tv screen.

I've been baking a lot because turning the oven, or the breadmaker on makes the kitchen warmer. Plus, since the breadmaker is still a new novelty, it is getting heavy use.

Cinnamon swirl loaf...
Wheatberry loaf...