Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Firewood is hard work!

So we were really excited to have a wood burning furnace in our home,  you can see more info in our previous posts regarding this.  Anyway, we have been steadily working at cutting firewood to feed it all winter long.   I am just guessing that I probably need 5 cords of cut and split wood but who knows until we go through one winter!

Today I measured our stacked firewood and came up with just over 4 cords!  Wow! This represents hours of Julie's and my time cutting, hauling, splitting and stacking.  We still likely have 2 cords cut but not yet split and stacked, plus 1 more already in the basement.

To put that into perspective, one cord of cut and split firewood delivered in Summit County is around $200.00.

Winter heating will be interesting this year in our Colorado Mountain Retreat!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Stellar summer for Breckenridge, Summit County in sales | SummitDaily.com

Stellar summer for Breckenridge, Summit County in sales | SummitDaily.com

Some small improvements

exterior where we removed the door

interior where we removed door

exterior new door

interior new door.  we will replace all damaged drywall.  Also cleaned wall interior with bleach to remove/kill any mold or mildew.
Well as discussed previously,  this home was a bit of a fixer.  One of the problems was in the living room.  First we had 2 doors out to the deck that were huge inswing doors.  This ate up tons of interior floor space.  Second, the existing doors were heavily water damaged form rain and snow.  Third, Ice damming on the roof had caused some interior damage to the walls at the doors.

We decided to eliminate one of the doors to create some wall space on the east, and install a new full lite door on the west, but make that an outswing door.

Yesterday we tackled this job and made huge progress, despite the rain and snow which kept soaking us as we worked outside under the eaves.

We can't put gutters on as the winter snow and ice will rip them off. thus we have to take special precautions with the splash back from the deck.  We used a steel door which will resist water damage better than the wood doors that were originally installed.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

State Farm® | Fire Pit Safety: 6 Tips You Should Know

State Farm® | Fire Pit Safety: 6 Tips You Should Know

Great tips for being safe in your Colorado Mountain Retreat!

3 Blind Moose, 3 Blind Moose... (Of Moose and Men part 2)

Late Monday, after working all day, I was cutting firewood when I heard a crashing and crunching in the trees near our meadow.  Further investigation revealed 3 young Bull Moose!  Julie and I watched with rapt attention for a long time!  This time we have video to prove it!

Look carefully, there are 3 moose, 1 in the foreground and 2 in the bushes behind!  How cool is this!  This little meadow and creek is about 100 yards from our front door.  We live in a special place.

We love our Colorado Mountain Retreat!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Of Moose and men (and women)

Today was a big day!  While out walking Zep and Mogul, we got to meet several of our new neighbors!!  I'm not takling about the human kind, but of the Moose Kind!  We first saw a cow and calf, along with a small bull.  I hurriedly gathered up the dogs so they wouldn't get trampled.  We hurried home to get Julie!  Julie and I returned to the scene, only to find 2 large Bull Moose crossing the road and heading up the hill toward our home!  I tried to get a photo but they disappeared behind some trees, not to be seen again!

I hope we get to see them again soon!  They are magnificent creatures!

We are living in our Perfect Colorado Mountain Retreat!

Colorado ski towns crack down on short-term rentals that avoid lodging taxes - The Denver Post

Colorado ski towns crack down on short-term rentals that avoid lodging taxes - The Denver Post

Friday, September 9, 2011

Projects completed since move in - wow what a list!

We knew the property needed work when we bought it, and we've been steadily working on it as we go.  Of course just the monumental task of moving, with having to bring stuff from different locations and then having to unload the moving truck at the bottom of our driveway into the pickup truck a drive the pickup to the house, was a huge chore, we also had a lot of items that we needed to do just to make the home safe and decent to live in.

The biggest item was the Septic System - We had the system inspected prior to closing and it was found that the septic tank was damaged and needed to be replaced.  The system was also undersized.  Snowbridge of Breckenridge did a fantastic job of installing it quickly and professionally, despite the logistical problem of getting equipment and materials to the site!

Newly installed 200 Amp electrical Panel.
Next was the  outdated and recalled electrical panel.  The original electrical panel was a Federal Electric Stab-Lok style panel which was recalled many years ago. The problem was that the circuit breakers wouldn't trip when overloaded or short circuited.  We tested this defect out the evening we installed the ice maker line for the refrigerator.  I accidentally drilled through a wire, and guess what! the Circuit breaker didn't blow!  Good thing we were watching it and were able to fix it before anything bad happened!  So we were able to get a credit from the seller to replace this panel. With Julie's help, we were able to get the new panel installed and most circuits up and running in one day!  We were able to get the remaining circuits, which included the heating circuits a couple of days later.

Many Smaller Projects:

1. As mentioned above - install the ice maker line
2. Install new sink and Faucet - The faucet leaked terribly and the sink was a harvest gold cast iron sink - time to go! thanks to the Habitat Restore in Eagle CO where we found a great stainless steel kitchen sink for only $15.00. The same sink at Home Depot was $180!!!
3. Install agarbage disposal - Hey just because we live at the end of the grid, doesn't mean we can't have all the luxuries!
4. Replace the bathtub drain which leaked.
5. Replace second floor toilet.  Although we will have to do this for a second time as the el cheapo toilet we bought at Home Depot doesn't flush s**t worth a s**t!!
6. Cut, split and stack 2+ cords of firewood we still need 2 or more cords before snow flies!
7. Build a fenced area for the dogs!
8. Repair some big potholes in our driveway.

On top of all this, Julie has done a fantastic job of cleaning the home, organizing and putting away all of our stuff!  There are always countless hours required for this and it is a tiresome and thankless job! Thanks Julie for your hard work!  The house looks beautiful!

All of this for having our perfect Colorado Mountain Retreat!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Here is the video of the Bear in our yard...

This bear was video'd after he'd has the chocolate syrup and the beer!

What will you find at your Colorado Mountain Retreat?

Heating with a WOOD Furnace!

Mogul has split a lot of firewood today!
So one of the cool things about this home is our STEEL KING wood burning furnace.  This looks and works much like a gas or oil burning furnace, except that the fuel for it is wood.  Now I live on 6 acres of mainly spruce forest, so finding firewood is not an issue.

I remember being a kid and visiting my grandparent's home in Connecticut and going down in the basement.  There was this huge boiler down there.  My understanding was that it was originally wood fired, then coal fired, and finally it had been converted to oil burning.  This was a big old creaky, moaning, fire belching monster in the basement.  This was my only experience with wood burning furnace.

I had previously had a wood stove in our rental home in Breckenridge and heated most of the time we were there with wood.  I didn't even know they made wood burning furnaces any more.  I found this website - Energy King which seems to have the same or similar furnaces to Steel King.  I'm not sure if it is the same company or not, just with a new name.  They appear to look and work the same.

Ductwork just like any forced air system
Rear of Furnace showing combustion air fan.
The furnace has the same type of ductwork as a gas fired one, and my model has a combustion air fan.  This fan is thermostatically controlled.  When the thermostat calls for heat the fan turns on, kicking up the heat on the fire. Then there is a squirrel cage blower fan to circulate the warm air.
In the future, I am going to add cold air return ducts as currently the fan pulls air from the basement to warm and distribute out.  My filter is already getting clogged after just a few days of light heating.  I think pulling air from upstairs instead of right next to the furnace will result in better air flow, and less cleaning of the air filter.

We are not yet really cold so it's hard to say how well this system will heat the house, but no doubt they will reduce our electric bills for using our baseboard heat. One small item to repair is the ducts all need to be reattached and taped and sealed as the original owner didn't even screw them together.  I'll accomplish that soon so that more air gets distributed directly into the rooms where it is needed.

We are loving our Colorado Mountain Retreat, and we can help you find yours!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Moving In - A Saga by any stretch!

Zeppelin is helping me with the moving truck!
Good morning everyone! We have been off the Blog for a while due to internet availability issues (more on this later and our creative solution).  We made it to closing and the purchase went off with no hitches.  The move in, however, was challenging to say the least.  First, we still had a ton of stuff in storage in Erie that wouldn't fit in our old house.  Second, the driveway to the new house was questionable for the moving van.  I had to drive to Boulder on Friday night to rent the truck.  I then loaded our stuff in Erie and drove up to Breckenridge.  We hired 3 great guys in Breck to help us move! Thanks to them, or we never would have gotten moved.

As expected, we couldn't get the van up the driveway to the house (or rather I was afraid that I may never get the truck out of there after getting it there!  We parked the truck at the bottom of the hill and loaded stuff into my old green chevy pickup and brought a little bit a t a time to the house.  This probably increased our moving time 3 fold, but saved us from the pain and expensive tow bill for hauling a stuck moving van out of our driveway!

To cap off a stressful move - we had to have the van back to Boulder Sunday PM, so off we go down I-70 in the horrible traffic! Took us about 4.5 hours to get from Breck to Boulder - uuuuugh time to widen that road people!

Julie and I have found our perfect Colorado Mountain Retreat, Let us help you find yours!