January 10, 2012

More waiting and more planning.

It's been awhile since I last wrote, because we are STILL waiting for our building permits!  Although, we did have some activity, in the week before Christmas, when we managed to narrowly escape a Site Plan Approval application. All I can say is "WHEW!"  Best gift I recieved by far this year! If it hadn't been for Al down at City Hall (and his retirement on December 31st, no doubt!), we would likely be stalled in the black hole of permit processing for another 4 to 6 months (never mind the new application package copied 20 times, no less, and the $2600 fee).  We got LUCKY!
So while I'm waiting I'm still planning.  That never stops it seems.  I'm researching heating and air conditioning options, looking at kitchen designs and flooring ideas.  Pinterest and Houzz are getting a lot of visits from our computer these days!  I was really hoping to do a geothermal heating and air conditioning system but am leaning now towards a boiler with in-floor heating in the basement, main floor and bathrooms and radiators in the bedrooms. 

The biggest factor is probably cost.  We would need at least 4 x 200ft. holes dug in our front yard for geothermal and the cost for this is in the range of $40,000 alone! The other downsides to geothermal (for us) are: 1. the loss of head room in an already low basement because of the larger than normal ducts required and 2. the noise of a forced air system.

You can do hydronic floor heating with a geothermal system, but you would still need to install the ducts for the cooling side.  I think we'll just have to think of other ways to make our home more energy efficient.  It is a real drag that the "greenest" options are still so darned expensive!  Frustrating, in fact!
But on to the fun stuff!  I am in love with Claire Stubbs' home featured in Canadian House and Home. 


Those walnut floors are just so super gorgeous!  There are different opinions on whether or not 3/4 inch hardwood floors should be installed over hydronic floor heating tubes so we're not sure if these floors or reclaimed wood floors (my other flooring love) will work for us.  Fortunately there is a beautiful engineered walnut floor that Torly's makes that might work instead.  I'll have to look into this a bit more before we make any decisions.

Summit Designer - Cabot Trail Walnut