My house that is. We love our home, the layout, the location and the neighborhood. We saw some really weird assed layouts while looking. In fact the oddest one was where you walk into the pantry and to your right was a toilet. Yep, a toilet open in the pantry with the shelves of food to the left. What was worse was that there was a window above the toilet. So whomever was walking in the backyard could look in while a guy stood to pee. Oh lets not forget that there's a toilet next to the open food shelves! BARF!
Anyways, one thing we noticed about this house is that it definitely wouldn't pass CA code. There are no low flow shower heads or toilets. There is a giant garden tub which requires an 80 gallon water heater and I think they used the minimum insulation required in this state. With winter here we just started to notice these things. Maybe we should have thought about the water heater when we were looking but we didn't. We just liked the layout so much and the fact that the neighborhood was complete so no more construction noise, dust and dirt.
I like my garden tub so to be more efficient we went looking for an 80 gallon WH blanket. Lowes & Home Depot only carry a 60, so we had to google until we found one. We also wrapped the pipes leading into the home for the least amount of heat loss.
I also noticed that any electrical outlet that is on an exterior wall has cold air coming in it. That's mostly because they went light on the insulation. That's a home repair that I will do when the man deploys. Its pretty easy, just go to Lowes and in the electrical section there are these little foamy, rubbery things that go under the face plate over the box to stop the draft from coming in. I think I have about 20 of them and a few light switches too.
Oh and there's nothing like having a hairy, fluffy dog to help you figure out where the drafts are in your home - the front door, the sliding glass door & the vent less fireplace. Since she's usually warm she sleeps in front of the drafts to keep cool. I am going to wait until summer when my parents come out for Oz's first birthday but my Dad's going to help me pull the front door off the hinges and replace the weather stripping at the base of the door. He's also going to help me pull the molding off of the sliding glass door, squirt in that foam insulation stuff and replace the molding. From feeling around, apparently we also need to do that for the garden tub. Its over the garage (our bathroom) so I assume with all that open space of the garage the garden tub seems to let a little draft in too. The only place I am not sure how to fix is the vent less fireplace. I wouldn't want to squirt the foam insulation and have the crap catch on fire later. Any suggestions on that fix would be good.
I am also going to paint, one room a month. Sounds silly but with a little one on the verge of being mobile that's about right. I need to paint this place with a washable paint. The kitchen and master bath I plan on painting a sage colour, our bedroom the pale blue we used in Leavenworth and the rest of the place the neutral sand colour. The bathrooms really need the paint soon to keep away the mold and mildew that can grow on a flat paint. So once I pick the paint, I will start the bathrooms first.
Here's a hint, when you buy upgrades in a new home, get better padding not carpet, upgrade to a washable paint and if they offer a heavier insulation go for it! Other than that, just enjoy the home, we love ours just need to make it a little more Californian. (And how many people thought CA was just weird? Their homes are much more efficient than TN.)