My husband and I went away for a weekend with my sister-in-law to Fort Erie, Ontario this weekend. L has bought a new home – as in new to her – with the intention of fixing it up. My husband is an electrical engineer, not an electrician but he does know the basics of wiring a house and how much electrical load should be on the breakers, wires etc, etc, more than I know. What I know is if you’re going to buy a century old home with the idea of fixing it up to make a profit or even to just get your money back out of it…well…don’t bother unless you’ve fallen in love with the location and said house.
I suppose having said that there is no profit to be made in buying an older house that there are exceptions to the rule such as location, lot size, type of house etc but if the lot isn’t that great, the house unspectacular then chances are you’re going to be spending a lot of money without a great return on your investment when you go to resell the house in a couple of years. (There was a movie made about this, I believe it was called the Money Pit)
What I learned this weekend is that it’s really hard to re-wire a house that has plaster walls and has been wired not according to code and the wires are running hap-hazardly across the ceiling and walls. In other words my hubby and SIL’s boyfriend spent most of the weekend trying to figure out which wire was which (yes they did have a wiring diagram but had to test every line to see which breaker it was on etc). In all my husband managed to re-wire a ceiling fan and that was it. The house does have a few more holes in it then it did before such as when they figured it was better to run a wire under the house in the crawl-space and up the floor only to crawl under the house and find out the crawl-space was flooded (standing in water to put in an electrical connection is “not” a good idea). Did I mention the house has no eavestroughs? I realise now in a big way why houses have eavestroughs. I could go on and on about this house.
I don’t think I fully realised before this weekend how careful you have to be when wiring new circuits into an existing system. You might think that if you over-loaded a circuit then the breaker would just trip but I found out that you can have a scenario where there is too much of a load and the breaker doesn’t trip. What you then have is a wire that gets very hot and can cause an electrical fire. I believe this is what happens when people plug in mutiple extension cords into one outlet and fires start. I have to admit to being one of those persons who doesn’t think about it and just plug in to the wall and figure if it works it works and if it doesn’t it doesn’t.
Anyhow, long story sort, while the boys were busy trying to install outlets us two girls went cross-border shopping as the Peace bridge was five minutes from the house. I managed to hit JoAnn’s and buy some goodies or booty if you will while my SIL bought stuff at the Bed and Linen while I was getting my loot. (The Peace bridge is the crossing from Canada into the United States for those not knowing) Material is cheaper in the States for the most part although I noticed there isn’t quite the descrepancy in prices for items as last time I visited, maybe because our dollar is almost on par this time around.
The stash in it’s entire glory.
Plastic template kit to use with a rotary cutter for a wedding quilt I’m contiplating making for my daughter who’s marrying in September. The cashier graciously gave me 50% off as I didn’t have a coupon being from across the border. I thought she was splendid because I wasn’t expecting it and it’s an example of one small kindness that made my day.
The Gutermann thread was a good deal at half the price for the larger size. I picked out some basic colours that you always need plus I bought the reds, greens and gold for the Christmas fabric that I’d bought at the beginning of the year so I’m pleased. Funnily enough one of my favorite purchases was the little plastic bin, which is a nice size for keeping the bits and bobs together off my working surfaces. It only cost $3 dollars so it goes to show you that the things that make you happy in life are not necessarily expensive.