So. The excitement of bursting pipes and a flooding basement is over – or at least it has subsided. We are in a holding pattern while we wait for estimates and insurance paperwork to be complete. The deep freeze that set the bursting in motion wreaked havoc on many homes and there is a back log of cases needing attention, so it may be awhile. For now, we’re making the most of it. Either that, we’ve taken ‘red-neck’ to a whole new level…

I’m calling this our new ‘feature wall’. Some people like shiplap, but I’m going with plastic outlined in blue painters tape. Ha! This room was slated to be painted, and it’s nice that Ed didn’t waste time getting it done before the leak. Not sure exactly what color we’ll go with, and I’m not having any luck figuring out what to do for window treatments in here. Suggestions??

The kitchen also has a new ‘feature wall’.

I know how much you’d like to add this look to your own home, but I’m afraid this is a one-of-a-kind design. The coolest part is that there is a matching hole in the ceiling on the other side of that door. Not to mention the exposed antique copper pipe with the bright red PEX pipe along side it. The contrast of old and new adds a stunning component to this feature, and the lath and plaster behind the pipes serves as the perfect backdrop, don’t you think? Ha!

In all seriousness, it’s not bad. And if we can’t poke fun at the situation then we must be the biggest fuddy-duddies ever. People have been displaced indefinitely from their homes because of the mess caused by their burst pipes. I’ll gladly deal with a few extra holes in the walls and find the bright side any day!

One thing to note is the PEX pipe. PEX is freeze-damage resistant. It flexes rather than burst and it is great to use in tight spots like this one where the pipe has to fit around obstacles. Here’s the hole created by the freeze up. PEX piping replaced this section.

Unfortunately, PEX isn’t a great option for us when it comes to fixing the problem of bursting pipes. There is simply too much piping to replace and too many walls to cut open to do it. I’m still convinced that we will use anti-freeze in our heating system next winter. Thayer Corporation published a great article on using anti-freeze. If you’re interested, you can read all about it here.

So far, we’ve had two burst pipes and both times, when the walls were opened up, multiple patches were found indicating that bursting pipes is a chronic problem in this old house. Obviously insulation – or lack of – is part of the problem too. We have an Energy Audit scheduled for next week. I can’t wait! It’s time to FIX the farmhouse! No more band aids!

In preparation of our Energy Audit I’m studying up. My trusty ‘Old House instruction manual’ has helped me know what I should ask and how we can get the most out of the audit. Do you think it would be obnoxious if I followed the person around with my book in hand?  Or maybe just a clipboard with notes? I think I need a hard-hat and safety glasses so I look official. I’m kidding.

Solar panels are next… Stay tuned.

Proverbs 24:3-4 ~ “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established;

and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”




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