Tag Archives: gas

The Gas Man Cometh

WEEK 16: aka The Continuing Saga of the Gas Service. When I last left off this topic, we had remedied many of the gas line installation woes with our utility company. They had correctly repositioned our project as a “flood recovery” one and therefore were much more receptive to our needs. They agreed to install the new gas line, at their expense. We dig a trench, they do the rest. They gave us a date to allow us time to get the trench dug.

SURPRISE: Imagine our surprise when they showed up a week early. Giant piles of dirt and a huge excavator were in the way. As a trench was yet to be dug out, they promptly left, vowing to return the following week.

Flood Savvy

A PROMISE IS A PROMISE: Knowing how hard it had been to get them to come at all, we were worried we had missed our window of opportunity with conEdison. Would they come back as they had promised? Indeed they did – again earlier than expected. Again, our site was not ready. So …. they just went ahead and did what they needed to do without any help from us.

Flood Savvy

New gas line installed – meter to be added later

LIKE MAGIC: Note the big pile of dirt in the background? No trench in sight. Apparently, they have the tools to dig a narrow access hole to install the new gas line that does not require any trench at all. One day we did not have this on the side of our house, the next day we did. Poof!

Making what should be a short story infinitely longer, we still need to have the meter installed and the gas turned back on – prior to being able to move back home. But before we can do that, our plumber has to check the amount of load for the house and make sure all of our interior pipes are in good working order, before the inspector will pass the house for the plumbing inspection, before conEdison will come back again.

WHAT A DRAG IT IS GETTING OLD: As I’ve mentioned before, our house is old – almost 100 years old. Guess what else is old? Our interior gas pipes – not quite that old, but old enough to merit an extensive overhaul. Many of the gas pipes were found to be leaking at all of the joints. They were installed in the era when pipes were merely joined in a screw-type fashion, not sautered. Rather than fix all the leaks, it was determined to be more cost-effective to replace them. Not all of them, but most. The plumber said it was imperative to fix the leaks or the house was at risk of blowing up.

“You don’t want your house to blow up, do you?” he asked.

“Not if I’m in it,” I replied.

Although an older home does offer certain charms lacking in those built in the current age, it comes with a cost of high maintenance. There is little we haven’t had to update in this old house. The upgrades and updates have been extensive.

Dear future homeowner of this house …. you’re welcome.

Stair Elevation Design for Elevated House

WEEK 15: After spending a few days in awe of the flooding that has recently occurred in Boulder, Colorado, I’m back with an update on my flood mitigation project. We’re up to week 15 and taking steps toward seeing a completion date – or – rather making steps this week.

Digging down deep

Digging down deep

Building the footings for the new front steps

Building the footings for the new front steps

The photo above depicts our crew building the footings for what will become our new front steps. Notice how far down they had to dig? As we live in a climate that experiences a true winter, they had to dig down roughly 4.5 feet to reach below the frost line.

The other item of note in the photo above is our sewer line, the pipe in the foreground. This summer we had it power-blasted to remove tree roots (that had nothing to do with an elevation project, just part of general house maintenance). Prior to this, I can honestly say I never once thought of my sewer pipe. Reading about the recent sewer pipes bursting during the Colorado flood this past week, spewing raw sewage into the street and a few basements of unlucky homeowners, I’m happy to know this nondescript pipe is fine and in good health.

The pipe is our gas line

The small pipe is our gas line

The footings required  a site visit and an approval from the building inspector prior to work continuing on the infrastructure for the staircase. Note the slim pipe laying there looking so innocent, like it was not the cause of ANY grief at all.  That little pipe represents an enormous hurdle to any elevation project. I’ve lamented about it several times in earlier posts, our gas line, running from our house to the street.

No visible pipes anymore, buried underneath

No visible pipes anymore, buried underneath

The steps are really starting to take shape. I’m still uncertain as to what the final product will look like as the steps were yet another huge point of contention in this elevation project. I’m not going to beat that dead horse again, but suffice it say these are the steps what worked. Feel free to review some earlier posts where I went into great detail about the numerous versions of steps we considered as well as other options available to suit other homes.

Front steps take shape

Front steps take shape

This may seem like a lot of photos just for the steps – and they’re not even finished yet! That’s how big of an issue they were to this project. In hindsight or to the casual observer, it’s easy to suggest – what’s the big deal? Suffice it to say creating proportionate and eye-pleasing steps to get into a home that is now almost 5 feet higher than it used to be is easier said than done.