Talk about not building Rome in a day, it’s taken a lot more time just to get going than we anticipated, and by get going, I just mean started. We purchased a new home at the end of October and shared in my November and December blogs about buying this amazing new house and living in our new home/creative space/studio salon location, and since then a lot has happened which has caused much less to be accomplished. But as I always say, I'm not that special, so I know many others have experienced these types of hold ups or similar, let's get caught up.
Snow what? With the amount of snow we had this winter, an average of one new snow fall every 7 days, and freezing temperatures that lasted until mid-April, we had some major set backs in moving forward. When we purchased the 150(+-) year-old home we knew we had roof and chimney issues, plus we thought converting from oil to natural gas would be smart in the long run. Unfortunately, the original gas system we were looking to convert to needed a chimney liner, and in order to do that the chimney would first need to be replaced, and to do that it couldn’t be freezing. So, first we were told March would be the soonest, but April ended up being the reality before they could start. That ended up being ok though, because the further we got into the winter the more we realized we didn't just need to convert to natural gas, we needed something completely different.
Bring on the Gas
After running out of oil the day after Thanksgiving and purchasing over $7,500 dollars in oil in addition to what the previous home owner left us, we realized we had a problem. With an estimated $11,000 annual heating cost staring us in the face, we went back to our HVAC guy, Al, to see what we could do. Thank goodness Al is such a great guy, he worked with us and set us up for success with a hi-efficiency computerized natural gas boiler and small commercial hot water heater to service the house and salon. This was a lot of money to spend, but the savings down the road should more than repay the cost, our estimates are about $5000+ per year in savings, which will pay for the system in four years.
The roof needed to be repaired around the chimneys and although we had thought at one point about doing the entire roof, we were advised that only around the chimneys was needed. So after replacing the chimneys and the roof area around the chimneys, we now have fresh new leaks in other areas and will now be replacing the entire roof.
With such a small space this time, working with less than 800 square feet total, Leah and I decided to use and architectural firm to help us design the studio because we just could not see the layout. This was something different for us as all of the three previous salons we owned we had always done the design ourselves. But, this time was different and we needed some help. So, while the team from the architectural firm was taking measurements and we were talking, it started to come together. The more we spoke the more the ideas became a vision and our new studio began to become a reality on paper.
With still many choices ahead, from high-end options for styling, shampoo chairs and a studio designed to create an experience, there will be lots more coming. But, for now we have our plans approved, have met with construction companies for bids and have started demo on our new studio with 4 chairs and 2 shampoo sinks. Our plan now is to take a little more time, finish the roof and have the studio ready for guests early fall 2014.