We have gas!
No, not that kind of gas. Though you know, every now and again…
But I digress. I’m here to talk about natural gas service during the rough-in phase of our contemporary home remodel. Before I do that, I’m going to back up a bit and tell you a funny story.
Up to this point, I have avoided talking about Myrtle’s previous owner. I chose not to make our escrow drama public should he ever find himself coming across this blog one day. He’s a nice enough guy, I’m sure, and I wouldn’t want there to be any hurt feelings. I’ll just say that the process of purchasing Myrtle was not a fun one and we almost walked away from the whole thing more than once.
I will tell you this one story – who knows, maybe I’ll crack and tell more later – because it directly pertains to this post.
Amidst the drama that went on during the escrow, one of the issues that kept popping up was the misrepresentation of the age and condition of many parts of the home. Most of these things were laid bare after our thorough and expanded inspections. 10 and 15 year old HVAC units? No, they are actually 21 and 25 years old…
Hem-hem, back on topic…
The electric tankless water heater was used as an important selling point of the property. “It’s hot, it’s endless, and it was purchased to be oversized for the home!” We were told.
It was also – we discovered after the inspections – dead as a door nail.
Knowing we were facing a major renovation from the get-go, I can’t recall if we chose to use the dead water heater as a point of re-negotiation on the price of the house or not. I do know we mostly lumped its replacement in with the rest of the budget and figured it was just one of those things that would become a moot point after the remodel.
At the closing, once everything was signed and done, the seller asked if he could have one more moment of our time. He brought up the tankless water heater and listed all of its wonderful qualities.
.. but then went into a lengthy, detailed explanation of what we’d have to do when it breaks. This involved a process of removing the panel and taking out a part that contains some kind of miraculous foreign alloy, mailing it (“it fits right into a fixed-rate priority mail box”) to Miami, Florida, and waiting for its replacement.
While you live in a house with no hot water in the meantime, I guess?
My husband – politely – interjected to let him know that the water heater was already dead. The seller looked surprised. Fumbled over the fact that he hadn’t been there in a while, etc.
Again, we didn’t care really, it was a minor issue on a list of much larger ones. We just thought it was funny that we were given a long explanation of how to fix this amazing water heater while we sat there knowing it was already a done Tom Turkey.
Later, a few weeks into the remodel, one of our sub-contractors came to take a look at the water heater. “Oh, I know about these… they are absolute junk.” He said. He also told us that not only was it not oversized for the house, it wasn’t even sufficient for it.
Hold on, lemme find my shocked face…
But anyway, that’s all behind us, and now we have a correctly-sized beauty of a tankless gas water heater that… works.
But we will always laugh about the story of the incredible original water heater with its core of “unobtanium” alloy.
(credit to my husband for that gem)
In addition to running new gas lines for the new water heater, we also needed lines run into the main floor kitchen and the basement. A gas range was on our list of “non-negotiable must-haves”. I author a food blog and both of us enjoy cooking and baking. There’s just no substitute for a gas range.
The home already had natural gas service, but only had lines of sufficient size to run the two gas fireplaces in the family room and office as well as a small gas heating unit in the basement. That meant that not only did we have to run several new lines into the house to feed the new appliances, we also had to upgrade the main lines coming into the house.
Oh, it was also found that the line feeding the small heating unit was leaking gas. So that’s cool. Moving on…
The basement was the easiest. The outside gas line is next to the exterior sliding door to the basement, so the new line runs right above the ceiling, and then an access panel was cut next to the wall to turn the corner.
And here’s the finished line in the basement.
Running the line to feed the gas range in our kitchen utilized the new walls that were constructed in the basement. The walls offered a convenient pathway to get the lines where they needed to be before popping them up through the ceiling and into the kitchen above.
This photo is a bit zoomed out, but you can see the gas line in the knee wall that will anchor the new island. This also gives you a good sneak peek at the new kitchen floor! We used a wide plank wood tile and so far I am loving how it looks. Can’t wait to see it with the cabinets installed!
Yet another bonus shot of Shelby. She’s been spending more time at the house than Jasper, so she’s been getting an up close view of all the new progress.
We had some pretty major repair and new rough-in work to the gas, electrical, and plumbing, but Myrtle is getting some nice, new upgraded innards and we know it’s all going to be worth it in the end.
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