I have two coats of paint to apply to the walls today in order to see some progress on a renovation that was started in January. This renovation is a continuation of last years project, which took two and a half months. And this was a continuation of a project the year before, which took most of the summer.
There were two goals to doing this work. From my husbands perspective, we were going to make this house less drafty, and therefore reduce fuel consumption. Note, I said reduce consumption, not reduce cost. From my perspective, we were going to banish house flies from ever entering the house again.
House flies might seem like a minor inconvenience, but when 30 or 40 of them are buzzing around the room every day, sitting on my supper, and batting themselves silly inside lamp shades at night, they are a real pain.
The first year, my spousal unit bought several cases of sealer, and went around the outside of the house filling every crack and cranny he could find. There was no appreciable difference in the fly population, but it likely helped the draft situation. The next year, we started addressing the problem from the inside, and started with the family room. We removed all the tongue and groove pine wall boards, vapor barrier and insulation. When we identified the places where flies and mice were obviously entering, we filled the holes. Then, we reinstalled the insulation, vapor barrier, and drywall. (And caulked the windows, put down new flooring, replaced the old bar cabinets, etc, etc.)
We were so pleased with the result of this project, that this year we are doing the same thing to the dining room, living room, front entry, stairs, and hallway. We didn’t find any places where the “mickey’s” are coming in, but found a few more crevices that were being used by the flies. Fly be Gone – and now they are. It is wonderful.
There are a few of lifes little unanswered questions in this story. We don’t have any more flies coming into the house, but we also have very few flies outside, either. Is it because they don’t hang around houses that they can’t get into? Or is it because fly populations swell and crash for some reason? Will we ever be completely finished any reno project before we start another one? How many years from now will the next owner of this house tear of the baseboards in the living room and say, “Oh look, this wall was once painted Autumn Leaf!”?