MONDAY, JUNE 27, 2005

The workshop

Good news and bad news, as those two always seem to travel in pairs on this project. The good news is, we can move all of our air conditioning equipment into the workshop. This is an old building next to the summer kitchen — we have no idea what it’s original purpose might have been, and we’re not even sure why we call it “the workshop” since it’s only recent purpose has been for storage. But it is historic so we are restoring it, even though we had no idea what to do with it. Now we know: It’s for equipment.

Now it may seem odd to put a bunch of air conditioners inside a building, but we’ve gone to great effort (and expense) to hide all modern-day equipment. These compressors were going to be in a grated pit along the west side of the mansion, which was okay but certainly not ideal; this is much better. (We got the idea from Charming Forge, who had put their air conditioners in the attic.)

The bad news is that there are two 200-year-old sycamore trees between the workshop and the basement, so Adam Moyer (who is handling the HVAC as well as the plumbing) has to figure out to get the refrigerant into the mansion without hurting those trees. His initial idea was to just go around them, but I think his lines will be way too long. We’ll see.

On a related note, we moved the electric box to the privy after PP+L (the local electric provider) wanted to install a four-foot meter box on the outside of the mansion. This decision cost us almost $10,000, so you know I’m not very happy with PP+L at the moment. Now they’re telling us they’re going to install a new pole next to the privy, and put a transformer on it!! Can you imagine? I think these people are out to get us. I don’t know what their problem is, but I didn’t just spend $10,000 to hide the electric, only to put a transformer on a pole next to the mansion…

And finally, the plumber needed us to buy fixtures today, so Dawn went shopping. We had already decided on everything except the showers, but I gave her the names of six local places that carried the brand I wanted. (You can see their products here.) Needless to say, not one of the six had anything in stock that Dawn could look at. They were so helpful, they suggested Dawn order six showers sight-unseen. I don’t think so, unless they want to pay for shipping both ways. So now I’ve been tasked with finding a local dealer in Los Angeles and handling it. Yay, I get to contribute!