Accessible freezer/refrigerator outlets

When the power went out during Hurricane Irma last year, one of the issues we had was reaching the outlets that the freezer and refrigerator were plugged into so that we could plug them into the generator.  The outlets are in the wall behind the middle of each appliance, so we have to pull them out to reach the plug.  Not so easy when you’ve stuffed the freezer and refrigerator full to help them stay cold/frozen.

With Hurricane Florence on the way, we wanted to make the freezer and refrigerator plugs a little easier to reach in case we need to run them on the generator.  The shortest extension cords I have handy are either 25′-50′ long, or not a heavy enough gauge to handle the freezer and refrigerator current requirements.

A trip to Lowe’s got me a couple of 2-foot long 12-gauge extension cords (similar to this one but without the circuit breaker) and storage hooks.

Find a wall stud that’s within reach of the extension cord, drill a pilot hole, and screw in the storage hook.  Plug in the extension cord, plug the refrigerator into the extension cord, and you’re in business.  I zip tied the extension cord to the hook so that everything would stay in place.

It’s a bit ugly, and we’re definitely not going to win any style contests, but it works.  Now when we need to plug the freezer and/or refrigerator into the generator, we can just reach over and grab the plug without having to move anything.

Once we get around to having a transfer switch for the generator installed, all of this will become a bit redundant, but that’s ok.  I’ll just patch up the holes and put the extension cords and hooks to use somewhere else.

Covering the garage attic opening

With the space over the garage insulated, that just left the opening in the ceiling that gets you into the attic space uninsulated.

I happened to have a section of peg board about the right size, so I attached some drawer pulls I found at the local Habitat for Humanity store ($0.50 each) and glued a couple of the extra insulation batts to the board.

Attic entry cover
Attic entry cover

It lays nicely on top of the attic entry opening.

Attic opening cover
Attic opening cover

Moving it out of the way is a little bit cumbersome, but easy to do. Lift it up, turn 90 degrees and set it down on the rafters behind you.

Not sure how long it will last with repeated handling. At some point I might decide to replace the batts with some pieces of foam insulation. I think this will work well for now though.

Garage insulation followup

Finally getting into some consistently warm and more typical weather for this time of year. It’s not getting really hot  yet, but it’s hot enough to tell that the insulation I put in over the garage seems to be helping quite a bit to moderate the garage temperature.

Up in the attic space, I was measuring temperatures in the mid 30s (°C) while in the garage it was in the low 20s. Much more comfortable.

If the temperature difference stays around 10°C during the height of the summer heat, insulating the garage will have been totally worth the investment.

Garage insulation

This year I decided to insulate the attic space above the garage. During the summer, the garage stays pretty hot and muggy, and nothing saps the will to work on projects in the garage more than stepping into a 40°C workspace.

The attic gets pretty toasty in the summer, and the drywall doesn’t do much to keep the heat out of the garage. I’m hoping the insulation will keep at least some of the hot humid attic air out of the garage and help maintain the garage at a tolerable temperature.

The insulation is pretty easy to put down, but having to crawl over and around the rafters made for tiring work, so I ended up splitting up the job over two days. Unfortunately I had a bit of a brain fart when ordering the insulation from Lowe’s and got the 16″ wide batts instead of the 24″ wide batts even though I had just measured the rafter spacing. Doh. Fortunately, each bat is 48″ long, so I just had to cut each one in half before laying it down. That added a bit to the installation process, but was easy enough to do.

With 4 of the 8 packs of insulation down, all the far away parts of the garage were insulated.

At the far end of the garage, there’s not a lot of head room and lots of shingle nails poking through the roof sheathing. After laying a few pieces of insulation down, I decided my head needed some protection. I don’t have a hard hat but I do have a bike helmet, which proved to be adequate for the job.

The second day went a lot faster and I was able to get the rest of it done in about an hour. A little less crouching and crawling around because most of the hard to get areas were already done.

The opening to the attic area is the only space left uninsulated now, so I’ll have to think of something to do about  that. Maybe glue some insulation to a board that would sit on the opening and could be moved out of the way when needed.

Ended up only using about 6.5 bundles out of the 8 that I bought. Not sure what I’ll do with the leftovers. Maybe I’ll just spread them out over the attic.

The rose bushes survived Snowpocalypse 2018

Very happy to see that the rose bushes survived Snowpocalypse 2018.

Rose bushes post-Snowpocalypse 2018
Rose bushes post-Snowpocalypse 2018

I had covered them up with some plastic sheeting to try to protect them a bit from the freezing weather we had, and then the snow came. All the snow accumulation on top of the sheet kind of flattened the bushes and they were pretty sad looking for a long while after that.

A few weeks ago leaves started sprouting on the bushes like crazy, so I guess the bushes are doing ok despite the snow and smushing and recent frosty mornings.

No signs of anything resembling rose buds yet, but maybe in a few more weeks.