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bryce 06-27-2012 06:00 AM

3 season cottage to 4 season?
Hi guys i am really thinking of buying this place, it is residential zone but sort of cottage. The last owner have put insulation in the walls and roof apparently but the floor still needs insulation blow in there i guess? You can see the single electric heater.
Would insulating the crawl space down there do it? I guess get propane heaters?
Also see the window, is single pane, i think i would replace this with high insulation factor. Any idea of the cost for this (ontario)? I want to live there year round but don't want to freeze me tail off.
Should it then be warm enough for the winters ? It is close to the lake with strong wind.

joecaption 06-28-2012 06:17 AM

Do you use home inspector services in Canada before buying a home like they do in the US?
If so hire one, not on some realitor suggest that's trying to sell you this place.
I sure hope that roof looks better in person then it does in the picture.

You say they insulated but, but not how they did it or how much. A new construted home in your location most likly would have 2 X 6 walls and at least R19 in the walls and R-50 in the attic.
Were any of the walls and attic air sealed before they added insulation?

When anyone buys a new home I always suggest spending there money when they first move on the outside of the building on any needed repairs first, working from the roof down.
Adding roof vents, reflashing chimmneys, replacing the roof if it's needed, replacing any rotted wood, painting, foundation repairs, upgrading wiring or plumbing, anything outside that needs it.
If the outside of the house is not in good shape then it would be useless to fix up the insides.
In your case this house is going to need a whole new source of heat, that one little heater will be expancive to run and would do little more the keep you from freezing to death if you were standing in front of it.
Do not even think about doing anything to the floors or any painting until the heat goes in. Reason being is they may have to do some cutting in the floor or ceiling to get the lines in.
Then move on to replacing old windows, adding insulation.

bryce 06-28-2012 12:20 PM

Hi thanks for that sound like good advice.
The cottage was renovated 2002, the daughter is an RE agents so i have a feeling what was done at the time was done okay.
Assuming anyway that all that is done and the proper insulation is there, judging by the pictures of the roof, do you think it will be a decent and comfortable '4 seasons?' Or should i look for something more solid?
Thing is this is a good price and location with a view and set up on hill. You notice how the RE people seem to have the best lots.

nealtw 06-29-2012 01:03 AM

Get an inspection. Not the one suggested by the agent and if your on septic system you want an inspection on that too. I wouldn't be sold on the fact that an agent was involved so it must be good.

joecaption 06-29-2012 07:24 AM

Here's an idea on what would be required for new constrution in your area.
It's not likly that place will even come close to that since it was build as just a summer cottage, but will give you some ideas on just how lacking yours is.

The insulation needed under the house would not be blown in.
The best way to do it would be with spray foam, not a DIY job.
A DIY could air seal with cans of expanding foam in the holes where plumbing and wiring were run through the bottom plates, then R-19 fiberglass insulation between the floor joist.

bryce 06-30-2012 02:07 PM

Ya thanks joe, so you think it would be a bad idea to try to spend a winter in this place, even if i had the insulation done? Assuming it is all done properly i with the best insulation, windows too, would it be a decent house?
I think a heat pump mitsubitish would be the best heating for this smaller space.
I would get a professional to the basement for sure. The old rental house i live now was bit cold and drafty too last winter, expensive to heat so i guess a lot of houses are not that comfortable in the winter.

But i was hoping this small and hopefully efficient house would be much better?
It a good location this lot with a some view of the lake, low taxes for now, i've never heard of people getting in trouble for living in a rec property year round, how would they know? The price is good for what you get but i don't want to buy the wrong house, these rec properties are not so easy to sell sometimes.

joecaption 07-01-2012 07:21 AM

No one here can really tell you if this home is a deal or not. Someone would have to be there to look it over.
I've lived in mobile home in NH, in a camping trailer, on a 37' boat for 3, years, and I survived just fine, life is what you make it and you just adapt.
There's many thousands of homes that are under insulated, or even no insulation, heck our fore fathers just had wood stoves for heat in two story house with no heat on the second floors.
So just insulate the best you can, get those windows changed and you should be fine.
Not sure how a heat pump would work out in your area that far north. The cold it gets the less efficient they get and the emergincy heat has to kick in to make up for it and that cost a lot more to run.

You may want to concider also having a small generator installed, that far out in the woods would not be a good thing to lose power and not have any heat.
If you went with a poropane gas pack heat pump, gas stove for heat, and a Propane generator you could be off the grid for days and be just fine.

bryce 07-01-2012 09:46 AM

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Thanks joe, i will have a house survey done. Here's a better picture looks to have the proper vent. Maybe vinyl siding might be an idea. So i guess there is insulation in the roof, i will add more if necessary.
The new heat pumps like mrslim and zuba work to -30, -20. So i guess have a propane backup. Seems it would be the best solution for the small space.
Any idea about heat sinks for the well? I was reading about these things and you slide into the water hose i gather and it will keep it from freezing.
Good thing about this place is that town is not far, that has all the facilities.

I just check the rental house i've been living in and sure enough no insulation in the roof! I thought it was the cheap thermal windows, but that explains the daftness last winter.

joecaption 07-02-2012 07:39 AM

I sure hope you meant ceiling and not the roof when talking about insulation.
The roof should have no insulation in that style house.
Anything to cover up that T-11 siding would be an improvement.
It will always be a maintaince issue until you do.
Vinyl siding would be a great idea.
Just have them go over the walls with house wrap before the siding.
Personaly I've never seen a mini split with propany back up.
I own an 800 sq. foot one bedroom house in VA with a mini split and love it.
Way cheaper then the propane heat I used to have. I have not had to buy gas for 2 years and my light bill only went up about $20.00 a month in the middle of summer or the coldest months in the winter.

That steel front door sure looks like it was never painted and is still the original primer on the door. If you do not want it to rust it needs to be degreased and painted with acrilic latex paint asap.

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