March 8, 2014

Today we get the keys....

Well, I guess it is really happening!   Today we get the keys.

After doing much research, we discovered that several of the items in the house are actually the ones that were originally installed when the home was manufactured, which means that they are celebrating their 50 Year Anniversary this year!  Should we hold a party?  Probably not.

For example:  The furnace is a Mueller Climatrol.

The Furnace:  Louis J. Mueller, Sr. began the manufacture of furnaces in 1857 in a small hardware and tin smith shop.  By the 1880′s he had developed the first patterns for warm air units.  L.J. Mueller Furnace Company was producing steam and hot water boilers.  L.J. Mueller Furnace Company merged with Worthington Corporation to become Mueller Climatrol Division of Worthington Corporation on August 1, 1954.
Here is an ad from a Newspaper dated December 1964.  Our little home was manufactured in 1964.
As much as we love "retro" and as well made as these little guys were, all the contractor's forums that address the Mueller Climatrol tell us that even these have a life span and ours is ready to retire.  The parts are nearly impossible to find, there is a higher possibility of carbon monoxide leaking (especially with this one which was never properly maintained) and there is also the energy efficiency issues.
My husband and I are not concerned about heating the house as we live in California and have only used the heat where we currently are three times for about 10 minutes this winter.  So, for now, it will stay, simply as a piece of nostalgic art; but, eventually we will be replacing it with a modern furnace. 
The Oven: The rather interesting discovery was while researching the built in oven. It is a Wedgewood. Wedgewood stoves were known for their durability, performance and certain key features. After gas burners were introduced, most Wedgewood stoves were built with this technology, a major advance for cooks accustomed to shoveling coal or wood into their stoves and continually monitoring heat levels. The company continued to grow and by 1931, it employed 350 people. Though Wedgewood stoves' manufacturing facility remained in Newark, the appliances were displayed in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle in sales rooms. Wedgewoods remained exclusively wholesale, and by the 1930s, 95 percent of the stoves manufactured were gas burning. In the 21st century, Wedgewood stoves are still sold as working appliances and can be found through antique dealers, vintage and specialty kitchen suppliers, restoration specialists and--of course--private sellers. Working stoves usually cost around $1,000.

Ours is a built-in Oven which probably has little to no value in terms of resale. But, hey, it's a Wedgewood and so we plan to keep is if (after a good 2 hours of cleaning) it is safe to use.  I even found a website where we can get parts for it!  Yeah!

The Water Heater: There are several other items that will need replacing that are also celebrating their 50 Year Birthday! We believe the water heater is actually the original and will find out when we have a new one put in (there is usually a date printed near the serial number). Can you imagine any water heater made today lasting 50 years? I think not.

Well, almost time to head over to the Park to drop of the payment and get the keys. First step is to remove all window coverings and curtain rod hardware, pull up the carpet to check out the condition of the sub-flooring, prime over the "apricot" colored accent walls, and meet our new contractor, (who we pray will be able to help us get this place up to code).

First Step:   I can hardly wait to get the old curtains and other window coverings out of the house!  I hate carpet and window coverings, especially ones that have been in place for many, many years. Did you know that hundreds of thousands of dust mites can live in carpets or curtains and that these microscopic, insect-like pests generate some of the most common indoor substances – or allergens – that can trigger allergic reactions and asthma in many people.

And the games begin.........

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