To clarify my entry from yesterday, the first estimate we got several months ago was from a fellow no longer with that particular HVAC company, primarily because he was low-balling every estimate. The previous owner had had an incredibly cheap and crummy HVAC job done and so really nothing should have surprised me -- we already knew it was substandard equipment and that it hadn't been properly installed.
Since we had gotten an estimate though, I was a bit shocked to find out just how much more the real costs would run. The worst case scenario was having to replace everything. It seems that that is not going to be necessary. However, we will have to put in new ducts and a new unit upstairs, since that stuff all has mold in it. We have better estimates now and the price, while much worse than we thought, is not as bad as we feared.
Some things are really clicking faster than we could have hoped. Our roofer came over this morning and his men have been busy tearing off the porch roof -- all three layers of which were rotten. We'll be getting a new metal roof next week. Next week the electricians are supposed to begin their work and if the weather is good we might get a fence to hold in the dog and the kidlets the week between Christmas and New Year's.
While this doesn't take care of all the things I would like to have done before we move, it will make a big dent in the list.