Odds and Ends!

Put down the phone, we are here! Hello fellow Nesters and Nesterettes. Yes, it has been a while, wow! We have been doing great, keeping busy and enjoying the fantastically spicy weather. We have done a couple of mini-updates to The Nest, but nothing major. Remember—this takes time [and money]!

We paid our last rent check for our place on Blackhawk, so that is done and over! It was a great place for about two years, and we moved in practically a week after it was built when the neighborhood was a lil’ baby. Now they have tons and tons of surrounding units and a swimming pool, and the college kids have definitely found out about it. We won’t miss the loud trucks whizzing by randomly, but we will miss the niceties that came with being in a new place.

But back to the house, one of the major things that we wanted to do was change the locks. Since the hardware was gold, we decided to update that and get with that nickel finish. We are all about that nickel, please…no more gold. Schlage is a great German brand when it comes to lockin’ it down, but Kwikset was comparable in quality and slightly more inexpensive, so we went with that.

Front Door

Back Door – wait, which one is upside down?! We don’t know!

Garage Door – is this upside down too? Or maybe right side up?

Since there was a hole from the existing deadbolt on the garage door, we bought a plate to cover the hole for less than $3. Since we have the garage door, we weren’t convinced that we needed to have a deadbolt there.

We also put in a new nickel finish kick plate to replace the gold one. It was about $25, so not too bad and it looks great next to that doormat!

When you’re kickin’ in the door, you have to look good!

Hey, come on—it’s The Nest!

Man needs tool. Introducing a real cordless drill! HAHA! MORE POWER!!!

Skilz

We have a pretty dinky Ryobi which is good for screwing around the house, but the new drill is beefier, has variable speed, and MORE POWER!!! We are looking forward to using this in more DIY projects, like a doghouse!

And this past weekend we had a chance to go to a Habitat for Humanity Resale Store, and they had a bunch of furniture, odds and ends, etc. for great prices. We picked up some fancy items. Matt couldn’t pass up General Robert E. Lee!

Swag

We did a good deal of yardwork this past weekend, removing a ton of weeds from the front. Our next post will definitely be about yard business. So stay tuned! Until then…

Happy Nesting!

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Range on the Home (Appliance Friday’s)

Hello there!

We come bearing…steel. We replaced our white 17-year-old Whirlpool gas range (it had a very strong gas smell and was not on the cheerleading squad) with a Frigidaire gas range, using one of our 10% coupons from Lowe’s. Don’t worry, we still have more. We explored the possibility of replacing the gas with electric (for familiarity of using electric and ease of cleaning), but the cost of running line to make a 240V outlet was basically the price of stove we picked out. Scratch that idea! So we decided to stick with gas, and went with a decent stainless steel five burner with good ratings. We made a great salmon dinner on it tonight and it passed the taste test—with frying colors!

Full of range

We are planning to go to Lowe’s tomorrow to get some expert advice on what kind of hinges would go best with our cabinet doors. But for the past few days we’ve been riding with the top down and it feels so good. We did the front and back yard today, and the front is really beginning to shape up into a nice lawn. It still needs TLC, but we are very satisfied with the potential of it. We will have more pics to show of this. The backyard is also a blank slate that needs to be carressed into something special.

On a happy note, our back neighbor Peggy directly behind us came by the house (the first time we met was very Wilson from Home Improvement-like) and brought us a loaf of fresh baked bread and card welcoming us to the neighborhood. Sweet lady! We have her to thank for all the great bird noises as she has multiple feeders set up in her backyard.

Happy Nesting!

Thermostatistical

We finally got around to swapping out the antiquated thermostat that was in place when we moved in to a better, faster, stronger one.

Historically unkind.

The old Honeywell model had a vague temperature slider that didn’t allow any fine-tuning or accurate depiction of what the temperature actually was or what temperature you wanted it to be. In this day and age where bills matter and energy is quantified in cents and dollars, we do not want to be leaving our money to the safe-cracking antics of guesstimated energy management.

Now being The Nest and everything it was an easy decision to choose our new thermostat based purely on naming commonalities. So we splurged and got the slick $250 Nest Thermostat conjured up by ex-Apple Tony Fadell. NOT. This is what we got:

Oh. My. Goodness.

A non-programmable thermostat that does the job at a tenth of the price of Nest! The Nest thermostat is a nice one for sure, but does not do anything special or amazing that current programmable thermostats on the market do (Honeywell has some similarly priced units that are uglier). It’s pretty, overpriced and makes people think it actually will save them money by learning their behaviors (coming, going, etc.). The main problem I have with Nest is that it cannot improve upon anything that comes before it in the HVAC system of residential HVAC systems. And because each house is made differently at different times with different materials and subject to unique weather conditions/aging, you can’t really benchmark a product like this and tote it as working for everyone producing the same great results (will Nest guarantee a dollar amount of savings that you are entitled to if you use their product? Impossible!). It’s a lost cause. Unless you overhaul the entire HVAC system and make that smart, then you won’t be doing yourselves any favors by purchasing the Nest and thinking you will be change the world. And that’s where the problem is, because homes will never be outfitted with “smart” HVAC systems because it’s not cost-beneficial right now to any parties (builder/contractor/buyer). I take that back. If you pay to play, you can have it.

How about the utopian but simple idea of controlling each vent damper in each room (with each room having separate temperature sensors) and when it’s time to go to sleep, opening up an iPhone app and tapping the preset BEDTIME, closing all the dampers in the house with the exception of the master bedroom and bathroom? Then in order to maintain the temperature that we set for those two perimeters (master bedroom and bathroom), your AC unit with variable speeds can run at a lower speed and for a shorter amount of time (thus, less energy) because the task of heating/cooling an entire house is made easier by heating/cooling an area of less cubic space (just the master bedroom and bathroom). That is intelligent.

Everything about Nest is fluff. If you really want to save money, follow this advice: dress comfortably in the house and open windows if the weather is pleasing, turn on your heating/cooling the least amount of time to satisfy comfortability, turn up the temperature when you leave home so your unit does not turn on, find out what temperature you can comfortably sleep at, etc. This is all pretty basic stuff, and the main thing to remember is the less your heating/cool unit runs, the more money you save. That’s the secret.

Happy Nesting!