Shelving Shuffle

We came up with plans to transform our outdoor storage closet into a laundry room about 2 months ago.  It’s hard to explain the vision if you’ve never been to our house, but let me try my best.  We have this outdoor closet that you enter from the back of our house.

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We honestly never even used it until a few months ago, because it was SO gross and it just screamed “land of bugs and spiders!”  So neither Greg or I ever wanted to step foot in it.  Well a few months ago Greg got up the guts to do some major cleaning out and cleaning up in there, and it suddenly became very useful.  We moved a lot of the smaller tools and things from our big shed into the space because it was filled with shelves, and our shed was not.  All of my canning supplies were moved in there (and out of our current laundry space…which is far from spacious!)  So it was nice for a few months having this new organized system.  But we’ve been itching to get it converted into a laundry room!

Ok, so back to how we envision it as a laundry room.  Don’t worry, I won’t be going outside to do laundry.  When you look directly into the storage closet you face a wall full of shelves.Mar30-shedcloset (8)Stay with me here.  Directly on the other side of that wall is the back of our dining room wall.  So if you punch a hole through that wall between the shelves of the storage closet, you will punch right through the wall where my botanical prints hang.Mar 10-framing projects (4)Our plan is to build up the floor of the storage closet level with the rest of the house, sheetrock the walls of the closet, knock out the wall between the bookshelves of the dining room (to create a doorway), and make this space into an actual laundry room.  Because right now we just have a laundry nook between our kitchen and den.  It’s not ideal.  And although having a laundry room off the dining room isn’t exactly ideal either, it’s at least a separate room, which means I don’t have to hang clothes in the family room doorway to dry.

So Greg came home from a Samford baseball game Saturday afternoon, changed into working clothes and headed outside. I asked him what he was doing and he said, “I’m getting started on the laundry room!”  haha.  He said he was going to clear out the closet so we could begin working on it.  We couldn’t just bring all the stuff into the house, and we didn’t have a good system in the big shed besides throwing everything onto the floor.  So we decided to remove the shelves from the storage closet and reinstall them in the shed.  And what a great idea that was!  It makes such a huge difference in the functionality of the shed!

First we had to clear off the shelves.  Then Greg started unscrewing them from the walls.

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We decided to put the shelves on this wall of the shed.  The opposite wall has the spare freezer on it, so this whole side was open for business.  We debated on how we would place the shelves for a minute, then decided it would be best to stagger the shelves so that taller stuff could go on the ends and shorter items towards the middle.  If we lined up all three shelves with one another we’d be limiting what we could store on them.  And none of the shelves were wide enough to span the whole length of the wall anyways.Mar30-shedcloset (11)Once we removed each shelf from the closet, we brought it into the shed, held it up to the wall, and had to mark the placement of the studs (since the brackets didn’t line up in the new space).Mar30-shedcloset (23)Mar30-shedcloset (15) Mar30-shedcloset (17)

Then Greg drilled the brackets into their appropriate spots.  Once the brackets were in place, we held the shelf up to the wall and Greg drilled it into place.  We checked that we were level before securing all the brackets in case we needed to make adjustments.  And we measured that each shelf was the same distance apart from another so that everything looked clean and professional 😉Mar30-shedcloset (21)Mar30-shedcloset (20) Mar30-shedcloset (19) Mar30-shedcloset (16)

We did this for 3 shelves and in the end it looks great!  It makes such a huge difference getting all that small stuff up off the floor of the shed.Mar30-shedcloset (22)

 

St. Paul and the Broken Bones

Have you heard of St. Paul and the Broken Bones??  If not, then you are missing out!  Paul Janeway is a dear friend of ours, and has actually been dating one of my best girlfriends Caroline for the past several years.  Well, he started a band a few years ago.  They love to play at Bottletree downtown, so we used to go see him there a lot.  He’s quite the entertainer!  You can’t keep that guy still.  He’s always standing on amps, moving all around stage, sometimes getting himself tangled in the microphone wires. Mar31-SP&BB3Well, his band is doing great and they are quickly becoming a big deal in the music industry.  They have traveled around the southeast performing at various music festivals like Rhythm and Blues in Chatanooga, TN; and SXSW in Austin, TX.  Last summer they played at Avondale Brewery during an afternoon music festival.  And get this!  They will be opening for John Mayer when he comes to play in Tuscaloosa in April!  And if that’s not enough, they were the cover story of BMetro magazine last August in an article featuring local bands that make the city of Birmingham a great music city. St. Paul and the Broken Bones are going places!Mar31-SP&BBMar31-SP&BB2Their style is a mixture of soul and rock.  Paul sings lead vocals.  His wing man, Jesse Phillips, plays bass guitar.  Then there’s Andrew Lee on drums, Browan Lollar on electric guitar, and 3 guys on brass (trumpet, sax, and trombone).Mar31-SP&BB4They played at Workplay Friday night, and a bunch of us went to enjoy the show, which was SOLD OUT by the way!  We even met up for dinner at JClyde before the show.  It was a good time.  And of course, Paul did not disappoint.  Such a great show, my friend!  Keep it up!!

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the Construction Chronicles-Hit a Wall

Day 2 of construction actually started bright and early.  The framing guys arrived at the house to finish putting up sheetrock at 8:30am.  They worked for a good 4 hours, got all the sheetrock up and muddied (is that the right term?).  They were even able to patch up our little demo blunder in the hallway…Mar23-bathdemo (20)Mar26-bathday2 (7)Don’t worry. We need to repaint the hallway anyways.  So at the end of day 2, we had all our walls sealed in the bathroom.

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Then unfortunately, due to issues I don’t even want to get into, all work was halted for the remainder of the week.  I’m putting my faith in the contractor (and my husband, who has had to calm me down from a meltdown or two this weekend) and hoping this upcoming week gets better in regards to time spent working on our job, communication with the contractor, and an inspection coming up.  Greg assures me it will all work out and says I need to be patient.  And I consider myself a patient person, but it’s been a rough week dealing with the lack of commitment I feel we’ve been getting with our renovations.  And I’ll just stop at that.

The good news is our sink and floor tiles were delivered during the week.  All we really have left to decide on is paint color.  So I’ll be hitting up Pinterest again over the next few days trying to see what colors catch my eye.  We’re thinking a smokey gray color, but haven’t nailed that down just yet.Mar29-floortileSo here’s to hoping for the best this week!

Posted in DIY

the Construction Chronicles- A Slow Start

So I was told construction workers would be here around 8am Monday morning to begin working on our bathroom.  Anyone who knows me know I am not an early bird. But I didn’t want to have to answer the door in my PJs, so I got up when Greg got up, showered and was dressed and ready for them to arrive by 8:10.  Since I was gonna be stuck at home most of the day, I got started on some laundry.  Around 8:30 I got a call from the contractor saying he was waiting on his framing guys and they’d be here between 9-9:30.  At 10am they finally showed up.

They came in, looked at the floors and decided what they needed to do.  The contractor was going to go get supplies while they (the framing guys) went and checked on another job.  He told me they all would be back in about an hour and a half (so, 1130/12ish).  Well, also this morning before they arrived the garbage men came and rang the doorbell and said if we moved all our cans of trash, and old bathtub full of crap (tile, plywood, old sheetrock, etc) to the street they would come back and get it.  Great!  That meant we didn’t have to lug it to the landfill ourselves!  So before the contractor left, he moved the entire pile to the street (thank goodness!).  Tub and all! I don’t know how he did it.  So that of course took some time, and I figured it might be a little later than he originally told me.  At this point he left to do his business and I left to go to Home Depot to buy a shower/tub faucet combo.

Greg called me at noon and said the pest guy was on his way.  We have a history of rats in the attic (Greg dealt with the worst of them years ago when he first bought the house, but recently we starting hearing critters in the attic again!).  So we weren’t taking our chances.   A pest guy from Waynes came out and quoted us on a full house pest care plan.  First they will deal with the critters in the attic (I guess by tossing some poison into the attic and making sure all entry points are sealed up).  Then, they will spray the interior and exterior of the house with a pest killer.  They also do a lawn treatment that will kill any termites, fleas, ticks, fire ants and whatever other bad bugs in a 10ft perimeter around the home (that will be great for our dogs too! No fleas and ticks here!).  Then monthly they come out and do various treatments depending on the season…they’ll treat for various bugs according to when they flourish the most.  Obviously it’s about to warm up (at least I hope!!), so we’ll probably start seeing roaches soon.  Boy, do I hate those guys!  We also have an occasional ant problem in one of our kitchen corners.  We’ve just been buying ant killer at Lowe’s and applying that every few months or so, but that wears out and they reappear after a while.  So his treatments should take care of them as well.  So hopefully, for $32/month our house will be totally critter and bug free!  YAY!  At first, $32/month sounded expensive, but it comes out to $385/year.  That’s like 1.5 days of work for me, so I think I can handle working an extra day once a year to not have any bugs in the house 🙂  Yep, I’ll take it!  And the great news is anytime another customer uses us as their referral we get $25 applied to our services!  SO LISTEN UP…if you need pest control or lawn care for your home, CALL WAYNES!  🙂  And tell them Greg and Amy Boggs sent ya!!  I mean that’s a pretty good deal.

Ok, back to the construction work…or lack thereof, I should say.  The pest guy left around 1pm, and guess what.  Still no workers at the house working on our bathroom.  Oh wait, I take that back.  The framing guys did show up around 1:15 I think, but they asked me where the contractor was (he was supposed to be back with their supplies).  I told them I hadn’t heard anything from him, so they went and sat in their cars to give him a call.  About 20 mins went by and then I noticed their truck was still here, but they weren’t in it.  (Apparently they had 2 cars with them and had left in the other). Then the next time I looked out the window, both cars were gone!  So, around 2:30, I called the contractor and said his framing guys had left.  He said he was loading up at Lowe’s and would be at the house shortly.  FINALLY, around 3:15 he and the framing guys showed up and began working on the bathroom.  Talk about a slow start.  So glad I got up by 8am :/

The first thing they had to do was fix some old rotten floor joists. Remember this bad corner here?Mar23-bathdemo (24)

We had some water damage under one corner of the tub, so he cut out some of the bad boards, and replaced them with new ones.  Then he nailed new sister boards next to the some older ones for added support.  The original boards actually run the whole length of the house. So we couldn’t just take them out and replace them….they just had to be supported with new beams lining up next to them.  I wish I had gotten more pics of the process, but I was trying to stay out of their way, and then the next thing I knew, they had the floor laid down.  So I snapped this picture real quick to show how the sister boards line up with the original joists…

Mar24-bathday1 (2) Mar24-bathday1 (4)The beams run the whole length of the tub side of the bathroom (where most of the damage was).  And then they rest on a new support beam that runs perpendicular to them at the entrance of the room.  It’s hard to explain, which is why I wish I’d gotten better pics before they laid the plywood down.  My bad.  They were making so much noise getting these installed, I decided I better stay out of their way.  It sounded like they were gonna come through the walls into the back den at some point!

Next they filled the room with insulation, which it had none of before! Can you believe there wasn’t a lick of insulation in these walls?  No wonder I always cranked up the heat in the winter when I took a shower…it was cold in that bathroom!  After insulation, the sheetrock went up on the ceiling and all the walls (I couldn’t get an official final pic cause they took the light fixture down when they put the walls up).  But that is where day one finished.  Oh, wait, they also partially installed a new vent fan.  A much much quieter one 🙂

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Posted in DIY

Demo Day 2

We continued onto demo day 2, but thankfully it’s finally all done.  Again, Dwayne worked his tail off. Me and mom tried to help as much as possible, but demo isn’t exactly our specialty. Greg helped a lot too though, and we actually could have gotten the whole job done in a matter of a few hours, but we waited around for about 3 1/2 hours for the contractor to come by and give the ok on a few things.

But anyways, let’s look back at the destruction we created today!  Mom and Dwayne arrived bright and early (well, 9am-ish).  I rolled outta bed, threw on some work clothes and we got to it.  Dwayne let me take a shot at the rotary hammer.  That thing is hard.  It was a huge help in the demo process, breaking up all the tiles and concrete slab under the floor, but I had a hard time with it.

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I can’t believe they worked with that thing all day yesterday.  Once we Dwayne and Greg got the rest of the tile broken up (and me and mom walked and dumped bucket after bucket after bucket into the growing pile in the front yard), it was time to get the storage cabinet out.  And it was big.  We hoped it would fit out the bathroom and down the hall, but that wasn’t the case. We had to break it apart and take it out board by board.

Mar23-bathdemo (5) Mar23-bathdemo (6)Mar23-bathdemo (9) Mar23-bathdemo (11)Mar23-bathdemo (10) Mar23-bathdemo (12) Mar23-bathdemo (14)Remember the tub?  And how apparently it was blue at one time?  Well it appears there must have been a lovely blue floor to match as well.  Cute huh?  Oh, and instead of ripping that layer up whenever previous homeowners remodeled the bathroom, they just decided to add the current layer right on top.  Which meant that floor was THICK with tile and concrete!Mar23-bathdemo (7)Mar22-bathdemo (51)

The next 45 mins or so were spent ripping out more floor and walls…

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Then we discovered a problem.  This corner (underneath where the tub once stood), had some pretty bad water damage.  And the further we investigated, would could see that it was an active leak.  The wood was wet!  Well, obviously I hadn’t showered in this bathroom in over 24 hours, but it was still leaking from somewhere.  The more we poked around we realized it must be coming from the fridge (which sits just on the other side of the wall).  Sure enough, when we pulled the fridge out from the wall and pulled up the water line, there was a hole in the line!  A tiny stream of water was just streamlining out the line like a garden hose with a puncture hole.  There’s no telling how long that had been leaking!  Thank goodness we did this bath demo and discovered the leak, or the floor boards under the tub would have SURELY rotted right out from underneath!

Mar23-bathdemo (24) Mar23-bathdemo (32)So Greg went to Lowe’s, bought a new water line (and he chose a stainless steel flexible line), and then had to crawl up under the house through our giant hole in the floor to replace the line.  Hopefully this is a better fix.Mar23-bathdemo (45)The last and final step of the day was ripping out the ceiling.  Well, after we piddled around for about 2-3 hours waiting on the contractor to stop by and check things out.  I’m learning I have to have a lot of patience with this guy.  Hopefully he’s worth it in the end.  Props to Dwayne again for standing on rickety ladders, prying sheet rock off the ceiling, and knocking out insulation.  It was a messy job!

Mar23-bathdemo (37)Mar23-bathdemo (38) Mar23-bathdemo (33)Mar23-bathdemo (34)Mar23-bathdemo (39)Mar23-bathdemo (44)And at the end of the day, here’s what we have.  We are officially demolished and ready for construction to begin on Monday!

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Posted in DIY

Bringing Down the Bath

UPDATE! Got a few more pictures from my mom this morning that she captured on her phone early in the demo process yesterday!

Demo has begun.  Boy, oh, boy has demo begun!  Have I mentioned how AMAZING my stepdad is?  Oh dear Lord, that man is a machine!  I had to work today, and Greg had to get some work done as well.  But my mom said she and Dwayne would head over to our house and get started on demo in the bathroom.  Well, not only did they get started, they practically finished it all!!

There was a plumber that was supposed to come disconnect the plumbing lines to make sure we didn’t bust through any pipes during demo.  Well, Dwayne basically took care of that, and we were able to tell the plumber he was no longer needed. (Money saved!)  And speaking of money saved.  We were quoted $600 for demo and haul-away.  That included putting a dumpster in our driveway and the costs to haul it off.  Granted, poor Dwayne probably deserves $600 for the work he did today, but we are saving big bucks by doing the demo ourselves and hauling our trash to a city landfill (which I was quoted would costs $60).

Thankfully Greg was able to take a long lunch break and then another break later in the afternoon to come home and help with the demo.  And mom helped as well, especially since she took all the pictures for me!! 😉

So I kept getting pictures texted to my phone while I was working away at the hospital today.  I felt so bad not being home to help.  But I’m sure they’ll put me to work tomorrow!  We still have the ceiling which has to come down, and the rest of the floor needs ripping out.  So, there’s not much to explain, except that a rotary hammer apparently is a life saver!!  If you’re ripping out tile, get you one of these!  Thanks to our friends (and sorta in-laws) Kyle and Lisa for letting us borrow theirs!  And I say sorta in-laws because Kyle is Chuck’s older brother, and Chuck is my sister’s husband.  So, that kinda makes them our indirect in-laws, right?  Sure.

So without further ado, check out what went down at the Boggs’ home today…

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It’s hard to believe I just took a shower in here this morning!bath (13) bath (17) bath (18) bath (20)bath (22) bath (23) bath (25) bath (28) bath (29) bath (33)

Time to get that tub out! I don’t know how they did this.  Seriously, for weeks I’ve been wondering how this was gonna happen.  But Greg and Dwayne did it somehow.  And I haven’t found any holes in the walls since coming home 😉bath (35) bath (37) bath (34)bath (38) bath (40) bath (42)bath (41)bath (36)

And somehow this guy was spared another day!  Enjoy one more night little fishy…tomorrow, I’m coming for you! 😉

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Posted in DIY

Lake Day with the Pups

Saturday was a BEAUTIFUL day here in Alabama. It was warm and sunny, and a great day for a trip to the lake.  Greg was out of town at a work conference Friday and Saturday.  My mom and Dwayne were heading down to their lake property so Dwayne could do some yard work.  So knowing I was home alone, they asked me if I wanted to bring the dogs down for a day at the lake, and I jumped on the opportunity of a fun day 🙂Mar17-lake (1) Mar17-lake (59) Mar17-lake (60)My grandaddy and his buddies built this lake ohhhh, maybe 50 yrs ago. Does that sound right, mom?  So we’ve had property on it ever since.  It’s very secluded. There aren’t any houses directly on the lake, and you’re not allowed to run a large boat motor on the lake…just a simple trolling motor for fishing.  It’s a lake made for the simple life.  And it’s PERFECT for a bunch of dogs to run around having the time of their life. Mar17-lake (38)Mar17-lake (22)Mar17-lake (24) Mar17-lake (37)Mar17-lake (17)Mar17-lake (16)  Mar17-lake (13) Mar17-lake (12)

Jack literally played fetch…either with the ball or frisbee, in the water and on land…for basically 3 straight hours.  And Lily just chased him pretty much the whole time. Dwayne was chopping down trees along the bank of the dam, so me and mom (and the dogs) wandered all around on top of the dam and around the slew.Mar17-lake (6)Mar17-lake (58) Mar17-lake (14)Mar17-lake (15)Mar17-lake (44) Mar17-lake (42)Mar17-lake (51) Mar17-lake (57)After I got home I realized I got some MAJOR sunburn on my arms, neck and chest.  And looking back at this picture now you can see it starting!  Oh well. First burn of the season. It always happens. Mar17-lake (45)Mar17-lake (46)Finally at the end of the day, all the dogs started to relax.  Jack was whooped!! I’ve seriously never seen him so tired.  He was like a zombie when we got home. Greg couldn’t believe it.  It was a goooood day for the dogs 😉  And the humans too.  I enjoyed hanging out with mom and Dwayne for the day!

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Bathrooms on the Brain

I have been all over the internet for a week now researching floor tile, wall tile, toilets, sinks, blah, blah, blah.  My brain is going to explode.  Everything I search for and research I can’t help but wonder am I sacrificing quality for this better price?  Should I splurge more here and save more there? Does this match that?  I’m so over it already.  I want to just fast forward to 3 weeks when it’s all done.  And sadly, we haven’t even really begun yet.  Demo doesn’t start until next weekend!  I think this bathroom renovation is gonna wear me out.  But it will sooo be worth it in the end.  I have to keep reminding myself of that.

My mom came with me today to shop a little.  We made a lot of progress.  I just am so hesitant to pull the trigger on ordering anything!  But I’ve got to.  Otherwise this 1.5 week reno will turn into 3 weeks cause we’ll be waiting on materials to deliver.  Maybe tomorrow I can make some final decisions.

In other news.  Elton John bailed on us.  We’ve had tickets to go to his concert tonight for over a month now.  And today the show was canceled.  We were so bummed about it!  We had a group of ladies and were gonna make a girl’s night out of it. But oh well.  Such is life.  We did at least meet up for dinner still and had a good time.

So, I’ve spent my evening on the couch doing more bathroom reno planning.  Greg has a work conference he’s been at all day and has to attend again tomorrow.  But tomorrow is supposed to be really nice warm weather, so I think I’ll take the dogs out for a bit and enjoy the sun 🙂  I can’t wait for spring to get here!!

Let there be light!

We have a shed in the backyard that we bought shortly after getting married for added storage.  We keep all the holiday decorations, suitcases, wheel barrow, lawn mower, and any other extra stuff that simply won’t fit in the house in the shed.  When we helped move Greg’s parents out of their house, they gave us their upright deep freezer.  I’ve been wanting one, but we don’t have a basement, and our porch space is too small to store one.  So we put it in the shed.  Problem was we’ve never had power running to the shed.  Until now.

My handy dandy stepdad came over on Sunday and he along with Greg and our friend Michael went to work.  I had to work that day, but thankfully my mom snapped some pictures of the process.  Our breaker box is in an outdoor storage closet off the back of the house.  They obviously didn’t connect the new power line to the box until the last step, but for the sake of explaining the process, the power line began at the box, ran into the crawlspace under the house, and came out another corner closer to the shed.Mar10-shedlight (17)A trench was dug about 6-8 inches deep leading from the back corner of the house to the shed.  The power line was fed through a small PVC pipe and placed in the trench.  A hole was drilled in the floor of the shed and the power line ran out the end of the pipe under the shed and up through the hole in the floor. Mar10-shedlight (1)Mar10-shedlight (2)Mar10-shedlight (3)Mar10-shedlight (4)

They installed a junction box and outlet on one wall (which will solely run the deep freezer).  Another outlet was installed on the back wall, and a light switch by the door.  They drilled holes through the framing around the inside of the shed to run the power line to each unit.Mar10-shedlight (10) Mar10-shedlight (11) Mar10-shedlight (12)Mar10-shedlight (8)

Once the power lines were hooked up to the outlets and light switch, Greg and Michael installed the light to the back wall.Mar10-shedlight (15)Mar10-shedlight (16)Mar10-shedlight (14)Once everything was installed and connected, it was time to connect the power at the breaker box.  And tada….there was light!Mar10-shedlight (18)Mar10-shedlight (19)Great job guys!!  Lots of hard work, but it all looks and works great!  Can’t wait to put that deep freezer to good use, and it’s nice to have some light out there after the sun goes down 😉

Posted in DIY

There’s an App for THAT?

We’ve been in a kick lately to update the house.  Obviously, the biggest update will be getting the bathrooms redone.  But today Greg was at Lowe’s and he picked up this handy-dandy gadget.

Mar9-thermastat (16)It was on sale (regular $100, marked down to $80), so in efforts to continue updating the house, Greg snagged it.  And I have to admit, it’s pretty stinkin’ cool.  It’s programmable, and there is an app you can download to your phone that will control the settings.  Say what?  Yes, we can control the heat/air settings from our phones!  So if we leave town and forget to turn down the settings, we can do it from our phone.  If I’m laying in bed at night and need a little more heat on a cold winter night, I can turn it up from the bed.  Ok, that sounds really lazy….but the going out of town thing is definitely helpful!

So here’s our old unit.  Nothing special.  Pretty blah.  It said it was programmable, but since it’s pretty old, and we don’t have any original manuals, we never could figure it out.

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So Greg cut the power to the unit (safety first!), popped the front off and unscrewed the base from the wall.

Mar9-thermastat (5) Mar9-thermastat (6)Then basically you just disconnect the wires and match them up by color onto the new unit and screw the new base back onto the wall.  And the front just snapped onto the base.

Mar9-thermastat (7)Mar9-thermastat (8)Look how pretty! 🙂  And it lights up!

Mar9-thermastat (17)Ok, so here’s the cool part.  It came with a sensor that you plug into the internet router.  Then you download the app for the system.  It gives you a long code that you register with and you sync it up so it controls the right unit.  Then you can control every aspect of the unit right from your phone.  Greg set the time, switched from heat to cool, and changed the temp settings.  And you can fully program it to whatever schedule you want.

Mar9-thermastat (15)How cool is that!  And it certainly looks better on the wall.  Yay for another DIY upgrade!

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Posted in DIY