It’s Electric

Nick and I spent most of our free time last summer and fall focused on planning our trip to Europe and the new boat purchase, and during that time we didn’t tackle a single house project. While I get real enjoyment out of working on our home, after four years of nearly constant do-it-yourself projects, it felt good to just live in our house and focus on something else for awhile. Although, it did feel a little bit strange for me during the holidays when Nick’s and my family asked us about our current house projects, and we didn’t have anything to share! ūüôā

This winter, with a renewed interest in tackling house projects, Nick and I jumped back into DIYing and have been checking some to-do list items off our project list. We also have a couple of larger house projects in the works, which I’m excited to share in a couple of weeks.

First up, in most of the original portions of our 1920s house, we have old cloth covered electrical wiring,¬†the predecessor to modern plastic-coated wiring. Nick is pretty savvy when it comes to electrical work and has no problem with rewiring outlets or installing new light fixtures, but connecting the old wiring (which isn’t grounded) to any new modern connection could cause fires if it isn’t done correctly.

Clothwire

For awhile now, we’ve have a couple of¬†electrical¬†projects we wanted to get done, and a few weeks ago we¬†finally called an electrician to help make it happen. As a¬†side note, being an electrician¬†seems like a great gig: the electrician mostly helped Nick identify the proper wires for the connections, and then he left with a great big check, leaving Nick to do all of the actual work. To be fair, having peace of mind and knowing it has been¬†done correctly¬†is priceless ūüôā

As for our first project, I dislike¬†coming home at night to a dark house, especially in winter, and blindly fumbling for my keys and the door lock. In all of our previous houses, Nick has installed a timer to control the outdoor lights, so they turn on before we get home and off after midnight. We’ve talked about doing this for years, and I’m so glad it’s finally been installed.

Timerlight
Second, our house has an old-school wired buzzer; the extremely loud noise created by it is¬†heart-attack¬†inducing (I’ve actually shouted out in surprise when someone has rang the bell unexpectedly). Thankfully for my heart, the doorbell only works a few weeks out of the year, but that’s not so great for visitors to our house. With some insights into how¬†the buzzer operates and is¬†wired, Nick was able to get it consistently working again.
Doorbell

We also replaced an¬†old spring wound bathroom fan timer with a more modern digital timer (mostly because I cracked the plastic turn switch into two¬†pieces…and apparently there is no money to be made in selling replacement switches over brand new units).¬†

Here’s the old one in my bathroom:

Timer1

And the new one in Nick’s bathroom:

Timer2

The electrician also looked at one of the electrical boxes in our kitchen since it’s bothered us for awhile that the switch plate in the middle was blank on one side. Nick removed the plate cover and found that the area behind the blank¬†plate was wired for an outlet but never finished.¬†Since we already have six¬†electrical outlets on that wall,¬†adding two more seemed excessive, so we had the electrician install a wall USB outlet, which will be really helpful for charging our iPad, which I use to view¬†recipes¬†when I’m cooking and always seems to need charging.¬†

Outletbefore
OutletUSB

Finally, with all that electrical work happening, Nick and I were inspired to replace the builder grade flush-mount light (or boob light as DIYers commonly call them) in our living room, which was installed in nearly all of the rooms in our house (remember when we replaced that same light in our bedroom?).

OldboobWe bought this inexpensive crystal glass fixture from Home Depot.
Lightafter
I love the pattern that the light makes on our ceiling when it’s glowing at night.¬†
Lightdark
So there¬†you have it, things are looking much brighter around here! (See what I did there ūüėČ )
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6 thoughts on “It’s Electric

  1. Love the crystal light! Great idea for the lights on a timer for when you get home. Best to stay safe. Love the idea for the charging station in the kitchen, very convenient.

  2. Pingback: Making a splash (tiling the kitchen) | Isn't It Sweet

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