Special delivery!

Materials are here and framing is underway. Big things are happening at The Newton Nest…stay tuned!

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Give it the juice!

Ladies and gentlemen, we have POWER!

We made the decision early on not to have electricity turned on in the house until we have it completely rewired. We came to this conclusion because we felt like the luxury of immediate electricity was more of a hazard than a benefit considering that the house was wired more than 70 years ago AND it stood vacant for nearly 5 years. After tearing the walls down to the studs and seeing the wiring for ourselves, it’s obvious we made the right choice. The wiring was not only outdated, but in terrible shape with frayed, exposed wires and loads of dust waiting for a spark. The perfect storm for a fiery goodbye. Yikes!

This is what a fire hazard looks like. Just one example of the state of our wiring... we found frayed, scary wires everywhere! Completely rewiring the nest? Good call, Newtons!

This is what a fire hazard looks like. Just one example of the state of our electrical system… we found frayed, scary wires everywhere! Completely rewiring the nest? Good call, Newtons!

So, our solution is a temporary power source in the yard from which we will run extension cords to give us power for lights, tools, etc.

We owe a HUGE thanks to our brother-in-law, Jamie, for installing our temporary power pole! And an unenthusiastic thumbs up to Duke Power for taking more than three weeks to come out and give it the juice. Anyhoo, we’re ready to use some power tools!

This guy is lighting up our lives for the next few months.

Power central. This guy is lighting up our lives for the next few months.

Come and see how good she looks! I forced Matthew to help me run extension cords to every room on the front of the house so we could plug in lamps and see our nest aglow. 

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The Chartreuse Thumb

The recipe for instant curb appeal?
Grass seed, rain, sunshine, and a Newton with a green thumb!

Growing grass seems like it should be low on the totem pole considering the state of our abode, but we feel strongly about continuing to improve our curb appeal, for our sake and our neighbors’! Enter one bag of Winter Rye grass seed and a little help from Mother Nature. And, voila! Our lawn was born.

Grass trio

Spreading those little seeds and hoping for the best!

Blades of glory! Grow little grass seeds, grow.

Blades of glory! Grow little grass seeds, grow.

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Look at that lush lawn!

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The first mow!

The first mow!

The devil really is in the details.

It’s a tedious job, but somebody’s gotta do it!

The sledgehammer swingin’ is over and now we are left with the nitty gritty detail work around “the edges” of each room. This is the last of the demo work that must be done before our builder can bring in the framer and really get the renovation phase going.

I suppose we brought this headache on ourselves by attempting to save the trim work, but we think it will be worth it to keep a few of the original details intact.

All the demo is done except the plaster left around the "edges" of each room.

All the demo is done except the plaster left around the “edges” of each room.

Close up of the left over plaster around the trim.

Close up of the left over plaster around the trim.

Chipping away along the baseboards.

Chipping away along the baseboards.

If we're not chipping away at plaster remnants, we are pulling nails out of the studs. Details, details, details.

If we’re not chipping away at plaster remnants, we are pulling nails out of the studs. Details, details, details.

Clean edges!

Clean edges!

We were able to carefully remove the plaster around the archway from the foyer into the formal living room -- one of the many details we love about our house!

We were able to carefully remove the plaster around the archway from the foyer into the formal living room — one of the many details we love about our house!

While tackling the detail work, Matthew took on one of our toughest “muscle” projects – master bathroom tile removal! Oh sure, those little square subway tiles look like they’ll chip right off, but what you can’t see is the two and a half inches of concrete behind them! Wowzer! This project – by far – took the most muscle power. Good thing Matthew’s got the guns for the job!

Master bathroom tile pre-demo. (Notice how the window goes halfway into the shower and there's also an air vent inside the shower!) We plan to remedy both of these little quirks.

Master bathroom tile pre-demo. (Notice how the window goes halfway into the shower and there’s also an air vent inside the shower!) We plan to remedy both of these little quirks.

Lauren's sad attempt at demo-ing tile!

Lauren’s sad attempt at demo-ing tile!

Matthew "Muscles" Newton makes some real progress.

Matthew “Muscles” Newton takes over and makes some real progress. (If you look closely, you can see he’s pried a huge chunk away from the wall — his arm is behind it!)

Pretty thick stuff! It's apparent that this tile was laid to last.

Pretty thick stuff! It’s apparent that this tile was laid to last.

SUCCESS! Believe it or not, it took three wheelbarrow loads to get all that tile rubble out of the tub.

SUCCESS! Believe it or not, it took four wheelbarrow loads to get all that tile rubble out of the tub.

Next step is getting electricity to the house so we can use power tools to speed up this detail work and run a shop vac to help with clean up. We have been waiting for more than two weeks now, so wish us luck…and if you happen to know someone at Duke Power who can bump us up on the list, we wouldn’t be upset if you made a call 😉