The Nest gets new stuffing!

What’s fluffy, pink and keeps the Nest cozy all year long?
New insulation, of course!

We have lined our nest with brand new, downy, pink insulation (that oddly enough smells just like cotton candy!). Although very important, we didn’t think much of this step at first…but it actually made a huge difference in both the look and the feel of our house! After the insulation was installed, we noticed that it was much quieter inside and it made all the rooms feel “cleaner” to have all the batting neatly tucked between studs. All-in-all a much more exciting step than we anticipated. 🙂

The Newton Nest Insulation IMG_7729

A close-up of the pink stuff!

Here’s a look at our newly lined nest:

The Newton Nest Insulation IMG_7732

The Newton Nest Insulation

The Newton Nest Insulation IMG_7854

The Newton Nest Insulation IMG_7716

By the way, our insulation guy used stilts instead of a ladder!! Amazing!

Oh, and by the way, our insulation guy used stilts instead of a ladder!! Amazing!

The best part of completing insulation?? Now we can move on to sheetrock!

A Climate Controlled Nest

If you’ve ever lived (or even vacationed) with Matthew Newton, then you know he is king of the thermostat! So, obviously, quality climate control is a high priority in the Newton Nest.

True to form, we have completely removed all the old ductwork and reconfigured the HVAC system in our little nest. The most drastic change between new and old is the relocation of the furnace and a/c unit from the basement to the attic. Why, you say? Because the original ductwork – all running from the downstairs up – was not up to code (too small, weak and no real intake registers). So, to install new, updated ducts in the original layout required us to run large intake ducts through the laundry room and two of the downstairs bedroom closets. Losing all that storage space was a total deal breaker for us. So, cue the creative thinking caps!

Side Note: Matthew hates to be hot, so he keeps the 'stat set pretty low year-round. So low that Miss Pepper sometimes has to wear her winter hat to keep warm!

Miss Pepper’s creative cap also keeps her warm when her dad cranks up the air conditioning!

Our solution was to run all the new stuff from the upstairs down, so we could route all the ductwork through the attic, putting vents in the ceilings of the downstairs instead of along the baseboards. This setup is pretty unusual for our area, but it’s very common to have heating and cooling units in the attics of homes on the coast. The only concession we had to make to accommodate this arrangement was cutting through three out of the four dormers upstairs to allow for ductwork. Yes, this was less than ideal, but we decided it was much more appealing to sacrifice space in the upstairs bonus room rather than our main living areas downstairs – plus, we will gain some super cute window seats in these little nooks to conceal the ductwork. Not a bad trade, right??

Here's a look at the heart of our HVAC system tucked away in the attic. :)

Here’s a look at the heart of our HVAC system tucked away in the attic. 🙂

Ductwork going in!

Ductwork going in!

It's all hiding up there in the ceilings...

It’s all hiding up there in the ceilings…

Ductwork running through the dormers.

Ductwork running through the dormers.

Can you picture a cute little window seat here?

Can you picture a cute little window seat here?

Vents installed in the ceilings.

Vents installed in the ceilings.

Now we just need to pick out our thermostat!
We feel like this one might be calling our names….

It's called "The Nest" -- how could we resist?

It’s called “The Nest!”  How could we resist?  😉

Plumbing Rough-In: Check!

Our H2O is ready to go!

That’s right. Our old pipes are gone and they’ve been replaced with all new plumbing. We made quite a few changes to the original plumbing layout, so here’s the run down:

  • We added a tiny powder room tucked into the corner of the office, located just off the formal living room and kitchen. This addition will give us a bathroom that is convenient to the most high-traffic living spaces. Adding the waste pipe for the toilet was a little tricky because the office/powder room was once a porch (closed in by a previous owner) and it has a concrete floor that is nearly six inches thick! Needless to say, drilling a hole through that baby required a little extra brawn. Our plumber might not agree, but we think it was worth the additional effort. 🙂
  • We added a shower head to the hall bath which was only a tub with a hand-held spray attachment.
  • We said goodbye to the two old, rusty water heaters in the basement and replaced them with a tankless system. Energy efficiency and an endless supply of hot water? Yes, please!
  • We added plumbing for his-and-hers dual sinks in the master bathroom.
  • We relocated the laundry room. (To make way for a large master closet, oh yeah!)
  • And, lastly, we had our plumber stub-in hot/cold water and a waste pipe upstairs to give us the option to add a half bath to the bonus space upstairs should we decide we want to do that down the road.
Hello, new toilet hole!

Hello, new toilet hookup!

Our itsy-bitsy powder room! (You can see the toilet rough-in on the floor in the far left corner.)

Our itsy-bitsy powder room! (You can see the toilet rough-in on the floor in the far left corner.)

Kitchen sink rough in.

Kitchen sink rough-in.

Hall bathroom shower is in!

Hall bathroom shower is in!

Master bathroom plumbing.

Master bathroom plumbing.

Laundry!

Laundry!

Upstairs "maybe" bathroom. :)

Pipes for our upstairs “maybe one day” bathroom. 🙂

So, as you can see, we have replaced everything! Well, almost everything… the only plumbing items being spared are the original cast-iron tubs. They need a good cleaning and to be reglazed, but we think they’re pretty special. (And they’re also pretty heavy, so leaving them in place is easier on everyone! ha!)

Master Bath  |  Hall Bath

Master Bath   |   Hall Bath

Replacing the water line from the street to the house was always in the plan, but the biggest “question mark” during this whole re-plumbing process was whether or not the waste/sewer pipes leading from the house to the street (which are buried underground) were in good shape. Many times with old houses like ours the underground pipes have cracks, debris, roots that have grown into them, and all kinds of other problems that can be an expensive fix. So, we had a professional come use a nifty little camera scope tool to take a gander at our pipes… miraculously, we passed muster and did NOT have to dig up and replace our waste line! Hallelujah!!

Water line trench... thank goodness we didn't have to dig up the waste line, too!

Water line trench… thank goodness we didn’t have to dig up the waste line, too!

Now, all this pipe talk is a little boring, but as part of this exercise, we got to make our plumbing fixture choices, too. Finally! We get to pick out some “pretties” for the house! Here’s a glimpse of what we chose:

Plumbing pretties!!

Plumbing pretties!!

 

As a fitting finish to the plumbing update…… let’s all wave goodbye to the Nest’s old, nasty hot water heaters!

A couple of local scrappers took these beauties off our hands.

A couple of local scrappers took these beauties off our hands.

Hooray for new pipes!