No, I’m not talking about the extra something you get for going into the VIP area of a Canadian strip club; I’m talking about what I’m not.  Home improvement projects for the past 16 years that I’ve been a grown up (i.e., out of undergrad) have meant paying someone.  With each passing year, the list of activities I’m unwilling to attempt myself has grown to include cutting grass, painting walls, hanging ceiling fans, hanging window treatments, cleaning the inside of the house, spreading mulch, planting bushes, etc. etc.

So, when the dining room light refused to go out a few days ago, I asked around for a referral to an electrician.  I was told to quit being a pussy and save my $200.  So, I went to Lowe’s, bought a new light switch thingy, and ripped off the old one.

inside the light switch

Seems simple enough, right?  But the new switch had 3 wires, while the old one had 2 inside it.  I learned the extra was something called a “ground” wire, so I looped that one to a piece of copper in the very back of the box in our wall.  Then I hooked up the other 2, and presto!  I had a new, functional light switch capable of dimming.

I got cocky and decided I could install a new thermostat.  Why?  Because when we went to Shane and Adina’s house last weekend after Sunday brunch, he had a fancy looking Nest thingy, and I decided we needed a fancy Nest, so I bought one on the same Lowe’s trip.  I’d planned to call someone to install it but decided to try it myself instead.

inside the old register

That’s what I saw when I popped the cover off our existing thermostat. I followed the directions, pulled out wires and stuck labels on them (included in the Nest box), and hooked the wires up to the inside of the Nest cylinder.

inside the nest

Then I popped the cover on, followed the prompts to connect it to our wifi, and waited to see if it worked.

nest 1

And it totally worked!  The whole process took maybe 15 minutes.  I was so excited about my new found abilities that I decided to write a post about it.  And here it is.

nest 2


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  1. Such talent. I’m the same way with home repair – handy enough to cause myself trouble. So how much did a nest set you back and will you really ever program it remotely? Ever?

    • Dude, I adjust it from my iphone already. Sometimes I like to crank it to 85, so that Deb will think she’s having hot flashes.

      It was $250, I think, but Lowe’s gives a military discount, so that helped a little. I like that when we’re gone, we can ratchet the temp up to save money.

  2. Congrats, that’s no small feat to do. Me on the other hand, you should watch me install the switch for a ceiling fan sometime. (There was smoke coming from the wall.)

  3. I am so hot for you right now. And not in a punny way.

  4. Oooh, JELUS of that Nest thermostat – been coveting those long time!

    When we first moved into this house I totally did this shit. Replaced the thermostat, light fixtures and fans, faucets and shower heads, etc. But almost 10 years later… ugh, SO TIRED. I can do those things, but the House Exhaustion has gotten to me, frankly.

    In conclusion: kudos, my brother.

  5. Karen Chatters

    I saw that when I was there and am VERY intrigued. I want one! Oh, and you have mad skillz.

  6. I’ve been eyeing tho Nest since they came out. Nice to see one installed and in action. We’ll need a follow up to discuss how awesome it REALLY is in the home.


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