Key, Key, Who’s Got the Key?

One of the first things we do when we move into a new house (yea, we can say it like this now that we have 2 notches in our proverbial “house” belts 😉 ) is change the locks. One way of doing this is calling a locksmith. The Baker way of doing this (and I’m sure many people’s way of doing this) is to DIY!

The main reason for this post is not to tell you how to go down to Lowe’s or Home Depot and purchase new locks, install them onto your doors, etc. and so on. The real reason behind this post is to tell you about this super awesome handy new invention that’s called “SmartKey.” Maybe we are late in the game, but until House #2, we had never heard of SmartKey. FYI: this is also not some type of add for Kwikset, although we wish we were profiting from this 😉 We are really just amazed at this product!

In House #1, we had a front door and a back door – that’s it. In House #2, we now have two front doors and two back doors as well as a door on the basement that needs locking! Take out the one back door because it’s a slider that can no longer really be accessed with a key and that’s a grand total of 4 doors. We’re up two whole sets of locks from the last house! That’s where the genius of SmartKey comes in…

Easy DIY and home improvement trick for re-keying your locks!This type of door lock replacement allows you to re-key your lock instead of completely replacing it. Our front door had a SmartKey lock on it, so all we had to do was buy Kwikset’s SmartKey “Re-Key” kit. You place the old key in and turn the dial on the existing lock to “learn mode”. Then you insert the special tool provided in the kit, insert the new key (also provided) and with another turn of the dial, you’ve got yourself a brand new, working key. We tested the old key and, sure enough, it didn’t work anymore!

These things are genius! We’ve wasted a lot of time changing locks and I’m sure many people waste a lot of money hiring professionals to do this for them too. We typically don’t write blog posts exclusively about products, but when we stumble upon a product that’s changing the game in DIY and home improvement, we can’t help but rave about it! Rave on. 🙂

Guess Who’s Back?

…and we’re back!Fresh Nest Blog is Back

 Welcome back, readers, whoever you are, wherever you are. We’ve been laying low for awhile and the blog has been inactive. We sold our house a few months ago, and have been living with my (Andrew) parents since then. We’ve also found a new house, and are waiting to close. There will be some work to do, but (hopefully) not nearly as much as last time.

We will be posting about all of the work and projects so check back real soon!

Hiatus (Don’t Hate Us)

As we recently announced, we’re selling our house! With that being said, we are going on a hiatus until we get into another house full of fun DIY and home improvement projects to blog about!

So, to wrap things up (for now) here is a look back on all the work we did on our first house! It was a wild ride for sure, but we learned so much; almost too much! We accomplished so many things we never could have imagined to be necessary or possible, but we did it! This experience has been priceless, to say the least, and has equipped us with the know-how to make great decisions when buying our second home.

A Look Back on Our First House

When we purchased the house in September 2011, it was brown and dingy. That’s the best way to describe it. Check out the original listing photos from when we bought the house:

Real estate listing photos of our new houseWe tackled gutting a floor to ceiling pink PINK PINK! bathroom.

Bathroom before and after

We 100% re-finished our entire kitchen all by ourselves and it was mega cost effective!Kitchen Before and After

Final Painted Kitchen and Tile

We replaced every single door in our house and eliminated all things brown and dirty from the home. We went from brown, dingy luan to crisp, white 6-panel doors, giving the whole house a fresh, modern look.DIY home remodeling, painting trim

We removed all carpet and refinished the original hardwood floors.

Refinished hardwood floors

Our remodeled living room

Refinished hardwood floors

We removed some crappy, goofy awnings, painted and replaced all of our shutters, freshened up the front door with a new paint color, and gave the roof a good scrubbing, completely transforming the outside appearance of our house; talk about curb appeal (if we don’t say so ourselves)!

Old shutters and front door

Spray painting shutters

Updated shutters and front door

Roof Shampoo Before After

We had a ton of much-needed plumbing work done. Less glamorous, but oh-so-important.

Correct 2 Inch PVC Washer Drain

Correct PVC Stack in Basement

We raised a barn, Amish-paradise style. Just kidding, but we did build a shed ourselves which we still feel is quite impressive…at least for us!

shed floor level ground

completed Rubbermaid resin shed

We earned our green thumbs 🙂

Hosta Sprout Close Up

Front Yard in April

Planting hydrangeas gardening tips








And we painted

Painting acoustic ceiling tiles

And painted

Yellow Office Sunbeam

Office Painted with Wave's Crest

And painted some more…

Living room paint colors

It took us awhile to warm up to this house and to get it how we wanted it. But in the end, we will truly miss it. It’s hard to leave all of this great work behind, but we are moving on and moving up! Time for bigger and better. And we can’t wait.

Thank you to all of our super-devoted readers, the one-time readers and those who would occasionally stop by. We will always be posting on Instagram and Facebook, so you can keep in touch with us there. We look forward to connecting with everyone here on the blog again just as soon as we get into house #2. Until then!