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A Day of De-Cabling

Holy Jeez, do we hate cables. In the past we’ve done everything in our power to minimize and hide them. Although they’re often necessary to connect one electronic gizmo to another, the previous tenants of this house took it to an entirely different level – but unlike mess you may see behind the television or under your desk, this time, it was outside our home. Specifically, seemingly miles of extraneous cables running along the side of our house.

I know, right? This is what we were facing – cables upon cables, twisted into other cables and on top of more cables!

The good news for us is that nearly all of what you see below is coaxial cable along our home’s vinyl siding, and it’s used to run a TV or internet signal in and around the home. It carries no electrical charge (I had to tell this to Kim, many, many times – safety police!), so you can easily clip and snip it as necessary, and if you’re not using it to carry a signal (as in our case where we’re utilizing a cable internet service as opposed to the previous tenants’ satellite dish), it’s completely unnecessary. Once we had identified the single cable we were using, we were all clear to get to snipping. For half a day! Seriously. (And as always, Jack did a fantastic job holding down the sidewalk for us).

We used a powered drill / driver to unscrew all the cable ties that were fastened into the side of the house and remove the satellite dish, wire cutters for the wires (obviously), and a claw hammer to pry out random fasteners nailed into our monstrous back deck / patio thingie. (We often talk about that thing coming down in the future – that is, after we get a ceiling and finish the bathrooms. And the kitchen and the bedroom…) At one point, I ended up having to climb up onto the roof of the garage to manage some unnecessary cables that had begun to droop.

We filled all of the holes that went through the entire wall (literally, through the siding and into the house) with an exterior grade caulk to seal out the elements, and as we finish the painting prep, we’ll patch all of the drywall on the inside with spackle.

After hours of snipping, roping and de-cabling, we could see our siding again!

It looks like a different house! And while the visual progress was pretty unbelievable (my hands were itching to tackle this project since our first showing!), we’ve still got a hefty list of what’s left to do – next year, perhaps?

Once we’ve got the siding pressure-washed, the foundation painted and the fence-line planted, (again, likely not until next spring as the inside to-dos have been piling, too) this sliver of walkway will look so, so much better.

Until then, we’ll continue to celebrate these small victories. Hip, hip!

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  • Aaron9.11.13 - 8:09 AM

    Ugh… I feel your pain. The back of the Fire House looks just like that. I can’t wait for the day that I can clean it up. Huge change guys, looks great.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel9.11.13 - 8:39 AM

    What a difference that makes! Nice job tearing down all those wires. And I love those decks on the back of your home – I can only imagine what pretty things you will do to them :-)ReplyCancel

  • Sarah @ 702 park project9.11.13 - 8:50 AM

    Oh how I hate visible cables!! We have so many on our house too. We are actually considering going all in and trenching out a path to put the lines to our house under ground. Such an eye sore!ReplyCancel

  • Nathan9.11.13 - 8:56 AM

    Oh my gosh, yes. I’m still going through this. There’s so much abandoned wire in my house! After tracing out lines of over 50 feet, I find that it’s not connected to anything on the other end. I think I’ve collected at least 200 feet of wire at this point, some of which was just stapled to joists in short 1 ft sections and left like some macabre electrical crucifixion.ReplyCancel

  • That is seriously a ton of cable, I would have wanted to tackle that right away too… the house looks so much better without it!ReplyCancel

  • Kim9.11.13 - 9:13 AM

    Thanks, guys! What a pain, right?

    Sarah, wow, that’s quite the undertaking! Kudos to you for taking on something that’ll make a huge difference.

    Nathan, too funny. Same thing here – I would help Scott by pulling the cables that were loose, and more often than not, they weren’t attached to anything. Nope, they were just hanging out… ALL OVER OUR HOUSE.ReplyCancel

  • Tina S.9.11.13 - 9:35 AM

    Between this post and the last, you guys make me want to go out and start building my own house! This has been so much fun to read, watching you guys tackle all this work!ReplyCancel

  • Kim9.11.13 - 9:43 AM

    Tina, building your own house might be easier ;)ReplyCancel

  • Cait9.11.13 - 10:48 AM

    Holy cables, Batman! You guys totally showed those cables who’s boss, though! Looks great!

    If you makes you feel any better, the back of our house near the outdoor shower has wires, cables, and pipes running all over it. We’re considering doing the same thing as Sarah. Or rather, redoing the buried line we ran to the shed out back, and having an electrician friend do that for the main wire in the front.ReplyCancel

  • Hooray! What a great change!

    I’m intrigued by your plans to take down your deck thingy :)ReplyCancel

  • Kim9.11.13 - 12:17 PM

    Heather, we’re just as intrigued. We have ideas for days!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle9.11.13 - 11:50 PM

    Holy bajesus! Were they renters before? I just cant wrap my head around who would think that is ok to do! Looking good kiddos!ReplyCancel

  • Kim9.12.13 - 8:59 AM

    Michelle, they were – and each of them had their own cable to every single room, times 100.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah9.12.13 - 4:57 PM

    That’s a crazy amount of cables! We don’t have that many, but the ones we do have go straight through the house like yours do. I’m convinced those holes are the source of the bugs we find in my daughter’s room on that side of the house. I’ve been putting off caulking the holes, but after seeing how big your project was, mine seems easy. :)ReplyCancel

  • Emma9.16.13 - 9:56 PM

    Something tells me that an abstract art project can be created from these wires… :)ReplyCancel

  • James10.19.16 - 8:57 PM

    Each time the place was rented they must have flipped from Direct TV to Dish… then cable TV. Every time the installed just ran new wire to eliminate any possible issue with the abandon cables. So you end up with a rats nest of cables because no one really cared.ReplyCancel

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We’re Kim + Scott, Chicago based content creators behind the Home + Lifestyle brand Yellow Brick Home.

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