Yesterday I showed one of our “oh crap we’re moving, we HAVE to finish this project!” projects: the painting of the periwinkle guest bath.  And it felt good to be rid of that color!

Next up I thought I’d share a pretty cool upgrade Husband thought to do: replacing the car-sized antenna on our roof with a smaller, more effective version.

Let me back up though.  Why not just dump the whole antenna?!  I mean, who uses an antenna these days?!

can you believe the size of that thing?!

Well, we’re kind of cheap.  We never signed up for cable.  We didn’t want to spend some absurd amount of money for something we knew would take up too much of our free time, so we opted to go cable-less.  Are we crazy?!  Well, I definitely missed HGTV and the like, but it really wasn’t as bad as you think!

Instead of cable, we pulled down stations from that 1960s, enormous eyesore of an antenna on our roof.  And not just fuzzy versions of PBS, but real HD channels.  How can this be?!

Husband is a techie type, and found that if we had a TV with a built-in HD tuner and had that antenna pointed in the most opportune direction, we could pull down the major networks (ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, etc.) in HD (plus a bunch of other channels) for free.  That’s right, folks: F-R-E-E.

he tossed this like a giant javelin off the roof

We ended up getting a Vizio TV (with built-in HD tuner) from Costco for our living room, and in the basement (which I’ll tell more about later) we got an HD projector (144″ of TV viewing goodness) and bought a TiVo (with a year’s subscription still on it) off eBay so we could record our favorite shows.

Then here’s the techie nerdy stuff.  Husband found this website,, which tells to which direction an antenna should be pointed to pull down which channels (as well as a ton of other helpful antenna info).  Because we were in the DC metro area, we had a lot of strong signals, so this worked really well.  He just climbed up on the roof and pointed it in the right direction, and *BAM!*, HD channels showing our favorite network shows.

But we hated how huge the antenna was.  And it was OLD and they’ve improved (and miniaturized) the technology since the 1960s, so Husband researched and found this new antenna:

a bit smaller, huh?

So we borrowed a ladder from a neighbor so he could climb on the roof one unseasonably warm weekend in January.  I played helper that day, standing on the base of the ladder to hold it in place, neck craned and praying he wouldn’t fall off!

After wrenching off the rusted bolts, he literally threw it off the roof like a javelin.  I was standing as far back as I could but there were still pieces flying everywhere, and the tail of it seriously was 2″ from hitting the window when it landed!

Husband did his homework and had all the pieces assembled to make for a quick installation.  He reused the (old, somewhat rusted) vertical mounting rod so he didn’t have to replace the whole shebang.

a beer is always recommended prior to going on the roof - safety first! ha!

Then came the easy part: attaching the super light, super small new antenna, dropping the new antenna wire and grounding wire down the side of the house, and pointing it in the right direction.

a little less noticeable, isn't it?!

And, if you could believe it, we were able to pull in even more channels!

So there you have it, another lingering-for-months-and-supplies-sitting-in-the-corner-of-our-living-room project done, just in time for us to move out.  🙂