Sunday, August 29, 2010

More projects we are working on in our spare time...

Installing the steps on the back porch became important as soon as I became tired of walking down the temporary ramp. Yes the nails are suppose to be crooked.. that is the side that goes down in the concrete pad
One bag of concrete mixed in a bucket....

Always check for level...
Skewable brackets for the risers
Lovely. The landing will come about when we put the railing on the deck.. for now it's so much better than the ramp.
You might remember from several posts back that the mailbox had to be moved to the other side of the drive. Finally we got around to putting the new bigger, better, more wonderful mailbox in. leaning against the tree is a branch from a cedar tree that we removed from the yard. We thought it would make a nice "post" for the mailbox.
I think it's pretty fantastic. Eventually we will paint the mailbox the same color as the house. Eventually....

The garden shed... As you can see it's a little of this and a little of that. Scrap wood nailed up to create a barrier from the neighbors side... please don't ask how it got like that, just know... it wasn't us...
A little demo of the old scrap wood and we have a good start on what will be a nice shed..
A pretty decent framing job for the funky garden shack... to be continued....

2000lbs of concrete

The first thing you need to pour concrete would be a foreman... (enter: mom) A tape measure makes you look like you know what you are doing...
String... also a very important element to the concrete experience (we now know that string lines don't mean shit)
1 borrowed concrete mixer that was used to build the great pyramids.
Rebar... for the largest footing known to man (remember the 95 foot tall tree that we removed and you will understand the need for the footing)
Stand back and look to the left...
Then to the right...
The weather could not have been more perfect. It was nice and cool and overcast all day with no rain. The big question is... "how long do you leave the sonotube on before cutting it off?" If anyone can answer please leave a message.... we would love to know

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Paint the house... check!

While we are thinking about the porch design I decided to hurry up and paint the house. I have never painted the outside of a house and it felt like a really big project. We prepped, caulked, repaired and so on... then one day while Steve was at work, I began. Below you see the "cubbies", otherwise knows as eaves. There are exactly 60 of these around my home. Steve and I discussed the best way to paint them and even got a bid from a friend to spray but, in the end, I painted them with a 6" corner roller and it worked out really well. Painting the eaves took one day.
a little last minute caulking...
And... begin...
work your way around...
and around...
and around... then repeat. :)
Here is the house before (several of our neighbors didn't even realize there was a house on this lot)
I think they will notice now. I think the house looks good. Now the big question seems to be "what are you going to do with the fireplace?"
I was thinking just leave it but we are considering putting rock on it or painting it. Suggestions are welcome. There is a new front door in our future and the porch building should start anyday now. :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

so... how many pier blocks does it take anyway?

When you remove things you can never quite be sure what you will find.
Imagine our shock and amazement when we uncovered the 4 pier blocks holding up one side of the steps... yes.. you heard right.. just the one side of the steps.
Hey Waldo... just kidding..
The walkway leading from the back porch to the garage was rotting into the ground.
Looks like a trip to the dump is in our very near future.
Another platform was between the house and the garage. Not sure why it was built but, it's gotta go!
That's better!
Like I said, another trip to the dump. We are practically on a first name basis with those guys. They don't even ask if we are dumping pressure treated anymore. It's a beautiful thing.
Here is a cool trick. If you want to smooth your "dirt" yard, drag a board around in a circle a few hundred times and it will be perfect.
The yard is finally smooth and the water should flow around the house instead of straight at it.
Prepping for paint means ripping the rain gutter off the house. No windows broken and no one got hurt! Please don't call OSHA, we know the ladder is not on level ground.
Pressure washing is the devils work. Quite possibly the yuckiest thing I have had to do yet.
Bliss?... I think not. Soaked to the bone and covered with paint, mold, spider webs, tree junk and dirt.
More to follow. We will be painting this weekend. Sorry for the delay in updating but as you can see we have been busy and are still at it. I long for the lazy days laying in the hammock in our oasis of a yard... someday...