New Skill – Refinishing Floors

A few cursery google searches and it is pretty clear that refinishing a section of hardwood floors is a difficult task, even if the work itself is relatively straight forward. The main issue comes in matching the repaired section of stain/finish to the hardwood that surrounds it. Even using the original stain to patch sections can be problematic and end up with easily visible patch jobs throughout your hardwood floors. That being said, Allyson and I “decided” to patch our hardwood floor because there’s no way a patch would look worse that this.... Some people could call this a focal point of the room, just not in a good way. As I discussed previously, the flipper left us with some problem areas in our house, and the area under our bar in the kitchen was one of them. The first step to fix the issue was to refinish the section…

Continue Reading

What Were They Thinking?

For the past year or so, Allyson and I have thought “what were they thinking” quite a few times as we look at all of the work that was done in our house by a “flipper”. Some times, it’s relatively small things that I will end up fixing at some point, like not properly hanging light fixtures on walls so you can see the hole in the drywall behind it. Other times it is about something that is unforgivable and they should be forced to sit at a table for a week where everyone is bragging about their job and story topping (this is my own personal Hell, yours may be different). Take how they hung the lights in our bathroom for instance. Looks great right? Can you see the issue here? We didn’t see it immediately, but when we did it became impossible to unsee. *Glass shattering* It does…

Continue Reading

Greenhouse Part III – The Finale

That’s right, this is part III and the final installment of the Greenhouse project series. It’s been a fantastic ride, and I owe it all to my friends and family for getting me this far. Seriously though, building this greenhouse has been a really fun project to complete and will end up being extremely useful as well. At the end of my last post, I included a photo of the fully framed greenhouse, complete with door installed. Today, I want to highlight that door. I have spoken previously about always trying to reuse or repurpose things, rather than buying new. This not only helps prevent wasting resources building new items, it can also save a crap ton of money. The door that we installed on the greenhouse was found at a Habitat for Humanity Restore for $35. It’s a beautiful (and heavy) wood and glass door. Allyson and I were…

Continue Reading

Greenhouse Part II

After completing the foundation, which I discussed last week, it was time to build the frame of the new greenhouse. In this case, I took some time before starting the build to sketch out detailed plans of the greenhouse. Here is the "short" wall, 12 ft long and 4 ft tall. This should allow for a row of vegetables to be planted right inside this wall. The "tall" wall, 12 ft long and about 7 ft tall. Notice the space on the right side for our door we bought from the Habitat ReStore. The side wall, about 6 1/2 ft long. I didn't add measurements for the inner studs, but measured them real time after installing the roof trusses. Sketching out the plans really helped me to visualize the design and make any adjustments I needed to before I made my first cut. Once again I was able to reuse…

Continue Reading

Greenhouse Part I – Foundation

Last week I introduced my failed attempt at a hoop house last year and the plans to build a new greenhouse this year. After finalizing the size and layout and then finishing up the full plans for the project, I could get started once again digging a foundation. Luckily for my back, this was a much simpler foundation to dig. I began by clearing out the area that the new greenhouse would sit and then dug trenches about 4 inches deep to set the 4”x4” Pressure Treated lumber that the greenhouse frame will sit on. For each of the walls I added 2 cinder blocks set deeper down into the dirt for added stability and to help with leveling the foundation. Halfway there. The sledgehammer was extremely helpful in tamping down the lumber to make everything level. The cinder blocks should add a bit of stability to the foundation. They…

Continue Reading

When One Thing Dies…

I have a confession to make. It’s not really a confession since everyone already probably knows it, but I sometimes do not know what I am doing. Case in point: the original hoop house for our garden. It looks so good in this photo. Constructed with 2x4s, PVC pipe, and some conduit ribbing. I originally built this hoop house last summer. It was born out of necessity, and unfortunately not a lot of planning went into its construction. Here’s the full story. Allyson and I had worked very hard building garden boxes and planting a bunch of vegetables in the yard of our home that we had just bought. After a lot of work the cherry tomato plants were beginning to bear fruit, and one tomato in particular was just about ripe. This thing was gorgeous, perfectly round and about to be perfectly red. All I wanted was to come…

Continue Reading

Spring Update

As Colorado fights its way through a couple small snow storms into Spring time, I wanted to make this week’s post an intro into the things that Allyson and I are hard at work doing and plan to do this summer. The main project that I have been working on and will continue to work on is of course the workshop. There are a number of big items that I need to complete this spring and summer in the workshop including laying out and building workbenches, running electric throughout, insulating and finishing the walls, finishing the exterior trim, and finishing the gutters. Typing all of that out makes me realize that I’ll probably be working on the workshop for another year. Still totally worth it. Recently, I have shifted my focus away from the workshop in an effort to get a couple more pressing items complete around the house. First…

Continue Reading

Window to Your Soul

Freshly installed windows with shims in place to help force the window square over time. Another week has flown by and I’m back to discussing my workshop build with the internet. Today’s topic, windows. The workshop design called for 6 windows (after some adjustments). For these windows, we used barn sash windows and then built the window box for each window. Remember the windows we installed in the door? Those were the exact windows installed elsewhere on the shed. The only difference in this case was the painstaking process of unscrewing the barn sash, painting the windows black, and then the painstaking process of putting the windows back together. In this case I truly mean painstaking..did you know that glass is sharp? Unfortunately, or maybe luckily for the lack of finger cut photos, I completely forgot to take photos of this entire process. After getting the windows painted and ready…

Continue Reading

Knock Knock…

Knock Knock…. These jokes are typically pretty lame, but as a big office fan here is my favorite sequence of Knock Knock jokes. “We will ask the questions!” Anyways, recently I finished building the doors to the new workshop and I am prettttty pleased with how they turned out. These doors ended up looking fantastic and we were able to make them for a fraction of the price of buying them. Again following the plans from Family Handyman, we were able to build the doors in a series of steps, stain them to enrich the natural color of the cedar we used, and then get them installed onto the workshop. Step 1: Build 4 doors Now, if you are extremely observant, think Sherlock Holmes, you may have noticed that we only have 2 doors, and yet this step is to build 4 doors. I haven’t lost my mind This is…

Continue Reading

Roof Over My Head

After taking a break last week to talk about an unrelated subject that had been on my mind, we are back to talking about the workshop build this week. So let’s talk about roofing. Specifically, I want to talk about rolled roofing (modified bitumen), metal roofing, and shingles. The plans for my new workshop call for shingles, and you would think shingles would be the simplest and cheapest roofing to put on this shop. If you think that, you’d definitely be right. I haven’t installed shingles before (I haven’t installed any roof material), but it is definitely cheaper than metal and seems to require a bit less fire to install than modified bitumen. The one downside to shingles is that they really shouldn’t be installed on roofs with a pitch lower than 3:12, i.e. 3 feet of rise over 12 horizontal feet (remember geometry?). Now, why would this matter for…

Continue Reading
×