Friday, April 14, 2017

Projects projects projects!

So Spring has started with a bang as I have finally gotten some of the projects I wish-listed during the winter started and completed.

The first project started when Meg and I took a random trip to one of our local Good Will stores back in January. At the back was a light wood cabinet with an image of a King and the words "King's Head Pub and Brewing". I opened the cabinet to find it housed a dart board inside with five darts. It also had chalk board on either side of the door for keeping score. The dart board and darts that were in the cabinet didn't match which happens a lot in Good Will as people throw things together right before donating them. Anyway the cabinet was priced at either 2 or 5 dollars I don't remember now and the dart board really didn't matter much to me at all. I wanted to remove the dart board and put in shelves to hold glasses that were currently taking up space inside my bar.

Once we got home I realized it was the actual dart board not darts that did not belong to the set but it had everything else (chalk and erasers) so if I had changed my mind and decided to use it as a dart board it wouldn't have been hard to fix. Anyway I measured the cabinet from side to side and the height to see what would be the best placement to fit the most glasses.

Now I was mounting it in a narrow space that didn't give me much room to try and find studs so I got these really big strong drywall hangers because I didn't want the weight of the cabinet to pull it down. Of course, since I was prepared to not find studs, I hit directly on a stud with the right hook. I really should have known that was going to happen because I was close to the doorway so naturally it would have been framed out there.  As a result I used the drywall anchor on the left and a screw into the stud on the right.

I ended up leaving the chalk board and darts on the sides because I liked the way they looked with the glasses and the overall bar feel of it (I mean darts is the original bar game). Overall this was simply just two shelves and mounting on a wall. And it is definitely one of our best Good Will finds.

Inside shots with and without glasses and a full bar shoot. With the amount of Jack Daniel's glasses and liquor I guess you can tell where my loyalties lie.

Next project was getting a patio/deck area that I could put a gazebo up on and use for hanging in the yard and grilling. I needed a large space because Meg has a large variety of outdoor cooking tools. She has a charcoal grill, gas grill, smoker, electric smoker, and the latest addition is an outdoor sink. Not to mention she wants to get a griddle but hasn't pulled that trigger yet. Originally I priced the cost of doing a wood deck out by my fire pit (using that as a center piece) however with last Spring's rains I quickly realized that would not be wise. See, if you ever hear songs about Tennessee and red dirt it's because there is no dirt. It is all clay. As a result water settles on top of the clay and slowly soaks in. So when we get even one inch of rain in a short amount of time it causes a lot of standing water because it takes so long to soak up. So I quickly dismissed a wood deck because it would definitely not last long. I looked into Trex but that wouldn't really help since the framing would still be wood and would need to be replaced sooner than normal because of the water. That got me looking into concrete slabs. I thought about colored or stamped concrete to give the patio a distinctive look rather than just a slab. My Mom suggested aggregate which is what the building across the street from her condo has in it's parking lot. I liked the look and thought it would really stand out especially against the red brick of my house. At that point I still was thinking of putting it by the fire pit. That is when the outdoor sink got returned to our Lowe's by a customer because of a dent on it. Actually it had been delivered with a dent and he had kept it and used it until the re-order came in. When it got returned to the store it was... well used... to be polite. Anyway we bought it and took it home and cleaned it a bunch of times with a lot of degreaser and eventually it looked like this.

It has a sink top left, burners top right and storage drawers. However the addition of this sink changed my plans as I didn't want to have to run a hose all the way to the fire pit in order to use the sink. So the patio plan was moved away from the fire pit and up to the house so that the sink would be near a spigot.

Now there was existing patio around the back doors of my house so the plan became to add a roughly 24x18 rectangle of aggregate against the existing patio. This way the grills and cooking would be on the plain concrete and the gazebo and other outdoor living would be on the aggregate. Well last week the slab was poured and in the next couple of weeks I will be able to build the gazebo and anchor it down directly into the aggregate, which is necessary for sure with the TN winds.

The gazebo will be in the bottom left quadrant with plenty of room for hanging out in the sun in front of it and to the side.

Finally the last project to get off the ground was switching the downstairs bathroom door for a sliding barn door. There is a door from the garage and a door for the bathroom on adjacent walls. As a result if the bathroom door is open the garage door will hit it. However if we keep the door closed that bathroom gets very cold or hot depending on the season.

The new door started out as a plain hollow door and we added 1x and 2x lumber to it. Also it was my first time staining wood and it was funny to see how the pieces I did later look so much better than the first pieces. At least I know I'm learning right?

The stain was from Minwax and the color is American Chestnut. In that hallway we have a beach motif going on and I think the barn door complements it.

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