Farmhouse Doll Bed

Now that it’s after Christmas and this gift has been given I think it’s safe to finally share it without someone ruining the surprise.

Chris and I didn’t find a lot of time to be able to make many things for Christmas gifts but we were able to do this one. I’ve been wanting to make a doll bed for our niece and Chris helped me make one this year. We used Ana White’s Farmhouse Doll Bed pattern and pretty much just followed the directions. Since we keep a lot of scraps we were actually able to find everything we needed in our garage and cut it all down to size.

Farmhouse Doll Bed 1

While I was sanding away Chris assembled all the pieces by gluing and nailing them together with our smallest nail gun.

Farmhouse Doll Bed 2

He used a scrap of wood to center the top and bottom boards that attached all the slats together on the headboard and footboards.

Farmhouse Doll Bed 3

Here’s one side all assembled and ready to go.

Farmhouse Doll Bed 4

From there we pretty much followed the directions and attached everything to the frame. We did add an extra 2×2 board in the center of the bed to add a little extra strength.

Farmhouse Doll Bed 5

To finish off the bed I used two coats of kilz2 primer and two coats of white paint to finish off the bed.

Farmhouse Doll Bed 6

The only part we had to buy was a small sheet of thin plywood to use as a base for the mattress.

Farmhouse Doll Bed 7

Of course I couldn’t stop there I had to create a little bedding set.

Farmhouse Doll Bed 8

I made a mattress and pillows using Ana White’s pattern. To go with is I put together a simple little quilt using scraps I already had on hand.

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Of course since I’m crazy and little addicted I also couldn’t help but cut out some shapes with my silhouette to personalize it a bit more.

Farmhouse Doll Bed 10 Farmhouse Doll Bed 11

I just love the way it turned out. As usual the sanding and painting could be a little tedious at times but I think the end product was worth it.

Were you able to make any of your Christmas gifts this year?

The End of the Deck

I would like to take just a moment to revel in the fact that our deck is done!

Ok. Now that we have that out of the way lets go back and look at the final process of the deck building.

A few weeks back I shared that we had finally been able to finish installing the decking. Just before that when I talked about the material we chose I also mentioned that we had started to stain cedar boards to build our railing with.

Since it’s been cold and wet recently we had to do all of the staining inside our garage.

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Before we started the staining we actually cut board for the top and bottom of the railing to length. That way we didn’t end up painting a lot more than we needed to. Then once all the paint had dried Chris took test fit the top and bottom boards out on the deck. After he trimmed the boards as needed he pre drilled the top and bottom 2×4 rails where they would attach to the 4×4 posts. To make the installation a little easier he even started the screw in the pre drilled hole.

Railing 3

Next he measured and marked the center of both boards.

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He had already cut the balusters to the height we needed so all he had to do was center the first one over the markings.

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Then using the nail gun he nailed it in place.

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With the first baluster in place he used a scrap 4×4 post to space out the balusters since it was easy to use.

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After he had a section of railing together he carried it out to the deck and set it in between the posts. To make sure the bottom gap wasn’t to large he used more 4×4 scraps to space up the railing.

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To keep the railing flush with the back of the 4×4 post he used a spare baluster to space the railing.

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Once he was happy with where everything was Chris screwed it in place.

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To finish it off the railing we topped each section it with another 2×4 board which was just nailed in place.

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Chris continued the same process around the deck until he got to the stair railing. This took a little more trial and error and involved holding the top and bottom boards in place and marking the needed angles needed. Other than figuring out the angles it was the same process as the previous sections.

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Once the stair and final railing sections were in place that was pretty much it. We were ready for our final inspection.

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To finish our posts off we did top them with solar post caps that we bought at Home Depot. I know it’s not the best photo but here they are all lite up.

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We may come back and add some fascia and skirting nest summer but until then it’s finished! We have officially passed our final inspection.

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I’m sure I’m very biased but I think it turned out pretty good.

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Even though it’s the first deck we’ve ever built it looks pretty professional to us.

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Whew. That is by far the biggest project I think we have tackled. Have you done any big projects recently? How did it feel when you were all done?

Want to catch up with the rest of the deck process? Up until now we have explained how we designed the deck. We also talked about how we got our permitprepped the grounddug our footing holes and passed our first inspection. After the holes were dug we poured concrete and put down landscape fabric and gravel. With the base completed we installed our posts and beams. Then we came back and installed the joists, blocking and railing posts and passed our second inspection. While we were waiting out the heavy rains I talked about choosing our decking materials, how it was all delivered and finally installing it

The Deck: Joists, Blocking & Railing Posts

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Whenever we are working on a bunch of projects and I have a lot to blog about it’s hard to find the time to blog. That being said we are still working on the deck and I’ve been slipping in a bunch of little decor projects around the house I just haven’t found the time to blog them. They will come; it just may not be until the deck is done. Hopefully that’s soon.

Now back to the never ending deck saga! When we left off we finished installing the posts and beams for the deck.

Posts & Beams 13

The next step was to install the joists. For the first level or “step” we precut all the pieces and nailed them together using the nail gun. It was definitely nice to be able to use the nail gun and quickly put things together after all the hammering on the beams and posts.

Joists & Blocking & Railing Posts 1

It may look a like the spacing is a little odd for the joists but we actually placed our them such that it would make installing the railing posts and the decking easier.

Joists & Blocking & Railing Posts 2

Once we put together the first level of joists we started on the second. Due to the shape of the main level of the deck we were able to sort of build it in two sections. To ensure that all our joists would be the same length we actually didn’t cut them first. We left them long and just attached them to the rim joist that is nearest to the house.

Joists & Blocking & Railing Posts 3

We set the rim joist on top of the beam since it was much easier to balance and nail all the joists that way. After all the joists were nailed on we slide everything back into place.

Joists & Blocking & Railing Posts 4

Then we measured, snapped a line, and trimmed off the extra length on the boards and attached the front rim joists. It was pretty exciting to get our first real view of what the finished deck is going to look like. You can mark it out but seeing the real size and shape is always different.

Joists & Blocking & Railing Posts 5

With all the joists placed Chris them came back and toe nailed all the joists into the beams.

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Since it was raining on and off I sort of wimped out at this point. From here Chris cut down chunks of blocking to nail in between the joists over each of the beams.

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With the nearly consent rain has also forced us to do all our painting inside the garage. The first painting projects was all the railing posts.

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At the recommendation of our local Miller Paint store we decided to go with an opaque stain from Storm Stain. The solid stain was not only a design decision but it also has 15 year warrant. Since we don’t want to repaint or re-stain every year the solid stain was the best choice for us.

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With the blocking done and the railing being painted we started working on the stair risers. To start with we purchased a precut riser from Home Depot. When we brought it home Chris found out that it didn’t really work for our decking and deck height. Instead Chris figured out what the dimensions we needed were and drew a little sketch.

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We bought some 1×12 pressure treated boards and marked the first riser based on Chris’ drawing.

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After the first one was cut Chris then just traced around that to mark the next board and cut it as well.

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To hold the railing posts and stairs up Chris dug two holes for concrete piers and used stringer hanging brackets to attach the stringers to the deck frame.

Joists & Blocking & Railing Posts 13

It’s a little hard to see in the photo below but Chris actually cut all but the two outside stringers 1 1/2″ shorter than we needed so that we could nail all the stringers onto one 2×4 board.

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It was amazing how much attaching all the stringers at the bottom really strengthen the stairs. With the stringers attached we attached the bottom stair railing posts to the concrete piers as well as to the outside stringer.

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Once we had those first two posts installed we moved onto the posts around the rest of the deck. On pretty much every post we chose to do extra blocking to add even more strength to the railing posts.

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After we installed a few more posts we were able to figure out a method that worked for us and it moved relativity quickly. We did however have a number of issues with breaking bit extenders to make the spade drill bit long enough to make it through all the wood.

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Another issue we had was that even though we thought we calculated right the 7 inch long carriage bolts didn’t work especially well through the railing posts and two 2×4 blocks. It made it pretty hard to tighten the carriage bolts down but we were able to do with with some coercing.

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When we finished installing the posts on the main post of the deck Chris pulled all the deck boards off our current deck and added more blocking for the posts and to install our decking on.

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It was a lot more time consuming than we both were hoping but we were lucky enough to have clear enough skies to finish installing our posts last weekend so that we were ready for our second inspection scheduled for Tuesday.

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We decided to take off Tuesday to wait for the inspector and the lumber store to deliver our next load of materials. Unfortunately, it was somewhat of a wasted day since our inspector wasn’t even able to make it out to our house. He did come by Wednesday while we were at work and we passed!

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It’s nice to have this much progress behind us but we know that installing the decking and railing will be pretty challenging and time consuming for us.

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Want to catch up with the rest of the deck process? Up until now we have explained how we designed the deck. How we got our permitprepped the ground, and dug our footing holes. After the holes were dug we poured concrete and put down landscape fabric and gravel. With the base completed we installed our posts and beams

Update: Next up I talk about what decking material we chose. 

The Deck: Posts & Beams

Are you tired of hearing about the deck yet? If I’m being honest I’m getting a little tired of working on, talking about and thinking about this deck during most of my free time. Since both Chris and I work full time we spend most of our evenings as well as most of the weekends working on the deck. Yes, I know that we are lucky to be able to do this and when it’s done we will appreciate it. It’s just that the process is beginning to wear on me a little.

Previously with the deck progress we finished laying down landscape fabric and gravel. With that done we were finally ready to move onto installing the posts in our post bases.

Since our design is based around the existing deck that is where we started. We used a series of levels, boards and posts to determine the height of the beams on our first level.

Posts & Beams 1

After we got our first post set we worked around to cut the rest of the six posts that make up the base of the first level.

Posts & Beams 2

With the upper level done we moved onto the lower or main level. Using the same process as the upper level we moved around the deck and determined the height and leveled all of our posts.

Posts & Beams 4

To double check we laid a 4×4 across mulitple posts to check that they were all still level.

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Before we nailed the posts into the bases we decieded to nail on the top bracket that connects the post to the beam.  From our experience with the shed we knew that nailing on a flat surface would be much easier. Let me tell you even this way these nails are no where near easy to put in. Per the manufactures instructions we used 16D 3 1/2″ galvanized nails. We found them really frustrating to nail in since the moment a nail bent a little it was near impossible to remove or nail in straight after that.

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After the caps were all on Chris nailed the post into the base which proved even more difficult due to tight spaces and weird angles.

Posts & Beams 3

As he worked Chris set a beam across all the connecting posts to make sure everything fit before nailing the posts into the bases.

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After we got the posts up our first load of wood was delivered and with it came our 4×6 beams. Chris went outside after work on Monday to set up to start working. He cut a couple of the beams to the size we planned and set them on the posts to see how it would go. This is about when I came out and stood on the main deck and looked down and realized we had an issue. Well it seems that our thought process was off on our post heights. We made the lower level way too low. We ended up with on normal step from the current deck to the first level and one crazy big step down to the last level.

Posts & Beams 8

At this point we were really frustrated and discouraged. After realizing this we just decided to give up for the night and think about what our next step would be. Since we already nailed in everything we basically did the work for nothing and had to figure out a way to remove and replace all the posts for the lower level.

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After a lot of trying to work out a solution we finally decided that we would just replace all too short posts. Chris went out the next night and ended up using a saw to first cut the post off from the base.

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Then he came back and sawed down next to the bases to cut the post out of the base.

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We ended up with a disappointing pile of posts and brackets that we knew wouldn’t be long enough to be able to use over.

Posts & Beams 10a

After buying more 4×4 boards and brackets we started the process of cutting the posts all over again. We were able to reuse a couple of the posts but we still ended up with 11 that had to be made knew. It was pretty exhausting to have to go through nailing in the ridiculous nails all over again but we didn’t really have a choice.

Once the posts were up we started working on the beams again. This is where we had our second issue. It seems that our orginal design wasn’t quite what we ended up with. After Chris cut a couple beams to length we noticed that one wasn’t long enough for the first level. I guess we should have learned by now not to trust our plan but we hadn’t.

Unlike with the posts we were lucky to not have already nailed the beams into the brackets. All we had to do was purchase a couple of replacement boards. From here on out we decided to measure and make due with what we have and not try and go solely off the plans.

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It actually didn’t take us very long to figure out the beam lengths we needed. In the end we really were only off a couple of inches on one side of the upper level.

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We were both really happy to be done with this part of the process so we can move onto the joists.

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Next up we install the joists, blocking, stairs and all the railing posts.

Want to catch up with the rest of the deck process? Up until now we have explained how we designed the deck. How we got our permitprepped the ground, and dug our footing holes. After the holes were dug we then filled them up with concretethen we put down landscaping fabric and gravel.

Laundry Room Striped Mirror & Shelf

I’ve been working on our laundry room. Check out the last post to see the shelving that we installed.

While we were cutting and painting wood for the shelving I started working on a custom mirror to go in the laundry room as well.

Did you know that you can get a mirror custom cut at Lowe’s? Kate from Centsational Girl talks about it in this post and that’s how I found out about it. I bought a 24″x30″ mirror for $12.05 that I had cut into a 16″x16″ mirror. I kept what was left over so maybe I’ll end up using that for something else.

For a backer board I cut some of the 1/2″ MDF plywood we had left over into 28″x24″. After I primed it I did a couple coats of Love in a Mist (MSL#142 ) which I had a tester pot of.

Then I started to tape out a pattern to paint on some more colors. At first I thought I would do a chevron but I quickly realized I was much too lazy for that. I just didn’t have the patience to mess with it this time.

Striped Laundry Mirror 1

So i just switched to a varying width stripe instead. I just randomly taped and painted in the lines. For the stripes I used Lagoon (MSL#125 ), Sunken Pool (MSL#126 ) and Barn (MSL#026) which matches the washer and dryer.

Striped Laundry Mirror 2

It only took two coats for the blue stripes to have good coverage. The red however took four coats and I still don’t think it’s fully opaque. It looks good enough for me though.

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After the last coat dried I pulled off the tape. Next I taped off where I wanted the mirror and the shelf. The shelf was just a few inches shorter than the back board width and I just painted it with the Love in a Mist. Originally I thought I would paint stripes on it as well but it just seem like it would turn out a little crazy.

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We used the liquid nails mirror adhesive to attach the mirror to the board. Per the directions I roughed up the painted surface behind the mirror before we adhered it. I don’t think you really had to clamp it down but since it was lying flat we thought why not.

As a side note be careful about the adhesive you chose to mount a mirror. The first adhesive I bought stated specifically not to use on mirrors. Luckily Chris noticed it before we used it. We later found out that some chemicals in adhesives can actually eat away at the mirror coating. That would have been really disappointing.

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I waited 24 hours before I pulled off the magazines. Then before we attached the shelf we turned the board over and attached two hooks and some hanging wire to hang the mirror from.

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After that we just turned it back over and screwed the shelf in place using pocket hole screws.

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I was lucky this time and we were able to locate two studs behind where I wanted to hang the mirror. We just screwed in two screws, one on each stud and hung the wire over them.

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I’m glad Chris asked if I was put a mirror above the sink. It has already come in handy to see the paint I needed to wash off my face.

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I’m also glad I cam up with a way to count a shelf above the sink as well. It’s the perfect size to set mason jars that I can put my paint brushes in to dry after I clean them in the sink.

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I love how the colors on the mirror look with the wall. I thought it was a fun, simple project that is a perfect addition for this room.

Next up is adding some decor to those bare walls and shelves! Check that out here.

Laundry Room Shelving

Other than painting the laundry room a while back it’s one of the rooms we haven’t really done anything with since we moved in. That recently changed and in just a few weeks time it’s become the first room I’ve really felt was finished.

What I wanted to share today was the first step in the make over. Building and installing some usable shelving.

As usual I planned out what I wanted it all to look like as well as how much material I needed. My plan was to  create a shelf to cover the top of both machines as well as a set of drawers to fit in between the two machines.

Laundry Room Shelving 1

To start with we installed some 1×2 cleats on the wall to support the top with.

Laundry Room Shelving 2

Then we cut three different legs, the top and a shelf out of 1/2″ MDF plywood.  We chose MDF because I’m lazy and I didn’t want to have band the edges before painting. After cutting everything to size we just went ahead and primed and painted any visible surfaces.

Laundry Room Shelving 3

After all the pieces were painted we assembled and installed them in the room. The first leg is the full depth of the top shelf as you can see below. We used pocket holes to attach the leg  to the top. Since we only used 1/2″ MDF it tended to split and not grab as well as we had hoped. We also screw the top down into the cleats underneath to hold the top in place.

Laundry Room Shelving 4

In the center we installed another set of legs. These ones were only 24″ deep so that they could be cut out of one sheet of plywood. Since they are shorter it also makes it so that there is space to get the backs of the washer and dryer if we need to. Even with the shorter depth the shelves are still pretty deep. Since the shelves are deep I wanted to install sliding shelves. That way I would be able to easier reach everything on the shelf.

Before we cut and assembled the shelves we installed the drawer slide halves so we could get an accurate measurement to build the shelves to.

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We used wood glue and a nail gun to assemble a box with 6″ sides to keep everything in the shelves when they slide out. Here I was also painting one last coat on another shelf.

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Speaking of the shelf I bought 3 sets of the Ekby Mans brackets in black from Ikea. I knew that I didn’t really want black brackets but the price was right and I like the bubble looking shapes. To change them up I sprayed them with a silver metallic spray paint. By the way if you’re looking for a glittery sliver spray paint this is the one. It was pretty much like spraying crazy thick glitter.

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As far as installing the brackets we were really lucky that we were able to align them all with a stud.

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Here is the shelf installed in the room and I think it helps the room to feel less empty and makes it look more polished and finished.

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Oh and check out those brackets in all their glittery goodness.

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Back to the drawer shelves we were making. Once the shelves were dry Chris installed the other half of the drawer slides on them.

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Then all we had to do was slide the drawers in and fill them up!

In the picture below you can see a piece of unpainted trim next to the washer. After we finished the shelving we thought that it would look a lot better if we had trim to finish off a lot of the raw edges as well as cover some screw holes on the top of the shelf. You’ll be able to see that more in the posts to come.

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Now back to the shelves. They are the perfect size to fit laundry supplies in the top and the kitty food bin in the bottom along with a lot of other stuff. I like that the drawers are easy to get to and I can grab things without pulling out the drawer. Of course if there’s something hidden in the back I can just pull out the drawers and easily reach it. I just love function storage and organization. Don’t you too?

Laundry Room Shelving 13

I’m so glad to finally have some usable storage in this room. It’s starting to look like a custom room instead of just a boring room with a washer and

Now stay tuned. Next up is a custom mirror! Check it our here.

We Got A Permit!

I feel like blogging comes in waves for me. Whenever I don’t post for a week or more it’s usually because not only are we busy but I’m also working on a bunch of projects. That being said I have so much fun stuff to share that I’m really proud of.

But before we get to any of that I have an exciting future project to share. We are building a deck!

Chris and I (mostly Chris) have been planning out what we want to do with out backyard and working on ideas for a new deck. If you remember photos of our backyard you know that the deck we have currently is almost laughably small.  It’s really only big enough to use as stairs to get out of the back of the house.

Exterior Back 5-2013

Originally our plan (or Chris’ rather) was not even to build a deck until later. He was really hoping to work on an in ground sprinkler system this summer. Once he got to thinking about it he really wanted to build the deck first so he knew what he was working with when installing sprinklers.

Thus started the looking at, planning, and of course pinning of deck ideas.

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After doing a little research we realized that we would need to get a permit to build our deck. In our county if your deck is more than 30 inches above grade within 6 feet of lateral distance it requires a permit to build.

Unfortunately it wasn’t an easy process for us to get a permit and since we had no idea what we were doing it took us a while to figure it all out.

Months ago we started sketching out ideas and Chris started using some of the free online deck builders to get an idea of what we wanted. From there we went outside and staked out the perimeter of the deck we wanted.

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I’m so glad we did this. It didn’t change our plan drastically but it did help us tweak it and finalize a design we were pretty happy with.

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It was great to be able to see how the deck would fit in with the shape of the yard. Since our yard slopes and changes depth we wanted to make the most of the space without taking over the whole yard.

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For an easier build we also decided to basically add on to the deck that we currently have. Of course we’ll installed new decking, remove the stairs and change the railing to fit in with the new deck.

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After we finally got our act together we collected all the paperwork we thought we would need to get our permit. In our county you have to make an appointment to speak with someone about getting a building permit. So I finally called to make an appointment and was greeted by a message that said appointments were three weeks out! Yeah I was a little disappointed at that. I went back online and filled out an automated form to get an appointment and a day later we were emailed our hour and half time slot. Surprisingly we got an appointment that was only a week out.

With our appointment scheduled it was time to kick our planning into high gear. Chris had already spent many weeks pouring over tip sheets, documents and county websites. Now we had to some how figure out what to do with it all and what we actually needed to get a permit.

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Having heard about John from Young House Love‘s experience we really hoped that just a few sketches and maybe a print out from the Lowe’s deck builder would be good enough.

Well lets just say that we were in fact wrong. We ended up needing quite a bit more information. We left our appointment with homework to go fill in all the gaps in our plan. We basically had to go back and redraw everything in detail. We were required to show detail views of everything from post and beam connections to stairs and railings. As well as add explanations of exactly which brackets and what types of wood we would be using.

After hours more of work and a several more trips to Home Depot we finally got our act together and sent our permit reviewer a whole new packet of information. Below are just a few of the hand drawings we did. We also had several pages of detail views that we copied from codes and tip sheets online.

Deck Planning & Permit 1

Once that was sent in we just had to hope it was good enough.

Luckily this time it was!

Deck Planning & Permit 2

So many hours of work, a lot of stress and $282.88 (yes that’s what our permit cost) later and we can now officially start work on our new deck.

Now the real fun begins….

Has anyone else had experience getting a building permit? What was it like for you?

It’s Gettin’ Hot In Here: AC Window Frame

At the risk of seeming a little cheap, white trash or just plain tacky I’m going to share this project with you. This was pretty much Chris’ project. He did all the planning and all the work. All I did was lend an occasional hand.

It’s actually starting to warm up around here and those of us that live in the eternal rain have a hard time handling the heat. Of course when I say heat I really mean about 80 degrees. Yeah I know we’re wimps.

That being said we were given a window AC unit and Chris was dying to find a way to put it in our bedroom window. See the problem is that our windows slide horizontally not vertically which would leave a huge open space above the AC unit. Surprisingly, that kind of defeats the purpose of the AC unit when you’re just letting all that hot air in.

Painting Master Bedroom 6

After talking about how I really didn’t a cheap looking piece of plywood covering the window, Chris came up with an alternative. Thus our little fake window was designed and created.

First off Chris used the table saw to cut a slot in some 1×2’s to use for the frame. It turned out that the blade width was pretty close to the width of the plexiglass we bought to use as our window glass.

AC Window Frame 1

Here you can see the slots down the length of the boards.

AC Window Frame 2

Then he cut the boards down to the size he needed.

AC Window Frame 3

Before he started assembling and painting Chris wanted to make sure the plexiglass would fit so he cut that to size next.

We bought the plexiglass at Home Depot but I know Lowes carries it as well as probably other places. While we were picking out our sheet we noticed that there were cutting tools made for plexiglass. Since we thought they pretty much looked like a utility knife we opted to forgo buying a specific little tool.

According to the directions you are supposed to cut about halfway through the glass with the knife then snap off the excess. We found that it really helped to have me holding the ruler down while Chris cut.

AC Window Frame 4

Once it seemed far enough through Chris just snapped the cut edge off.

AC Window Frame 5

After he was happy with how everything fit together he used spray paint to paint the frame pieces. He decided to paint the frame just so that it would blend in with the rest of the window frame better.

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We didn’t chose anything fancy just a white spray paint in a semi-gloss finish.

AC Window Frame 7

Once everything was painted and dried he assembled the frame together with the plexiglass in the middle. To start with he glued all four corners and used clamps to hold it together. Seriously when you have clamps this big I guess you have to find some use for them.

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Once the glue dried he added a few little brackets just to add some strength.

AC Window Frame 9

Then he just slid the AC unit in the window and slid his new window panel in on top. He added a little foam seal around some of the edges just to ensure a little better seal around the window.

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It’s actually surprising how the window seems to fit in. Of course minus the fact that there’s an AC unit and the one window is all the way open. I guess it’s all worth it just so we don’t have to sleep in a overly warm room.

Do you have any projects that you don’t love the look of but you live with just because they are practical?

Custom DIY Open Frame

Little by little I have been working on our master bedroom. Over time it’s actually starting to look something like the mood board I created.

We painted the room first and that made a big difference. Then I made the Malm inspired console table and switched up the duvet cover on the bed.

So when we left off the wall in between the bathroom and bedroom door was looking much less blank but it still needed a little something. To fill in this void I wanted to create an open frame to go around some picture frames that we previously hung on this wall.

Malm Console Table 7

First off I set out my frames on the floor to decided how big I wanted to make the open frame. I ended up going with about 3″ of space in between each frame and around all the edges.

Open Picture Frame 1

I picked out a molding that I liked the shape of at the hardware store. This one happened to be a primed MDF molding. I measured everything out and cut the boards to size mitering the ends. Since I have such a hard time getting a perfect miter I had to fudge things a bit. I ended up taping the frame down to the floor to keep it in place and I used wood glue to glue the ends together.

Open Picture Frame 2

Once the glue dried it was surprisingly strong. I used some caulking to fill in any gaps on the front side at the corners of the frame. Then I turned the frame over and screwed in a little L shaped bracket to strengthen the frame. The brackets came with a 5/8″ screw which were actually a little long. I found some 1/2″ screws to use instead and they worked fine.

Open Picture Frame 3

I wanted my new frame to match the frames I already had so I spray painted it a semi-gloss black.

Open Picture Frame 5

The first coat was a little splotchy but a few coats later and the frame looked pretty good.

Open Picture Frame 4

To hang the frame I nailed in two saw picture hangers on the backside of the molding. We then hung the frame on the wall using small nails.

To figure out the placement of the frames we used pieces of paper to  line everything up.

Open Picture Frame 6

It was such an easy project and I think it makes quite a difference to this set of frames as well as this side of the room.

Open Picture Frame 7

I love the way the blue paint is framed and can be seen through the open frame.

Open Picture Frame 8

The frames now fill up the wall nicely and look perfect over the new console table.

Open Picture Frame 9

Is anyone else creating some simple gallery walls in a little different way?

Pretty Front Porch: DIY Painted Tapered Planter Boxes

Whew! It’s day 4 of my pretty porch makeover! Check out the painted front door, yarn wreath, welcome sign and cedar planter boxes.

After building the planter boxes for the front walk we talked about wanting to put two more plants on the porch for either side of the front door. Since I was tired of all the building and sanding from the first three I thought I just wanted to buy something. Of course I couldn’t find anything I liked that was big enough for our plants but wasn’t more than I was willing to spend.

After looking at Ana White’s website again I thought I would be clever and try to come up with something on my own that was a mix of two different plans. One was the tapered cedar boxes and the other was a square planter.

So let’s just skip to the end of the story. This is what I came up with:

Tapered Planter Boxes 22

To start off with here’s the materials I bought for two planter boxes:

2  2×2-8′
5  1×6-8′   (would probably need 3 for one box)
2  1×2-8′   (for cleats and bottom, we used scraps)
Spray Paint
1 1/4″ Pocket Hole Screws
1 1/4″ Exterior Screws
Weed Block

Total: $22 each (Since we had some of it on hand)

Since it’s a tapered box I actually didn’t come up with a standard cut list so I’ll try to explain what I did.

First off I cut a 1×6 down to 13″ on the short side with a 10 degree angle on each side. (Making sure the angled ends were not parallel.)

After I cut the first one I lined the long side up against the bottom of the next board and marked the length as seen below.

Tapered Planter Boxes 1

Then just to make sure I cut the right direction and the right length I drew a line with a 10 degree angle from the mark I made using the speed square.

Tapered Planter Boxes 2

I did this one more time, using the second piece I cut to get a third even large row. You can see the stack of boards below. Since I cut them in sets of threes I numbered them so that I could ensure I kept each set together.

Next I cut a set of four legs for each planter out of the 2×2. Each board is 22″ long with 10 degree angles which are parallel to one another this time.

Tapered Planter Boxes 3

I figured out that cutting the legs such that I would be able to taper all four side like the tapered cedar box would be more work that it was worth. So for each box I cut two sides just out of straight boards. Each board was cut to 16″.

Tapered Planter Boxes 4

Next I assembled the sets of three side pieces together using pocket holes. We also drilled the pocket holes on the sides to use in the assembly of the sides to the legs.

Tapered Planter Boxes 5

Chris came up with the idea of painting the legs white and the boxes blue. Since I’m lazy I wanted to just spray paint the boxes instead of roll on the paint. To prep them we just sanded them a bit to smooth out the surface.

Tapered Planter Boxes 6

We used Rustoleum spray paints in white and wildflower blue. It took only a few coats and we were pleasantly surprised that the grain was still rough enough to be visible. It gives a great texture to the boxes and they don’t look just like a sheet of plywood.

Tapered Planter Boxes 9

While I was spray painting I thought it would be fun to try and make a swatch of the spray paint for my swatch book. Since I know that paint chips have actual paint on them I thought that would be my best choice to use to stand up to the spray paint. I grabbed a swatch I wasn’t using in my pile.

Tapered Planter Boxes 7

Then I just sprayed over the top. I’m pretty happy with how it worked out. Now I know in the future I can do this with other rooms or decor.

Tapered Planter Boxes 8

Once all the pieces were dried we to started to assemble the boxes similar to the cedar planters we built.

Tapered Planter Boxes 10

We used two scrap 1×4’s to hold up the panels so the legs would be flush with the back of the sides. When we did this we also had to make sure the legs were turned such that they would sit flat on the ground.

Tapered Planter Boxes 11

We also measured up from the bottom of the leg 3 1/4″ so that all the legs would be even.

Tapered Planter Boxes 12

We attached all the legs to the tapered sides first and then attached the square sides to those to create a box also just like we did with the cedar planters.

Tapered Planter Boxes 13

Here they are all assembled! The one on the right shows the tapered sides and the one on the left has the square side facing forward.

Tapered Planter Boxes 14

Then on the inside we cut two cleats out of 1×2 to sit on the two tapered sides.

Tapered Planter Boxes 15

Once the cleats were in we cut five slats out of 1×2’s to use as a base. Then we covered the inside of the planter with weed block to hold in all the soil.

Tapered Planter Boxes 16

Last step was to plant our boxwoods! I really do love the way the plants flank the front door.

Tapered Planter Boxes 17

I was really worried that the color would be way to bright and that the white would be too much of a contrast.

Tapered Planter Boxes 18

Once they are up on the shaded deck they weren’t as bright as I first thought. They are really growing on me and I’m starting to like the color more and more.

Tapered Planter Boxes 19

From the front you can really see the tapered look.

Tapered Planter Boxes 20

It’s only when you’re looking straight onto the side do you notice that they aren’t tapered all the way around.

Tapered Planter Boxes 21

I’m glad that we did another diy project. It’s so satisfying to improve your house with your own hands. I would rather build than shop any day.

Tapered Planter Boxes 22

So that’s it; My tapered planter boxes. It’s probably a little hard to follow but they are a great little planter that can easily be scaled to any size you want. All you need to do is change the length of the legs, the straight sides and the length of the bottom tapered board.

Has anyone else been updating their front porch?