New Deck

We finally finished the deck! To date this was the biggest project that we have tackled at our new home. It didn’t help that it was almost always 100 degrees or above everyday that we worked on it. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

Here is what the deck looked like when we first moved in.

The pictures are a bit deceiving and it makes it look like the deck wasnt in that bad of shape. But up close it was easy to see plenty of wood rot amongst pretty much all of the boards.  We were just going to replace the top boards but after we ripped them off, it was quite apparent that we needed to replace the supporting posts as well.

We decided to go with 5/4″ x 6″ pressure treated lumber instead of the 2″x6″ cedar that the deck currently was composed of. This was mainly a decision based on cost.

Although the deck wasn’t flimsy to begin with, we wanted to do a few things to make the deck even more secure. We accomplished this by adding some more braces between the joists (were only three braces originally). We added everything else you see in this picture.

We were also surprised to see that the original support posts were not really in concrete but rather set on the ground with a small 3 inch concrete “pad” poured around it. We ripped those out and put down Dek-Block‘s®  instead. Although not as secure as a poured concrete footing, we felt it would suffice for this deck.

 Once we had the new support posts installed everything else just sort of fell into place. We put down the new deck planks, installed new railings capped with solar lights, and built out new stairs. The project was a ton of work but the end result is amazing and everyone that see’s it thinks it looks amazing.


Did a few projects around the house this weekend. One of which I will post later on this week (hint – its a sandbox with cover). One of the biggest projects and most time consuming ones was buying and assembling our kid’s new trampoline. The time consuming part was because I removed all of the sand from an old swimming pool ring. I then put down weed barrier and filled it back in with sand. This morning I assembled the trampoline and even though it said a 45 minute assembling time with two people, it took me a little over 3 hours! Did I forget to mention that it was over 100 degrees both days?

But in the end the kids absolutely love it and that is really what matters most isn’t?

New Patio Chairs

Ashley and I really wanted to get patio chairs so we could enjoy our backyard and deck. Problem was, a set of chairs can be very expensive and we had enough expenses right now with the new house. Then one weekend Ashley went out garage sale shopping and ran across a set of 6 of these chairs.


She ended up talking the guy down to $5.00 a chair! A little Rustoleum spray paint (same paint as here) and some cushions and we have almost brand new looking chairs for a fraction of what they would have cost us brand new.

Painted Candle Holders

When Ashley and I first moved into our new home there were these candle holders located above the fireplace mantel that we just didn’t care for very much.

At first glance, one would have thought they were hard-wired into the wall but upon closer inspection we noticed that they were only attached to the wall via a small screw. We proceeded to take them down, throw them into a box and toss them into the garage. After all, the bright copper look of them was not quite our style.

After moving the containing box several times while out in the garage, I decided I needed to do something with these things. I hated the current look but couldn’t bring myself to throw them away or even to donate them (I am on a huge upcycling kick right now).  We have been having really good luck with the Rustoeluem spray paint on some other projects, so I decided to give painting these a shot. Ashley happened to have some left over paint from another project  so I figured it wouldn’t cost me anything to experiment.

I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out.

Before I even started painting, I knew these would look really nice on the support posts leading into the gazebo.  After they were painted and attached, I proved myself right.

 Before and After

Outdoor Farmhouse Table

One thing Ashley and I said we really wanted on the new deck was a table. A table that was capable of having 8 people sit around it in comfort but that also looked cool and was function for the space when not in use. I also knew that I was going to have a lot of old cedar 2×6’s when I pulled the decking off. I really wanted to be able to resuse this so I set out on the internet to do some searching.

I stumbled upon and her modern take on the old farmhouse table.  As soon as I saw this table I knew it would be perfect for our needs and would look awesome with the old reclaimed wood that I had to use.

I proceeded to download the plans and modify them to my needs. I left most of the table as it was but did lengthen it to 84″. This was done to allow for three patio chairs on each side.

After some careful searching through my wood pile, I pulled out what I considered some of the better pieces to use. I was able to cut off any rot that I found and I also ripped down some of the boards to make the 2×4 skirts.

It was my initial intent to sand this down with some 40grit sandpaper, stain, and seal but everyone that has seen it (and Ashley) says it looks fantastic the way it is. I guess I will probably leave it as is.

Pull-Out Trash Drawer

Ashley and I have wanted a pull out trash drawer for quite some time now, even back when we lived in our townhouse. The problem has always been room. When we moved into our new home, we thought we could get away with an external trash can and even considered getting one of those stainless steel can’s. Little did we know, our toddler son has a keen knack to play with everything and the trash can was no exception. So we set out to find a pull out trash drawer that would fit out needs and the space available.

My first stop was to Home Depot to see what they had to offer. They had exactly what I wanted but at a price a lot higher than I was willing to pay. Plus their offerings didnt attach to the door so I would have had to open the door, then reach down and slide out the trash drawer. Uhmm….no thanks.

It was at that point I decided to build my own. I purchased some heavy-duty ball bearing drawer slides for $18 and found some scrap wood in the garage to use for the box. I went with the ball bearing slides because I wanted something that I knew could support the load of a heavy trash can and could also handle the constant open/close action that my trash can seems to be subject too.

Scrap Wood

I set out to make the box at the same dimensions of the inside of the door frame on the cabinet. Easy enough I thought. I then set the trash can on top, traced around it, and subtracted about a 1/2″ from the lines to account for the lip of the trash can. As great as that all sounds, it didn’t work. The trash can was very sloppy in the hole and I ended up putting a new board on the top and cutting the hole smaller than the trash can and gradually cutting away pieces until I had a snug fit.

1st attempt at drawer

After the box was made I brought it into the house to dry fit it to the cabinet. Low and behold, the box fit perfectly! Except….I didn’t take into account the room needed for the drawer slides! The box was too wide.  All was not lost though. I decided to swap out the cut top with a thicker piece of plywood and then I put the box on the bottom of the cabinet with the drawer slides underneath.

Although this wasn’t the ideal solution and I was worried the trash can would wobble around inside the box, it has actually worked out really good. Plus we now have a place to store the large trash bag box. Winner winner chicken dinner!

The box inserted into the cabinet

After the box was attached to the bottom of the cabinet, I proceeded to attach the door to the box with about 6 wood screws. This took both Ashley and I to accomplish. She held the door in place at the proper height and level, and I did attached the screws.

It’s been about a week now and so far everything is holding up great. When we redo the kitchen cabinets, I will replace the handle with an new one and then move it to the top center of the door.

Trash drawer complete

New Thermostat

This isn’t much of a post but I wanted to get something up to show everyone that we are continuing to do work on the house.

This was a simple swap. Removed the old thermostat and installed a new energy efficient model that allows us to schedule temp changes throughout the day (even though we have yet to do that).

As you can see in the last picture, I need to repair the wall above the new thermostat to cover the spot where the old unit once was.

Old Thermostat
New Thermostat