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 ann-white.com 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

New Microwave

I know that I have been promising some updates to the house and I finally have one to share.  We have been very busy doing stuff around the house and have gotten quite a bit done but I don’t feel that anything is 100% yet. It’s getting closer though.

Shortly after moving in, our microwave went on the fritz. It worked fine except the buttons were really hard to push and we often times had to use a kitchen tool to actually get the button to work. We filed a claim with the home warranty company and they came out to take a look (for $75). We were told a part would have to be ordered and they left.

A few days later we get a call stating that our claim has been declined because it was a preexisting condition.  Of course this made me furious because it was not a preexisting condition. It was not found to be a problem on the home inspection and the home warranty company did not come out and do their own inspection. After some haggling and assistance from our awesome real estate agent, they agreed that it should be covered and they offered us either a new white microwave or the cash equivalent to purchase our own. We opted to purchase our own so we could go with a new color scheme – stainless steel baby!

Here is a picture of the old microwave in all of its glory. (Sorry for the grainy pics. I took all of these using my Ipad and the camera is not so good.)

After removing the old micro, and putting up the template for the new one, I noticed that the tile back-splash was too high. I had the option to either remove the top layer of tile and hope that we will soon be redoing the entire back-splash or try and cut it. I opted for option number 2 and attempted to cut the tile without breaking it.

My first attempt was with my dremel. I even ran to Home Depot and purchased a “special” tile cutting bit.  Piece….of…..crap. I wouldn’t say the special bit didn’t work, it’s just that it worked very slowly.  I figured I would have been there all day and my line would have looked like it was done by a 2 year old.

I then remembered that I had a special diamond encrusted saw blade in the garage for a tile job I did many years ago. I ran out there and installed it onto my circular saw. The saw combined with a vacuum for easy dust free cleanup and I was able to cut out the line in record time.  In addition, I only got the vacuum hose caught up in the saw twice! At least it wasn’t my fingers!

After the tile was cut, I put the new template back on the wall and everything lined up perfect. I drilled new holes in the top for the bolts and a new larger hole for the power cord.  A quick lift into place and I had it installed.

I really only have one more thing to do and that is to move the power outlet to a spot above the microwave. This house is about 20 years old and when built there must not have been any thought that someone would want a microwave above the stove. Currently the power chord is plugged into a power strip that runs down to an outlet below the cabinet and to the right of the stove. Not the prettiest thing but it works for now.

So there you have it. My first official progress post on the new house.

New Things Coming

I  know it has been awhile since I have posted. Ashley and I have been pretty busy with life. Most notably, we bought a house!  We haven’t technically moved in yet but we already have a dozen or so plans in the works to paint, fix, rehab, and remodel.  This is a very exciting time for us.

Below are some pictures of the house as it sits now with the current homeowners. These pictures are going to make great reference points as we begin to do our own mini house remodel. Of course I am going to be posting pictures of all the great projects that we will do with before and after shots! 🙂

Dresser to Desk Project

A few weeks ago my wife showed me a project on Pinterest where someone took an old table, cut a few feet off the top and mounted it on the wall to make it into a desk.  We were in the planning stages of a room remodel for our daughters and thought something like this would really add to both the functionality and the visual appearance of their room.  So we headed out to our local Goodwill store in search of our own table to

We didn’t find any good tables but we did end up finding something even better!  My wife showed me the 3 drawer dresser below and although I wasnt fully convinced at first, I quickly warmed up to the idea of the challenge.

So we purchased the dresser and headed home. The first thing I did was to measure out how much of the dresser I wanted to keep. I knew that I was going to need to put a 1/2″ piece of MDF under the desk in order for the rail balusters to connect to so I measured a 1/2″ inch more than the trim piece below the top drawer.  I then put some paint tape over my lines to prevent chips when I cut it with my circular saw.

Here you can see the two pieces after I made the cut. I might end up using the bottom part for another project. Maybe a nightstand?

After the dresser was cut and the two pieces separated, I set out to paint.  I used a latex high gloss black paint that I applied using a foam roller. It took 3 coats before I finally achieved the look and cover I was going for.   The molding on the front of the drawer was plastic attached with screws so I quickly removed it and along with the rail balusters sprayed them both with a high gloss black spray paint.

Here is a picture of the 1/2″ MDF being painted to go below the desk. I drilled two 3/4″ holes in each corner to support the rail balusters. This board will be screwed into the bottom of the desk to help hide the drawer and to add some stability.

I attached the desk to the wall using 2.5″ screws making sure to drive them into the wall studs.  The rail balusters were cut to length to match the desk height and attached to the black MDF using the pre-drilled holes and then inserting the balusters into them and securing them with Gorilla glue and a wood screw.

Here are a few pictures of the finished product. I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out and the girls absolutely love it.

Linen Closet Addition

It’s no secret that our townhouse is busting at the seams with the 2 adults and 3 kids that live there. In the past, we have gotten very creative in making due and finding ways to store things. We have also done a great job and just chucking stuff (aka donating).

One place that I have always wanted to do something was at the end of our hallway. There is a little space there beyond the girl’s room that I always thought would make a great linen closet; something that this place doesn’t have.

Finally one weekend I set out to create one. Overall it was a pretty easy and straight forward build. The toughest part of the whole thing was trying to get the texture to match up.  I attempted to duplicate it using the spray can product from Lowes. It worked good but only after 3 cans. For that amount ($60) I could have purchased a hopper and sprayed it with my compressor. Oh well. Live and learn!

Air Grille Replacement Project

The previous air filter location in our furnace room was a joke. It was located behind the service door to the furnace and right below the blower.  Every time the blower would kick on, the filter would get sucked up into it leaving huge gaps for unfiltered air to pass through.  Upon the recommendation of a plumber/HVAC tech we had out to the house, we decided to replace the air grille that feeds into the furnace with an alternate type that has an air filter attached to it.

Finding an air grille that would fit our existing hole proved to be a challenge and I ended up ordering one online and had it shipped in. The first grille that arrived was damaged in transport. Lucky for me, the company in which I purchased the grille sent me a replacement free of charge. A few days later and I had my new grille.

Overall the project took about an hour to complete. I had to take off the old grille and then notch out the 2×4’s located behind it to accommodate the depth of the new grille.  Then it was just a matter of cleaning out the junk the builders left in the air box and wiping down the entire box with cleaner.  Not a bad project but not sure if it’s one I would want to tackle again.

Junk left by builders

Another view of junk

Grill added

Completed project

Custom Truck Lamp

Ashley and purchased a metal truck from Hobby Lobby a few weeks back to use as a decoration for our soon to be son’s nursery. One night I was looking at the thing and thought how great it would look as a lamp. So I set forth on a quest to find one of those “make your own lamp” kits from my local hardware store. Not finding what I wanted, I searched the internet, again with no luck. Then I thought why couldn’t I take an existing lamp, take it apart, and uses the pieces for my lamp? And that is what I did.

Below are the pictures of the final project.  I don’t think it could have turned out any better. I am very proud of my lamp truck!