Now that this is finally finished and growing time to post what I have been up to. This is probably this biggest change to the front yard so far but I really want to make better use of the space and turn it from this.
I started dreaming about this over a year ago when my garden in the backyard is just too narrow and gets too much shade to really be workable. I had seen a few images here and there of people turning their front yards into garden and figured this is what we are going to do. I took a week off work to get the bulk of the work done back at the beginning of April. Started with building the garden boxes as I am going to the square foot gardening method. Had to remove the grass and put weed barrier down this was a task in of itself.
Next up came the post for the fence. With all the deer around here we needed to put a fence in to keep them from the “salad bar”. This to me is the un-fortunate part of the project as I would rather no fence but, was determined to make it as good looking as I could. That said everything is cedar and stained the same as the house to blend in as best as possible. ┬á22 posts later a sore back later they were all in.
Next was the rails and the wire mesh to finish the fence. At this same time I put all the soil in the boxes and finished them off. The soil is all custom made from Mel’s mix formula of a third each of vermiculite, peet moss, and compost. As this was nearing the end of April I planted the first few boxes with the cold weather veggies (cabbage, brocoli, peas, spinach, lettuce etc.).
Also managed to use our old screen doors that said in storage after our reno last year. They work just perfect for garden gates.
This rest is just all planting the veggies. It is amazing how many you can fit into square foot garden boxes.
Over the up coming weeks and months we will be sure to keep post on the garden progress and the bounty we take in.
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So I just finished this up this weekend after a few weeks of picking away at it. Our old stair case was looking dated and after 30 years and cats there was just no restoring the railing. Have to say I am super happy with the results and it really wouldn’t have been possible if not for Gerry. Gerry is this retiree that builds rises and treads for super cheap so I had him make me up some. The most frustrating part of the job having to do drywall on the edges of the stairs along the walls, boy do I hate taping and mudding.
Below you can see the gallery of the progress. There is still some minor touch ups and finishing but the bulk of the work is done allowing me to move onto other things.
Okay we are way into 2014 but i need to update on the first project then post on the more recent. This first one for the year is the entry lockers for the garage. As a family with school kids the backdoor gets crazy cluttered and messy. Being that mess drives me crazy and that I love the idea of entry lockers i decided to build some for the garage as our back entrance is rather small. I have been inspired by these for some time and really wanted to build a set.
First came the selection and purchase of all the wood.
Next was to stain all the wood. I really wanted a black wash on these as it will eventually match the colours in my garage once I get around to painting and finishing it off.
I discovered the use of pocket screws and bought this awesome jig. Makes building furniture like this soo much easier and really helped in my next project. If you ever need to do something similar let me know and you can borrow mine.
With everything pre-drilled it is onto assembly.
And final product. Was very pleased with the results. Now the real hard work is getting the family to use them and end the insanity!No comments »
Day 1 of the challenge – Imaginary Friend
It has been way to long since I have drawn anything.(1) comment »
It’s done!! Well…. almost.
The doors are installed the rock is cleaned up and I have all the pillows and blankets set and ready. We have enjoyed sitting out in front of it the last 2 nights and looking forward to the memories created around it. Just need the hood made and we are all good to go.No comments »
I have to say that this project has been a lot more work than I had anticipated. It is amazing how the little details can eat up all the time but now it is close to done and ready to be fired up and enjoyed this weekend.
I finally got all the rock work done this being the large bulk of the work and running out of rock was no picnic either. That said I was able to buy up all the rest of the leftover rock available at my supply and just had enough. The back of the fireplace went fairly quick as I didn’t spend as much time on laying it out and being picky. Seriously who is going to stare at the back anyways.
Next was to start working on building the chairs so I could have an idea of the actual space I needed in front of the feature so that I could lay the brick and put in the retaining wall.
Now that I had a good idea of the space needed everything needed to be dug out and levealed. This is where again a large amount of work came. Over the months the ground had really compacted and basically I was chipping up the ground. Couple this with the fact that I was very anal about getting everything level with a small slope to allow for drainage. In the end it isn’t perfect but hey this is the outdoors right? Next came laying the pavers which was really quick especially when the boys where manning the “brick brigade”.
Now comes all the minor details such as building the barn doors for the side closets staining everything and laying the grout on between the flat slate. I used a really cool process to age the wood. First step was a distress the wood by banging it with hammers, nails, rocks chisels and anything else we could find. The boys loved this part of course. After this all the wood was “painted” with tea to introduce tanins in the wood. During this whole time I was soaking steep wool in vinegar which was used to paint the wood next. The iron in the vinegar reacts with the tanins in the tea and greys the wood this part was super cool and happend almost immediately. Then it was onto staining. You can see the steps between the tea, vinegar and stain below. as you can see the final product turned out really great and exactly what I was hoping for.
Next up is to mount the doors, place the lighting, back with with soil and install the top hood. The top hood I will have to wait for it to be manufactured for me but we will start enjoying the final product before then.
Next post will be the more final pictures stay tuned!
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It’s been awhile since the last post on this but mainly due to the fact that we are down to all the finishing touches and moving everything back into the house. I have been busy with the baseboards and door trim, which I am now waiting on materials as I ran out. We have our bedroom all together and have been enjoying a lot. The new ensuite has been a true joy and the bedroom is much quieter than the old. Slowly down stairs is coming together as we move everything back in and connect everything up. My garage is a mess with the extra things that haven’t found a home yet but soon that will be cleaned up as well. Now to get back to the fireplace…
It has been some time since the last post but we have been a little bit delayed. However we have also been very busy. The drywall is all taped and sanded and I spent a good long weekend of blitz painting. Everything is all nicely painted up now minus the odd dent or scratch that the worker always manage to put in. I hace also been slowly working on the finishing carpentery with Naomi and my father in-law helping out with the staining of the trim. Meanwhile the vanities have been installed with the wrong handles unfortunately so now we have to wait for new doors to be made. All the finish electrical work has been completed and my house is nicely wired for media, yay! As you can see the sink has been installed in the main bath and I have the new doors all stained up. We have been in a delay due to the tile being on backorder for 4 weeks but it has just arrived the past week and the tile setting starts tomorrow. Should be another 2 weeks and we can finally move back in a clean up the mess.
Yesterday was a major milestone while at least I think. Finally got all the front of the fireplace rockwork done. It has been a super slow process as basically it is one giant puzzle that you can only do 4 square feet at a time on. Basically you have to dry fit all pieces together and finding the right piece can be tough. Then once it all looks good you take it all down remembering carefully where each piece went. Believe me that last one is super important as I have messed that up too many times. After this mix the morter and slap them back up. The whole process takes about 2 hours or so.
It feels good to be this far done and starting to see the end. The last few weeks have been frustrating a bit as things have been delayed due to being sick and numerous other family obligations but with this week off to concentrate on the house renos things should get moving again.
Lots of crazy awesome progress and work this week. The week started with all the insulation going in both regular and spray for the garage. The floor of our new room is rock solid with the spray foam underneath no chance of squeaks or creaking. The bath tub has also been ripped out of the main bath leaving Naomi with no bath which is going to be tough with her love of baths for the next little bit. The rest of the week ended with some siding going up and the drywall all being hung.
Unfortunately our contractor has had a burst appendix and is now in the hospital. Fortunately he is okay but this will possibly put a delay in the work and not allow him to personally finish up the work. That being said the taping and mudding should go ahead this week leaving me with the painting and beginning the finishing work next week on my time off.
Naomi and the boys are staying at Papa and Nana’s this week to avoid the dust. This leaves me with an empty house but lots of time to get some things done in the yard. However at the moment I have come down with some sort of cold mixed in with allergies which has made it difficult to get anything done. I tell you there is always something to get in the way.