Monday, September 11, 2017

Check Out My New Sun Room

Guys....... you have no idea how happy this post makes me!  This is a huge one boys and girls.  Are you ready????

So way back 8 years ago when I built my house, I added on a screened porch.  And I hated it the minute I saw it.  Like if I could have ripped it down with my bare hands, I would have.  It was made with quite possibly the worst materials these idiot builders could have found.  So I did what any sane person would do....  I closed the curtains on my slider and ignored it for two years.

I finally decided to put some furniture out there and "try" to make it work.  Well, it didn't.  So I did what any sane person would do..... I closed the curtains again and ignored it for another two years.

Then a few years ago I was determined to make it work.  I thought I didn't like it because it was blah and boring and tan and brown.  And it had ugly paneling on the walls.  And a shitty screen door that was falling apart.  So I did what any sane person would do and I painted the ceiling bright yellow and the floors bright aqua and recovered the furniture cushions with a bright fabric and prayed that I would like it.

Which I did..... for a while.  But it got dirty.  And full of bugs.  And every time I wanted to use it I had to spend hours cleaning it before I would even attempt to sit on one of the chairs.  It was just.plain.gross.

This has been the dilemma ever since.  I make changes and I like it for a bit.  Then I go back to hating it and closing the curtains.  And the main reason I hate it boils down to the fact that it's an open screened porch.  It gets dirty and full of disgusting bugs and spiders.  It's open to the elements so it gets soaked when it rains out and snow comes inside in the winter months.

So the plan has been to enclose it.  To make it a sun room instead of a screened porch.  That way, I could close the windows when it rains, open them when it's nice and sunny, and make it BUG AND SPIDER FREE!  As a bonus, I could store some of the outdoor furniture in there in the winter to get them out of the garage or snow, if I was too lazy to take them inside for the winter.  Which let's be honest, ends up being the case.

Well, my friends, the time came for me to bite the bullet and get it done.  I called up my Daddy-O, somehow convinced him to dust off his construction skills, and come help me do it.  We put together a plan and figured out what materials (and how much) I'd need and I went over to Menards to place my order.  The best thing about it was that Menards had their 11% rebate at that time, so I knew I'd #1 save money and #2 get money back from this huge purchase.

Guys. I expected to pay about $5,000 on this room.  If it was under that- it'd be a pleasant surprise and if it was over that, oh well.  I wanted it done.  I didn't care.  The good thing about this is that I didn't have to hire the labor out.  Well.... unless making carrot cake for my Dad constitutes payment....  So I saved quite a bit from the get go.  I'll eventually do a cost analysis on it to see exactly what I spent- but I can tell you the first big purchase ended up being less than $2700.  This included custom windows and a custom door, new siding and all the pieces that go along with it (I know way more about j-channels than I'll ever need to), plywood, 2X4's, house wrap, etc. etc. etc.  I was PLEASANTLY surprised!  Plus I got 11% back on that on a future purchase.  Boom, bitches.

I had all of the materials delivered on Aug. 26th, the day my Dad and Aunt Gayle were to arrive.  Hot Toddy and I got up super early on that morning, moved some of the furniture out of the way, moved the wood pile to the other side of the patio, and got to destroying that piece of shit porch. Oh and just wait for the disgustingness that we uncovered.  Let's all check out the before picture from the outside (taken a few years ago).

And let's see some demo!!!

ummmmmm ew.  

Hot Toddy and I were done before noon.  It.Was.Awesome.  It already looks 1 miiiiiiiiiiiillion times better and there aren't even windows in yet!  Then it was time to wait for them to arrive and start rebuilding it the next morning.

We started by getting rid of more of the ceiling and removing the load baring posts and replacing them with new ones and then replacing the footers (or at least I'm assuming that's what they are called).  This time we actually drilled them into the concrete, you know, like they should have been to begin with.  Idiots.

Oh and did you notice the patchwork where the beams should have been?  Idiots.

Once we had that done we started framing out the front wall- which in the above picture is on the right.  It's the wall opposite of the slider into the house.  But first, the door!!!!!!

As I said above, it's custom made because I wanted it to swing outwards and most exterior doors swing inwards.  I know, I'm difficult.  It's it glorious!

Hot Toddy showing off his tool belt.  


Ummmmm I've got a 90" window going in there!  Technically it's one unit but has three windows in it.  But check out the size of that thing!  

Final shots of day 1.  

Day 2 got the other two walls up and I threw a few wrenches into the plan.  I'm sure my Dad appreciated that!  Right, Dad?  You love me.

The above picture shows wrench #1 in the plans.  The big window is the same size as the opposite wall that has two.  They are a two window unit that ends up being 48" X 48".  Well this wall only planned on having that one window.  But I saw allllllll that walllllllll and didn't like it at all.  While I may have HATED the screened porch, I liked the fact that I could see the entire yard because it was wide open.  I was not going to like this wall at all.  So we figured out how much space there was, I called Menards to see what size windows they had in stock and off to the store I went to get the biggest one that would fit in that space.  Hence, the second smaller window now on this wall.

Day #3 brought the plywood.  It was then that it really started to look like the room.  It was so exciting.

I think it was at this point that the neighbors started stalking my corner to see what we were doing.  At one point, they set up lawn chairs on my sidewalk and drank glasses of sweet tea.  Nosy ass people.  Just kidding, but there were a lot more people "walking their dogs" and driving at 5mph by my house.

The next day we got the top halves of the walls on.

Also, before we started on the walls, we may have drilled some holes in the 2X4's so some electrical.  Wrench #2.

Here is the inside of the room at this point.

Oh and notice the foam between the floor and walls.  No.More.Bugs.  Sealing this room up TIGHT!

Day #5 was windows!!!  THIS was the BEST PART!  But first, house wrap to keep all of the moisture out!  Refer back to demo pictures.  MOLD.  BLACK mold.  Disgusting.  

There's the pops!  He's camera shy.  

Once that was up, we went inside and sliced it all up for the windows to go in.  

NOW it's time for windows!

This sight almost made me shed a tear.  Almost.  Simmer down.  We all know I have no feelings.  There's a big black hole where my heart should be.

Then came the other side.

Finally it was time for the 90" window.  This one made me a little nervous.  The entire time I was repeating DON'T BREAK, PLEASE DON'T BREAK as we were walking it from the garage to the yard.  Since they were all custom windows (aside from the last minute addition), it would have really sucked if it broke.  There would be no way for me to order a new one and have it here in time before my Dad and Aunt left.  Everything would have been put on hold and it wouldn't have been finished.  It would have SUCKED.

Well it was way easier to get that window in than all of us expected.  Thank goodness.  Here she is!!!!

By the end of the day, we had all of the j-channel on around the windows.  Which means that we could start on the siding tomorrow.  And when I say "we", I mean my dad.  I had to go back to work the next day.  Ugh.

Day #6 or so- at this point I don't know how accurate I'm going to be with days.  It's all a blur right now.

Lookin good, right?  Above you can see wrench #3.  See the square between the door and window on the right where the grill is?  Well inside the screened porch was an exterior light.  That basically didn't do shit for lighting up the outside.  So I asked if we could "move" the light to the actual outside.  Dad obliged.

Next day my Aunt and I went to the winery and got blitzed while my Dad and Todd busted ass with the rest of the siding.

Above is where they were at when we got back.  And below is the full wall done.

I mean seriously though.  A week's time, gutted, framed, walls up, windows/door installed, siding on?  My dad kicked ass!  

Hopefully it doesn't take long for the inside to get done.  Thankfully since my dad got this part done so quickly, he helped with a bit on the inside already.  So there's just some more stuff that needs to get purchased, installed, and it should be good to go!  But the awesome part of this is that one of the last days they were here it started raining out and we were standing inside and not getting hit with rain!  Cuz I have windows!!!!  

What do you think?  Pretty frickin awesome job, right!?!?!  A few neighbors walked by and wanted to hire my dad.  Especially when they asked me how much he cost and I said free.  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Nice Cold Drink, Anyone?

Did you see the teaser video from the other day that I posted on Facebook?  If you did, it's pretty obvious what we just built.  An OUTDOOR COOLER!  And it weighs about 367 lbs.  No lie.

There were no plans in the near future to build an outdoor cooler.  And when I say "in the near future" I actually mean I didn't have ANY plans to build one.  At all.  But months ago when we were out shopping for things for Emily's room, we found a cute piece of wood with a bottle opener on top and a box attached on the bottom to catch the bottle tops.  While it was certainly "cute"- it wasn't worth the ridiculous price Michael's was charging for it, nor was it made with any sort of quality wood.  It was definitely something that we could have knocked out in about 10 mins with scrap wood in the garage.  If only....

What we did walk away from Michael's with, however, was just the bottle opener that was also sold separately.  Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, when Hot Toddy got it in his head to build an outdoor cooler.  We scoured the Internet for ideas, to see what we liked or didn't like.   Then we watched a How-To video on YouTube and we were off to Lowes.

We picked up a few more pressure treated 2X4's for the legs and cut them to size.

Oh and can we just talk about our drill game we've got going on?  Does one REALLY need three drills?  The answer is yes, yes you do.  One for the drill bit, one for the counter sink bit, and one for the screw bit.  It makes life so much easier and eliminates a lot of wasted time changing drill bits.  

Once the legs were done, we needed to make the frame and base that would hold the cooler.  We purchased an Igloo 52 quart cooler from Target for around $20.  The cooler needs to sit flush with the top of the frame around it, so we worked upside down for most of this part.  

Once we had the frame done, we attached the legs.  

Now we put the cooler back into the frame to make sure that it still fit.

Since the cooler isn't being held by anything in the above pic, next up was the base that the cooler would sit on.  

Again, done upside down so that we made sure the top of the cooler remained flush with the frame.  All of these steps were done with 2X4's.  But everything else that follows we either used 2X2's or 1X4's.  

Now that we had the base done, we added a shelf on the bottom for support and function.  

Now came time to "hide" the cooler.  

Next came adding the cover.  This part was tricky because you want to make sure that the Igloo cooler top shuts to the bottom of it.  It will defeat the point of the "cooler" if it doesn't seal and keep everything inside cool.   So the plastic top had to remain on/in the bottom and we built around it with the wood.  Then we added the hinges to the back, all while marking sure the plastic top was still sealed on/in the cooler and screwed the frame into the plastic top.  

We then added the top pieces to now cover the white plastic part of the cooler.  

We added a handle to the front of the top.  We so fancy.  

Then came time to figure out the plug and drain features.  We had to remove what was in the cooler when we bought it because there was no way for us to access the plug now that there was wood around the entire cooler.  So off to Lowes...and then Menards to get what we needed.  Basically a 5" pipe, a spicket, and a nut.

We brought it outside and filled it up with water to see if there were any leaks or if what we did actually worked.  Thankfully, there was no leaking!  Yay us!

We added the bottle opener and went and purchased a magnetic galvanized bucket to "catch" the bottle caps.  

And if you did see the video, you saw that the cap bounced right out of the bucket.  So we'll need to figure out that piece.  Also, we lowered the shelf to about 3 inches above the ground.  It was originally way too high to be functional.  Now it's the perfect height for extra twelve packs.  HAH!  

Oh and of course I wasn't going to leave the galvanized bucket that color.  It totally looked out of place with the dark hinges, handle and bottle opener.  So back into the garage it went and got a fresh coat of paint.  Now it matches much better!  

Here's the back of the bucket that shows the magnets and leg showing how we added washers to make the magnetic area larger in hopes it stays where it's supposed to.  If it doesn't, I'm taking a drill to it and permanently attaching it.    

Now it's time to fill her up with ice and beer and enjoy sitting outside!!!!!!

PS- Eventually this and the two outdoor couches will get stained but we need to let them dry out completely- about a year- before we can do that.  But stay tuned for the Adirondack chairs new stain color that we did last weekend!  They are beautiful!