Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 2: Lattice Backing

Okay, so day two on the project wasn't really a day at all. Today I made a trip to Home Depot, bought my supplies, and put up the lattice backing on the patio project. All-in-all, it took about an hour and a half from leaving the house to finishing the project.The first step was to figure out how to setup the backing. I decided to do three panels, with the middle panel being higher than the others. I'm adding a 1"x4" backing to add support and to give the lantern/plant hangers something to grip.

The hangers are leftovers from last year. I'm not quite sure why I bought them, but they work perfectly here.

Assembling the panels was pretty easy.

I drilled the panels into the 6"x6" timbers. The bottoms of these panels will be covered in gravel later.
And since I had some extra time, I got the grill all shined up and ready to go for summer.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 1: Timber Install

With the timbers put in place, it was time to start digging. The goal was to have a level place to sit. After Measuring the space, it was clear that one timber would be almost completely flush with the ground, while to other would sit almost entirely on top of it. I'm not sure if there is a "right" way to level off timbers, so I adopted my own technique. Dig, level, stuff dirt underneath, level, repeat. It took a long time, but I saw the results I wanted.Thankfully, my landscape edger was the same width as the timber. I used it to cut out blocks of grass. Next, I put in the bars to secure the timbers to the ground. I also added some corner brackets to shore-up the frame. Gilligan came outside to help. Being afraid of hand tools, powertools, and banging noises, he spent most of his time eating plants and sunning himself. Not a great helper, but he sure is cute. And we have a frame! Next weekend: lattice and fill.

We're A-Go

They say you can't choose your family, but for house projects there are no more willing and excited DIY'ers I like to choose than the people I call mom & dad.

In this project I needed two things in particular: the pickup truck and labor. The frame of the patio box is made from four 6"x6"x8' timbers. More than likely, they would tip over the smart car. Dad is taking the pictures.

She was having way too much fun.

This were heavy suckers. I definately could not have lifted them by myself. I'm extra thankful for the new gate, which eliminated the need to walk in a complete circle around the house.

Lined up and ready to go.

To the Yard!

With classes and the new job it's been hard to stay on top of blogging and come up with new house projects. But I couldn't resist the warmer weather this past week. So, I decided to undertake a much pondered-over back yard project: the dining patio.

We have a picnic table that we love (Texas flag style), but our yard is very uneven. For a long time we've been looking for a way to level off some space. I didn't want to tear up the grass and then have to replant. A deck was out because we don't have a door into the backyard. A stone patio was out because of water run-off issues. With the houses so close together, I don't want to cause flooding in my neighbors' yards. So what to do?

Naturally, TOH answered my questions. When the most recent issue came out, the cover story was on patio designs.

One option was a gravel "sandbox style" patio. I liked it. So, I went with it. Here's my design:

From this This Old House design, I added a raised planter box and lattice backing with hanging lanterns. I also sketched in our picnic table to make sure the box was wide enough for people to get in and out.

My Shopping list:

-4"x4"x8' timbers (4)
-Six 2' pieces of rebar.
-Four corner brackets
-14 cubic ft. of crushed stone
-14 cubic ft. of pea gravel

I'll need more materials later, but this will get me started.

Friday, April 1, 2011

West Coast Style

What better way to get back into blogging and kick off spring then to do a blog on location? I recently visited Chuck in LA. In addition to seeing Steven Baldwin at a burger joint and hanging out in the green room of the Jimmy Kimmel, I made my way to the Pasedena Salvage store.

It took some searching on the GPS, but I finally found it.

The place was awesome; salvage material was all over the place. But the prices were crazy! Glass doorknobs were in the $40-50 range. I've seen the same thing on ebay for $13, so it doesn't seem to be worth the mark up.

But man, was it cool to look around. There were lots of great materials and pieces.