The Shed On The Hill (part 1)

This shed has a little deck across the front.  It looks like maybe it needs to be replaced?  Not only was it listing at 20 degrees from normal, not only was it rotten so badly you could fall through it at any moment, not only was it ugly and full of bugs… all that aside, I just didn’t like it.

For starters, it was too small.

Now *that’s* a deck!  15′ x 15′, pressure treated lumber, joist spacing of 12″, and set into enough pillars I could park my truck on it.

There’s even a little path to get around back behind the shed.  There’s nothing back there.  Not yet, anyway.

A lot of heavy metal went into this deck. 1,200 decking screws alone, not counting the fasteners and bolts holding the frame together.

It took two days to screw all those boards down.

Now we’re cooking with grease!

No help at all.

She likes the stairs, though.

Now the safety rail is installed.

It’s the detail work that make it nice.

A little fun with driftwood on those tall posts.  We’ll hang lanterns from them.

No help at all.

Let’s catch up

Hi.  Been a while, and I’ve been busy.  The house itself is (mostly)* done (sort of) and so my attention has been turning to outside.  Lots of gardening and landscaping, and a fun project or two thrown in for good measure.  Let’s take a look.

Sword making and restoration is not easy, but it’s fun.  I made all new fittings for an old katana.  Used curly maple for the handle and saya.

Came out great.  The restored sword is light, quick, and very sharp.  Good grip.   Good balance.  Very much ready for the zombie apocalypse.

We have frogs in our garden.

And birds.

And cats.

And bees.

And plants.

And more plants.

The pergola has kind of turned into a little shrine for relaxation and watching the world go by.  I should spend more time there, I know.  I put a wisteria in that planter bed behind the chairs, it should grow into the pergola nicely.

Made an outdoor table.

It’s such a nice place to sit and stare at the water.

Front planting beds are doing great.

Up the hill is where the shed is, and it’s like the Final Frontier.  The last untouched remnant of the old house is up there, because except for the green paint that shed is just about how we found it.  I made those stairs going up the rocks, and soon I’ll be putting a new deck up there and making the shed look nice.

The shop is looking great.  Cabinets are all finished.  I did the math:  it’s 102 cubic feet of cabinet space that I added to the shop.

I added a TV to the shop.  It’s great during hockey season.  It also swings around so you can watch it while on the elliptical.

And I found some cool cabinet knobs.

Inky likes the beach.  It has the biggest scratching posts.

 

Paths and Rocks and Things

For years, we lived with this thing:

You know, I’m not going to make fun of a beginner woodworker’s work, but this thing was ugly as hell.  We kept it, because as you can see, it served a purpose, and despite being out in the elements for several years it did not fall apart.  In all fairness, it did fall apart when I removed it because the wood was rotted so badly.  But up until then, it did fine.

Here we go.  New shelving made out of 4×4’s and 2×6’s.  New deck for it to sit on, and the garbage bins are tucked back out of sight.  New pavers and beach rocks for a path that is significantly less muddy than the previous path behind the house.  Note the lighting, it’s so nice to be able to see back there.  Any idea how much of a pain it is to carry a flashlight while taking out the trash?   Yeah, enough of that.

I’ve even made a little bit of outdoor storage under the deck there.  It’s not dry, but it’s a spot for empty pots and plastic bins and rocks and stuff.

These stairs are definitely not code.  They’re dangerous even by my standards.  Keeps you alert to have stairs like that.

A good piece of driftwood makes a nice handhold while climbing those stairs.

When digging out the ground for those pavers, I came across quite a few rocks that had to be dug out.  It’s like pulling teeth out of the Earth.  It’s bad enough that they weigh 100 pounds and they’re wet and slippery and you can’t get any grip on them, but they are rooted down there and you have to dig quite a ways under them to get them out.

This rock was right in the way of my path, in the way of progress.  I dug about 18 inches down on both sides and I still couldn’t get under it.  It’s just going to have to stay there.  I’ll pour some concrete around it in the shape of a rectangle.  Maybe no one will notice.

Considering the Before Picture, I think we’ve done well.

2017 Garden Tour

We’ve been busy little beavers out there.  Deer fence is up, pergola is up, planting beds are in, patio pavers are down, it’s like we added on to the house with this big outdoor space.

The pavers replace what was once this kind of muddy, weed covered pit.  Gardening tools would accumulate in this area until they were needed elsewhere.

And that pergola filled the void left by the old hot tub.

The planting areas are coming along nicely.  We put sedum down in the rocks so they can spread out a bit and fill the openings.

I’m going to put a nice gardening bench here at some point.

This ground cover is really thriving.  Never seen it get so big and green before.  It likes wet, cool conditions.

Birds are liking that bird bath.  And so are the wasps, hornets, bees, and a myriad of other stinging creatures.

Stone stairs, definitely not code.

So, the back deck is one of the few places without a view of the sea, which means it generally gets put to the bottom of the list of places you’d want to hang out.  But I don’t know, now it’s kind of nice back there.  A private little nook.  At some point, I’d like to get an awning of sorts just to keep it dry, or part of it dry, then we could sit out there year round.  That big thing wrapped in canvas?  That’s an outdoor propane heater!

And here’s the fancy pants access door I made for the crawlspace.  What did it look like before?

Yeah, lovely.

And, as requested, here is Sissy, our newest little family member.