All posts tagged DIY

Cloud Entrance Under Stairs

cloud entrance

A recent customer who was finishing her basement wanted to create a space under the stairs where her kids could read books and feel like they were sitting in the clouds.  She planned on having lots of fluffy pillows in there, and she decided the space needed a cloud shaped entrance and a raised platform inside to make it feel like you were stepping up into the clouds.  Here’s how we built the cloud-shaped entrance:

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Framed Built-ins:

Framed Built-ins

Would you like custom built-ins without the custom built-in price tag?  Frame them!  Ealier this year I finished a basement for some customers who wanted some built-in bookshelves with a toy chest, and a TV area with shelves and component cubbies.  It took a little more work and material with the framing, sheetrock, trim and painting stages of the project, but saved them money over going with custom built-in cabinets.

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DIY Toy Building Blocks

DIY toy building blocks

We realized our house is very kid-UNfriendly.  Not that it’s unsafe for kids- we just got done locking everything dangerous away (see post on magnetic tot locks).  We just didn’t have anything around that would seem interesting or fun for children.  That is, unless the kids suddenly got the urge to chew on a doggy bone or fetch a slobbery tennis ball.

My wife noticed a basket full of toy building blocks a few years back while attending a bridal shower at my cousin’s house.  She thought the blocks could help kids learn shapes, encourage creativity, and they also looked decorative, displayed in a unique basket.  So, as you can guess, I got recruited to help her make some for our house.

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Protect Health and Safety During Home Renovations

health and safety

Here is a guest post from Brian with the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.  Brian is a health advocate and blogger who has been researching and writing about health and safety concerns that one should consider while doing home renovations and DIY projects to help keep you and your family safe.

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Magnetic Tot Locks

magnetic tot locks

As aspiring foster parents, Desiree and I have had to get referral letters, take a series of fostering classes, pass background checks; and the final hurdle was to pass an in-home safety inspection. This is where a state inspector comes out to make sure you have fire extinguishers, first aid kits in each car, emergency phone numbers posted, among other things… and… that any household item that could make a kid sick if swallowed is locked up by a key, a combination, or a magnetic lock.

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3-Week Basement Finish: How to Create a Construction Schedule for Your Project

construction schedule

Scheduling is a key component of managing any construction project.  I recently completed a partial basement finish with a large family room, kid’s study, and some storage closets, in just 3 weeks. Here’s how I scheduled the work so that it could be finished in just 16 work days:

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Backpacking Doggy Bed

backpacking doggy bed

Desiree and I have been getting excited, and making last-minute preparations for our backpacking trip coming up to the Cirque of the Towers and the Temple Peaks area of the Wind River Range in Wyoming.  A couple of nights ago, Desiree made a smart, light-weight doggy bed for Gooch, our black lab, to take.  It turned out so good, I’m thinking these ought to be sold at REI or something.

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Backyard Firepit

limestone firepit area

We put in a stone firepit area in our backyard several years ago when we moved into our home.  We used limestone because it was one of the least expensive stones available and we liked its lighter color.  Limestone has layers, and during each winter, water would seep into the rock, freeze, and pop any weak layers off.  We also had some settling, creating an uneven surface.  So, this year we decided to remove all the weak stones and re-level everything.

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Fireplace Mantel Picture Frame

fireplace mantel picture frame

“Variety is the spice of life”.  That’s what one of my good friends would always say.  My wife Desiree must subscribe to that philosophy as well, because she is always wanting to change things up in our house, rearrange the furniture, etc.

Over the years we’ve accumulated memories captured in photos that we wanted to display above our fireplace mantel in a picture frame, that would allow Desiree to switch them out whenever she wants. We found out what size photo enlargements were available from Costco, and then I made a frame to fit any of the pictures we decide to blow up.

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Decorative Window Wells

decorative window wells

What’s one of the most neglected, drab areas of a home?  Bingo- basement window wells.  But they don’t have to be.  I mean, nobody likes looking out their basement windows at ugly window wells.  So why not do something to liven them up?  I saw a home once that had a huge window well off a basement billiard room.  To the back of that window well was mounted a Harley Davidson motorcycle! Cool- I know, but for me a Harley wasn’t in the budget, so I opted instead for some potted plants.

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