Posts tagged ‘Back Porch’

April 14, 2011

I’m Floored

by Cait

When I made our design board for our porch, I was thinking about using pallet wood for our floor.  Then I thought about just how long with would take to yank all the boards off enough pallets to cover a 14×28 porch floor. And then I saw this post on re-nest, and now I can’t stop thinking about laying sheets of ply down and stenciling them.

from here, seen on re-nest

from here, seen on re-nest

Both the photos I’m drooling over are done on planked floors, but I could see this working on plywood floors (there is actually a geometric design in the re-nest post done on plywood).  I’m debating between the design above (which Lori so kindly provides here) and picking one or two of the Sunny’s Goodtime Paint stencils below.

stencils from sunny’s goodtime paints

On the plus side(ish), I have plenty of time to decide, because there is currently a big, hulking pool table in my way. And while pool table + friends = rocking good time, pool table + installing a new floor = nightmare. I’m thinking the best way to go about doing the porch project(s) is going to be 1. make & install barn doors (and maybe plexi windows), 2. move pool table, 3. install plywood floor and paint. 

Being the bull-headed person that I am, I want to just get a bunch of guys and a couple of dollies to move the pool table to the side, but Robert says we’re going to have the guy who moved it the first time come out and move it (By disassembling it all. Again. And paying him.)  I’m nervous about how that’s going to work out, because I don’t want some guy waiting around for me to stencil. Hopefully we can have him move it, go away for a couple of hours/days while I do the floor directly under the table, and then have him come back to move it back in place.

If you’re itching for some stencil-action, check out Emily at Merrypad! She just DIYed a stencil that she will be adding to her sunroom’s floor.

April 12, 2011

I Need a Staycation

by Cait

Last night Robert and I started planning out the backyard projects. We broke everything down into four major parts: 1) the outdoor shower, 2) the deck, 3) the pool and 4) the fence(s).  Each part will most likely have sub-sections (we might do the shower surround one week and plumb it the next), but that is the general idea. I have no idea what all we’ll get done this summer, but I would like the backyard to be a nice place to relax on weekends and whenever we have time off.

from houzz

We figured out that the shower will cost about $250-300 for the galvanized metal sheets, wood to frame, stain & protectant and plumbing. We have a $100 Lowe’s gift card we’ve been hoarding*, and we just got a $25 off a $250 purchase coupon, so that should knock it down considerably.

from desire to inspire

After the shower I want to tackle a low deck like the one I talked about yesterday. We decided on a deck size of 12×32, but we haven’t fully priced it out yet. I know a deck would still be expensive (Robert said $1500-2000 ballpark), so we’re just trying to come up with the easiest way to make it happen. Contemplating the idea of using reclaimed pallet wood for the deck surface  to cut the cost down and framing the underside with 2x6s.

from bigBANG studio, seen on The Brick House

As I have said before, I want a pool like this really, really badly!  Technically the pool above is made from a silo (and deep!) while the one we want is only two feet deep (and either eight or ten feet, we haven’t decided yet).  Last summer we went to a Tractor Supply near us and I think the eight foot one was about $300.  Also, Robert’s parents know someone who have a somewhat similar pool, so we would probably discuss filters/etc with his parents’ friend.  We would probably buy the stock tank first, then the pump&filter/whatever. Eventually we also love the idea of having a smaller, heated tank (similar to the one below), but that would be another project in itself.

from Dwell via The Brick House

Around the backside of the pool I want an L-shaped fence similar to the top photo below. We would probably make ours from 1x6s or 2x6s with 4×4 uprights, and Robert says he wants the slats closer together for more privacy. There is also discussion about how far the long side of the L should go. He votes for all the way down the yard, and currently I vote for switching to a shorter fence a few feet past the pool. Also, we’d try to get the neighbor behind(/beside, since we’re on a corner) us to go in on the fence between our yards, and I’d probably suggest we do slats on both sides so that no one gets the “ugly” side. The front side of the pool would have a deck of some sort.

The weird jut-out  (that I tried to describe here; that some might call as a side yard but Robert describes as a “dog toilet”) would have a shorter fence like the one in the bottom photo below. Currently we have a picket fence that we (and when I say “we” I mean Robert&Ryan) put up when we moved in, but that was always sort of a temporary measure. When we replace it we’ll  make that area completely seperate from the rest of the yard (we might even add a second door off the porch that opens into it). And of course we’ll save the wood from the picket fence to resuse for other projects.

fence images from here, seen on The Brick House

As far as gates go, I want something fairly modern. I can’t decide if I want something wooden or metal, but I like the two images below.



from houzz

Going from the porch to the deck (and maybe the porch to the “dog toilet” area) I want barn doors kind of like the ones above. I can’t decide if I want something with glass/plexi or screen. I think not-screen would be the best option, because when we’re on the porch we’ll probably have them open, but it would be nice not to get rain insde when they’re closed. We’ve been talking about using plexi (or something) to replace the screen on the porch as well. 


I made a plan of what we’re hoping to do with help from  Better Homes & Garden’s Plan-A-Garden (which Emily used yesterday) and my BFF Photoshop. The large two-tone gray rectangle is the house/porch, which opens to a deck surrounded by river rock pea gravel. There will be stepping stones leading to both the pool/pool deck and the outdoor shower. The gray thing in the top left is the shed, and not pictured to the right we’ll have a short fence (maybe with an arbor) into the dog area. It’s not exactly “to scale” (it makes our yard look larger than it is), but you get the idea.

*We love gift cards! To anyone looking to get Robert birthday gifts next month, Lowe’s gift cards are always appreciated! We were saving this one to do the kitchen floor, but with summer quickly approaching, the outdoor shower will be more appreciated. We’re hoping to get as much of the backyard done as possible so that we can take a bit of time off and just chill out at home (preferably in the lawn chairs from our design board).

March 30, 2011

Light Up My Life

by Cait

In researching my design board for the backyard and the back porch, I found a website called Barn Light Electric.  The website says they sell “true American-made and manufactured light fixtures”, which is awesome.  Unfortunately my wallet does not really agree with their prices, so I was forced to consider other sources for the extra exterior lights we need and I was surprised and amazed to discover some of the options available from Lowe’s.

1. Bel Air Lighting 1-Light Stainless Steel Wall Lantern $29.98

2. Portfolio 1-Light Outdoor Wall Light $21.98

3. Portfolio 1-Light Rust Outdoor Wall Light $19.98

I think when we get around to putting up  a couple more exterior lights we’re going to go with #3 (although #2 was a close second, and Robert really liked #1).  I love it when my favorite option also happens to be the least expensive!

While looking at the above options for around the outside of the back porch, Lowe’s thought it would be helpful to break my heart with the price of a light I decided we needed for the front porch (right now we have a lantern from HomeGoods that we retrofitted, but it hangs kind of low).  Thankfully I found another option with a quick Google search, and I like it even more!

1. Sea Gull Lighting Specialty Finish Metal Ceiling Fixture Outdoor Light $103.50

2. Grand River Lodge Fisherman’s Ceiling Light $39.99

I also loved this (and the price was much better than the one for $93.63 at Lowe’s), but that might be a bit much for our small porch.

Is anyone else thinking about changing up exterior lighting soon?

March 29, 2011

Easy Update: Porch Fan & Light

by Cait

Now that you have (hopefully) seen the backyard and porch in all their glory … something, I’m going to show you what we were up to this weekend.  As I mentioned, we scored a great deal on this Hunter fan at our local ReStore a while back, and it’s just been waiting in the shed ever since.  True to our word, we started on projects where we already had most of the supplies.

I didn’t take any during pictures while putting this fan up because it is heavy and Robert needed help lifting it.  Suffice to say that it went as most ceiling fan installs/replacements go (save for the fact that we had to switch the triangular Hunter mount our for a round universal one).  This Old House has a good step-by-step process here for how to install one when you don’t have to do that bit.  This project would have been the cost of the fan at ReStore but Hunter fans have a triangular mounting base and we had (stupidly) put the old fan out on the street before swiping its mount (and someone took it immediately), so we had to buy a new mount.  Hate it when that happens!

Please don’t judge me on the very dirty, indoor fan that Tricky Dick put outside.

So much better! I later changed the pulls out to some braided jute, and we’ll paint the ceiling later.

As for the light, I mentioned in my design board that we picked up an Ottava pendant the last time we were at Ikea, so we swapped the other fan out for that over the weekend as well.  Again, no during pictures, sorry!  The process was a lot like the hall light fixture we replaced, though.

Yes, this is the same picture, but the fans were identical.

Again, much better!

We the pull cord because it made more sense than having the switch all the way in the kitchen like some brilliant soul wired our house.  I understand that the switch being there made sense when the house was 1200sqft, but several additions later… uh, move it!  Moving the light and fan to pull cords freed up the switch for another light we recently installed, so it works out.

Fan Cost Breakdown:
Fan: $49.95 from ReStore
Fan Mount: $5.01 ($10.99 but we had $5.98 left on a gift card)
Total: $54.96 (and a savings of $244.04 vs buying it new!)

Light Cost Breakdown:

Ottava Pendant: $29.99
Nickel Canopy: $5.12 (but we had a gift card)
Pull cord: Already owned (taken from previous fans) but would have been $2
Total: $29.99

Grand Total: $84.95 (although again, we had the light and fan already, so we only spent $5.01 this weekend)

Not bad for changing out our two gross exterior ceiling fans!  Next up for the porch, I hope to make a knock-off of this $250 gooseneck light to go by the backdoor.

March 29, 2011

Design Board: The Backyard & The Porch

by Cait

The soundtrack to this post is here.

Now that we have internet back, I re-upload the photos from this postthis post and this post under a different file type.  Now hopefully anyone who they wouldn’t load for before will be able to see the pictures.  Because who doesn’t want to see the Backyard of Dooooooooom Tour?  (Yes, Lisa, this means you.  And anyone else they wouldn’t work for.)

Over the weekend we knocked out three of the things on our To Do List, which consequently knocked out our internet. (It’s always something, isn’t it?)  Then yesterday there were lots of lovely rumors flying around about the company I work for,  so in order to keep my sanity, I decided to daydream about the backyard and the porch.

The Backyard

1. Table & Chairs – We bought this table&chair set from Target shortly after we bought our house.  I’m not sure it’s the set I’d buy if I had it to do over again (for aesthetic reasons; I’d probably buy these chairs and this table), but the chairs are comfortable and the table has held up well.

2. Lounge Chairs – They make a chaise lounge version of our table&chairs, but I think I’m leaning towards the Ikea Applaro chaise lounge instead.  I see them working really well around the tank pool we want to build.

3. Umbrella – An umbrella for our table would be nice.  I’d love it to be a bright color (like green or yellow), but I think the Florida sun would bleach it out too quickly so cream or white is probably the best bet.  Something like this one from Target would be great.

4. Lighting – I imagine a lot of small lights.  Maybe lanterns, these Ikea solar lights or something like these Oxo Candelas.  I also really want some of these string lights from Target (I promise to find an LED version soon, but this is my daydream, and I have wanted this style of light for a long time).

5. Tank Pool & Deck – As I mentioned above, we want to make a tank pool out of a livestock tank, and ideally I’d like a small deck around it, and maybe a shade sail over it.  The idea for the pool was born after seeing this pool (which is actually a silo, I think) featured on The Brick House.

6. Outdoor Shower – I already discussed some of our plans here, but I started saving some other amazing ones (like the one shown) on Houzz.

7. Firepit – A fire pit would e nice, too.  The Incinerator that our friend Ryan’s dad used to have in his backyard was amazing (so long as you didn’t stand too close to it wearing something that would melt, like Cintas work pants).  Recently we were at a friends’ birthday party and there was a firepit made from a semi truck wheel (which was awesome), and  it got the wheels turning on how to DIY our own unique fire pit.

The Porch

1. FanA while back we scored this Hunter Fan from ReStore for $50!  Color me incredibly excited!

2. Lounge chairs – I nixed these  for the patio/deck/whatever, but I think these Ikea Ammero chaises would look great in the lounge area I envision for our porch.

3. Stump Side Table – (image from West Elm) As I mentioned a while back, we already had a stack of stumps to turn into tables and just picked up a few more (my neighbors love me</sarcasm>).  I think that at least one of them would look nice on near the lounge chairs.

4. Lighting – The last time we were at Ikea we bought one of these Ottava pendant lights to go over our pool table.  Originally we thought we wanted the Kroby, but now we’re thinking one Ottava on either end (we need to buy one more soon).  We’ll also need some more lighting in the lounge area (or at least to find a better bulb for the Hunter fan- it came with a spot light bulb, probably because that’s the only bulb the previous owner could find that fit).  I love the look of barn lights and these gooseneck lights, maybe we can DIY something similar with the old light from my parents’ kitchen.

5. Industrial Touches – (light switch image from here) It may seem odd, but I want a bit of an industrial vibe for the porch.  One day we’ll build our dream garage with studio above it, and I’ll have an industrial inspired studio with exposed brick walls.  Until then we can have an industrial-inspired porch to tide me over, with details like  exposed conduit, Ottava lights (and maybe cage lights) , and whatever else we think up.

6. Bead Board – I’m not sure that beadboard goes with the industrial look I just discribed, but I love the way it looks, and it would be a quick, hopefully cheap, and easy way to fix the painted ply currently adorning the walls.

7. Flooring – I loved the pallet wall in Will’s old nursery, so what about doing it as a floor?  We already have a stack o’ pallets, so maybe we can slap some boards from those suckers down to cover the hot mess that is the mismatching tiles.

8. TV – We are thinking about wall mounting a tv (with a bracket like this one) so that we can watch footbally or something nerdly like Mythbusters while playing pool.  We would probably obscure the tv with a curtain or a cabinet or something when it wasn’t in use.

9. Bar Stools – Initially I forgot that we also want barstools (and mabye a small pub table).  I can’t decide if I want mismatching yard sale/Goodwill finds, or something matching (and maybe stackable).  Currently loving the Ikea Sebastian stools.

Hopefully we can tackle some of these things slowly over time, because I would really like to use our backyard a lot more this summer than we did last year.  Cue the staycation.

March 26, 2011

Keepin’ It Real, Baby

by Cait

Ok, so I definitely am not the sort to say “baby”, but I couldn’t help it in the title.

I think it’s time for me to put on my Big Girl Pants and show you what I like to call the Very Before of our backyard and back porch.  If you’re good and read all the way to the end there will be cookies.  No wait, there won’t be cookies, there will be a picture of the paint swatch we painted with out free sample from Valspar.  (Insert innocent “It our first blogging freebie!” squealing here, even though I doubt it counts as a freebie if you whore yourself out sign up for it.)  So now, without further ado, the Backyard of Doooom Tour.

This is taken standing at our backyard’s fence, which goes down towards the street (we live on a corner) but not all the way.  This is because for some reason when Robert and Ryan were building the fence I convinced Robert that we needed a bigger front yard, I have no idea what I was thinking.  (Ok, that’s a lie, my reasoning went something like “All the kids in this neighborhood play in the front yard!”  Never mimd the fact that we don’t have kids.  So we made a little peninsula of yard that is fenced which is followed by a strip of yard that isn’t.  The weird strip is sort of like the strip of Oklahoma that is over Texas next to New Mexico.  Ok sorry, that is a terrible geography correlation, and possibly offensive to anyone in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico.  I promise I don’t think your states are weird!  Florida is weird, the Panhandle? What is with that?)  But back to the point… So, we have barely any green stuff (it’s not grass, I promise), a stack of pallets that we were going to use for a rather large project involving a nail gun, the shed, and that weird bit of concrete and tile that juts out of the porch for no apparent reason.

Hello weird concrete and tile.  What the heck were the owners before Tricky Dick (does everyone know how Sara at Russet Street Reno calls her house’s previous owner Boozie Suzie? Tricky Dick is sort of like that. I am not original.)  thinking with that?  No one that has come over can figure out what they were trying to do with that.

This is our sad fence.  I suppose it’s not too bad, it stands, it keeps their English Bulldog in their yard and our crazies in ours.  To the left of this photo is a section of chain link.  On the plus side, Mr&Mrs Next Door/Behind (ok, their real names are Shawn & Mindy) are cool and they want to help with whatever fence we decide to put in one day.  Maybe we can even have a gate, because they have an awesome deck (from what I can see through the overgrowth).

Remember the concrete pad I told you about when I was talking about outdoor shower?  Here it is.  Just as classy as I described.

This is the overgrowth you can see in the first picture.  It actually doesn’t look that bad in person, most days I pretend that it is perfectly trained ivy growing on a stone wall (in this fantasy I’m also a lovely size 2 and my hair is always perfect).  Also note the chain link AND privacy fence.  Sadly these neighbors have never talked to us, and rarely even wave, so I highly doubt they will chip in for that fantasized-about stone wall to keep their constantly-outside-barking dog contained.

This is the porch that I want to make into a sunroom one day.  Note the tile that doesn’t line up at all and the rock bed planter next to the house.  The window you see is the master, and the grill is next too/below the window to the fourth bedroom (also known as the dog room, the place where things go to die, and The Place Where The Bastard Comcast Guy Drilled THrough My Original Would Floors.  That will be on another tour that includes the master closet and the guest room closet, I do not have the cojones to post all of that in one day.

And the porch from the other side.  Ignore the pollen-y pool table.  The window you see on the left is for the room mentioned above, and the window leaning against the wall is for the memo board mentioned in our To Do List.  We eat at that table when the weather is nice (and when it’s not covered in pollen), and one day it will probably move onto the patio we have yet to build.

And now, the oh-so-exciting picture I promised you of our paint swatch!

ignore the discarded living room set storm door, it needs to go to ReStore

Valspar helpfully suggested the existing color of our house as a “complementary color”, but I think we’ll still go with Gray Teal or Atlantic Gray as accents, what do you think?

November 4, 2010

Living Outdoors

by Cait

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what I want to do with out backyard.  Yes, the backyard, not the front yard that all the neighbors see, that would make far too much sense.  I introduced this topic on the blog a while back with our DIY Wish List, and have pretty much been dreaming about and sketching the perfect way to layout our petite backyard ever since.  I’ll try to scan the sketches Robert and I came up with tonight, but I thought I’d share a few of the photos that have been inspiring us to plan our backyard.

From Tighe Architechture (Ocean Front Walk project), seen on The Brick House

It’s easy to fall in love with the lighting and the view in this photo (our backyard certainly doesn’t have one of those two things), but I’m also in love with those walls/planters.  I think something like that would pair well with the other elements I want for our yard, like a flagstone patio and a taller slat fence around one back corner of the yard.  I love the look of the overhang, too, but I would want ours a little more rustic, like the one on the left below.

Patio photo from The Brick House and Ikea chairs seen on Making it Lovely

I love this photo (above right) of the Ikea Ammero chair that I saw on Making it Lovely.  I’m a sucker for sunset lighting, but I think something like this would be perfect for the patio I’m dreaming about.  Or maybe two of the lounge chair version with a small table (or a garden stool like we have on our front porch) in between.

From At Home magazine, seen on The Newlywed’s Paradise

I have wanted to incorporate a glass garage door into our house ever since I got the idea from my mom (I told you she was full of great ideas!) and so ever since I saw this I have been dreaming of a way to include one in our future sunroom.

What have y’all been dreaming about for your backyard?  Or for your house in general?  I’d love to see photos or links if you have them.

October 13, 2010

YHL is Full of Good Ideas

by Cait

I love it when YHL gives me ideas for how to improve things about our house!  As I mentioned in our DIY Wish List, I really, really want to transform our 14×28 foot unfinished screen porch into a sunroom like the one John & Sherry have.

From YHL

I have always thought that something like this would be wonderful in Florida, especially if we found a way to regulate the temperature a little better.  Currently our porch has two fans, which help a lot since even the screened top portion of our porch’s walls do not provide the best airflow in the sorching summer heat.  I know that glassing the porch in will make it even hotter, so I love the idea of keeping at least one of the fans and adding sliding glass doors like in John & Sherry’s sunroom.  Anyone familiar with out blog is probably aware of the fact that most ceiling fans tend to bug me, unless they are something fun & quirky or simple & unobtrusive.  I had recently mentioned to Robert that I would really like the Sanibel Fan by Hunter for our porch/future sunroom, but they’re not exactly as budget friendly the $50 special from Home Depot or Lowe’s. 

From Hunter Fan Co

 Then this past weekend I was jonesing for a ReStore fix we happened to stop into our local Habitat fo Humanity ReStore and they had this exact fan for $50!  I was stoked!  I love me some gently used home decor (plus I’m not exactly keen on the idea of shelling out 300 bucks for an outdoor fan that will probably get gross).

Now you’re all thinking “That’s fantastic, Cait, but John & Sherry have never mentioned a fan in their sunroom.  So get to the point!”  Well, anyone who saw the post on YHL today may have already guessed my point: YHL recently added a baseboard heater to their sunroom, gaining extra, livable square feet.

Both from YHL

Again, you’re thinking “Great, but John & Sherry live in Virginia and you live in Florida, so…?”  Well, sometimes in the winter it gets ridiculously cold in Florida, ok?  I know, anyone who lives north of here just fell out of their chairs laughing at me, but last winter we had a record breaking streak of nights with below freezing temperatures.  This was especially annoying when our heater went out we wanted to use our porch.  And also as YHL mentioned, depending on your states guidelines, adding a simple baseboard heater to a sunroom instantly adds square footage to your house.  In YHL’s case this bumped their house from 1300 to 1550 square feet, and for us it means that when we convert our porch to a sunroom and add a baseboard heater it’ll jump from 1850 (which is already plenty, trust me) to a whopping 2240!  I know that converting our porch to a sunroom will cost more than the $250 John & Sherry spent to gain more square footage, but it makes the idea of converting our porch even more appealing.  Just another way in which I have to bow down to the genius that is YHL and steal their ideas borrow their ideas and give wicked props to them for the inspiration.