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Detours off Britta Blvd

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project weekend...and beyond!
Project Weekend was already almost a month ago and it's still not documented...ack! I did get lots done the following weekend, rearranging both sheds to clear space in the garage for the largest patio furniture to go out of the way, then had a work offsite so weeknights unavailable once I finally made good progress clearing the patio. Unfortunately I caught some stomach bug at the offsite, getting barely well enough to haul all the crap to the curb this past weekend, which was about 6 hours of concrete scrap hauling and then other random bits. Then I promptly caught a horrible cold, probably made worse from my immune system still recovering from the workout with the stomach nastiness. I was really hoping to make some progress evenings this week now that it's light after work, however I have been laid flat with no energy by this cold, and only barely feeling human again today. Now I have adjusted my goal to only having the patio patched & painted before leaving for Australia, then at least it will be fully dry when I come back to set up the wetbar, still before Cinema Brittahytta season begins. *crossing fingers*

Project Weekend 2010 - Day 1

Day 1 they arrived about 11am for Swedish meatballs, spinach salad & homemade sourdough bread for lunch, then Dad & I made our first list, only tackling Home Depot purchases since I was hoping to get as much of the shed done as possible on our last sunny day. We purchased plywood for the shed floor & the wetbar backing, the new screen door and hinges, with Dad scoring me $15 off the screen door since all they had were scratched & dinged (thanks Dad!), but there was no room for foam sheets for Halloween. We worked well past daylight, cutting plywood by clamp light, but there was a full metal foundation with plywood floor before dinner...just in time for it to be completely soaked in the rain overnight...of course! :)

shed foundation assembled, leveled, square and in final position by dark

plywood floor cut & installed by dinner

Project Weekend 2010 - Day 2

Day 2 began with an unexpected project...Dad broke my toilet seat! Well he really only broke the hinge screw but we couldn't find one to fit so just got a new seat. Since new toilets are probably on next year's Project Weekend list, I bought the cheapest white seat for less than $6 and didn't replace it until I went to bed late that night. This was Dad's first turn as collateral damage, and thankfully an easy enough job...a lot easier than when Mom tore off the screen door the first Project Weekend back in 2006! ;)

By 10:15am we were continuing shed work in the high winds & spitting drizzle, racing to get as much done before the storm really hit. We got all the walls up and the roof joists in but then it really started to pour! We decided since it was almost 2pm we needed lunch anyway, then since it was still pouring we started the plumbing work. My plumbing wishlist was to fix some faucet drips if possible, knowing it might be a long shot with the age of the house, and that my dad's plumbing experience is just the School of Hard Knocks. We took apart the guest tub faucet & the garage faucet so we knew what parts to buy, went to OSH & Lowe's for plumbing parts, toilet seat and the wetbar cabinets, then since the house water was shut off, this day's race was to get water back on before the knitters returned for the evening. After a frustrating time, the guest tub is now a "wash" since it is no longer dripping & is usable, however it will not go 100% hot anymore. I will look for a new faucet I like then hire my kitchen plumber to install it for me later, but since it isn't used very much there's no rush, and I'm saving water in the meanwhile. We got the new wetbar plumbing added into the garage faucet enough to cap off the ends & stopped for the night. With the water back on, well-deserved pizza, Savannah-Chenelle 2006 Pinot Noir and watching UP on Blu-ray on my fancy new TV was the evening's agenda, and even the elusive Ebony warmed up to Dad!

shed walls as we were rained out!

new wetbar plumbing from patio side

Elusive Ebony finally warmed up to Dad! :)

Project Weekend 2010 - Day 3

Saturday was Day 3 which was all I got! I did get longer than I thought since the knitters had class until 5pm, so we took advantage of the time! We finished the shed roof in much better weather, still more challenging than it should have been because I wanted it close to the fence & hidden behind existing trees, so we had to alter the order of the roof panels, and I had to squeeze around back between a tree & the shed corner! We walked to Kirk's Steakburgers for lunch, then we finished the wetbar/garage plumbing, but one faucet screw broke under tightening attempts causing fountain spraying, so was capped off until I found a replacement screw. Onto the other circular saw cuts while there were two of us before the saw left! The new screen door was cut to fit the existing metal doorway, and hung on its new hinges in the metal jamb so the new screw holes were all set. The plywood backing was cut to height and the plumbing access cut, so it's all ready for wetbar cabinets, and most of all, the EcoTop scrap is cut to 25" depth for the wetbar counter, which was the cut I was most worried about...whew!

They were all packed up & on the road home by 6pm, so I promptly took my screw & washer to OSH while I was still grungy, then I kept working on that garage faucet until about 8pm. I do not ever aspire to be a plumber! I do not have the arm strength to hold one pipe firm while tightening the other! The photo is where I ended up that night, with the stupid crazy rubber washer as the only one I could find at OSH that fit. It was still dripping then, and during the week I kept tightening & waiting, since my drips were about 1 drip per 24 hours, then eventually I dismantled the whole faucet again, added even more teflon tape over the teflon paste, found some hard rubber washers from my TV install kit that fit, but when I put the faucet back together again the special nut in the back of the faucet bridge stripped..ACK! At least it is still much better than when we started, since for 4 years that garage faucet has been dripping once a second, and now it only drips into the sink from the bridge while the faucet is running, so that's acceptable for now. Maybe someday I'll find a vintage-style tub faucet that will work. As you can see it's an odd configuration with pipes coming straight out of the wall to the washer supply valves, then the faucet on front.

shed roof going on - very glad we had Dad's arm length to reach that far!

new wood screen door - hi Dad!

garage faucet before & after with wetbar plumbing - at least shiny & clean from soaking in white vinegar & scrubbing!

Even though we're progressing from easier projects to harder ones as the years go by, thanks to Dad we have yet another successful Project Weekend!

  • New shed (~$550 including plywood floor) - definitely a success! Doors are still waiting for me, and had to wait a week for the floor & inside to dry before anything could go inside ;)
  • Guest tub faucet ($13) - qualified success - not dripping anymore but no 100% hot water - to be continued & will still save water in the meanwhile!
  • Garage faucet ($3) - success - only drips while faucet running! will definitely save water
  • New wetbar plumbing (~$50) - HOORAY! :D
  • New screen door ($75) - huge success! Looks so much nicer! Still needs magnet closure, but won't bother until after painting is complete
  • Various cuts - even if I could have borrowed a saw I would still need help holding everything straight for this quality, so help greatly appreciated!
  • French door windows washed & quick front pruning - seems that Mom was feeling guilty about not contributing to Project Weekend? haha...

    ...and an unexpected success = Dad not only staying awake but enjoying an entire Disney movie for the first time ever! :D - SQUIRREL!

    empty corner before shed...then both sheds finished!

    ...and now for what's beyond!

    Cyd helped me move the heavy stuff into the garage except the patio fridge moved into the dining room so it could have electricity & still be out of the way. I got the heavy glass table dragged onto the brick patio by myself (forgot about it while I had help around!), so it's just the last few bits of bottles, plastic bins & chairs to clear away before I can use the pressure washer top to bottom. The timing is excellent since Kevin C had just blogged about his ceiling painting escapade, so I thought to ask to borrow his sprayer and he kindly obliged...hooray! Since I already have the matching house paint, the metal ceiling will match so will recede vs. staring me in the face with its ugliness every time I go out there. :) When the house roof is redone, I intend to have them replace the metal patio roof with a real roof anyway, so painting the metal is only a temporary cosmetic measure for a couple years at most. So, the plan is to pressure wash everything this weekend, patch the cracks in the concrete floor since that should be wet anyway, when the ceiling is dry enough, spray the ceiling, drying between coats, then the concrete patch should be dry enough to paint the floor with two coats. The current canvas curtains are staying up to play their original roles as dropcloths for the screens since they are so thrashed by weather that I plan to buy new curtains after all the refinishing is done.

    I am very glad I waited this long since when I first moved in I was researching what to do about the patio floor and this product didn't exist. I kept struggling with what I could do about the painted concrete vs. bare where the paint had aged away. Now there it was on the shelf at OSH for $30/gallon, absolutely perfect for my needs! Rustoleum porch/floor anti-skid self-priming paint in Sandalwood! One gallon should be plenty for 2 coats on both patios & with any luck just might blend with inside flooring wood tones. Add some cement patch, plastic sheeting, painters tape, wire brush, roller + extension pole for less than $100, and I think I'm set for patio refinishing supplies.

    plywood, counter, sink, faucet, valves & wetbar cabinets

    As for the rest of the patio, the copper sink & faucet are in house, but I can't for the life of me find the leftover black drain from my kitchen sink, so I might have to buy one on eBay for $30...darn! I'm still hoping to find it somewhere in the garage so I haven't bought another yet. I still have to build my own drain assembly on the cleanout plug, but that will be easier to judge size when the cabinet and sink are in place, plus I have leftover pipe parts from other projects that might be useful. Since the plan is to back the plywood with studs to be a freestanding hutch to support the wall cabinet, I will probably get enough of the matching prefinished toekick to cover the side view, but I'll be able to haul that home in my vehicles so I'm waiting to purchase. I will purchase door glass after I cut the wall cabinet doors. Also since was having a $30 off sale, I scored this new nice woven durable 8'x12' outdoor rug for $140 all told that I will cut in half so both patios will match now.

    If you'd like to see more photos, house project updates start here, and the shed work starts here then continues with LOTS of pretty flowers as I tested out my new fancy Canon G11 camera. :)

    Whew! That's it for now...and now I'm tired again just thinking about it all! Better get some rest first to get over this darn cold before I push myself into a relapse!

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