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australia, ocean

Detours off Britta Blvd

www.britta.com

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it's hot anyway - might as well work up a real sweat!
australia, ocean
brittadotcom
It's way too hot...I might have to sleep out on my newly-re-screened patio tonight if I can't get my bedroom cooled down any more! I'm on my laptop out on the patio right now as Kylie is exploring the heck out of every nook & cranny, even on top of the fridge! So, since it's been so hot lately anyway, I've been working up a real sweat by tackling hefty house projects. Might as well get really grungy if you have to take a shower before bed to cool down anyway!

I did take a little break after 4th of July to clean up, enjoy party leftovers, sew twin flannel baby blankets & see Pirates, but the next day I was back working on my house...

Last Monday night was the Attack of Britta vs. the Solid Wood Paneling. Not that much to tell except that it takes a lot of hammer vs. prybar, plus a LOT of elbow grease to get 8ftx6"x1" solid wood tongue & groove planks off of solid wood studs. I wore earplugs & kept trying to get Kylie to leave the room but she didn't seem to mind - that piercing ping of metal hammer vs. metal prybar plus the squeaking of nails as they finally start to give is horrid noise for 4 hours! I was plenty sore after that workout, but now I have an open wall ready for drywall, then a much easier spackle texture job like the rest of the living room!


New living room wall - no, not finished yet, silly!




Pressure washing done plus patio progress

On Saturday afternoon last week after over 4 hours with that pressure washer, the covered patio was free of sparkle! That area was easier than the other patio since with being more open to the elements, some areas had already desparkled on their own over the years. I pressure-washed what I could of the metal roof & the screen structure, since I wanted to tackle painting the structure then replacing the screen next. I haven't figured out yet what do to for the patio floor...it's a matter of too many choices I'm afraid. Pay someone to lay a new layer of concrete? Indoor/outdoor carpeting? Real ceramic floor tile? Nice vinyl flooring that looks like brick, to tie into what will be the real brick walkway and patio hopefully soon? More research is necessary, so for now I continued with the other things I knew I wanted to do.

I had seen the pet-resistant screen at OSH several months ago. Since Kylie the Kitty trashed the sliding screen door at my last place so thoroughly she made her own catflap, this sounded like a good try. There were several big rips in the existing screen, so I had to do something. The pet screen isn't cheap, about $15 for an 8ftx48" roll, which only does one panel of my patio so I needed 7 rolls, but for Kylie to enjoy outside with me, it seemed a good compromise. I bought the screen rolls back in May during the OSH no sales tax weekend, but before putting it up I wanted to paint the metal screen structure to match the house walls so it would be more like a room. When I took a closer look, though, I saw that I couldn't actually access the top of the spline channel for the screen panels easily, but that was a bending metal issue, plus removing the hideously ugly metal shingles that covered the triangular hole between the roof angle and the top edge of the screen structure. Most of the inside of the structure was already painted a pale yellow, perhaps yet another previous house color besides aqua, so the new paint went on smoothly over that, mostly only one coat. I knew the paint on the bare metal like on the covered patio side facing back into the screened patio, would take two coats, since one coat essentialy primes and lets the second coat of paint stick properly. I also painted the horizontal brace on the outside since the ugly metal shingles were staying away. I plan to make a triangular screen out of leftovers to keep the bugs out but not be ugly like the shingles were. ;) One good thing about it being so hot & dry is that the paint was completely & utterly dry by noon the next day!

Putting up the actual screen took awhile, but only about 6 hours I think, including hydration breaks. Did I mention it was hot? ;) It probably would have been wiser to split up the work over two days, since my grip from forcing the spline in with the spline wheel tool was completely gone by the end, including a finger being numb for about 24 hours! I can say that I need a perfectly fresh utility knife blade to trim the extra screen away, so that probably bodes well against Kylie's claws...this screen seems to be a really strong stringlike white fiber, with a thick black plastic coating over the string, so it seems to hold together really well while still looking nice and also being very pliable. Since the screen is black, you can't really see it anyway, so no photos of just the screen...but here's what it looks like with the canvas dropcloths hemmed & washed as patio curtains. The curtains were up just in time for 4th of July, but not yet hemmed.



New patio - trust me, all the screen is new behind the curtains, plus the structure now matches the house color



New patio showing the bar & fridge - if you look closely you can see that above the curtains matches the wall in back




I'm smarter than Kylie the Kitty...for now...? ;)

I also figured out how to turn the screen door around so it would open inward. Why? Well, I knew the hinges would allow the door to open flat flush against the screen wall, but I wanted that to be inside the screen wall for Halloween decoration sake. :) Also since Kylie was able just to push on the door before & get out, I thought the challenge of pulling inward would foil her cunning plan. Since the stupid hinges are riveted to the door frame edge, it took removing that edge, flipping it upside down to put it back on the door, drilling new holes to screw it back together, then drilling new holes in the wall frame for the new hinge placement. One thing my drill bit set doesn't tell me is which kind of bits are for what. I hope I'm not ruining one set by using it on metal...oh, well, too late! Since the concrete floor is uneven, the door scrapes, so before putting the door back on, I looked for something to be a roller for the bottom edge. I found a replacement drawer piece today as I returned 4 packages of screen spline (that stuff stretches more than I expected!), which seems to work okay, but is still noisy. However, the kitty's cunning plan does seem to be foiled...for now! ;)



How to foil a kitty's cunning plan - make the door open inward instead! heehee...


Now to see if it's cool enough yet to sleep inside...good night!

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looks good

(Anonymous)
Don't mess with success--leave the curtains as they are--they look great! Kylie is way too smart--I'd get a hook on the screen door before she figures out how to pull on it to get it open. Good luck

love,mom

Britta is my IDOL

(Anonymous)
YOU ARE MY IDOL :)

I hope you're taking a ton of pictures so you can turn some of these things into "How-To"'s later....Sara Rosso

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