Monday, September 23, 2013

I lost my battle

A couple weeks ago, I came home from work to find this. 
After begging the city inspector, my alderman, the mayor, and everyone else who would listen, nobody gave two shits about saving my walkway but me.  And rather than try to grind through the high edge or cut off the offending portion, I lamely decided that maybe they would forget about it and leave me alone.  Dumb.  I especially love how one of the concrete guys left their lunch plate in the hole.  
So, I hastily crafted a note to stick in the dirt that said DO NOT POUR CONCRETE IN HERE OR I WILL CLAW YOUR EYES OUT.  Or maybe it said, NO CONCRETE - WE ARE PLANTING GRASS.  One of the two.  Then, because I'm not a normal person, I didn't plant grass.  I did this.  
When my dad and I got the supplies back to our house, Shaun started unloading the truck, muttering about what a stupid idea this was, and that we should just plant grass.  
I cried in frustration because I knew it was going to suck to do all the work, but I just felt that my house DESERVED another flagstone walkway.  It was a part of this house, and I wanted to give it back.  So, after another run to get more gravel, we did this. 
Then I gave my baby foot long stakes to play with.  
Like the heaviest puzzle ever, we have been busting our butts with these stones.  So far, we have sunk $85 into replacement flagstones, and $80 in gravel, edgers, stakes, and sand.  Luckily, we have a nice supply of flagstone in our backyard, so we were able to 'shop at home' for this project.  At the end of one full day, this is the progress we made:
I WAS PLEASED.  Of course nothing is ever easy with this crap, the ground on the left side of the walk is much higher than the right, so we will have to chop some earth away to level it out.  We also have some very large gaps in between the stones, so we are going with sand in the joints rather than mortar to avoid cracks and things like that.  One plus side to doing all this work is the big sand box we had for a couple weekends!
The simple 'how to' we followed was:
Insert combination of 3/8 and 1/4 inch traffic bond gravel into hole until you feel you have enough.  This is very scientific.  
Tamp with hand tamper (we are cheap, but a rental works much better!)
Measure out 39-inch-wide walkway and stake edgers in place on top of gravel.
Add a layer of sand and start picking stones - we used the ones with the more uniform thickness and straightest edge on the sidewalk and curb ends.  Those are the ones the inspector will check for level. 
Add and take away sand until massive stones are level with previous ones. 
The END.
jk, we are not done yet.  Not even close.  But it is going to be worth it!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Closet in...progress?

I'm finally doing something with this closet room attached to our bedroom. I've started marking where the closet rods and shelves will be with blue and green tape.  My tape is NOT level and the exact measurements aren't set, but it is a start.  Figuring out how to plan the closet was a challenge due to the window being 10 inches from the long wall.  
Since I can't mount the rod to the wall on that side, I can't use traditional closet organizers, and I don't want to pay for a freestanding system, I am going to experiment with closet rod brackets that can be mounted to the wall slightly before the window, like this shelf/rod combo from Hardware Hut...   
I will need three brackets to support a rod on that 67 inch wall.  When the clothes are hanging, they will cover half of the window, but I consider that more protection from my neighbors seeing me naked.  Which I KNOW happens on the regular.  Good thing I'm working on my fitness these days!  Yeah right.  So, on the short wall opposite the window, I'm doing the same setup with the brackets to keep things consistent. 
The green tape represents the closet rods, and the blue tape represents the shelves.  The thing I'm slightly worried about is that clothes/hangers will stand out from the wall about 22 inches, so things are going to get tight in this 4' x 5.5' room!  I plan to find some chrome shelf supports for the two 26" shelves on the short wall.  On the little blank wall to the left in this pic, I'm probably just going to put some decorative hooks like the ones in our other closet.  
Of course the first thing I need to do in here is remove the offensive boob light.  Then I can paint the ceiling and walls, and start putting up the closet hardware.  That have yet to be purchased.  
I'm leaving the base trim for last because I'm not sure if I will build in some floor shelving for things like shoes.  If I'm being honest with myself, I will agonize about it, then never get around to it.  Classic me.  I also got my DIY Chandelier project started, but I'm forcing myself to get the important things done before adding any 'fancy' to the space.  
I think tomorrow is the night for me to remove the light and paint the ceiling.  It will be a miracle if I can get that little bit done!