List of outdoor projects

Read more about the article Upgrading a Builder grade railing
Finished Hand Rail

Upgrading a Builder grade railing

The problem

Some of our want list had to be delayed to replace a poor quality handrail installed by the builder. Needless to say the railing failed due to poor preparation and material selection. Upgrading a builder grade railing can add value to any home.

When learning how to remodel and build homes, my father always spent the time to hand select every 2×4, 2×6 etc. etc. I hated it. But as I got older I excepted the process and I just do it naturally. The reason I mention this is due to the material that was used to construct the railing we are replacing for this project.

As a force of habit I automatically go to the best quality material I can locate and scrutinize every piece. So this brings us to the choice the builder used. In the vast number of years I’ve been remodeling I have never stumbled across a finger jointed 2×4. This is the wrong choice for an outdoor wood project.

I know the builder chose this material because it is cheap and with a fresh coat of paint who would know. The choice of material is not the only mistake. During installation proper preparation did not occur. The exposed end grain was not sealed and I could not find any signs of a primer being used. Poorly prepped and a low quality paint job and the railing is destined to fail. The failure is the railing had rotted when exposed to the elements.

Rotted railing.

I did paint them after the first year and again a year later, however I could see that replacement was in the future. The picture above shows the paint blistering at the base trim. The lower rail is basically just paint. When removing the post the extent of damage was remarkable.


Continue ReadingUpgrading a Builder grade railing
Read more about the article Potting and Garden Shed How we built it

Potting and Garden Shed How we built it

Framing the Potting and Garden Shed

The Potting and Garden shed was built out of necessity and I didn’t think it would be post-worthy at the time of construction. This was June of 2016. The shed is just one of those things people build or purchase for its utility and nothing more. It houses all the things needed to tend to the yard and garden and some additional storage for those things you only need at certain times of the year.

The building is more than a basic Potting and Garden shed. We stick-built the shed rather than purchasing. We used 2″x4″ instead of 2″x3″ lumber at 16″ on center. The shed is made more like a house than a shed. We used a high pitch for the roof and a ridge beam to keep the interior space open.

With the shed roughed in, we added 2 access points. A standard walk-thru door for easy access when only needing to grab a rake or whatever and, a larger door for the mower.


Continue ReadingPotting and Garden Shed How we built it