Posts Tagged ‘building’

“I really do think my hubby is brave. In a world where men still seem to feel the need to control much of life around them, my hubby is confident in who he is … confident enough that he lets me also be who I am, and for that I am immensely thankful.”

I wrote the above this past summer in a post called Brave Husband where I wanted to give credit to my hubby for allowing, and accepting my creative side in our home and garden. And this post is the second and final post about the closet reno. that is (finally) complete.

It began with a vision in my head, and an itching in my soul to tear down, and build up. I ripped everything out of the closet, and put on my construction hat.

I had a plan, measured, cut, changed the plan, sweated, built, changed the plan yet again … I am a natural at adapting and modifying!

After the frame was built, the bench and lower shelves installed, much of what was left was the beautifying. And it doesn’t take much time in the beautifying to discover that it is there that things can get costly.

For example, I wanted to install a shelf, above the coat hook area (to place my very cool -cheap- older suitcases, for storage). I was thinking that rustic, wooden corbels would do the trick (much like the ones to the right). Well, apparently the law of supply and demand would indicate that there is great demand for them (try broken ones for $100 each!!!) thus, I needed a new plan.

So, off to the orange home store, where I scored four cast iron looking plant hooks, which cost less than $4 each. Then to the dollar store where I found real cast iron hooks for just $2 each (and since I had two from another project, I only had to purchase four).

My goal for this project was to not spend more than $100 from beginning to end, utilizing as many materials as I could from around our home, and purchased from thrift stores and yard sales. I was sure that I might just blow the budget completely when I started to seek out estimates for foam for the bench. The price range was $56 and up! After I picked my weakened self off the floor, I started considering other ways to get foam. My final purchase was a foam mattress topper, which I cut myself, and it cost $15.

The fabric for the pad was a bit of a concern too, but I said my prayers before walking into a thrift store one day, and low and behold, there was a roll of fabric for $10, that I really loved, and was only $10.

I was able to use moldings that I had laying around from previous projects, as well as paint, and many nails, screws, caulking (a little DAP will cover a multitude of sins poor cuts), and decor.

The following are the things I had to purchase:

$27.24 for drill bits and plywood
$48.29 for bead board and nails
$7.00 for the ‘TV cabinet’ that became my lower shelves
$10.55 for paint for trim (my old can had not been closed tightly 😦
$15.98 for the brackets to hold up the top shelf
$9.00 for hooks
$9.99 for the fabric
$15.49 for the foam
$7.oo for the two suitcases
$12.49 for the extra moldings

So, I was over my $100 budget, but still it was not a terrible cost, with the grand total coming in at $163.03, and NONE of that cost was labor, because I did it all myself (with a little help from my guy when I would get a screw stuck … I think we need a new, cordless, drill).

This project, with all it’s challenges, dust, mess, sweat and head scratching really fed my creative being. I felt refreshed for having the opportunity to demolish, plan, build and create.

Through the process hubby encouraged me, assisted with the challenges I have as the physically ‘weaker’ sex, and told me it looks so much better when it was all done. He knows that I tend to get a bit OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) when it comes to my creative projects, resulting in him BBQ’ing more meals than normal, driving kids more often than normal, and more mess around the house. Yet, he continues to encourage me to be … me.

I think I will keep him!

(… because I have a bigger project planned for next summer 😉 )



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Well, I am finally doing a follow-up post about my Brave Husband that I started way back in July. As I stated in that post “what makes my hubby brave is his willingness to let me ‘experiment’ with our house and garden.”

My patient man came home one day, early in the summer to find that I had removed everything in our hallway closet except for the drywall. His only response was, “I am guessing you have decided on your first (summer) project.”

I had set to work just that morning, after spending many weeks considering what I might do to create a door-less, closet storage area with a cozy place to sit and read, write or simply escape from one of our, now only three, teenagers in the house. I had filled a bucket with tools that I might need was wearing the grubbiest of my grubby clothes, and was thrilled to be taking something apart, with the visions of how it could look when I was finished.

Once it was naked of all that it had previously contained, from shelving to carpet, and everything in between, I set to work on the part that made me sweat the most … constructing a wood frame for the bench. I had never built a frame before, and this one would need to be secure enough to hold … me! I was very nervous, and the previous visions of the finished project were replaced by day/night mare of someone (me) sitting down and having the entire bench come crashing to the floor. I had the outer supports screwed into the studs of the walls, then added cross pieces every 8-10 inches (I cannot remember exactly). Thankfully I had 2X4’s in my garage, so I only had to purchase the screws!

The frame seemed to hold … even me standing on it!

The next step was to go and purchase plywood … Oh my goodness! Seriously, with the amount of trees in the area of the country that I live, I did not see the rational for having to take out a mortgage to purchase a piece of plywood! Yikes! So, when it came time to cut it, I did not measure twice and cut once, I cut eight times, and measured 2-4 times before each cut. When all was measured and cut, it fit on top like a glove. And the security of it … it was so well constructed that when I sat my happy … behind on it, not a creak, not even a whisper of a noise. Look out Mike Holmes (of Holmes on Homes).

As you can see from the photo directly above and left, there are shelves below the bench. I purchased this ‘TV stand’ at a thrift store, primed it with ‘bonding’ primer, then painted it with semigloss white paint. I was in awe at how perfectly it fit (with a bit of cutting from the back right corner, to fit the shape of the closet). I screwed it to the opening of the closet on both sides, to ensure it would not migrate.

The next step was to purchase bead board (kind of difficult to see in this picture, above to the left and right) … mortgage number two! I had to purchase three sheets of it, but was able to use all but one small piece (about 10″x 14″), so the lack of waste made the price not so depressing.

I will continue my closet reno. story in the near future … I still need to finish one two a few more details before I am ready for the final reveal.

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