Archive for the ‘landscape’ Category


Friday, August 13th, 2010

Our neighbors were going to get slapped with a pretty hefty fine from the city if they didn’t trim the two overgrown trees in their front yard. When I say overgrown, I mean 10 or more years of growth totally engulfing their house; just a completely solid mass of tree. I kind of loved it since it functioned like a privacy shrub, totally obscuring their house from view.

Being a nice guy The Boy offered to trim the tree and haul it all away for our older / kooky / hot rodding / cat hoarding neighbor for a $100. It is so much tree. SO MUCH. This makes day three of the big bush trim and The Boy uncovered some lovely graffiti poetry. (BTW, I hear Steven Cruz is dreamy).

I’m psyched that this lovelorn teenage tagger decided to sign her name for all the world to know of her “like”. I would have been dying to know whose feelings these were if she hadn’t, but luckily I know who to fight with for Steve’s affections.

Here is a bit of context. I’m so glad we get to see this from our front yard from now on. Magical.

Maybe we should have just let Mr. Neighbor get slapped with the fine. It’s not like he is volunteering to fix this next hot neglected mess. I know – because we asked. He said he didn’t have the cash, but hey look at my awesome yellow $500 paint job on my hot rod. Grind Grind Grind. Cats Cats Cats.

In the meantime we are preparing the side yard for the pool and landscaping, but first thing first, we need to fix the shared fence. Damn you cat man.

This is how we fix it every few days. A board falls down, we tack it up. Perfect. Well except for the steel pole holding the fence up from collapsing.

Looks like about five of the support posts have rotted out and need replacing. Shouldn’t cost very much and we can salvage most of the wood, but it appears that we have to shoulder the cost and do all the labor.

One day you will be free Iggy, free to enjoy a landscaped side yard. Eventually. Hopefully free of cats.

Did I tell you the story about this neighbors cat that jumped out of our closet in the middle of the night? No? Well that’s about it. Big cat. Middle of the night. TERROR ensues.

House Numbers

Monday, July 5th, 2010

One of the first things I purchased for The Brick House was a set of Neutra address numbers. Not from DWR but from a fancy schmancy modern home design shop in Palm Springs. The numbers have since sat in a drawer for over two years…taunting me with their acceptable streamlined modernity. I didn’t know what the hell we were doing with the remodel but I for some fucking reason NEEDED rad house numbers to make it feel authentic.

Now that the house is (finally) almost painted, it was about time to slap those babies into place. We started by lining up the templates provided and struggled to get everything square and level.

We used a cheap hammer drill to punch some 7/8″ holes in the concrete block – the paper template also had a handy guide for where the holes needed to be punched.

Once the holes were drilled and the numbers readied, we squeezed silicone caulk into the crevasses and inserted the threaded rods attached to the backside of each number. The painters tape held everything in place while the caulk dried for 24 hours.

BAM! Address numbers.

When removed the tape they didn’t fall out or anything! In fact they are quite sturdy – thank you included instructions.

The threaded rods have spacers in order to float the numbers off the wall. We picked this install spot since it would be comfortably visible from the street, illuminated when the porch light was on and not blocked by the slat screen.

I’m so sick of that awful screen door. I cannot tell you how much I am DYING to rip it off and restore the front door. We still need to repair the door – get new hardware and paint the whole thing black. Then finally I will burn that fugly screen door.

All the vents still need to be painted and a color needs to be picked for the patio…then hardscape…then landscape…then sell this place…

It’s been years since I bought those expensive numbers and guess what – Home Depot came out with a set of floating modern house numbers that are only $5.99 each. The Boy likes to point them out every single time we walk by the address aisle. Yeah – I’m an asshole, but I love my numbers.

It’s good though, because those Home Depot cheapies are going on our custom mailbox.

Fire Pit : Redux

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

The old cinder block fire pit did not work. Whoops! (That’s why I never posted a true DIY). Good thing it was dirt cheap to build.

When we visited T.K. and Jill’s house in Joshua Tree, T.K. gave us a little introduction tutorial class in welding. Now we are putting that new skill to use to rebuild our crappy fire pit. We will build it better, stronger, more metal-y than before.

We bought four 40″ x 20″ sheets of 12 gauge hot rolled steel from Riverside Industrial Metal Supply.

Our new fancy magnets were very useful for holding together the two pieces of steel in order to get them tack welded at a 90 degree angle. Best tool ever.

The first half got spotted in place and it started to look like something…

The metal fire pit will be sunk into the ground with eight cold rolled steel rod supports to hold it square and add strength.

It’s a big metal square!

We added foot long cold rolled steel rods to the corners and in the middle of each panel. They aren’t pretty but they are getting installed underground – so they don’t really need to be.

Installing the larger metal pit where the old cinder block fire pit died it’s horrible death was kind of a pain. Everything got ripped out and a larger, deeper hole had to be dug out. A sledge hammer and plank of wood helped sink it level into the soft soil. In the end we left about 14″ of steel above ground.

BAM! DONE. Indestructible fire pit. I want it to rust up a bit to match the sketch up version:

I think for our first welding project that it turned out really great! It was about $100 for all the material and took us three or so days to put it together with a bit of a learning curve. The Boy ended up doing most of it after falling deeply in love with welding and telling me my welds suck. Good thing, because we have a lot more metal to slap on this house and I’m going to put him to work.

Ready to go for fire! Much, much better.