Sore muscles and happy smiles

Posted: Sunday, August 19, 2007 by Travis Cody in

Well gang, this morning my lady and I enjoyed a coffee on our wonderful new screened in balcony.

The folks came up Friday morning - Mom and Pam went one way while my stepdad and I went another. After a couple hours at Home Depot gathering materials, we headed back to the condo and began.

The first part was building two box frames. This was slightly complicated by the fact that the open balcony isn't the same width on each side. So we had to very carefully measure it so the framing fit snugly. That took most of the afternoon. After we had it finished, we spray-painted it to match the house. It looks like it's always been there.

Yesterday we got up bright and early and began screening. That was pretty simple. We had made the frame into four 36" panels. All we had to do was staple the screen to the top, and then stretch it taut to staple it down the sides. Then staple it to the bottom, cut off the excess, and move on to the next one. The trick was to keep it stretched taught.

After the screen was up, we screwed the trim to the frame. Then we built shelves on either side of the balcony, one long one to the right and a short one to the left. We used cedar for the shelves - bugs hate cedar and you know how I am about bugs. We also sprayed for spiders once we had everything cleaned up.

Big time lesson if you do a home improvement project - measure twice and cut once. We only took one bad measurement in two days of work. That came when we were building the bar shelf...we were tired and a little punchy. I had made the correct mark for the measurement, but I guess there must have been a blemish on the board and we ended up cutting it short.

But a good carpenter always has a solution, and my stepdad is a Master Carpenter. So he taught me about a gusset, which we fashioned and installed to reinforce the joint where we extended the short board.

Anyway, the balcony came together quite nicely. Mr Tucker is still a little scared of it. There was a lot of banging and sawing and coming and going, which he doesn't care for at all. So he is now hiding under the covers. We'll let him explore this new world at his own pace.

Now for the ladies...they decided that we needed to update some bathroom fixtures. So I replaced knobs and drawer pulls with new hardware. Plus I learned how to install a new faucet for the bathroom sink, with matching towel racks and toilet paper holder. We bought new light fixtures as well, but the installation of those will have to wait. We went from bright shiny gold colored fixtures to Venetian bronze. The change is remarkable and we like it much better now.

I'm tired! But thoroughly satisfied with what I learned to do this weekend. And the result is wonderful. I would share photographs with you, but my camera still refuses to turn loose of any picture I take. I need to make some time to reinstall the software and see if that fixes the problem.

Today is for relaxing on the balcony and enjoying the lovely rain. We've got the door open and the breeze is flowing through the condo, clearing out all the stuffiness from not being able to open that door for so long.

Later babies!


  1. Julie says:

    Oh, wonderful for you and Pam! I'm so happy for both of you. Each and every thing that you do will make it make more and more like the place is your Xanadu!

    I'm sure that Mr. Tucker will come around and before long you won't be able to get him to come inside!


  1. Sounds like you deserve some sitting and resting. What an accomplishment. Congrats to you and Pam and Mr. Tucker. Enjoy!

  1. Great job, Trav, but...but...where are the photos?!

  1. wonderful! and since i hereby declared this national cake sunday, have some of that too!

    smiles, bee

  1. the108 says:

    Yes! We wanna see pictures!

    I'm jealous. I absolutely LOVE carpentry work and home improvement projects. LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

  1. Travis says:

    Julie: We were able to coax Mr Tucker outside and he did a couple sniff tours around. He's been content this afternoon to lay in front of the open door.

    Mimi: Thanks! I think we did good!

    Songbird: The photos are still hostage in my camera!

    Bee: National CAKE Day! Woooooo!!

    Kyra: I learned a lot this weekend. One of these days there will be pictures.

  1. Sounds like fun! I hope you can relax a bit this afternoon.

    I love venetian bronze. Since I sell bathroom fixtures, I can tell you that it's really popular right now! I think you'll be happy with it.

    I hope we'll get some photos in the end. ;)

  1. Linda says:

    That just sounds so nice - to be able to sit on your newly screened porch and enjoy the rain and the breeze. Sounds like a well-deserved rest, too, as that's a lot to do in such a short amount of time.

    Can't wait until your camera decides to let your pictures go! Have you offered a ransom??

  1. Travis says:

    CWM: We're already loving the bronze - it's really made a difference.

    Linda: It was a lot to do, and I learned a lot too. I've never done any project this big before.

  1. wolfbaby says:

    sounds like a lot of hard labor but well worth it!! can't wait till we can get started on some serious home improvments in our house!