Archive for the ‘Construction’ Category

Shortly after moving into our house my parents offered us a nice-sized butcher’s block from the house they were renovating. I don’t remember if we had an idea of what to do with it at the time, but we took it. In early 2009 we decided that we’d build a center island. As a test we finally took that butchers block and put it on sawhorses in the kitchen. I remember remarking that I didn’t want the sawhorses to be a permanent fixture. Alas, I am a creature of habit and it would be more than two years before those sawhorses would be replaced.

In the summer of 2009 I did take the butchers block and cut it down to fit the area a bit better shaving a few inches off both the width and the depth. Later in the fall I would actually begin the project in ernest. Although there was a bit of “biting off more than I can chew” (which seems to be my thing), and a few delays due to life, this weekend I was finally able to complete final assembly.

I did break down and buy drawer fronts and cabinet doors from, who I also used for the doors on the built-ins in the dining room. I also bought unfinished oak table legs, however they weren’t long enough so I did have to turn my own feet which came out pretty well. Other than those things (and hardware), everything else was built from scratch.

I didn’t take a lot of photos of the construction, but what I did take are available in my center island set on flickr.

Its not perfect, but I’m pretty happy with the result (and the thing weighs a ton, even without the butchers block, as Cara can attest to). I do have to finish up a few of the shelves, but I went ahead and started a new project today, a new bed for Zee. I’m going to try to make this a few week process, and not a few years.

Chugging Along

Posted: August 29, 2010 in Construction, House, Movies/TV/Music

I’ve been seriously neglecting my blog. Call it a casualty of Facebook. It’s really a shame too, this blog is part voice to the world/part diary of life. Facebook does neither very well. Admittedly it’s a lot easier to write one or two sentences in a Facebook update, but all the same it doesn’t capture the path of life.


I actually completed the living room & dining room a while ago (actually right before Christmas 2009), but I finally got around to taking the “after” photos that I’ve been meaning to take for a while now.

I didn’t keep track of expenses or time (I should have), but I figure there’s easily hundreds of hours invested in this. Mostly my own time, but my father helped out on a few things, and I had several friends over two years ago to help. This was a project that was huge, much, much larger than I had anticipated. I will never take on a project of this scope again.


Our kitchen is pretty big, it’s one of the many things we love about our house. One of the issues, however, is that it feels like there is wasted space, especially considering that the counter space is pretty limited. It’s ironic that with such a large kitchen there is only about a 5’x4′ space to do food preparation.

When my parents were renovating the kitchen area of their house mansion they were getting rid of the butchers block that was there. We carted the butchers block home thinking it would make an excellent top to a center island.


Warming the hearth (part 1).

Posted: January 22, 2009 in Construction, Projects

One of the many reasons we bought our house was that even though it was 100+ years old, it had forced hot air (and air conditioning). All good, but I doubt they did any forced hot air systems back in the early 1900’s. So as you might imagine the system in our house has a few flaws. One of those flaws is the (future) baby’s room. For whatever reason, the baby’s room doesn’t have a vent to supply heat. The problem is that the room cools down when the door is closed (which I assume will happen often enough in the future).


Tray Ceiling DIY Overview

Posted: December 2, 2008 in Construction, Gaming, House

When I was planning our living room project, and we decided to build a tray ceiling, I spent a lot of time online looking for a DIY guide for building a tray. I couldn’t seem to find any kind of help for my situation (which I really wouldn’t have thought was all that unique): take a room with ~9 foot ceilings and add a tray to the ceiling.