Weekend Shopping

My fathers day weekend was extremely fun and gratifying. Sox and the kids were away in Vancouver, so this was my chance to tackle and conquer a couple construction projects that have been on my list a very long time. We needed to organize the downstairs area a bit (bikes, riding gear, tools, dog supplies, and more), and we needed a way to keep children from falling down stairs, or climbing up stairs.

I did some planning ahead of time, and had a basic plan drawn up of what I wanted to build, and how I would build it. We had an old shelving system kicking around and it was really bugging me that we weren’t making use of it. I suddenly had an idea of how I could incorporate those shelves into the bike rack storage area. With a few more measurements I was off to Home Depot to do some shopping.

First up, I needed a circular saw. After talking with a salesman I picked one out and was happy to learn there was a 15% off sale on certain brands. Without the power tool, I wouldn’t have been able to get the projects done in the time I had. I also picked up some clamps (godsend devices), some screws, and the materials to make some sawhorses. I grabbed the 2X4’s and 2X6’s I needed and loaded everything into the truck. At this point I was feeling pretty good about how things were going.

I dismantled the existing shelving int he basement, cleared a good size work area, set up a sawing area, measured again, and started chopping. I was a little nervous on the first couple cuts, but once they were out of the way it was smooth sailing.

The clamps more than made up for their price as I was hanging the structure of my rack, and trying to get it vertical. Hanging the cross member 2X6 would have been impossible by myself had it not been for the clamps. I loved the clamps! Once the bike rack was done I moved on constructing what I could on the child gate. With all the construction done I cleaned up the basement and put things away in their new homes. The amount of open space in our basement now is incredible.

I was feeling pretty good about how things went so I decided to tackle another couple projects. I found some moulding tucked away in the corner. I fashioned a couple blocks to put between some windows so they couldn’t be opened from the outside (the window locks are broken), and I decided to build a shelf in the crawlspace to make extra storage that was off the ground. This shelf required another trip to Home Depot for more lumber.

The crawlspace shelf was an easy build, but was hard for me to get it into the crawlspace on my own. The shelf 8 feet long by 32 inches wide and the crawl space is three feet high. With that in place I whipped up some legs, attached those and called it done.

Here is the storage area before I cleaned it up. Not shown are a couple big boxes, and a messy recycling are. Bikes leaning against one another, car pod in the way. Inadequate shelving space.

Here are some after shots. Bikes hanging neatly. Car pod has its own space out of the way.

Usable shelving with places to keep things out of the way of children.

This is the shelf in the crawl space. This is a pretty bad picture of it, but it helps a lot with storage.

The thing I love about a weekend full of sweat and hard work, is the feeling of accomplishment when you are done. Being able to step back and say “I built that” feels great. I get pleasure every time I step into the basement now.

Sand Sight

I finished off the sandbox yesterday. At 8 in the morning, as we were thinking about getting ready for swim lessons, Sue thought I should call the sand place and see what time they opened. They were already open, so I went and picked up a half yard of sand.

In the afternoon after assembling our new wheelbarrow, I hauled it from the truck and dumped it in the sand box. Success!

We were having some friends over for dinner that night, but before they arrived, Sprout was out playing and digging. After dinner my son, our friends two kids, and the neighbours daughter and her friend were all in the sandbox diggin and playing.

It was a glorious sight! All my worrying about a less than perfect sandbox flew away.

Here is the final construction pictures.


Sand Imperfections

On the way home from work today I stopped at Rona to get the rest of the supplies needed for the sandbox. I grabbed a few 2X6’s, and some landscaping fabric.

I built the framework I needed, and laid the fabric down. It is done as I can make it without filling it with sand.

Unfortunately some of the angles with the cement pad mad cutting the wood difficult. This has left a couple gaps in places. Turns out that I am more of a perfectionist than I thought. Right now the imperfections are bugging me, but time is running out. Also, I don’t have the tools, nor the know-how to fix these small imperfections.

I know that in a while it won’t matter, and I know the kids are going to have lots of fun in it, but I can’t help but be a little disappointed. I want it to be perfect for my kids.