Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Sing with me... "This is the project that never ends... yes it goes on and on my friends!..."

We are getting so close to the patio being finished, and really, the major parts are, but it's all the finishing details that we've been dragging our feet on.  We have already been enjoying the space, but with Spring seeming to be here (dare I say for good?) I'm itching to get this one fully finished, accessorized, and crossed off the list!

One "little thing" that we've needed to do is trim out the bottom of the cedar posts.  Our framer actually did, but he used a different material than what I had in mind, so we popped that off and did it ourselves.  We used 8" rough cedar boards that we found at Lowe's and hoped would be a pretty close match to the cedar posts, and measured and mitered all of the pieces on my Dad's big saw.

Then I applied two coats of sealer, which I also used on the posts.  I didn't want to add any color to the cedar, so this sealer is totally clear to allow the natural shade to come through.  I sealed all of the trim pieces before attaching them to the post.  Even with protecting the concrete floor I'm sure I would have drips, and the sealer will leave spots on the concrete.  I was also able to seal underneath the bottom edges that will be wet when it rains by doing that part first.

I love a local paint store (Munger's if you're in the OKC metro) when I need speciality items (and any time I need thorough, solid advice or direction for products to use) and they recommended this to seal the cedar.

We will probably need to reapply about once a year to keep it looking good, but it's a fairly quick and easy project so it should be doable (providing we remember to just do it!).

Once the pieces were all sealed, we layed them in place around the posts.

And, there we hit a snag.  Two posts have gutter downspouts running down the outside edges of them, and the trim didn't fit under the gutter.  We tried to slide it behind, but the gutter didn't give at all so we could get the trim underneath it (lesson learned, we should have done the trim before the gutters were installed!  Didn't think about it.).  I ended up notching out a place for the spout, then cutting the trim piece down the middle so we could put it back together like a puzzle around the gutter.

I won't win any awards for my accurate cutting with a jigsaw, but it did the trick and when we put the pieces back together it's not even noticeable unless your head is level with the ground and you're looking for it.  ;)

Then, we used the nail gun (this one is super handy for jobs like this) to attach the pieces to the posts.

Even with careful measuring and cutting,  the rough cedar boards are fairly uneven and can be a little warped here and there to start with, so some of our corners didn't match up perfectly.

Those little corner match-ups aren't quite as crucial when your project will be painted, caulk fills everything in beautifully and after a light sanding and some paint no one is ever the wiser.  However, since we're leaving this wood natural it was a bit trickier.  I got some wood filler that was as close in color to the sealed cedar that I could find, and just left it at that.  A light sand on the rougher corners helped to even out the edges as well.  Unless someone looks really close the wood filler isn't visible, so I'm pleased with this little DIY trim job.

I already referred to them, but we also had the gutters installed, and they have been fabulous when it rains.  My gutter company representative recommended a copper color for the downspouts along the posts, and I'm so glad he did, because they are hardly noticeable (and they were the same price as a regular color)!

Did you notice the dirt trails in the yard?  All of the construction last Summer and Fall wreaked havoc on our yard.  The bobcat that came in for the demo in particular left some pretty big ruts.  We're trying to address the yard as well before the grass starts growing, so we made friends with the rental guys at Home Depot over the weekend and rented an aerator and lawn roller.  My guys did a great job getting everything in shape!  We still plan to spread a little topsoil over most of the yard to even things out completely, but for the most part the yard should be back to normal when the grass comes in.

Another final detail was finishing up the fireplace.  The electrician ran power to where the fireplace would be when they were adding the lights, so my husband and son got the outlet installed there after the bricking was finished and they mounted the tv.  We wanted a simple mantel.  I don't plan to load it up with decor, we just wanted enough to balance everything out.

For the most part, we followed Denise's tutorial and basically built a simple box without a back side out of the same rough cedar boards from Lowe's.   Wish I had a photo, but Ray secured a 2x4 a little shorter than the mantel to the spots where the brickers had left room to add a mantel.  You can see the little blocks of wood they left in the brick here- just imagine a 2x4 attached there-

then we slipped our mantel box over that and secured it into the 2x4 with screws through the top of the mantel.

Here's how our "box" came together, I kept one continuous piece across the front so the sides wouldn't be visible straight on-

I used the same sealer to put a couple of coats on the mantle after it was installed.  You can see the difference between the raw wood and the sealed wood here:

And here we are for now!

Everything there is just a placeholder for now.  All of the bushes in the pots scattered around are waiting to be planted in new beds that we'll be putting in and I'm itching to hit the garden center soon to put some great pots together.  I need to do some accessory shopping too and the real fun will begin!

This project has seemed to take a really long time, but we've taken it one step at a time and it hasn't been too overwhelming.  I'm waiting for everything to green up, and I'll be ready soon to show you the final reveal.  In case you missed any details so far, here are all of the posts about the patio.

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  1. This is all looking so beautiful! The posts look really polished with the trim around the bottoms and very clever cutting to deal with the downspout!

  2. Looks great Jennifer! The copper downspouts were a perfect choice! Love! The mantle turned out perfect! Thanks for the shout out!

  3. Hi Jennifer! I love the copper downspouts, they look great. I am looking forward to seeing it all come together! Your spring weather is further along than mine so I will be cheering you on and hoping for some good weather of my own! ����

    1. I'm still not quite convinced that we won't have another cold snap, but all the trees are in full bloom so it surely seems like Spring!

  4. It looks fabulous, Jennifer! I have one question about the tv. When we get around to doing our outdoor patio, the layout will be very similar to yours. I love the idea of the tv above the fireplace, but never considered it due to the concern of rain. How are you going to go about keeping it dry? Thank you and love your blog :)

    1. Hi Angelia! First of all, we're treating the tv as an experiment. You can buy outdoor tvs, but they're very expensive. We bought an inexpensive one at Best Buy and are just watching to see how it goes. The roof overhangs enough around it, and with it being mounted so close to the ceiling we have not had any issues with it being wet. It has rained several times since it's been up, even hard, blowing rain, and it has not been wet. So far so good! Another tip, we bought a tv that had apps and wi-fi capabilities built in so we wouldn't have to have any extra devices out there. We can stream Netflix, Pandora, YouTube... whatever and it's great!

    2. Great idea with the built-in capabilities so you don't have extra electronics outdoors. Thanks for the tips and information. I appreciate it and will use it when it comes time for us!

    3. My husband just reminded me of one more good point... with the mount that we used, it is very easy to unclip the tv and bring it in if needed. If we're ever super concerned about the weather I'm sure that's what we'll do!

    4. Ok, thanks! I just read all the info to my husband so hopefully we can figure something out like y'all did. Thanks for taking the time to be so helpful :)

  5. This project has been so fun to follow along on! It's an amazing space Jennifer and I'm sure you have so many fun times out there with family and friends! Enjoy it!

  6. Everything looks so good. I know you can't wait to be finished.

  7. It looks AMAZING! What a fantastic outdoor space you'll have ready to go now that spring is on the horizon!

  8. Wow, what a transformation! Looks awesome!!

  9. Looks fantastic! You're going to enjoy this space so much...maybe not in July & August though. :) I can't imagine that anyone would be so critical as to inspect your work. I'm so anxious to plant some flowers on my balcony but, like you, I wouldn't be surprised if we have another cold snap. Seems the weather is usually cooler around Easter.


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