Batten and Board Shutters – First Project For The New House!

Yes!  Can you believe it?  We got to do a project for our new house!  It’s been a long time coming and it couldn’t be an easier one.  If you are wondering if we are finally in the house, the answer is NO. WE. ARE. NOT!  We have about 4 more weeks, but I told my husband if I didn’t so some kind of project, I was going to go crazy. It was the perfect weekend.  My little puppy Boone turned one on Saturday and then we got to go to Home Depot and hang out in the wood aisle.  I’m sure you all know what a batten and board shutter looks like.  There are tutorials all over Pinterest.  I’m not doing a tutorial per se, just showing the steps that got us from point A to Z.

Batten and Board Shutters

Photo courtesy of Architecturaldepot.com

So these are batten and board shutters. These you can custom order in pretty much any size and color. I plugged in our dimensions and they came to $216 a pair. Ouch. You can also buy the plastic variety from the big box stores for roughly $100 for the size we needed, and our builder wanted $145 per pair.  We just didn’t want the plastic shutters so we took the credit from our builder on the plastic ones, and decided that we would build our own. This is pretty much the easiest project you will ever do. No, really. If you can cut a straight edge and read a tape then you are half way there. There were several options at Home Depot. Cedar, Poplar, and pine. Cedar is probably the best for an outside application, but it’s pretty pricey. I didn’t want to use pine, because it’s so soft, but I happened to see this pre-primed wood. It seemed harder somehow. Maybe it’s heat dried. I don’t know, but I do that it was a huge savings. We made one set of shutters for approximately $50. We gathered our screws, wood glue, sand paper, paint and headed home. You’re probably wondering why I don’t have all this stuff in stock at home. Well, I do, it’s just all packed away. Seriously, if don’t get in this house soon, I’m going to end up in the nut house. Anyway, here are a few things we picked up.

Batten and Board Shutters

So we measured the window. It was 62″ from top to bottom, inside to inside. We knew we wanted three 1×4’s across for a total of six 1×4’s measuring 62″ long. I’ve seen anywhere from two boards to four, some with spaces, some without. It’s totally up to you.

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Using your handy dandy speed square, mark your line after finding 62″ with your tape. Double check that! Remember, measure twice cut once. If anyone is likely to screw that up, it’s me, I’m always in such a hurry to get started. Now it’s time for my favorite tool, the chop saw.

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Make all your cuts, then you can line them up and decide how big of a gap you want between the boards, if any. I made a jig using my long metal ruler and a square. I clamped them to the table in an L shape so I could pull the boards tight against the spacers. Once you determine your gaps you can measure for the batten or cross brace. Once you’ve determined that, go ahead and cut those. Now here is where you will also decide if you want two or three battens per board. We decided on two. If we notice the boards starting to warp, we may have have to add one in the middle.

So, now is probably the time to paint your board, especially if you are doing black over white. It’s so not fun trying to paint in a 1/4 inch gap once they are together. Trust me, paint first. We didn’t. We wanted to get them made so we could test them on the house. What a pain. Anyway, put the top and side of your board against the jig, put your spacers next and pull the next board tight against them. We used our finish nail gun and wood glue to hold them together long enough to flip them and put in screws from behind.

Board and Batten Shutters

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Board and Batten Shutters

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We loved it. So we headed home and made the second one. Then the fun of painting began.

Batten and Board Shutters

Looks like a three coater to me! I eventually had to move back to the garage, the sun was too hot and was drying the paint too fast. In between the first and second coat of paint I sanded with 320 grit sand paper. This helped make it super smooth.

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Coat number two really made them look great.

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So I finished my third coat and they look amazing. I will put a clear sealer on them for added protection. Oh and I have enough wood left over to make a set for a little 24″ window!

Board and Batten shutters

I love them. Unfortunately, we can’t install them until we actually close on the house. Supposedly that is the 23rd of May. We shall see. Oh and don’t judge the garage! It’s a temporary rent situation and it’s only a one car. Hard to keep neat for 7 months!!! LOL. Anyway, thanks for hanging around. Come back and I’ll show the shutters on the house once we move in. Oh, for our next project…something similar to this.

Batten and Board Shutters

Till next time…
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Creativity Unleashed Link Party

The House…So Close, Yet So Far

Hey everyone!

Well, you will NOT believe all that’s been done on the house since my last post on February 27th. We have come so far, but still have a way to go. I chronicled up to the 21st because things were happening so fast, I couldn’t keep up with them. I’ve got so many photos downloaded that I have to edit, that I was overwhelmed and didn’t do anything. Very productive of me. I can’t believe I didn’t do a single post in the month of March! Yikes. Anyway, let’s see if I can get this ball rolling again and get you updated. Ok, February 27th was my last update. Wow, I really need to get my stuff together. Here we go.

Here are both tubs installed. The bow front is in the master and the shower/tub combo is in the hall bath.

The house, so close yet so far

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Gosh I was pretty excited at that point. That was 2/27 and the house still isn’t done. The brick was started right after this. That got me really excited.

The house, so close yet so far

There is a brick skirt on both sides and the back and the front is completely bricked. I wish we could have done brick on all four sides, but it’s just too expensive.

The house, so close yet so far

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That last picture is my craft room. I just love that room. That awesome window let’s in so much light. I can’t wait to get in there. While the brick was getting done the HVAC was going in. That’s not very exciting, but let me see if I have any pictures.

The House...so close, yet so far

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See, not exciting, but a huge step closer to drywall. There are a million things that need to get done before drywall can go in. Another one of those big things is electric. This was fun to watch. I just don’t know how these guys learn all this stuff. There was wire everywhere. I actually wish I knew how it all worked.

The House...so close, yet so far

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I didn’t get many pics of the wiring, but you’ll be able to see it in other pics I’ve taken.  Up next…siding!  Yay!  This really made the house look like a house and look really awesome.

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Amazing change right? I love how the back of the house looks.

The House...So Close, Yet So Far
So that’s what it looks like done – on the outside anyway. So much more has to be done. My next post I will show you the central vac my hubby and I installed and you’ll see the insulation go in and finally the drywall. I’ll have another post for you soon, I promise.

Untill next time…
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The house, and how it’s coming along.

Hey everyone! I’ve been really absent lately and I’m real sorry about that. I’d like to say it’s because I was travelling or busy learning a new language, but unfortunately it’s neither of those things. It’s just the daily grind and I’m tired. We had a tremendous week here weather wise. One day it was 70! Are you kidding me? The weather was so good that you won’t believe how great the house is coming along. It’s amazing what a week of good weather can do. My last post was from February 9th and the walls were just going up. I also told you about a big set back. I’m only going to focus on the positive stuff this time. Huge strides were made I want to keep up that momentum.

On Monday, February 10th nothing happened at the site, but we got more snow! Oh joy. Thursday the 13th they pulled the trusses up onto the house. They did this by hand, how I don’t know. They did a little more framing inside, some headers and stuff like that. Friday the 14th, they set about half the trusses and covered some of that with OSB.

progress

progress

progress

That’s a crazy amount of wood isn’t it? That’s not even all of it. It took them one day to frame the outside walls including the windows with headers and it took them a week to frame the roof.

On Monday the 17th, they continued to put up trusses even in the pouring rain. It was starting to warm up, so nothing was freezing.
The house & how it's coming
The house, and how it's coming along.

They continued framing on the 18th. I still can’t believe how many trusses there are. The one room I can’t wait to see finished is the craft room – they don’t seem to be in any hurry to finish it!
The house, and how it's coming along.
The house, and how it's coming along.
The house, and how it's coming along.
We had more rain overnight. The steel beam was delivered for over the 2-car garage. By Wednesday, the 19th it was 99% roofed, they still have to finish over, you guessed it, the craft room! It’s really starting to look like a house now.
The house, and how it's coming along.
The house, and how it's coming along.
They finally finished the roof (including over the craft room), on the 20th and were starting to put the tar paper on. If you look closely you can see the shingles sitting on top of the roof. We’re supposed to have high winds tonight, so I hope they don’t find the shingles 6 counties away! They also delivered the windows and outside doors and those will be in today as well. Oh my, I’m getting excited.
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The house, and how it's coming along.
The house, and how it's coming along.
Looks great right? They got about 85% of the shingles up on Friday the 21st. Nothing happened on the weekend. We measured all the windows so we could start buying blinds. We also carried all the extra wood into the garage and cleaned up a ton of nails with our handy dandy magnet on a stick. I love coming over here, it’s the leaving I hate. I wish I could just stay now, even though I would freeze my ass off! I just love walking around the rooms and envisioning all our furniture in them.

Well, I think I’m going to stop here. There has been a lot done since the 21st. It’s moving so fast, I can’t keep up with it. I have more pictures to upload and edit from this past week. You will not believe all that is going on. I hope you come back and check it out.

Until next time…
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Walls and Set Backs

One of my dreams has been to build a house.  We are finally getting to realize that dream. We finally have some walls up. This is not really the way I had planned to do it.  I had always planned to use UBultIt and be my own general contractor or use a custom home builder.  Honestly, I don’t know why we didn’t go those routes.  I’m kinda kicking myself a little.  It would have been hard being my own GC as I do have a day job, so I guess the timing wasn’t right for that option.  Anyway, we went with a commercial builder.  They are pretty close to custom.  You can even move walls or change the facade and pretty much put in any finish you want.  They really have a large selection of lighting, cabinets, flooring, etc.  We didn’t do a lot of expensive upgrades, because we plan to do them ourselves.  I’ll get to blog about them AND I’ll get to stay busy.  Plus, I won’t have to finance for 30 years something that will be outdated in 10. So, this is what happened last Friday the 31st of January.

Bay Window in Eat In Kitchen
This is the bay window in the eat-in kitchen.
Butler's Pantry
This is the butler’s pantry. I wish I had a butler!

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Valentine’s in the rental house

So, if you’ve been following along from the beginning, you know my family and I are living in a rental while our house is being built. I’m sure you’ve heard me mention a time or two that all our stuff is packed up in the two back bedrooms. It’s really been a struggle, especially around the holidays. I miss having my dining room and kitchen tables to decorate. I don’t really have a lot of Valentine decorations, but every year I get a little more, especially after the holiday. Clearance anyone? Last year, I made a couple of decorations but I didn’t start the blog until March, so I thought I would show you them now and maybe a little of the stuff I’ve managed to collect over the last few years. So all the pics you see are old, by old I mean last year. They are also terrible pictures, I apologize for that. I remember in January last year, we were walking around Michael’s looking for bargains on Christmas decorations. They already had Valentine stuff out. I saw these cute little topiary’s. I guess that’s what you would call them. They were two little clay pots painted red with a glittery heart on a stick. I thought they were adorable, but at $14.99 each there was no way I was going to buy them. So I took a picture (which is on my desktop, which is packed) and decided to make them myself. So while I did take a photo of the finished product and a few steps in the middle, remember I didn’t know I was going to start a blog, so I didn’t take pictures of the items before I put them all together, so it’s going to be kind of random, but you’ll get the idea.

Anyway, I bought two terracotta pots, some red spray paint, a 1/4″ dowel, two foam hearts, some grassy, mossy stuff and a can of Great Stuff foam insulation. I spray painted the pots, the dowels and the hearts with the red paint.

hearts, red spray paint

I did the pots and dowels first, then I did the hearts. After spraying the hearts I got to play with glitter. Who doesn’t like glitter?

glitter heart

See what I mean? Glitter is fun. Have you ever used Great Stuff foam insulation in your projects?

Great Stuff Foam Insulation

Well, let me tell you, this stuff is crazy. It’s crazy sticky too, so don’t get any on you or on anything you love…trust me. It’s also pretty fun to watch it do it’s thing. So, if you don’t know what it is, I’ll tell you. It’s used in the construction industry around windows and doors etc., to stop drafts from getting in your house. There are several different “kinds” that are used in different aspects of insulating your house. It expands. You use a little and it doubles, maybe even triples in size. Then it dries hard, but it’s like air, so it’s very light. I sprayed some in the pots, and stayed well below the top so that as it expanded, it wouldn’t go over the top. I inserted the dowel so the the foam would grow around it and it would stand firm.  Like I said, this stuff is crazy.

Great Foam explosion

Funny right? It kinda looks like an ice cream cone. I could not believe how high it rose. No biggie, I just got a serrated knife and cut it off and then cut a little below the top of the pot so I could put my grassy, mossy stuff around it. So after doing surgery on the pots, I drilled a hole in the bottom of the heart, put some glue in the hole and put it on the dowel. After it dried I tied a ribbon around the dowel and put the grassy, mossy stuff around the pot. I love how they turned out.

Valentine topiary

Cute right? They turned out just like the one’s at Michael’s, but you’ll have to take my word for it, because I can’t find the picture! Anyway, they are the only thing I pulled out of storage this year. I’ve got them sitting on a piece of furniture that I got for free, that I plan to paint and hopefully sell. I’ll show you that if we ever get in the new house. Since that is all the decorating I am doing this Valentine’s, I’ll show you a little of what I did last year.

Valentine decorations; placemats

This is my kitchen table, it’s where I put the topiaries.

dining room table, red hots, valentine decorations

red hots, valentine decorations

Yep, those are red hot! I love to eat them and I love to decorate with them.

chandelier, valentine decorations

I put a few little hearts on the chandelier over the dining room table.

Banner, fireplace, Valentine decorations

This was my fireplace. I loved it. I made that banner from a free printable from the awesome girls at Shanty2Chic. Please check them out. They are incredibly talented. I’m a little jealous of them actually! They must have a lot of fun creating stuff together. I put some valentine heart stuff up there and of course a wedding picture of me and my husband. See that little Dalmatian? My good friend Laurel made him a valentine bandanna. I must not have had it yet in that picture, but here he is all decked out for Valentine’s Day.

Dalmatian wearing a valentine banner

Isn’t he cute? I wish I knew where I packed that bandanna. Like I said, I don’t have a lot of decorations yet, but I’m working on it. A little bit each year. Well, here’s hoping I’m in the new house by next year and I can decorate again. I’ll have my craft room back and hopefully will be able to create some new goodies. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ll be back and watch as the construction unfolds. Leave me a comment and let me know what you’ve got going on for Valentine’s Day.

Until next time…

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