Monday, February 9, 2015

Building a Front Stoop and Laying Sod

Late start here.  We have been waiting all day today for a contractor…grr!!  So let me take you to last week when we decided to work on the front door area.  Ah…once again too many choices and nothing seems perfect.  First we thought about doing pavers on the whole front door area, then we thought that would be too much.  Then we thought maybe we can do a paver step up and our usual rock gardens on the side.  That didn't work out because the gardens would have been too big.  Then we thought about having concrete poured on the whole front area…then thought that would be "too" much concrete.  It seems almost every decision in this house is very confusing, lol.  We decided to build a wood front stoop and fill the rest in with sod.  It is the fastest fix for now and we just need to clean it up.

I set Niki's bed up outside so she can enjoy being outside with us.  She likes to watch and do little woofs at the boaters:

We got the pressure treated wood to make the stoop.  Out comes all the tools….saws, compressor, air house, tape measure, etc.  Sometimes we spend more time on the set up and clean up.

Since we built the floor up on the inside of the house we also have to make an outside step.  We are building and installing a 3x8 front stoop.  Mike starts getting the boards in place:

Next we took up the weed cloth that was down and raked it out.  Now we can see how it will look.

Seeing where we can nail it into the house:

Sadly after nailing the boards to the house there just wasn't enough wood on the house to nail to and it was too weak.  We had to adjust and use concrete screws and screw it into the house itself.

We are a bit low on the front so Mike is using one of our big concrete blocks and cutting them into small squares to use to lift the front.  That will give the stoop a solid and even base:

Putting a block under the front corner:

And laying the boards across the top:

Mike nails the top boards in place:

The front stoop is finished.  Now we have to wait for the wood to dry out and we will either stain it or paint it.  Add a couple of pots with flowers on each side, the door trim, and sod and it should look good:

The next decision.  We went back and forth about the front door glass.  We talked about curtains but we wanted to have light, privacy and also be able to see outside at the same time.  Mini blinds are the only thing that will work for everything we want.  So I ordered samples of different colors for cordless mini blinds.  We took our measurements and our four windows and I called the company.  They wanted an outrageous amount of money.  I think it was about $300.00 for 4 small windows.  Mike and I decided to just stick with Lowe's and get the white ones they have in stock.  We had them cut, brought them home and the woman cut them wrong.  Ugg!!  So back we went had new ones cut and now Mike is doing his favorite job, ha ha, installing them.  Once he got them all installed he has to take out all of the extra slats from the bottoms.  That job is no fun at all.  There are extra slats all over:

After the slats are taken out, Mike stuffs the cord back in and puts on the nub that holds the cord inside:

In the meantime we ordered a pallet of sod.  The day we were supposed to pick it up it rained and the farm did not cut any.  The next day they cut and we went to pick up our pallet of sod.  It was a little heavier than expected because the sod was saturated from the rain.  We had to get extra air in our trailer tires on the way home just to make it home.  Mike was so happy to save the money on the delivery and I said but it took a week off my life with worrying about not blowing a tire on the way home, lol.  Either way we made it:)

Our load of sod:

Mike rakes out our area:

While I start unloading:

Laying the sod:

Mike cuts in the smaller pieces:

The new front of the house is done and along the side.  Mike waters the fresh sod:

Now for the next side.  Mike brings the Jeep and trailer over to the back of the house and I start laying the full pieces while Mike cuts the pieces that need to be cut:.  

Oh no…we ran out of sod.  We still have to do around the entire side of the house behind the kitchen and dining room, all along the den side, and in front of the garage.  That pallet went much faster than we thought it would:

The back and side is done.  We rushed to finish before the rain came and it's a good thing we did.  It rained that night and the next day:

Things are starting to get cleaned up.  We do plan on adding a curb along the side that is seen from the driveway.  We will add some kind of tropical plants there.  We also need to get more sod…ugg!!  Well it's not really that bad of a job.  It took Mike and I are few hard hours of work and we were done.

That's all for now.  Still here waiting for a contractor.  I doubt they will show.  If they do I will have an interesting story to tell next week.

Have a great week and I will write again on Monday.



  1. I just love how Niki has you bring out her bed, and then lays on the grass...LOL!!

    The deck looks great, though I think I might have just gotten some bricks (those that you threw into the water for the boat ramp) instead of spending all that time and electricity cutting that paver....though I know that Mike likes to play with his toys...LOL!!

    You guys were lucky with that trailer of sod. More than likely, you were way over the safe load for those tires or the trailer axle. Been there, done that!! I had an old Ford F-250 with 4' plywood sides that we decided to fill with saw dust for horse bedding. After all, saw dust is light, right? Wrong....256 cubic feet of it is HEAVY!, and when we got down to drive it home, all 4 tires were practically flat to the ground. I had to go really slow for about a mile, until we could get to a gas station for air to fill them up. I imagine you had the same thoughts as you were searching for air with the trailer!

    The place is really coming along, and those blinds look good, and I think they will be practical too.

    One other thought...since you were worried about having to clean out the gutters all the time, how about getting those gutter guards? It may not be 100% efficient, but it may cut the clean up to a couple of times a year.

    1. Yeah Niki has me wrapped around her little paws, lol.

      But the cut squares of block were so much neater:)

      It's scary when you are overloaded and I'm sure we were.

      I think no matter what we do to the gutters we will have to check them quite often. The moss is some sticky stuff and when it comes down on the gutters it blocks up everything,

    2. looking good Lisa & Mike!!!!! Hi to sweet Nik :)
      Love following your stories---you guys rock!!!


    3. Thank you. We are slowing down though.

  2. All is looking great. Love seeing the outside getting pretty too! Say canning here was a concern for you so I thought I would share what I just saw on FB.........Electric water bath canner, no stove needed! It was advertised by Bell, so am assuming that they make it.


    1. Thank you for that. I looked it up:) I think I will try my camp stove first. Mike and I just unpacked my jars…oh my I have some work to do, lol.

  3. It really is looking nice. I think you all will like it once all of this is over and you get some time to relax. I am a flower and garden person but I like the idea of running the grass right up to the house at this time. The blinds look great.
    Cut and hang the bananas, they will ripen if they are far enough along. Do you have squirrels ? If you have a screened area, hang them there.
    Thx for sharing.


    1. Thank you. We actually have a lot of shade on this lot which will be good in the summer. I think Mike and I will be fighting over the one area that gets the most sun…him for his solar panels and me for my garden, lol.

      Oh yes…we have a ton of squirrel. Ugh….different place and different critter problems.

      I do need to cut down the one batch of bananas and see what they do. I was drooling at the store the other day. I saw an avocado tree, a kumquat tree, and citrus trees:)