Duo Ventures

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Nursery: Board & Batten Wall Install

The first project we tackled from our nursery design plan was the board & batten wall.  It was actually a fairy simple & inexpensive project that really transformed the space & gave it some character.

There are a lot of tutorials out there on how to install a board & batten wall, so I'll just detail our experience in regards to how we planned & executed this project.

Here's a before shot of what used to be the guest room (please excuse the mess):

First off, we had to decide on a grid pattern.  I had always really liked the wall that Sarah installed in her guest bedroom, so that was our main inspiration.

With that grid pattern in mind, we measured the height & width of our wall to figure out how many boards we would need.  Our sketch looked something like this:

The spaces between the boards are not perfectly square, but it will look OK to the naked eye.

After we had our measurements, we headed to Lowe's & bought eight 12 foot long primed 1" x 4" boards (as you can see in our sketch, the actual board width is 3.5", not 4").  We decided to go with primed boards instead of raw wood boards because the raw pine had many surface imperfections & it would have required more finishing work in the end.  The boards were originally $9.46 each, but we had a coupon & got them for $8.51 each.

We started by removing the baseboard for board & batten wall only (we kept our original baseboards around the rest of the room).  To do this, we ran a knife along the top of the baseboard, before prying it off with a crow bar:

To attach the boards, we used a combo of liquid nails & a nail gun (with 1-1/4" nails):

We started by installing the horizontal bottom base board & top board.  Afterwards, we attached the vertical left & right boards.  It's important to measure each board individually because walls are rarely, if ever, perfectly square & level.  In our case, each board was a slightly different length:

Here's a close up of the corner - it looked rough at this point, but caulk & joint compound can fix just about anything:

Next, we centered the vertical middle board on the wall:

From there, we centered the right, then left board (again, measuring the height individually before cutting them):

At this point, my dad cut a "spacer" board which would ensure consistent spacing.  He also used a scrap piece of wood to lightly hammer the horizontal boards into place when it was a tight fit:

Once we got going, the whole project moved pretty quickly.

Here it is all finished (but before caulk & joint compound):

Next, we began covering up all the seams, gaps, & imperfections using paintable caulk & joint compound:

We used the paintable caulk to cover all the seams where the boards met the wall, using a finger to smooth out the caulk.  It's also a good idea to have a piece of cardboard or a rag handy so you can wipe off all that excess caulk:

You can see the difference that caulk makes in covering up all the gaps:

Next, we used joint compound to fill in the nail holes & any gaps where board met board:

Once everything was dry, I sanded the drywall mud until everything was smooth.  That was it!

Next up, paint!


Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Garage: Ceiling Storage

While finishing the nursery is our main priority right now, we are also working on a couple of organizational projects in the garage.  We installed a peg board last January, but we haven't touched the rest of the garage since then.

Before we installed the peg board, we had to shift all the shelving units to the right & next to the wall in order to fit the 3 pegboard panels on the left side of the wall (where that white wire shelf unit is located in the photo).  That meant all the wood, drywall, & extra building materials that were stuffed in that gap had to come out:

Since then, all those extra building materials have been leaning on the wall & scattered throughout the garage - taking up space & looking very cluttered.

  First, my dad helped me sort through everything to determine what was 'trash' versus 'keep' & then we discussed a storage solution.  I knew I wanted to take advantage of our ceiling for storage - particularly in the space between the ceiling & the garage door track (we do not use a garage door opener @ this point so that's a non-issue).

Apologies in advance for the poor lighting & photo documenting of the building process - I should have moved the giant piece of 2" x 8" & drywall off of the garage door rails so you could see better.  Anyways, this is the area I'm talking about:

The first thing my dad did was find the studs in the ceiling:

After taking some measurements, he designed a simple storage solution - all made out of 2 x 4's.  We made a list of what we needed, ran to Home Depot for supplies, & started building.

He cut 2 long pieces and then:
(1) attached a middle brace piece on each board
(2) pre-drilled some holes in the long boards (to attach them to the ceiling):

Then he screwed them into the studs:

(don't mind that piece of wood on the left end of the board he's attaching - he used it for measurement purposes):

Next, he attached 2 more of the long boards to the bottom of the middle pieces:

Finally, he screwed in shorter pieces to all four ends:

That was it!  Then we just slid all the materials into the our new storage solution:

On the left side, we stored some plywood, wire shelves, & a longer 2" x 4".
We placed all the smaller scrap sheets of drywall & trim on the right side:

Here it is with the garage door open:

A couple of important notes:
1.  we chose to keep the left side of the opening wide enough to accommodate a 4' x 8' stock sheet of plywood, etc.
2.  make sure your garage door will still open - on our first test run, the garage door wouldn't open because the door handle was jutting out
3.  keep in mind that you most likely will not be able to install a garage door opener with this specific ceiling storage configuration

It was a small project, but makes all the difference by clearing up a lot of wall & floor space for us!

In our next garage project, we'll be installing a wall track system (like this or this) to get the rest of those miscellaneous items up & off of the floor and out of the way...