Projects, Plans & How To

This website houses an account of basically everything I’ve built or fixed on a house since 2004. Crazy, right? Early on (which was literally before YouTube was a thing, and the best information you could find about building houses on the internet was buried in old contractors message boards) I wrote a lot of “How To” articles. You can see those below, but seriously? The internet has changed and you can find a video of how to do literally anything on YouTube these days.

In the last 5-6 years the shit I write is more philosophical in nature because hey, it’s my website and I can do what I want with it.

Still, if you’re looking for projects, here is by no means a comprehensive list of some shit I have built in the last 14 years or so…


Things I Build When I’m Not Building Houses


Pottery Barn Inspired Vanity – Plan and instructions for building a $1400 Pottery Barn vanity for $400.

Quick & Fun Wood Toolboxes – Because you can never have too many tools, or places to store them.

Moonshine Bottles Turned Lamps – How to drill a hole in a glass jug and wire it up to be a lamp.

Paper Filing Crate From Pallets – Make rustic paper filing crates from old wood on the cheap.

Rustic Wood Wall Art – Made from some weathered door jambs in the scrap wood pile and a wood stain marker.

Picnic Table with Detached Benches – Plan and tips for a great little picnic table with detached benches (for maximum flexibility) and no exposed fasteners on top.

Raised Cedar Garden Beds – 4×8′ raised garden beds built with rough-sawn cedar.

DIY Spice Jar Labels – Pretty much just what it sounds like, includes downloadable PDF and InDesign file.

Pottery Barn Inspired Pinboard – Plans and instructions for building a PB inspired pinboard with sliding chalkboard.



Things About Building Houses

In 2009 I decided to give up “renovation” projects and go for broke by DIY a 900 square foot addition to my house while living in a garage with two cats and an engineer. Crazy? Yes. But I sure learned a lot.


DIY House Addition: Building a House From The Ground Up – A high-level overview of house-building basics.

DIY House Addition: House Plans – Save your sanity (for a little bit longer) and hire an architect.


DIY House Addition: Building Permits – Hint: They aren’t optional.


DIY House Addition: Foundation


DIY House Addition: Framing – It’s like linkin logs, only bigger and with more rules.

How to Properly Flash & Trim Windows – Teamwork is killer key.


For a month-by-month account of DIYing the house addition, check out these posts:


DIY House Addition: Month 1 Wrap-up

DIY House Addition: Month 3 Wrap-up

DIY House Addition: Month 4 Wrap-up

DIY House Addition: Month 6 Wrap-up

DIY House Addition: Month 7 Wrap-up

DIY House Addition: Month 8 Wrap-up

DIY House Addition: Month 9 Wrap-up


DIY House Addition: Month 11 Wrap-Up

DIY House Addition: Month 14 Wrap-Up



How To: Around the Home

How to Cope Crown Molding Using a Dremmel

How to Install a Tongue-and-groove Wood Ceiling

How to Install a Sink Faucet

How to Replace a Sink Disposal

Drywall 101: Hanging Wallboard by Yourself

Drywall 101: Finishing Drywall Joints (Tips From a Pro)

Drywall 101: Using Joint Compound for a Stucco Wall Finish

How to Make a Sink Base out of a Regular Cabinet

Tile 101: The Basics of DIY Tiling (Any kind, anywhere)

Tile 101: How to Lay Floor Tile

Tile 101: How to Lay Wall Tile

Tile 101: How to Build and Tile Counters

How to Install a Woven Wire Fence

Build a Badass Pergola – I haven’t condensed this into a succinct post yet, but you can see the end result by clicking that link, or read the story from the beginning by starting here.

How to Patch Mortar Joints– Alternatively titled “Making Masons Cringe.”

How to Keep People Out (By Changing Door Hardware)

How to Replace a Wireless Doorbell

DIY diva