Projects, Plans & How To

The stuff I write about on this website can be roughly separated into four categories: Things About Building Houses, Things I Build When I’m Not Building Houses, How To Do Things Yourself So You Don’t Have To Bury a Contractor In The Back Yard, and General Badassery.

Eh, that last one is probably hit or miss, actually. The truth is this website contains seven years of projects, learning experiences, and life lessons, and I haven’t taken the time to organize all of it because I’m too busy making big messes in my workshop. I have tried to collect the most popular (and useful) projects below though, and if you don’t see what you’re looking for, try the category drop down in the sidebar or shoot me an email.


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 Walk-In Shower Series

DIY Walk-In Shower: Step 1-Framing

DIY Walk-In Shower: Step 2- Lining


DIY diva