Sunday, July 31, 2011

build a dining room in the garden

Saturday, Wayne built a little dining room in the back yard.  It's a cheap room add on at about $130 dollars and some definite sweat equity.  The temps were in the mid 90's with humidity at about 80%.  We'd had the table/umbrella/chairs sitting on the lawn, but wanted to define a space for them.  Eventually, there will be a deck, but that's expensive...not in the budget right now.

We bought four twelve foot 4x4s, some weed block cloth ($19 for 120x4' at Sam's Club), and 10 bags of eucalyptus mulch.  We had some extra 4x4's, shorter ones, left over from other projects.  Wayne decided to use those for a small graduated wall on one corner of the 'room'.  We use eucalyptus mulch because it is made from an invasive species, it repels bugs, it smells nice, and it stays in place better than other types of wood mulch.  It costs a little more.  I also really hate that red dyed stuff everyone seems to be using these days.  Am I the only one?

First, mow the lawn.  Then, Wayne half-lapped the ends of the 4x4's, laying them out on the newly cut grass.  Half-lap is where you cut half the thickness of the wood on both ends, just as deep as the 4x4.  Here's a picture of the half-lap join on the corner.
From Garden
Next he used the weed whacker to cut the grass in the square as close to the ground as possible.  He laid the weed block cloth on top and secured it.
From Garden
Using 3-1/2" stainless steel exterior screws, he fastened the corners together.  On the far corner of the room, he built a pyramid-like wall with the old 4x4s, alternating the ends and securing those with ceramic coated 8' timber screws.  This way, it can easily be deconstructed when we eventually build that dining room deck.
From Garden
Next add mulch, furniture, a few plants and Chopper, the watch dog.
From Garden
That's 144 square feet less grass to mow.  The area is right next to the pond, so it's another nice little sitting area where you can hear the water.  There are great books on making outdoor living spaces like Sunset's Complete Deck Book.  In that book, you can read how to properly lay out a patio or deck.  We, however, make up our own rules.  We are rebels.  We do not follow the rules. 
From Garden

No comments: