Newer, Better and Completely Functional

Although we have made a lot of changes on the project house aka Love Shack, none of it is very picture worthy.

We put in a new AC and heating system with full duct work. We completed the second plumbing rough and it’s wonderful to be able to turn the water on from inside. The septic was decommissioned and we’re hooked up to the city sewage and water now. After ripping out all the wiring we (Rick) rewired the full house and passed the second electrical rough. We (Rick) completed the framing and now can see what the interior looks like. We were very relieved to pass all the mechanical inspections.



I wasn’t just standing around looking pretty, I was outside pressure washing the exterior – a job I thought would take one day and it took weeks. I have also been grinding down the chunky globs of mortar from days gone by and I’m grinding along the edges of the new block that we had installed. I plan to use a router afterwards to create even block indentations so when we paint it wont show the seams from the mortar lines.



Concurrently, the house we live in, just two minutes away from the project house needed some maintenance/repair work and we had to take a break to attend to the repairs.

During the last hurricane, a minor leak in an old roof got worse and we were also concerned about the weight bearing aspect of the roof after so much rain which to puddled on top. Though it was not on our “to do” list, we realized we could no longer put off replacing the aluminum roof. We had just put a new roof on the house and asked if they could do the patio at the same time but they did not do aluminum work.



I’d always considered that room to be a wasted space. I had a little corner of it where I had set up a table chairs along with all of my houseplants. Since Rick always viewed it as a store room it wasn’t a pleasant space to sit in…but I had visions and I had plans! It’s a huge room that runs across most of the back end of the house, with a half wall made of block. And during the hurricanes, it was the only way we could see what was happening outside due to boarding up the house windows.

We gave up on the idea to have a contractor do it when all the quotes came out to be almost as much as the new roof cost. The cheapest we found was for 10K and that was only a roof replacement that did not include fixing any of the earlier contractors errors. So we figured we could do it ourselves…for half the cost.

This is what the patio looked like, note the aluminum supports in the middle and the corroded ceiling. It actually looked much worse before we removed most of the junk that was stored in there.

Next was the demolition of the old roof and here is Rick showing me he is still my super hero! Because it was raining a lot, we had to covered it with a roofing tarp and after a week of rain we were able to get back to the project.




Since we had gone this far we decided to do this one right. The contractor errors were fixed. All the walls were painted inside and out – there was more pressure washing to do on the outside, again! It’s a good thing I like to play in the water. The french door grids (where a dog from the earlier owner chewed up the bottom) were replaced, as was the exterior entrance door and the floors were scrubbed back to white. Those were my jobs although Rick hung the new door.

Rick did all the contractor repairs, the new framework and finish work which took up the majority of the time. He also replaced the screen with a white privacy screen which I think gave it a really nice clean look. The roof panels themselves were the easiest part and only took about a half hour to put up…and there are no more supports in the middle of the room! The final touch is having Rick create a partial wall so that I could have a nice patio room where I could exercise, tend to my houseplants and enjoy the back garden…




and he could have a place to store his tools…where I didn’t have to see them.




Even the outside looks great with the new screens, fresh paint and power washed pavers with flowers in the bed. Though it took a bit of sweat, okay…a lot of sweat, we were able to have a much nicer final product by doing the work ourselves…at half the cost!

What was once the ugliest room in the house is now the nicest and I spend every day in it…it’s my zen place. I officially have my girl cave!