During the pandemic, I got back into a hobby I’d really enjoyed as a kid, collecting sports cards. The hobby has changed a lot since then, with much higher prices for cards and many more high end autographed and memorabilia cards to chase. I wanted to make a space to display the cards, and the library seemed like a natural fit. Here are some initial photos of what will likely evolve into a much larger project as my collection expands.
One of the main uses I’d envisioned for the new three season room was watching sports with all of the windows open, so we could have fresh air and the feeling of being outside will being shielded from the sun and the rain. The challenge to this is that all of the walls for fully windowed, and I didn’t want to block any views with a TV (at least when not in use). My solution was to install a motorized TV mount, that would lift the TV out of a cabinet when needed, while allowing it to sit below the window frames when not in use.
After the TV and the motorized mount were installed, I had to figure out a cabinet setup. I ended up buying a bookcase from Wayfair that was the right size, with the intention of modifying it to fit my needs. I first assembled the bookcase frame, leaving out the shelves and the back. By leaving out the back, the TV could still be used while in its lowered position, which is great if you just want to have it on in the background while people are hanging out in the room.
This just left the question of how to allow the TV to lift up out of the cabinet. Instead of going with a complicated hinge system, I decided to simply cut the top of the shelf, and then anchor the back of the shelf into the wall to make up for the lost structural integrity.
After some additional work to conceal cables and wire all of the accessories in neatly, the end result worked really well!
My wife and I have used the new setup a lot in the past few weeks, especially as fall weather arrives. The cats are big fans of relaxing with us while watching TV too.
After a short delay, the remaining finishing touches have been put on the three season room. The baseboard trim is done, as are the window and door casings. The last little bit of siding work is done, and the gutters and downspouts are in place along with the remaining fascia boards. With this final polish, the project is done, and I’m very proud of how it turned out!
In addition to the three season room itself, the grill and patio furniture are also in place.
There are a few remaining ancillary tasks to take care of (installing the hot tub and TVs, for example), but for now we’re enjoying spending time in the three season room and on the deck, as are the cats.
Now that the main construction is done, I’ve been able to reclaim the guest house garage for the truck and the Range Rover, and I’ve also been able to fully whip the lawn into shape.
While the deck and three season room project isn’t completely done, it’s definitely getting close. Over the past couple of weeks, the three season room has turned into an actual building, complete with windows, doors, siding, and a (mostly) done interior.
While the interior still needs trim, window casings, and some other minor touches, having the shiplap painted and the furniture plus other decor in place makes it feel like a pretty complete room.
I’ve also got the railing done, and the deck furniture set up.
We had a party last weekend, and our guests were able to use the space and enjoy it. The cats have also really enjoyed sitting out there and looking out the windows.
In August, I’ll wrap up the project with the new hot tub, new TV’s, the remaining trim work, and the outdoor kitchen. It will be a lot of fun to see the vision I had for this project during the winter fully realized!
The theater rug and risers for the back row finally came after a couple of months of waiting, so I was able to get this project fully done. The risers make a dramatic difference in the viewing experience from the rear row of seats, and the rug brightens up the room and pairs well with the dark floors and walls.
As part of the massive deck and three season room construction project, I wanted to remove all of the existing pavers (including the walkway around the garage) and replace them with newly poured, stamped concrete. I was introduced to a contractor named Concrete Keith, and he and his team did a phenomenal job. First, they removed the pavers, along with bushes that were along the side of the house and were at the end of their life.
After that, they brought in dirt to change the slope of the hill so that water will run away from the house. Once that was done, they got to work pouring, stamping, and sealing the new concrete.
After the concrete was done, we brought in river rock to replace the rock that had been dug up along the side of the house. I also mulched along the other side of the walkway and put in a barrier between the grass and the mulch, and planted grass seed to replace some of the grass that had been torn up.
When I planned out the deck project, I hadn’t even considered what an amazing difference the new concrete would make. It’s truly transformed the side of the house, along with the upper and lower patios around the new deck!
Now that the landscaping situation at the Verona house is mostly under control for the summer, I’ve started tackling the lake house. I’m not trying to plant a lawn, but I wanted to beat back some of the ground cover, especially the poison ivy, that had taken over the areas around the house. The first step was to go crazy with a weed whacker, and then to blast everything with a combination of ground clear weed killer and anti poison ivy spray. Over a period of several weeks I did this multiple times, and it ended with the ground being mostly clear.
After that, I got to work laying down mulch around the walkways and planters, which both looks nice and also will hopefully help keep future ground cover growth at bay.
I took a break for a couple of weeks for a trip to Vegas and also worked on some other projects around the Verona house, but as we head into July I’m going to lay down more mulch and then plant some decorative bushes in the planters.
As mentioned in a prior post, the big project I was planning for spring was demolishing the old deck and building a new, larger, composite deck, along with a three season room, an outdoor kitchen space, and an improved hot tub patio with a new hot tub and outdoor TVs. The first actual step in the construction process was to demolish the old deck, which went fairly quickly.
Next, concrete and diamond pier footings for the new deck posts went into the ground, along with the posts themselves.
In a huge, multi-person effort with the help of a skid steer, the main central beam was installed. It’s a massive piece of wood that weighs over a thousand pounds, so it was no small thing to get it into place.