Building Retaining Walls, a Concrete Path, and Steps

In this post, we share the steps for creating retaining walls, a 7-foot wide concrete path, and steps to our dock. This is a major project and beyond our skill level and capacity (we also don’t own a bobcat) so we hired an experienced contractor. However, Neal did all the electrical. He and I also built the steps, ramp, and railing, and all the finishing work.

Continue reading “Building Retaining Walls, a Concrete Path, and Steps”

Removing our RV Dinette and Replacing with a Table and Chairs

We sold our smaller camper and purchased a slightly bigger camper. We purchased a used 2018 Grand Design Imagine 2600RB and really like the size (for two of us and our dog Daisy) and layout.

Continue reading “Removing our RV Dinette and Replacing with a Table and Chairs”

How to Install Barn Wood on a Porch Ceiling

How to install old barn wood on your ceiling. We installed old barn wood on our front porch ceiling. This blog post shares step-by-step directions so you can install old barn wood on your porch ceiling or any ceiling.

We added old barn wood to our front porch ceiling. Click HERE to see how we previously installed barn wood on our lakeside porch ceiling.

Below is a BEFORE picture of our front porch (before we installed barn wood on our ceiling).

Below is our front porch decorated for fall AFTER we installed the barn wood on the ceiling.

Continue reading “How to Install Barn Wood on a Porch Ceiling”

DIY Hog Wire Deck Railing

Our deck and deck railing needed to be replaced. Because we live on a lake, we wanted to use wire so as not to obstruct our view of the lake. We researched several options and decided to install hog wire deck railing. Actually, we learned through this process that we wanted to use sheep/goat wire. It consists of 4×4 squares. (Hog wire consists of rectangles and cattle wire consists of larger rectangles.) We purchased the sheep/goat wire panels from Tractor Supply Company. We purchased all the treated lumber from Ace Hardware and were pleased with the quality.

This DIY deck railing project has totally transformed our deck and YES, we have a great view of the lake. Continue reading “DIY Hog Wire Deck Railing”

Redoing Our Deck by Flipping the Boards

In 2011, we purchased our lake house. In 2013, we renovated and added an addition. Our deck is original to the house and we have been contemplating what to do with our deck for several years. We considered replacing the wood with composite, but that is so expensive and not in our budget yet. Continue reading “Redoing Our Deck by Flipping the Boards”

How to Build an Exterior Barn Door

This blog post describes the process we used to build a barn door for our dock closet; however, the same steps apply to building a barn door for any room in your house. The only difference is that we used treated wood and plywood.

If you don’t want to build a barn door,, the largest sliding barn door manufacturer in America located in Collegeville, PA is a great source for barn doors.

Here is our dock closet before building/installing our barn door. Neal purchased all of our supplies from Home Depot.


    • treated (if exterior) plywood the size of the door
    • 8 (may need more or less depending on the size of your door) 1×6 treated boards
    • Gorilla glue
    • Deckmate screws (the length depends on the combined thickness of your boards and plywood)
    • barn door hardware
  • Tools:
    • set of saw horses
    • tape measurer
    • chalk reel
    • circular saw
    • miter saw
    • table saw
    • square
    • 2 long clamps
    • 2 small clamps
    • Drill
    • Starrett protractor
    • Long level (optional)
    • planer
    • sander or sandpaper

Note: This material/tool list does not include the door trim.

We started by measuring this treated plywood and cutting it the size we need. It will be the frame for the door. The height will be 84 inches and the width will be 42 inches. Continue reading “How to Build an Exterior Barn Door”

Camper Makeover

We purchase a used 2012 Passport Express Super Lite travel trailer by Keystone in January 2017 from Camping World in Anniston, Alabama.

I am not sure why I have always had an obsession with campers. Perhaps it is the idea of being able to pack up whatever you need in your “house” and hit the road. It just seems so freeing . . . and it really it! It forces me to STOP working, doing laundry, and checking off my “To Do” list. It forces me to relax, enjoy the moment, and recharge my battery.

Our favorite place to “camp” is Gulf Shores State Park. We have thoroughly enjoyed each trip and lost count of the times we have visited there. Continue reading “Camper Makeover”