Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Outdoor Furniture!

A couple years ago I got this idea in my head that I wanted to build something by myself. I follow quite a few DIYer's and in the process of following one I found these plans for an outdoor sectional. I have always wanted an outdoor sectional, but they are SO expensive! Plus they are usually made of some sort of lightweight metal or wicker. I wanted something that was heavy that wouldn't move around when you sat down or wouldn't fly away in a wind storm. I also never like the cushions that come with the furniture you buy as a set. They are always plain colors like beige and they are only a couple inches thick so you know they aren't going to be very durable! 

Fast forward a couple years to when we were shopping for all the wood we would need to rebuild our deck and I decided I was going to go for it! I've explained it to people like this....right before I turned 35 I had this goal that popped into my head and I decided I wanted to run 35 minutes straight before I turned 35. I started running in May and before my birthday in September I actually ran 37 minutes straight. After that I quit running! I met my goal! This is kind of like that....I've had this goal to build something by myself to prove that I could do it so I wanted to set out to accomplish that goal. 

I also wanted to be safe though so I waited until the kids were on summer break so someone could call 911 if so some reason I needed their services! :) 

I decided on the week of June 24th as my building week. The night prior I had Michael show me everything I needed to know about the tools I was using....the chop saw and the cordless drill. I specifically wanted to do all the work while Michael was at work so I wouldn't be able to ask for help. I did end up calling him once, but that was only because I couldn't figure out how to get the saw to open up...it was stuck shut. He had to tell me where the lock pin was so I could pull it out. 

Here's all my tools! 

The plans I used are from Ana White...she is amazing! She lists out everything you need to build, with pictures and the plans are free! 

The first thing I did was start cutting all my boards to size. 

Once I was done cutting I had to clean up my work area. I can't stand working when there is a bunch of sawdust everywhere!!! 

Then I started screwing things together. This is one of the legs. The reason I really loved this design plan was the simplicity of it. It only requires you to make straight cuts, it's all the same wood...2x4's and you use all the same screws.

Here's the frame! 

Next up was attaching the frame to the legs. As you can see by the holes on that top piece of wood I had originally screwed in the frame level with the legs, but that was wrong. The nice thing is....screws can come out! 

The screws that Michael bought for the deck were the same screws I needed to use, but they ended up being almost too long. I had to be really careful not to over tighten them or they would poke through. You can just barely see one of the screws trying to come through in the above picture. 

Monday, June 24th...I build a coffee table! It was so much fun!!! It only took me a couple of hours and it was really an easy first build! When Michael got home that night I met him in the garage wiggling my fingers showing him that they were all still there! :) 

On Tuesday, June 25th I wanted to move onto the next project....building a couch. 

All the wood cut and ready to go! The plans call for you to use cedar which smells amazing! It's not the cheapest wood, but it's so pretty! 

My friend Margie came over to hang out with me so she got some pictures. It was the same sort of process....build the legs and then the frame. Screw it all together and there you go! 

Jack, Hansi and I hanging out on the new couch! 

After getting the cushions on I realized that nothing was going to keep them from sliding off the sides. That when I decided to alter her design and add in some side pieces. You can see in the above picture how I placed another piece of wood to keep the cushions in. 

The cushions are my favorite!!! I love turquoise!!! I got these at Lowe's and they are the most expensive part of the whole project. I think I spent about $550 on cushions and pillows. But....they are really nice quality cushions. They are at least 4 inches thick and I got them in a color I love. Someone asked if I made them and I probably could have, but it would have cost me the same if not more to do that. The foam is not cheap and outdoor fabric is spendy...plus I don't have time for that! :) 

On Wednesday, June 26th I build another couch, but this time I only put an arm on one side of the couch. That was so it could fit together with the other couch and become a sectional. 

Ta Da!!! 

I got the fun outdoor rug at Lowe's as well! I LOVE it!!! I was so excited and empowered that I built that! Seriously if you have a dream to do something then do it! It's such a great feeling to accomplish your dream! 

A few hours after I took this picture we had some major rain coming our way so I had the boys help me move the couch under the covered area of our deck. Even though it's outdoor furniture I didn't want it to get soaked before I even had time to enjoy it! 

The very next day I took some time to sit on my furniture and read! It was so nice!!! 

Even though the kids were having some time on their Kindles they decided to come out and sit with me...that is until the Wifi signal wasn't the best! 

After seeing the furniture set up under the covered area I decided that I actually liked it that way. It will save my cushions from being exposed as much to the elements and we have an umbrella for our table so we might as well use that. However after seeing the furniture like that I decided I should build something else as well. This was my adaptation of Ana White's coffee table. I just changed the measurements to work for what I wanted. I also had to go back to the hardware store and get a few more boards. 

Those are some pretty tall legs. 

Because this is my design there were a few things that didn't work out the way I thought they would, but in the end it turned out nice! 

Unlike the coffee table I decided to add lower braces to the legs since the table was so tall. 

Here's the table in it's final location. I though it would be a nice addition behind the couch. 

This is the exact view you see when you come out of our dining room onto the deck. I think this table is going to come in handy when we have BBQ's!

Our next big project is rebuilding the deck so we'll be focusing on that for the next few weeks. I will eventually stain the furniture. Right now I'm thinking a color called Kona. I love dark rich brown colored stain. Michael wants to stain the deck a natural cedar color so the contrast will look amazing.