When we purchased our home 11 years ago, the back yard was a barren wasteland. There was no plant life, only a pit of red clay. Many people have the luxury of planting their yards immediately after moving in. The mechanic and I did not have that luxury. We had major erosion problems. We live in a neighborhood where each neighbor’s yard sits progressively higher than the next. The yard to the right has rain runoff into our yard, and our yard erodes onto the property to the left of us. You get the picture. We kept putting topsoil dressing on our yard to only have it wash off into our “lower neighbor’s” yard. This is the solution that I came up with, which caused much moaning and groaning from the mechanic. I had just undergone some minor surgery and could not help lift the 50lbs bags for this project; however, I did dig the ditch.
It was a long, deep ditch too. I needed the bottom of the ditch to be level with my neighbor’s yard. Clay-type soil is often baked into a hard crust, and is difficult to break apart with a shovel.
I was extremely nervous. I was not positive that my “concrete retaining wall” idea would work, and the mechanic had just started putting the bags in. I did not let the anxiety show on my face.
We decided to place the first layer of concrete bags on their sides to help hold the loose soil. The mechanic loved it when I decided we needed two more rows of concrete bags placed on top of that bottom row.
Once all the bags were in place, I watered the wall daily for four days. I could hardly wait to rip the paper off of the concrete. I even got a bit impatient waiting on the top row to harden. I poked a hole large enough to fit the water hose nozzle in and filled each bag with water. Looking back, I should have been more patient. You can see the holes that were made in the concrete. If I do this again, I will continue to water all the bags daily, until they are all hard. The wall didn’t need to be pretty because it does not show. My planting beds are in front and the fence is behind it. RESULTS? We had torrential downpours since this wall went in, and we no longer lose topsoil in our neighbors yard. The retaining wall works! This makes me breathe a sigh of relief because I don’t have an issue with the mechanic.
Mr. Mechanic and I started by purchasing two 4-x-8 plywood sheets from Lowe’s. We needed to shiplap a 6×6 wall and one board would have left us two shiplap boards short. (Now I have extra boards for my next shiplap project.) The plywood we purchased is sized at 96 inches by 48 inches and cost $13.48 for each sheet. By cutting the plywood into 6 inch wide planks we knew that we could get 8 boards per plywood sheet! The nice folks at Lowe’s cut these boards into 6 inch wide strips for us! The plywood we chose is pre-primed and looks pink! Check out the plywood link to see exactly what we purchased. If you’re a military family like us, don’t forget to get your 10% military discount at Lowe’s.
We used a stud finder to find and mark our wall studs. I drew a pencil line from top to bottom where the studs were. We wanted to make sure that all of our nails would go into a stud.
Making sure that our plank was level, we nailed it to the studs. (the pencil marks for our studs was our guide to help us see where our studs were.) We used nails near the top and bottom of each board to help prevent any warping at a later time. We used a nail gun but you can nail it by hand too. At this point, I would finish painting the plank, making sure to fully paint the top edge of the plank too. Small seams will make it where the wall shows through. We made sure the seams that were showing were painted the same as the planks. To help achieve this, while painting my top edge and face of my planks, I also painted the wall above the plank about an inch.
We continue up the wall, attaching and painting as we went. When we got to the light fixture, Mr. Mechanic removed it.
Perfect fit; I do my happy dance!
Once all the planks were installed, we decided to finish off our edges of shiplap by installing some trim. We used inside corner wall panel molding that we purchased at Lowe’s, but you can really use any kind of molding that you like.
Note: see how I refinished these vinyl (Thermafoil) cabinets in this blog under “Thermafoil cabinet makeovers”
See all my scratches around the edges of the mirror? Ugghh, I felt so stupid and angry at myself. I knew this mirror would have to go to Over The Mountain Glass to be repaired because those bitty scratches would drive me crazy. This bargain of mine was going to cost me after all, and all because of my lack of foresight. Oh, I thought I was safe by covering my other mirror with tape. Remember mistake number 3? When I was sanding with the rotary sander I actually bumped the mirror BEYOND the tape. Both mirrors had to be replaced. This was a $130.oo mistake. By the way, the original mirrors were in almost perfect condition when I got them. JEEEZZE-O-Man was I sick!
I was bored with my “contractor grade” mirror above the double vanity in my master bathroom. I found two mirrors at the thrift store (five dollars each..yoohoo!) that I wanted to switch for the one larger mirror. This tutorial will show you step by step what I did to remove the mirror and repair the wall.
We were able to gently scrape some of the old adhesive patches off with a putty knife.
Note: Once I primed my patches, I noticed a couple of them that I needed to patch again. Sometimes you won’t notice some of the divots until they have a coat of primer on them. You just have to patch them again. ARRGH! !
I think I can make it so I'm constanly proving to myself that I can!