In last week's post I showed off a couple of custom Shaker-style barn doors that I've been working on in my studio.
So naturally this week's blog post is all about those doors, and where they ended up.
It all started when Leslie Huntley of Roost Interior Design contacted me about putting a pair of sliding barn doors in her clients' home office in their downtown condo.
They had a perfectly good door there...
...but floor space in these condos is limited, and they wanted a new door that didn't swing open, so they could put more furniture on the wall.
We couldn't find any pre-made doors that would work well in the space, so I got to work in my shop.
By the way, check out that respirator! It's my new toy... top of the line and easy on the lungs.
Plus it looks like something out of a sci-fi movie.
Side note: I never realized how many sci-fi astronauts are wearing standard dust-filter respirators until I started researching dust filtration. It seems to be a Hollywood shortcut: buy a mask from Lowe's, spraypaint everything black, and slap on a few extra gadgets and hoses.
And once I noticed that, I started noticing all kinds of things, like plastic French drains being used as spaceship "pipes." Low-budget Netflix space operas just haven't been the same since then.
Anyway, back to the job...
I also make custom cabinets at our sister company, Artisan Built-ins, so Leslie commissioned us to build a set of white bookcases with a custom shelf to hold a printer. Here's the 3D model we created so she could preview the design.
And here they are in our workshop, alongside another project for the same condo... an electric chimneyless fireplace.
As you can see, our model was very accurate.
Back on the job site, the office walls were painted a striking cobalt blue...
...the better to set off the crisp white sliding barn doors and the bookshelves.
If you've got sharp eyes, you might notice that the printer shelf is a little lower than it was in the drawing. That's because I planned ahead and made it repositionable or removable so that if they don't need a printer there any more, they can take the shelf off and have a plain bookcase once again.
The whole project came together beautifully, and the formerly bland room is now a striking office that looks just as interesting as the view of downtown Asheville.
If you've got a tight floor plan that needs a custom solution to make it workable, give us a call. We can come up with a plan that optimizes your office and makes it fun to go to work.
I'm always inspired to see the projects that other handy people come up with, so I was really intrigued by this video that recently landed in my inbox. Be sure to turn the sound on!
My brother-in-law, Josh, has a home in South Carolina in hurricane country. During the most recent hurricane scare, he found himself screwing bits of plywood over his windows, straight through the vinyl siding.
Luckily the hurricane passed him by, but the experience of putting holes in his siding was so painful that he decided to install shutters on his home.
After pricing shutters, Josh decided to build them himself, and I'm really impressed by his skills. (Hey Josh, if you ever want to quit your day job and move to Asheville, I bet we can find you some projects to do around here!)
Now for the question...
The shutters are made from interlocking floorboards, which is a great idea because it makes the boards easy to join.
They're already braced on the front to hold the boards together. Josh also plans to brace his shutters on the back to keep them from buckling. His question is:
"Should the braces be horizontal or diagonal?"
I don't think you need a diagonal brace, since that's for keeping it from racking out of square, and I don't think that will be a problem with the interlocking boards.
However, adding horizontal pieces on the back would help strengthen the shutter. Since you already have braces on the front side, you probably don't need additional supports on the back. But I believe in building things to be super strong, so go for it!
If you've got a tricky question about a home repair, whether in Asheville or anywhere else, leave a comment and I'll be happy to answer it. And if you can't fix it yourself, I'm here to help.
Every house has one: the ugly circuit breaker panel.
You don't want to leave it in plain sight, but you have to allow easy access to it, just in case.
What to do?
One of my customers recently had their basement remodeled, and the circuit breaker was right where the kids might play. They wanted a way to cover the panel safely.
After some discussion, we came up with the idea of a built-in pair of doors with shelves underneath to corral the kids' toys.
I started by building the shelves off site, using pre-primed boards which I painted white.
Since the opening was so large (more than five feet tall) I installed 2" x 8" boards attached to the studs in the wall. This gave me a sturdy place to anchor the doors.
The doors themselves were a pair of off-the-shelf hollow core models which I shortened by several inches.
The finished piece is sleek and unobtrusive... much better than the circuit breaker. Plus, the kids can play there safely and have a place to put their toys when they're done.
If you need a way to cover your circuit breaker panel, or if you're just in need of a new set of shelves, give me a call. I love this stuff!
Jesse's clients ordered the doors beforehand, but as Jesse noted, the two panels "were not even close to being square." Due to an error by the manufacturers, there was an uneven gap when the two doors met.
I've experienced this problem myself when ordering pre-made pieces from a mill, so I know it can be a real head-scratcher. Should you send the parts back and have them fixed, or try to work with what you've got?
Fortunately, Jesse came up with an elegant solution:
He added a piece of trim down the center to cover the gap, then painted it to match the doors. This is more than just a "stop gap." It actually adds functionality! Now you can really close the doors completely so that you can truly block off the room. This would be really handy if you had a small house and your living room occasionally doubled as a guest room.
I really like this barn door trend. It makes a nice focal point, plus it's much easier to install and maintain than a pocket door, and the doors are still out of the way when you open them.
This set of doors is sleeker than the "rustic" look we've been seeing lately. I think it would work with almost any decor, from a "modern farmhouse" look to a more contemporary style.
If you need someone to install a sliding barn door in Asheville, give us a call, We love this stuff!
Spring has come to Asheville, and so have the bugs! It's the time of year when I start installing a lot of screen doors.
This is a great time to talk about how to choose the right screen door: should you go for the cheapest option, or shell out a little more money for an upgrade?
A client of mine recently picked out this nice screen door from Home Depot. At around $30, it's hard to argue with the price.
Fortunately I've worked with screens before, so I had the right tools in my van.
I also had to trim the frame down to fit it to the opening. (Replacing a door is trickier than it looks.) It turned out well in the end, and it looks much better than the sagging and weathered door that was there before.
You can make inexpensive materials look good... it just takes a little more work.
If you need someone with the know-how to finish and hang a screen door correctly, why not call your trusty Asheville handyman? I'll be glad to help.