Today’s post isn’t about a glamorous project, or a terribly exciting project, but one of those necessities that you just have to pull up your big girl pants and take care of…the attic staircase installation.
When we did all the demo work upstairs, we moved the tiny attic staircase opening that Colby barely fit through, from our master bedroom into the guest bedroom. And when we did that, we (and by we I totally mean the global “we”…aka…Colby did it) planned ahead and made the opening the perfect size for a pull down attic staircase. Us? Pre-plan? WTF mate, that’s just not right, man!
Until we got around to ordering the attic stairs from our local lumber yard (it only cost us $120), we just popped a piece of bead board leftover from other projects, up to cover the opening…that’s until this guy came home with us:
Then, only a couple months after putting up some temporary trim, down it came, which was pretty much just a space saver for the attic staircase frame.
Since attic staircase installation is pretty much a three person job (one person in the attic to screw it all in and two people down below to lift/hold the stairs in place) we created a third “person” to help hold the stairs in place by temporarily screwing a 2 x 4″ onto the ceiling.
We screwed in boards on both ends of the staircase opening to help us hold it in place since Colby would be up in the attic attaching the stairs to the frame and I, the weakling of the pair, would not be able to hold the stairs in place on my own.
Next step, well, the picture speaks a thousand words.
Colby consulted the instructions to make sure we were installing it correctly.
Look for the blue moon folks! My husband is reading directions! After the quick direction reading portion of the program, up into the attic both Colby and the staircase went. Random note…the staircase is MAD heavy! MAD I tell you!
I don’t have many pics of us putting the stairs into the attic or of how Colby screwed the stairs into the framing, partly because I was too busy holding up the stairs but also because Colby was in the attic doing all this while I was down below. After Colby secured the stairs in place from his perch in the attic, he asked me to open the stairs and let him out. Minor problem…our board helpers were blocking the opening. Ooops! Pink screwdriver to the rescue!
I totally rescued my husband from a Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation situation. Except that we don’t have a trunk full of Grandma’s old cloths and hats or a box full of old home movies to entertain him. Just Christmas decor and some felt bats. But after rescuing him…the stairs worked like a dream.
And from another angle:
We were just a hair bit worried that the staircase, when it extended down, would jam into the wall. But we tested, mocked up a little doorway trim, and tested again. The staircase just barely made it through. Phew.
Now…this is where I, the inexperienced construction worker in the house, thought we were done. But, noooooo, there was fine tuning to do. The staircase was installed, but not necessarily squarely or level-ie. One easy way to check the square-ness is to measure the diagonals. They should match. If one diagonal is longer than the other, one edge needs to be shifted to make the box square.
So Colby measured, broke out the level, and adjusted the screws attaching the attic stairs to the frame, until everything was level and square.
Is anything hotter than a man in Carharts and sporting a tool belt! Swoon! After Colby squared up the stairs, I thought we were done again…WRONG…again. When we unfolded the staircase completely, the ladder was just a bit too long. It needed a trim and an angle adjustment so it would reach the floor and rest evenly on the floor. To help Colby measure and cut the ladder correctly, he used a piece of scrap wood to measure and mark it as a template, measuring both the long length of the ladder legs:
And the short length of the ladder legs:
Then he marked these measurements on both legs:
And used a straight edge to mark the right angle for the cut, which he made with a circular saw.
Tah-dah! A perfect length and a perfect angle!
Colby even tested out the stairs…a few times…and they didn’t break once. Success! We even tested opening it and closing it…several times and it worked like a charm. This is why it was important for us to square up the stairs in the previous steps. If the stairs weren’t installed squarely, it wouldn’t pull down or close up correctly. The stairs would catch and get stuck.
I love that picture of Colby. He looks so much like a little kid holding a balloon.
So now we have an installed attic staircase in our guest bedroom. It only cost us $120 and about an hour of our time. It sure doesn’t look that pretty but I’ve got ideas for how to fix that.
But we have other things to tackle first, including installing the floor. Here’s how the good ol’ guest bedroom renovation to-do list is looking these days:
Prime the walls and ceiling Paint the ceiling a bright white (Benjamin Moore’s ceiling paint is my all time favorite) Paint the walls a taupe/gray color
- Install new flooring and poly the crap out of it
- Install, stain and finish baseboards, window trim, door trim and even the new door
Since the attic entrance is in this room, install a pull down staircase and finish the opening (paint or stain, still haven’t decided)
- Add some sort of flair to the window wall (maybe a stencil, maybe a pallet wall, maybe some wallpaper…still deciding)
- Add bead board to the slanted part of the ceiling, painting it bright white
- Decide on and install a new light fixture for the space
- Make some curtains (I’m thinking white with some fringe or pom poms)
- Build a custom daybed for the space
- Turn a little dumpster diving find into a sweet little night stand
- Add some storage and shelving
- Art, art and more art
Still so much to do in this room, but at least most of the heavy lifting stuff is coming to a close…like the demo, sheet rocking, mudding and sanding (blech!) and now attic staircase installation. Hopefully this weekend we can get the new floor laid down and the new trim installed. Wish us luck!
Pssst…What are you guys checking off your to-do lists? Any construction type projects? Or quick upgrades like new art or curtains?
So tonight I had planned a big ol’ “how to install a drop down attic staircase post” but you know what? I really don’t want to write it. Nope. Too boring for me to tackle tonight. Maybe tomorrow I’ll whip out my jazz hands to type out the attic staircase post. That always helps in the post writing department since it…wait for it…jazzes things up! Har har har! So in lieu of a drop down staircase post, how about another Colby quote in the $#*! My Husband Series.
It’s been awhile since we’ve posted a Colby quote. I think it’s been since December! Way too long! While most of his quotes are a little more on ridiculous side (like the panties growing on trees one), tonight reveals the
softer side cheesier side of Colby. Oh…he can whip out some serious cheese. We’re talking master of the cheese. Some might call him the “cheese whiz” (this is why I can’t write about attic stairs right now…too much corniness going on in my head…must release the corniness). Anyway, without further ado, this evening’s $#*! My Husband Says Quote.
See, I told you he was cheesy. Random cheesy note…we used to play on a summer softball team together and one of our teammates, Emily, used to always catch Colby saying cheesy things to me. Epicly cheesy things. So we used to call her the cheese police. This quote was definitely cheese police worthy. Awesome story, huh?! I think I need to go find twenty bucks somewhere in the middle of it to make it a little more exciting. Okay, maybe I need to find one hundred bucks instead. Oh well.
Pssst…And if you want to read some more awesome Colby quote goodness, like when he thought panties grew on trees, check out the $#*! My Husband Says page. You won’t regret it.
Great…now I’ve got Aerosmith stuck in my head (you know…the song…livin’ on the edge?). But it doesn’t matter because it’s PINTEREST CHALLENGE REVEAL DAY! Apparently that was deserving of caps.
You can check out my Pin-spiration back here, or more like in-decision pin-spiration since I had about a gah-gillion different projects I wanted to tackle…cuz that’s a word. But I ultimately decided on tackling a postcard ledge project for the living room. Wah-bam!
Yeah…so you remember all those hula girl postcards I put up in the entryway? Like a few days ago? Those came down. I just wasn’t feeling it. But I’m totally feeling them in the living room on the set of ten postcard ledges that the Colb-ster and I made.
Pre-postcard ledges, the living room art situation was pretty boring.
I still had the set of falling down, fall art that I created from some yard leaves and some spray paint that I pretty much hated from day one but still kept it hanging on the living room wall until I came up with something better…six months later.
But let’s talk about the postcard ledges and how simple they were for us to make. There are many tutorials out there for building your own postcard ledges. But we threw caution to the wind, didn’t read a single tutorial, and decided to wing it. That’s what Steven Tyler would do, right?! What would Steven Tyler do…WWSTD? Haha…I don’t think that’s going to catch on…it sounds too much like a disease.
So first up, cutting the boards. We always seem to have a ridiculous amount of scrap pine laying around to use for projects, and this project was no exception. Meaning…this project was FREE. Colby ripped down some pine boards to 3/4″ x 1-1/8″ in four foot lengths, then notched them out with the table saw.
Since postcards are super thin, the 1/8″ kerf on the table saw blade was more than enough to notch the pine boards. The groove would play the role of official postcard holder in-er.
With all ten boards cut and notched, I stepped up to the plate and
batted a homerun primed and painted the ledges. It just took one coat of primer and a coat of Valspar’s Betsy’s Linen in gloss (leftover trim paint from the rest of the house) to fully coat the ledges.
After they dried overnight, it was installation time, which was a snap thanks to our trusty laser level. Seriously…we use that thing for all the time. It’s just a cheap little Black & Decker laser leveler but it makes hanging things (curtain rods, art, trim, etc.) so much easier than our usual eyeball-it method.
We went for about eight inch spacing between the ledges with the bottom ledge a little over a foot up from the back of the couch (more on our reasoning for that in a moment…stay tuned). Then it was just a matter of slapping each of the boards onto the wall with the Paslode finish nailer (a simple hammer/nails technique works too…we’re just lucky enough to own a finish nailer).
Voila…hung postcard ledges.
The only drawback to nailing the ledges directly into the wall was that we were left with a trio of nail holes in each of the boards.
But it was nothing that a little dab of DAP couldn’t hide. Just a little dab into each of the nail holes and they disappeared right into the painted wood.
The next step was my favorite…arranging the post cards.
I could arrange them all day. Goose, however, was less than thrilled.
Oh, sad moping Goose. If you ignore him for two minutes he gets all sad and whiny. He takes after his mom!
Here’s the closeup shot of the postcards on the postcard ledges.
Oh how I love those hula girl postcards! I’ve had the postcards since way back in my college days when I hung them all over my dorm room walls. I’ve hung onto them all these years (I’m really not that old, I swear) with the idea that I would use them somewhere someday. It’s taken me awhile, but they’ve finally come out of the closet.
Colby really loves the postcard ledges too. Colby’s funny. Like most guys he’s supportive, let’s me do my decorating thing, and pretty much stays out of my way. He always says he likes something (even though sometimes I swear he doesn’t). But when he told me he liked the postcard ledges, and couldn’t stop talking about them all weekend, I knew he REALLY liked them too. They’re the perfect fit for our living room…color wise and scale wise. I love how the postcards have blues and oranges running through them, tying into the aqua curtains and media cabinet and the orange lamps and pillows.
The one thing I don’t like about the postcard ledges is that awkward empty space between the top of the couch and the first ledge. But there’s a reason for that. If you squint REALLY hard you can see an unfinished, narrow, pine sofa table behind the couch. It’s just something Colby whipped up one day down in the mancave. I’m thinking I want to put some sort of vase arrangement/display thing on the narrow sofa table to help fill the empty wall space. But if that gets weird, we can always add another pair of postcard ledges to even it all out. As always, we’ll keep you posted on what we decide.
Okay, so now it’s time to link this post up to our gracious hosts:
That’s Megan from The Remodeled Life, Katie from Bower Power, Sherry from Young House Love, and Michelle from Decor And The Dog. Link up day is Wednesday, February 27th so if you tackled a project, link her up. Regardless, go check out all the oodles of pin-spiring projects on their blogs, pin away at all the goodness, and keep the vicious Pinterest project cycle turning.
Pssst…Show of hands, who tackled a project?! C’mon…I know some of you did! Tell me what you created?! I’ve gots to know!
As many of you may or may not have noticed, there’s a new
sheriff blog header image in town. I’ll pause for a moment while you spend a little time ooooh-ing and aww-ing over the awesomeness that is our new blog header image. Pausing…..continuing to pause…pausing just a little bit more. And if you want to see the header image taken to another level…check out the Angie’s Roost Facebook page (and while you’re over there, you might as well like our just-launched-it-page). The word bubbles on the Facebook page are my favorite…maybe I’ll switch out the quotes content periodically.
Anywho…Colby and I had a blast putting together the new header image and even more fun shooting the pics used for the new headers. And since I’m a big fan of over sharing, I thought I would share some of the outtakes with you. Believe it or not, it only took about twelve takes to get “the one” which is so NOT in Colby and Angie fashion. Usually it’s more like 3,758 takes like when we shot our Christmas card photo. Enter outtake number one:
Nailed it! Well…almost. Seriously, one take?! I couldn’t believe that we could both look like normal human beings in just one take. Usually it takes at least a dozen pics to warm up our over smiling, ear to ear grins. A one and done photo shoot just didn’t seem like the right thing to do so we kept snapping away (using the camera’s automatic timer function) “freestyling it” to see if we could come up with something better. This what Colby came up with…take two:
I instantly loved where Colby was going with this. Pointing the Paslode nailer at the camera was SO Vanilla Ice Project like:
Don’t lie, you know you love his show too. It’s right up there with Rehab Addict, Sarah’s House and Design Star in my list of DIY/home decor shows that I can’t stop watching. So after I raved about how Vanilla-Ice-like Colby was with his freestyle, and awkwardly talked about Vanilla Ice like a tween with a Bieber crush, we channeled our inner rapper-turned-contractor and really tried to ice it…take three:
Except Colby smiled…so not Vanilla-Ice-like…take four:
There we go…those are the awkward faces we were looking for! Check out Colby’s eyes in this pic…take five:
I think we need to work on our rapper attitude. Anyone want to give me lessons in popping a good ‘tude? Take six:
Colby just looks scared and I don’t even know who I am. Then, since Goose can’t stand to be away from us for more than three point eight seconds, he proceeded to start photo bombing us…take seven:
So we thought Goose should get in on the action since he is a part of this ol’ blog too. After all, he does stand guard and protect us from evil corn squirrels while we peacefully work on projects. Goose is not impressed…take eight:
But at least the dog rocks a better ‘tude than we do. So we tried it again to get one decent pic with a squirmy dog without a single cookie available to coerce him to hold still…take nine:
No luck…but we tried one last time for good measure…take ten:
We were going for the holding paws look but instead got more of a “this is my junk” look from the dog. Oh Goose…you’re such an exhibitionist. At least it’s the dog and not Colby with the exhibitionist problem. Especially since we live so close to a school!
Not bad, only ten takes to get a couple “winners” (I use the term loosely). We decided on outtake number two as the official Angie’s Roost blog header image, but you’ll notice I snuck in a cropped up version of take number three in the sidebar. And did you notice that we took the pics in the freshly painted guest room?! It’s so nice in there these days even though we still need a floor, trim and a door. But we’re getting to that. We’ve got lots of DIY projects to share with you, including our Pinterest Challenge project. Stay tuned!
Pssst…Speaking of the Pinterest Challenge, did you guys all get your projects done? Mine’s done! And I LOVE it! I think it may be my favorite project yet! And Colby can’t stop talking about it either so I know it’s good! We’ll be revealing our project tomorrow so come back for all the dirty little details.
Is it appropriate to write about Valentine’s Day ten days after the date? I know, I’m a little late but better late than never, right?! Besides…I couldn’t resist posting about Valentine’s Day this year because it was oh so cute and oh so perfect. I also should preface that neither of us is really cuckoo for Valentine’s Day (last year we celebrated it along with 8 of Colby’s male millwork co-workers who were in town for a training and it was a blast). So let’s kick off the big V-Day post with the cards…let’s just say…I think Colby and I have been together too long:
Our cards are eerily similar. Wait…it gets better…and more creepily alike…here’s the inside:
Both cards had pop ups inside. Ha! I should also explain my card a little bit since there’s an inside joke going on with it. Last summer while we were working on our master bedroom, specifically when I was painting it, I fell of the ladder. Not once…twice. Thus, when I found the V-Day card with Ms. Puppy falling off the ladder, I fell for the card (haha…you see what I did there?!). Anyway…our Valentine’s Day celebration was low key. We exchanged cards and gifts (more on that in a moment) and cooked a nice little dinner at home.
I don’t know what’s going on with my shirt there. The menu consisted of a risotto (which was sub par):
Did you notice that we whipped out our wedding china for the occasion? It was the first time we’ve used it. I wish we hadn’t waited so long to use the dishes because they’re fabulous and I’m mad in love…so much that you should probably get a little jealous Colby. Now that I’ve gotten over my fear of breaking the plates, I’m sure we’ll use it more often. Maybe next time I’ll make something that requires knives and forks, not just spoons….maybe. I still have a fear of scratching them.
For dessert, I served up some peanut butter, brownie and jelly cookie sandwiches which were redonkulous (translation from Angie speak to English…epicly rediculously awesome!). To make them, you whip up some peanut butter cookies, sandwich a gooey version of brownies between the cookies, slather on your favorite jelly…and BAM…deliciousness! They didn’t last very long.
To up the romance from our usual dinner on the couch routine, we not only ate at the table using our wedding china, but also ate it by candlelight.
I had saved the blue spray painted wine bottles from our wedding reception centerpieces and reused them for candle holders. I just had to shave down the tapers to make them fit in the bottles to convert the “vase” to a “candle holder”. A cheap and easy transformation. AND we didn’t burn the house down…phew.
And now to the good stuff…what we gifted each other:
Ironically, we both gifted each other something for upcoming honeymoon to Puerto Rico. Colby gave me a Kindle Fire (hence the post title) and I gifted Colby a new suitcase. Now…I’ve been fighting off the Kindle for awhile. It feels like I’m cheating on my books and I love my books. But since Colby gave me the new Kindle, I’m hooked. I love that I can download a book whenever I want (no going to the store, no waiting for it arrive after ordering it online) AND I downloaded digital copies of all my magazine subscriptions onto it. It’s love! Now I won’t end up boarding a plane with four books and eight magazines…just the one little Kindle. As for Colby’s gift, he’s loving his new suitcase, which came from Target. He travels alot for work and had been complaining for YEARS about his two suitcases…one too big and broken…one too small and…wait for it…also broken. Now he’s got a medium sized one that’s just right…and not broken.
And to conclude this blog post, I couldn’t help jumping on the “hey girl” meme train that’s been going around the blogosphere. Here’s take 1:
Yup…I’ve done that. Except that I ended up going with a taupe-ie gray instead of green. And take two:
I would NEVER make Colby go with me to the craft store in lieu of fishing. But if he offered…well…that’s a different story. Haha! So that’s our little Valentine’s Day. Not crazy but just right for us.
Pssst…What did you guys do for Valentine’s Day? Cook anything for your hubby? A chocolatey dessert? Or exchange cards? I love holiday cards!
Psssssst…So I finally came into the 2000′s and created a little Facebook page for the blog. I JUST put it together today so it’s still a bit rough, but be sure to go “like it” for new blog posts, Instagram photos, and more inside information behind the blog.