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May 20, 2014 / JustinKays Porter

The Master List

Disclaimer: This is a very word-heavy post. Pardon me while I wax poetic about lists and projects… The last post was and the next post will be heavy on photos to make up for it!

I am a list person. There are to-do lists, grocery lists, amazon order lists, Home Depot lists, etc. written on all types of paper scattered all over my life (I would say house, but the lists have wandered into my car, my backpack, the bathroom, the shop…). Justin has tried to convert me to one of the multitude of list-making apps available, but it’s just not the same. Checking a box and watching an item disappear from a list on my phone is in no way as satisfying as drawing a nice clean line through a completed item, and having it stay there. It’s like saying, “Take that, task! You’re DONE!” And watching the neatly crossed off tasks and items grow is, at least for me, somewhat of a guilty pleasure. Time for a confession: I add things to lists just so I can cross them off. That’s right, I said it. I will write down a task I’ve already completed just so I can cross it off and feel more accomplished. Hopefully I’m not the only one guilty of this, or you may all start to think I’ve lost my marbles…

Anyway, now that you all can add another dimension to my perceived craziness (and sympathize with Justin over my list-making tendencies), let’s get to the point of this post. We started a huge project in January: converting the shop at the back of our lot to half shop, half lounge. Let’s be honest: Justin does not need 1,000 square-feet of tools. Can you imagine what would happen if we ever moved?? And we really had our hearts set on converting part of the building to an entertainment space.


The wall that started it all

As part of the blog revival effort, to get you all caught up without giving everything away, I thought it would be fun to share a list of what we’ve done, what we’re working on, and what’s left to do (please, no comments on my definition of “fun”). In order not to bore you to tears, I’ve condensed the list into general topics. Future posts may cover more of the dirty details, but for now, we want to give you an idea of what we’ve been up to. The bullet items in italics have been completed.

The Hub (thanks to Kimmi for the GREAT name suggestion… it stuck!)

  • Build a wall, right down the middle of the building: this is what started the project way back in January! Thanks to Nancy and Dirk for coming to visit and kicking us into gear.
  • Tape, texture, and paint the interior walls and ceiling (including the pre-existing walls, that previously had no texture)
  • Give the hub a facelift: add exterior trim around the doors and windows, paint everything on the exterior (walls, trim, gutters, doors, etc.), add new hardware to exterior doors, remove massive antennae, put up some art/other visual interest
  • Install exterior lighting, including both task lighting for projects and ambient lighting for parties
  • Plant, plant, plant!
  • Add a fence near the patio on the north side of the hub, to block off storage space from view (much like this fence that Dan and Justin built last summer)
  • Clean up/paint/refinish patio furniture; maybe add a fire pit? A water feature?
  • Stain concrete patios, sidewalk, and mow strip (this is a big someday item; it helps that we have to wait on this to make sure the new and old concrete stain evenly)
We paid someone to tape and texture… and it was worth every penny!

We paid someone to tape and texture… and it was worth every penny!

Yaaaa exterior painting! Can you tell what color we chose?

Yaaaa exterior painting! Can you tell what color we chose?

The Shop

  • Clean, paint, and install various storage features (cabinets, shelves, desks, a repurposed kitchen island, etc.)
  • Facelift for the floors: strip, clean, and reseal the existing VCT flooring
  • Add/move overhead shop lights for better function
  • Add art: I know, the shop isn’t a place to hang pretty pictures. Not that kind of art. We would really like to have a “Paul wall” with fun and interesting things that we inherited from Paul when we bought the house. Because Paul spent so much time in his shop, we think this is the perfect place.

The Lounge

  • Install new glass doors that open the room to the lawn to the east and to the patio to the north
  • New face for the floors: remove VCT and associated adhesive, add new tile floor
  • Add window and door trim, crown molding, and baseboard (and paint and caulk around said trim)
  • Install lounge-worthy lighting that is NOT fluorescent
  • Create a bar area: install cabinets, make and install concrete countertops, transform old grimy refrigerator into a chalkboard fridge equipped with a keg-erator
  • Move in furniture, including moving a pool table (?)
  • Add a sound system
  • Decorate: We have lots of ideas for this bullet and we want all of the choices to be very “us”. We have dreams of incorporating a gallery wall somewhere, hanging Justin’s hand-shaped surfboard, making furniture out of wine barrels, handmade quilts in baskets, a dartboard backstop made out of corks… we’ll see where we end up!
Preparing for a new door

Preparing for a new door

Cutting tile is a very serious business… just like list making!

Cutting tile is a very serious business… just like list making!

As you can see by the amount of italics, we have been quite busy. And there are a lot of things (line half in italics) that are works in progress. It will probably be that way for awhile… but that’s what you have to look forward to as I work to catch the blog up on our progress. Ever heard of the term “weekend warrior”? Well, Justin and I are weeknight warriors as well. I apologize in advance for the lack of pictures and/or terrible quality of photos that you’ll see for some parts of this project!


Leave a Comment
  1. Jane Webster Eyler / May 21 2014 4:28 am


    I, to,o am a list-maker and I also add things to my lists after I have done them just to be able to cross more things off! You and Justin and your respective families are doing a fantastic job with the house, lounge, shop remodel! Never a taks too daunting for that group!

    Aunt Jane

    • JustinKays Porter / May 22 2014 6:55 pm

      Thank you, Aunt Jane! Just wait until you hear some of the stories and you may rethink that “too daunting” comment 🙂 And I’m so glad I’m not alone in my list making tendencies!

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