Guest House Renovation: Introduction

One of the things that attracted us to our home was the fact that it had a detached two-car garage with a small, 250 square-foot room. From the little we gathered (and from some of the mail we still get) this room was used as a home-based massage business. The small room had its own entrance through the backyard, another into the garage, a kitchenette, and a full bathroom with closet.

The little room hadn’t been used for a while and had become a dark, dirty glorified storage area. While it had functioning water, electricity, gas and sewer lines, only the sewer had been done correctly. The kitchenette cabinets were sturdy but outdated, the tiny gas stove was ancient and no longer needed, and the entire concrete floor had been covered in a thick, uneven, and rough material. It attracted grime like a magnet and was impossible to clean due to its texture and irregularity.

We wanted to convert it into a nice living space for guests, grandparents and perhaps to rent it out during one of Tucson’s biggest events: Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. We didn’t have a big budget and I really wanted to do as much of the work as possible, leaving some of the more complicated work to professionals (electrical and some plumbing).

Over the next few blogs, I’ll go into more detail on all the steps we took, the problems we found and how we wrapped everything up into a fantastic little guest room.

Another DIY Modern Fence Project

DIY Modern Fence

Since the day we purchased our home, the two fences that divided our driveway and rear alley from the backyard drove me nuts. They were both the type of pre-built, cheap fence panels you can purchase at a big-box store (nothing wrong with that) and ours were poorly installed and never painted/protected. The end result were fences that were rotten, warped, and hanging off the hinges.

old fence

The old fence that divided the driveway from our backyard.

In typical obsessive, control-issue fashion, I wanted to design and build them myself, and I’ve always LOVED the modern horizontal designs. Finally, I wanted them to complement the pool security fence, so off to the internet I went in search for inspiration. Once we found similar designs that we liked, I went to work measuring and working it up in Adobe Illustrator, right down to the pica.

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