Daily Archives: January 2, 2017

Outdoor Shower Anyone?

Beach Shower using an Odd Space

This was a project at My-2-Do world headquarters where we wanted to practice some out-of-the-box ideas. This is right in the front of the house and was an odd, and unused, part of architecture. Over the years it turned into the de-facto beach shower location as the hose was there and we had a lot of sandy feet. So let’s make it official!

We started by laying out the drain system. The shower drains directly to flower beds in the front yard and saves a LOT of water. In fact, if it is used regularly, I rarely have to water the plants.

Concrete was mixed and poured to form the shower basin. We used about 3 inches of Portland mix and drained it to the middle floor drain. This drain goes to a valve manifold so that I can meter out the right amount of water to the four different gardens. There is a catch box that can be cleaned out periodically to keep the whole system running smoothly.

The privacy fence was created by forming corrugated steel siding over a curved pipe frame. We used galvanized steel so that it would last against the never-ending water spray from showers. This steel was then coated with a copper primer and paint and a chemical patina was added to accelerate the greening tint of copper over years of exposure. This was a new shill set for the My-2-Do crews. They know all about painting but metal working and chemical etching was totally new.

Hot and Cold Running Water!

Inside the shower stall is hot and cold running water. The copper piping was run raw and is starting to take on a patina of its’ own now. This part is pretty straight forward – you know… Red is hot and Blue is cold. All you need to do is turn to you perfect shower temperature. The valve below the cold knob goes to a foot sprayer. Oh right, this was the whole idea of making this shower in the first place!

The stucco was tiled with white subway tiles so bring in some needed light and lake cleaning easy. It’s also a lot easier on your butt as opposed to bumping up against rough stucco.


Oh so good!

An overhead shower was added to give a total immersion feel. It’s tall as well so feels like you are being totally dumped on in a rain shower. Add a towel bar and you are ready to go!

This towel bar is not going anywhere!

Now that’s an awesome space now. My-2-Do crews had the opportunity to hone their skills on metal work, priming and chemical etching, tile work, plumbing, and concrete work.

Fixing Holes

Filling a hole with an attic ladder.

Fixing holes isn’t always easy. There’s two ways about doing it the first way is to fill holes something. As you can see here we filled this one with an attic ladder. In fact the whole had a broken latter and we replace the latter so that the client could get into their attic safely.

The other way is to actually fix the drywall by cutting out the damage portion and adding a new piece to that. The trick is getting the plaster feathered in properly and then finally texturing it to match the surrounding drywall. Starting with a flat replacement piece to fill in the hole is critical. So we use a few tricks of the trade to make this happen.

I would show you a photo but it’s really hard to really show the after shot. So let’s imaging… Imagine there is a hole in your wall. A My-2-Do crew arrives, does some hand waving, and … the hole is gone!

We have become experts at doing this at My-2-Do and, in fact, do this on a weekly basis. Matching the texture is the main concern for our clients ad we match several different styles, including: “knock down.” “orange peel,” “cottage style,” and smooth textures on walls. The hard part is actually getting the texture to match so you don’t see the area that was repaired. Our technicians do practice this frequently to stay prepared. To practice, we have built a practice law that we can punch holes into and patch up. We also have the right equipment from spray texture for small jobs to hand pump sprayers and hopper guns for larger areas.

The trick is practice – practice – practice so we do. It’s easy to put a hole in the wall but another thing to patch it up so you never knew it was there.

Gate Tamers

Dog gate fitted with Tension cables.

Think of My-2-Do as your resident “Gate Tamers.” It seems every week we are getting request to fix or repair an aging gate. In nearly all cases, we have been able to tune that aging gate up so it works like new again and a new one is not needed.

Most wooden gates are built to work perfectly the first day they are created. That’s nice if it is a little humid and the gate had a chance to soak up a little moisture. But it it’s dry (you know…like Southern California) that gate will work just fine until it soak up a little moisture and expands. At this point, it becomes tight and won’t close properly. No worries, a couple passes of the wood plane will take down that extra wood so it works flawlessly again.

A more common problem occurs years later when the gate has been expanding and contracting. This movement loosens (“worries” them loose – an old engineering term) the
screws and bolts and the gate sags and gets stubborn. I guess we all do that over time. Again, no worries. We go old school and add a tension cable and turn buckle to the gate so it can be tightened and adjusted over time and Violà – its working again.


Garden Shed

Steel and wood shed built on site.

This client was looking for something other than a plastic garden shed so we made one for them. My-2-Do designed and built the shed from the ground up specifically to meet the needs of the client. In this case, they wanted a shed that looked a little agricultural and yet had the warm feeling of wood. Fir was used for the framing and redwood for the doors. They also wanted the shed to be open yet protect the tools from rain and sun. Galvanized corrugated steel were used for the sides and roof and redwood doors completed the entire front. All of the wood was varnished with spar varnish to protect against sun and rain. Next step is to outfit the interior for tools and garden work bench space.