This project started a couple of months ago. I took down the old shelf which was too small and flimsy for all our cookbooks (its been relocated to the sewing room). We went to the local hardware store and picked up a new board which I stained and finished, only to find when we were installing it that is was not as wide as I expected. So back to the hardware store. This time we got one wider, but also thicker - but a bit too thick. So our friend Terry came over with his planer and we reduced it down about a quarter of an inch. Instead of staining this time I opted for a deep red paint. After priming and painting I finally got it installed yesterday. Finding studs in the wall was a pain. But I think at least 80% of the screws are in solid wood. So far it is still up and not drooping or pulling away from the wall so I think we are all set on this project. One more project crossed off the list!
The excitement this week was getting the new front steps and walkway installed. The contractors actually showed up a couple days early. They dug out the old walkway stone and put them aside for us. The steps took two days - one to frame it and another to pour the concrete. We now have a much wider top step and it as a better level to the porch. The old step was slowly sinking into the yard so it was a bigger step into the house. After the steps were in they did the blacktop walkway. And then they brought in topsoil, re-graded and put down grass seed. We are busy now regularly watering the grass seed. I am thrilled with how it looks and the blacktop will be great in the winter to help melt the snow and ice. We do have a good sized pile of stones. They deposited the extra soil along the brook where we are trying to fill in the space, it is now cleared/covered enough that with the stones we may be able to build some sort of stone steps down to the brook.