In our last podcast, we mentioned working with a local carpenter who
has been building custom furniture for a vacation home that
we’re getting ready to rent. We’ve used our eBay profits from the past two years to
buy and improve this 1850’s brick house so we can have another income stream.
Instead of just seeing eBay as a grind, we’re making sure eBay is
opening up new avenues for us since we need to think of our own
retirement. Maybe one day we won’t be selling old shoes on the internet.
Anyway, a listener wrote in to ask us to post photos of some of the stuff we’re having built. So here’s some examples-
This is our most recent project. We worked with a great stone mason to build this outdoor BBQ/Fire Pit. It was fun to draw out a design, scavenge the material, and see him bring it to life. Those are soapstone tiles that Ryanne’s father gave us that were just lying around in his yard. He also built that little stone patio and wall that you see in the background.
This is an old farmhouse so the space is very funky. We put the stove where the cooking fireplace used to be. Our carpenter friend built us these custom shelves out of wood we scavenged from a bookcase in the house. That’s heartwood pine that was hiding under ten layers of thick paint.
This is a desk we had made from old oak beams that we bought for $10 each! The guy told us they were from a Civil War-era building that had been torn down. They were just sitting in his back yard getting wet. We, of course, bought all of them and used them for several other projects. Wood like this is priceless (and very heavy).
Just a detail of the same desk. We wanted a more minimal modern design.
This is an antique soapstone sink that we found on Craigslist up in Massachusetts (yes, we drove it down to Virginia from there). These sinks were in the basements of many old homes in the Northeast, and often used as just sloppy utility sinks. I’m just glad we didn’t have to haul it up some cellar stairs. We bought it from a very cool guy named, Eric, at Artistic Soapstone. He’s a teacher by day, but then scavenges and restores these old sinks.
We built the base from old pine timbers that had been pulled from a barn. Another great Craigslist score.
Our stone mason friend re-did the fireplace with stones we pulled from our yard. There had once been an outdoor summer kitchen with a collapsed chimney so the stones were perfect for stacking. The mantle is another one of those pine beams.
This used to be an old built-in china cabinet. Covered in decades of oil based paint and mold. We ripped it out, planed the wood, and built these open shelves. Cabinets just allow us to hide and forget things. We like open spaces where you can see everything.
As you can imagine in an old farmhouse, the bathrooms are tiny. We built this sink cabinet to fit the space perfectly. We used heartwood pine that I scavenged out of an old county building that was being torn down. They gave me a week to get anything I wanted. I pulled about eight truckloads of beautiful wood. The rest was just put in the landfill 🙁
Some good friends gave us that mantle that was sitting in their garage. The tiles were bought out of a reject box in the back of an architectural salvage store. We had the shelf built in to the corner for a little library.
We found a fence-building company going out of business on Craigslist and bought Western Red Cedar boards for $1/each. We had 5 of these custom Adirondack-style benches made for enjoying the BBQ. Cost about as much as something higher end at Lowes/Ikea (but we think more functional).
We love it all because of the designs and quality of materials. So does this make us Yuppies? (Yes or No)