I do find it funny how so often the projects that take us the least amount of time and effort sometimes are the projects that improve our lives the most! With the help of Joe and his chainsaw this project took me all of thirty minutes to complete and BOOM our lives improved considerably. All summer long we’ve been dealing with the fact that our outside spigot is up on our deck. I could get into what caused this to happen (because I ran all of our plumbing) but I’m going to spare you the technical details. In the end, our spigot on our deck is fine and dandy and handy to water our garden etc. However, it meant that we always had a hose run across our deck, laying in a big heap on our deck or laying in a big heap in our yard where we would have to move it to mow. (And you know how much I hate moving stuff when we mow – hence our fire pit that I posted about two weeks ago) Even if we managed to get it all rolled up in its little spool (which we did from time to time) the spool was still there, still in the way. It drove me crazy. So, I got the idea to create a door so we could access the underside of our deck – essentially making one heck of a giant hidden outdoor storage cubby!
Joe and I built our deck one weekend last summer and I’m really looking forward to telling you guys all about it when we complete it. We have “railings” but no spigots (or whatever we choose to use) for those railings, so it really LOOKS unfinished. There have simply been more pressing projects this summer and I can’t get what we need to finish the railings in my car so its going to require us both and whenever we both set aside time together to work on something there has always just been a more important project (such as: putting up wood for the winter or fixing a roof! etc.) We chose to skirt our deck in lattice which we attached with 2″ long brad nails so I knew I would have to remove a section of it to create my cubby door.
My husband, seeing me running an extension cord for my jigsaw to begin this project walked over with his chain saw and I just said, “Go for it – try not to destroy the lattice – I need it!” He carefully cut the lattice by running the chainsaw down the edge of the 4×4 post it was tacked to on its right side. Lattice is really delicate stuff so it made more sense to cut it while it was still tightly tacked in place as opposed to trying to cut it after I took it down. With that side cut (and so no longer attached) I just carefully pried the lattice off the left side and from the top. Instead of removing the brad nails I left them in to help hold the lattice together by just bending them over. I’m going to mention it again: Lattice is really delicate stuff.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to just attach the hinges to the lattice itself so I cut a 1×2 and attached it to the back of the right side of lattice and then screwed the hinges to that and then screwed the hinges to the post. From there it was just a case of closing it and adding a little hook to keep it shut. I had to clear out some grass (no we don’t own a weed eater – is it obvious? lol) so it would swing without hindrance. Next up Joe cut a quick hole in the deck under where the hose would be so I could run the hose through the cubby, under the deck and up through the hole to the spigot.
At a glance you can’t even tell we did anything, the lattice is exactly where it was before. You can see in the compete pictures the board I put on the back to support the hinges. I am SO excited, literally I just opened up like 500 square feet of outdoor hidden storage for us under our deck! I wasn’t going to post this project (hence no “during” photos – though they were basically just of Joe spending two minutes using his chain saw) but I thought most folks who have a deck probably have this option to create a great cubby. We’ll probably use this space in a lot of ways – outdoor extra chairs (camping chairs) extra hoses, fire pokers, marshmallow roasters etc. We’ve thrown it all under there now and are so grateful for some more room in our garage that it had been taking up!