My Garage: Screen door, solar lit path and Insulating my stock tank

Oct 20 2019
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Outside my garage there is actually quite a bit to do so this is just the tip of the ice berg but getting this done really made me feel like I was getting somewhere! This old screen door of mine was here when I moved in. I made it a little bigger and painted it red for my deck a couple years ago but once I purchased the magnetic screen doors for the rest of my deck doors it was time for this old door to get replaced too! That left it for me to use on my garage so it all worked out!

When I hung the screen door for my outhouse I used hinges with springs in them so the door closes automatically and STAYS closed.

For someone who loves old timey stuff so much I certainly have A LOT of beef with screen doors.

The chain at the top that keeps the door from opening too wide drives me crazy cause it hits people (me) in the head. That big spring at the bottom that you can hold open with a little washer thing slams closed so hard I’ve literally been slammed in them before. Besides that I’ve never met a screen door (no matter how hard it closed on its own) that actually latched itself well enough to keep the bugs out without someone making sure to latch it.

I’ll never replace the original screen door that’s on the front of my house because: OBVIOUSLY. But there’s a reason why its the only screen door on my house!

The hinges with springs in them are not slam-you-in-the face killer and I’ve been really impressed with how well they work. And, of course, this door had to have a place here somewhere because it was here originally so I’m really glad I was able to use it on my garage.

I will have to purchase more J-channel to finish the siding around the door so, until then, its gonna look kind of rough but the door works great!

There’s never been a path here (because there’s never been a door here) and this is literally one of my Grandma’s old flower beds that is still full of day lilies, brown eyed susans, milk weed, daisies, balloon flowers and several perennials I don’t know the names for.

I took this path very seriously.

I cut out all of the sod around the edge and then I used leftover sidewalk salt from this winter all the way around to stop anything from growing through. Then I had just enough thick plastic leftover from my garage walls to lay it over the whole path and double it up.

I purchased this path/garden edging from Amazon and ran it around the outside using it to tack down the plastic too. From there I still have a giant pile of dirt in front of the barn so I used my wheel barrow to bring it down.

It took ten loads UGH

Installing a new screen door on the side of my garage, digging a weedless solar lit path and using pallets to turn my stock tank into an insulated bench!Installing a new screen door on the side of my garage, digging a weedless solar lit path and using pallets to turn my stock tank into an insulated bench!Installing a new screen door on the side of my garage, digging a weedless solar lit path and using pallets to turn my stock tank into an insulated bench!Installing a new screen door on the side of my garage, digging a weedless solar lit path and using pallets to turn my stock tank into an insulated bench!Installing a new screen door on the side of my garage, digging a weedless solar lit path and using pallets to turn my stock tank into an insulated bench!Installing a new screen door on the side of my garage, digging a weedless solar lit path and using pallets to turn my stock tank into an insulated bench!Installing a new screen door on the side of my garage, digging a weedless solar lit path and using pallets to turn my stock tank into an insulated bench!Installing a new screen door on the side of my garage, digging a weedless solar lit path and using pallets to turn my stock tank into an insulated bench!Installing a new screen door on the side of my garage, digging a weedless solar lit path and using pallets to turn my stock tank into an insulated bench!Installing a new screen door on the side of my garage, digging a weedless solar lit path and using pallets to turn my stock tank into an insulated bench!

Eventually I will be hauling more dirt down here to help level my garage incline too (because I have it so I might as well…) but at that point I had had ENOUGH dirt hauling for one day! Several Dollar store solar lights (they come with spikes) ran along my path just fine and they’re SO cute at night! I found some lovely cedar mulch that happened to be on sale (12.99 for four bags!) that I used to cover it all with.

The path gave me the perfect spot beside my lilac bush to stash one of my grandparents’ benches too!

Moving inside the garage I had one more “big” project that I hadn’t yet accomplished. I needed to insulate and cover my horses’ stock tank.

I had a couple of pallets left over from the last time I had pellets dropped off for my pellet stove in the house. I figured they would be perfect for this job! Out in the barn I had a couple of 2 inch thick sheets of foam board that I brought down as well. (For around the tank I picked up some fiberglass insulation.)

I cut my pallet “walls” for the two sides of the tank that weren’t against the garage walls. I made sure they were tall enough to accommodate the foam board. I added leftover 2x4s to the back wall and the exterior wall for support on those sides. Before I put the pallet walls in place I stuffed them with fiberglass insulation.

Then I cut my foam board with a utility knife so it would sit inside of my pallet walls and supports, directly on top of the tank itself. (I can still pull my tank out from the outside of the garage to clean it any time I like.)

Then I was confronted with trying to decide what I wanted ON TOP of it all. Whatever I put on the top of the tank needed to be removable in case of emergency. (The emergency being my tank heater breaking and my water tank freezing over and I need to hack at it with a pick ax!)

Installing a new screen door on the side of my garage, digging a weedless solar lit path and using pallets to turn my stock tank into an insulated bench!Installing a new screen door on the side of my garage, digging a weedless solar lit path and using pallets to turn my stock tank into an insulated bench!Installing a new screen door on the side of my garage, digging a weedless solar lit path and using pallets to turn my stock tank into an insulated bench!Installing a new screen door on the side of my garage, digging a weedless solar lit path and using pallets to turn my stock tank into an insulated bench!

It needed to be heavy duty enough for someone to sit on it… I had 3/4″ plywood on hand but I hated that idea…

The more I thought about it the more I realized an old door would be about perfect.

My brain turned to the barn and I remembered: OMG I have an extra barn door out there!

There are three entrances to my barn and I don’t know why but one of them had two doors on it. Last year I had my horses stock tank out there and had to remove the outside barn door entirely to make the water accessible. Since then its just been sitting out there.

I had to cut the bottom of the door off so its length fit right but all in I was quite happy with how it looked and its sturdy enough to even stand on!

I actually went back and did a bit more modifying to this. At first I was going to cut an “access door” in the barn door so I didn’t have to pick the whole thing up every time I needed to check the water. But I realized all I needed to do was cut the foam board a few inches short of the wall.

When I want to check the water now I just have to slide the barn door down a couple of inches. This winter it will be slid back a bit all of the time to accommodate the tank heater cord and then it will only require a glance from me to make sure the water isn’t frozen.

Outside I boxed it in and insulated around it as well, check that out here.

OMG Am I there yet?! LOL I feel like I’ve been working on this garage forever! Next up, the final state of my garage right now and my plans for the garage next year!

Installing a new screen door on the side of my garage, digging a weedless solar lit path and using pallets to turn my stock tank into an insulated bench!

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10 Comments

  1. October 20, 2019 at 9:42 am

    My goodness you are always energetic…that makes sense on the stock tank, I really hope it works! Love the screen door and the path—wonderful to have ‘old’ perennials!

  2. Barbara
    October 20, 2019 at 10:34 am

    Always look forward to seeing what you have been doing!

    • October 21, 2019 at 8:34 am

      Thanks for coming by Barbara!

  3. October 20, 2019 at 11:49 am

    Looks great! Good to use recycled materials. Will you be able to finish your horse barn and add a 4th wall? Sounds like you have brutal winters!

    • October 21, 2019 at 8:40 am

      Thanks Nancy that’s a great idea I might have to consider!

  4. Deborah W.
    October 20, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    I am so impressed with all that you’ve done to your farm. You should feel very proud to accomplish all that you have done. I love the house and the garage. Great job!

    • October 21, 2019 at 8:43 am

      Thank you so much Deborah! Its been one heck of a journey!

  5. Betty
    October 21, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    Great job with the stock tank ♡ It’s been a while since I’ve wrestled with one of my own in the artic winters in NY. But, even with the good insulation, might it help to put a ‘cover’ sheet of plastic, or thin styrofoam over the tank itself to keep the rising moisture/condensation in ? That way you don’t have to worry about the dreaded black mold etc… Just a thought. I had a metal tank with I think a hinged cover ?? Not sure if they make them anymore.
    🙂

    • October 21, 2019 at 2:20 pm

      Hi Betty, actually I debated on that idea for awhile, I have some extra foam board I was thinking I could cut to size so it floats on top of the water but I was worried if my tank heater goes out and that foam board freezes down I would have quite the crisis on my hands lol

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