An Exterior Upgrade to the Home

New Shutters from Mid-America

Thank you so much to Mid-America Components for furnishing the new shutters for the exterior of my home! (This is a sponsored post, and the content is my own.)

This is the time of year when everyone is working on the exterior of the home. The weather is warming up, and it is time to give the home a fresh, new look. A new look, however, doesn’t have to break the bank and can easily be completed in a few hours. When I was contacted to receive a set of Mid-America Shutters for the exterior of my home, I was thrilled! Not only do shutters look great framing windows (which I just recently replaced myself), they also give the home a finished look and to me, make it look larger.

BEFORE – No shutters

The cool thing about Mid-America products, is that the components are made to work together. The shutters coordinate with their door surrounds, trims and vents for the home for a more cohesive and “pulled together” look. Mid-America products are made in the USA, and are impervious to moisture and insects.

Offering the largest selection of exterior home products in the industry, Mid-America is recognized as one of the leading manufacturers in siding accessories. Mid-America is built on a strong commitment to its customers as well as product innovation, performance and sustainability.

AFTER – Beautiful shutters!

Mid-America provides a wide variety of styles, lengths and colors of shutters to choose from. For custom color matching, there are paintable shutters, as well. I chose the standard single panel shutters in Clay which would match the tan trim around my home. They were so easy to install – I installed four sets and did it myself within a couple of hours!

I started by marking the holes for the anchors on the frame of the shutters. I wanted the anchors to be in the middle of each of the horizontal rails, as well as one anchor in between. I drilled a 1/4″ hole at each marking.

I held the shutter up against the window trim, then drilled a hole through my siding into the sheathing. I inserted an anchor and tapped the anchor into place with a rubber mallet. I didn’t want to set the anchors too firmly into place so that it dented the shutter. This would cause cracking due to expansion and contraction. I continued with the remaining holes, adding one anchor at a time.

The shutters look so great on my home! I am very happy with the quality, ease of installation and the style! They took a couple of hours to install from start to finish which was perfect for instant home upgrade gratification!

BEFORE – Old shutters

AFTER

Connect with Mid-America on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

 




An Update to a Dated Bathroom with BEHR Marquee

A Fabulous Bathroom Update

BEHR® sponsored this blog post. The opinions and text are all mine.

Several years ago, I remodeled my kids’ bathroom. There was a crack in the bathtub (it was plastic) and along with a crappy caulking job on the tub surround, it created a leak which ruined the floor. I replaced the tub and surround, and added a sliding door. Now that the kids are older, it is time for something new. This bathroom update will feature new wall color with BEHR MARQUEE® Interior Paint and Primer, a new vanity, and a new light fixture among other things!

Fabulous Bathroom Update with BEHR Marquee Paint_Featured

Fabulous Bathroom Update with BEHR Marquee Paint_Paint Cans

There was a lot of prep work I needed to do before I could start painting the walls. The first thing I needed to do was fill the holes I never filled when I replaced the fixtures. I removed the wall anchors, filled the holes, and sanded the filler smooth.

Next, I removed the old vanity and the top, and removed the tile backsplash. I cleaned the walls and trim using a mixture of vinegar and water to remove any dirt, grime, dust, and other “questionable” materials – this is a kids’ bathroom after all!

I taped off the trim at the ceiling, the baseboards at the floor, and the casing around the door and the towel racks. In addition, I taped off the edge of the tub and the shower door frame.

Fabulous Bathroom Update with BEHR Marquee Paint_Before

I used a brush to cut in around the trim, in the corners, and at the baseboards. I applied the paint to the walls with a roller. Behr has a great step by step tutorial on properly preparing a roller for paint and it can be found here. With MARQUEE Interior Paint and Primer, one-coat coverage is guaranteed when tinted to any of the 372 colors in the MARQUEE Interior One-Coat Collection. Behr products are available exclusively at The Home Depot and have an outstanding color collection! The color I’m using is White Metal which is an ultra-pale grey (a shade that is not a guaranteed one-coat color).

Fabulous Bathroom Update with BEHR Marquee Paint_Upper Wall Color

Fabulous Bathroom Update with BEHR Marquee Paint_Lower Wall Color

The next part of the project was to build a new vanity (plans can be found here). We are a tall family and a taller vanity was definitely on the list of requests! I custom designed this vanity specifically for this space and it includes a built-in laundry hamper, four drawers, and a shelf in the center. I used MARQUEE Interior Paint and Primer on the vanity, as well. I installed the vanity and the trim on the lower edge, then taped off the floor and wall. I used a brush for this project, and the color I selected is Silver Bullet which is a shade just below the wall color on the color card (another shade that is not a guaranteed one-coat color).

Fabulous Bathroom Update with BEHR Marquee Paint_Vanity Prep

Fabulous Bathroom Update with BEHR Marquee Paint_Painting Vanity

I also painted the inside of the towel rack cabinets in the same shade as the vanity. The contrast between the two is amazing!

Fabulous Bathroom Update with BEHR Marquee Paint_Towel Rack Cabinets

The vanity came out fabulous!

Fabulous Bathroom Update with BEHR Marquee Paint_Vanity

I offered to make a few storage crates for the kids’ “stuff” but they refused – pardon the chaos on the shelves!

Fabulous Bathroom Update with BEHR Marquee Paint_Completed

I am crazy in love with MARQUEE Interior Paint and Primer, and especially the colors I chose. I think it looks brighter, and more modern! These are my perfect colors and this bathroom update is my favorite project so far!

This post is brought to you by BEHR. Color that’s True to Hue. If you feel it you can find it. Visit True To Hue.​

BEHR® sponsored this blog post. The opinions and text are all mine.

Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.




Weatherization for the Home

DuPont™Tyvek® Weatherization

A huge shout-out to DuPont™ for sponsoring this post. All content in this post is created by me.

When building a new home or adding new siding to a home, weatherization is a very important thing to consider. Proper weatherization prevents the sheathing (the “sides” of the house under the siding) from rotting or mildewing, and causing a myriad of problems for the homeowner. DuPont™ Tyvek® weather barriers are easy to install and deliver excellent overall performance.

Introduced in 1980, DuPont™ Tyvek® HomeWrap® has been used to protect more than a million homes and has been named the #1 house wrap by Builder magazine’ annual brand survey for 19 years in a row. Many competitors claim to be just like it, but nothing compares to DuPont™ Tyvek®.

The primary purpose of a house wrap is to prevent air and water penetration to the walls. A good water resistive barrier will help prevent drafts, help prevent water damage caused by water that gets behind the exterior cladding, offers moderate to high vapor permeability allowing water that does penetrate the barrier to evaporate and will be durable enough to withstand challenge that arise during jobsite installation.

DuPont™ Tyvek® is the standard (for the past 30 years) by which all air and moisture barriers are measured. Voted best in the market for the past 20 years, Dupont™ Tyvek® helps create a healthy home by protecting against mold and mildew in the walls of the home reducing health problems associated with mold.

For more information, take a look at this video about DuPont™ Tyvek®:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvboElVK0qk

Connect with DuPont™ Tyvek® on YouTube, LinkedIn and Tumblr, or visit the website for more information.




An Alternative to Metal Drawer Slides

How to Make Drawer Slides Using Wood

I have to be honest, this is the first time I’ve tried this. I tend to get nervous when trying something new… I don’t want to make mistakes and waste material! I am thrilled to report that this project went very smoothly and turned out great! So now I will share with you how to make drawer slides using wood!

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As much as I love using metal drawer slides, they were just not in the budget for this project. Since this technique worked so well for me, I will probably use it in most of my future projects and incorporate this technique in my plans.

Normally when I draw drawer boxes, the last pieces to be attached are the box front and back. I decided to change it up a bit by attaching the front and back first and the sides last. Before I attached the sides, I cut a 1/2″ deep by 7/8″ wide dado in the box sides, then attached a 3/4″ square strip of material inside the cabinet. The drawers rest on these runners and with a coat of paste wax, slide very smoothly.

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Here’s how it is done:

I used the table saw to cut the dado (a router can also be used). I set the rip fence 3″ from the blade, and the blade height at 1/2″ so it wouldn’t cut all the way through the material. I removed the splitter so I could run the piece through.

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I made the first “cut” then moved the rip fence in 1/8″ increments seven times (7/8″).

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Any slivers left over were chiseled out.

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I then cut strips of 3/4″ material at 3/4″  wide. I cut them a tiny bit shorter than the length of the drawer box sides, then drilled three countersunk holes in each piece.

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I had previously marked the position of the wood slides but due to an, um “error”, I had to change the position of the slides. The goal is to place the slides so that the top of the dado rests on them and the drawer bottom clears the lower stretcher by at least 1/8″.

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I used a tape measure to make sure the slides were level and an equal distance from the bottom of the sides.

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The drawer fits perfectly! I am so excited!

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Now that I’ve shared how to make drawer slides will you make your own? I really think I will!

 




Keeping the Attic Cool with an Electric Vent

Replacing the Motor in an Electric Roof Vent

Several years ago, we installed an electric roof vent where an old plastic roof vent used to be. Let me tell you, that vent really helps keep the power bill down by removing a majority of the heat in the attic therefore keeping the air conditioner from working so hard in really hot weather. The only drawback is that the motors are oil-less and eventually the bearings dry out causing the motor to stop working. I was able to find a replacement motor and replacing the motor in an electric roof vent is very, very easy! Let me show you…

Replacing the Motor in an Electric Roof Vent

The new motor has a capacitor on it where the old one did not. This means it helps the motor run a bit more efficiently and also helps protect the motor from power inconsistencies.

We started by shutting off the power to the fan. I have mine wired to a switch and shut the power off at the breaker. Matt and I tag-teamed this project – he was inside disconnecting the wiring in the attic, and I was on the roof taking the housing apart to get to the motor.

Replacing the Motor in an Electric Roof Vent_Housing Removed

I tried to remove the set screw in the collar that hold the fan blades on the post of the motor. The set screw was quite snug but a little WD-40 took care of that!

Replacing the Motor in an Electric Roof Vent_Set Screw on Fan Blade Collar

I removed the bracket holding the old motor, and secured it to the new motor.

Replacing the Motor in an Electric Roof Vent_New Motor

I slid the fan blade assembly on the post then secured the set screw.

Replacing the Motor in an Electric Roof Vent_Fan Blade Assembly

I secured the brackets back into the housing. At this time, Matt was back in the attic connecting the wiring. I stood back – far back – and let him adjust the thermostat so the fan came on…

Replacing the Motor in an Electric Roof Vent_Finished

It worked like a charm! The new motor is much more quiet than the old one, and I was so thrilled at the load it took off of the A/C! Because it had been so hot, the A/C had been running continuously for several hours a day. Now, it doesn’t! Seriously, replacing the motor is that easy!

If your home has an electric roof vent and the motor quits, don’t be afraid to try your hand at replacing the motor in the electric roof vent. It truly is easy and we were finished within an hour! Have any questions? Leave a comment below!




Build a Mailbox Post

Step Up Your Curb Appeal with a New Mailbox Post!

Generally, we give our homes and our yards a lot of attention. The house gets a new coat of paint, a transformation to the front door, or a fresh look to our shutters. The yard will get mowed, clipped, raked, fertilized, and watered which turns it into a lush, green oasis. But do we ever think about the mailbox and the post that holds it? I’ll be the first to admit that although I’ve painted the mailbox, the post is left looking a bit unattractive. Matt asked me to create plans to build a gorgeous new post for the mailbox. Sure, a new mailbox post can be purchased then sunk into the ground but it is a few bucks cheaper to build your own and customize it to reflect the style of your home!

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The receptacle for the Rebel house (the rental that Matt and I have been remodeling) had a mailbox and a post that was way worse than mine. I did not take a “before” photo, so I will describe it to you… The box was rusty and had a magnetic covering on it featuring a “deer” scene. The post was a bent pipe that was leaning. In fact, Matt yanked it out of the ground with his bare hands! It was in very sad shape! Once the post was built, set into the ground, and painted, it made the Rebel house look like a million bucks all the way to the curb!

Materials:

  • 1 – 4×4 post at 8′ plus a scrap piece at 14″
  • 2-1/2″ Weather Resistant pocket hole screws (“Blue Kote”)
  • 1 scrap piece of treated 1×6 the length of the mailbox
  • 2″ exterior screws
  • Exterior screws to secure the mailbox to the shelf
  • 1 treated post finial or cap
  • Wood glue rated for exterior use
  • Paintable silicone caulk
  • Post hole digger (if a new hole is required)
  • Bag of quick-setting concrete
  • Level
  • Exterior paint and brush
  • Exterior screws to mount the mailbox

Cut List:

  • 1 – 4×4 at 79″ – Post
  • 1 – 4×4 at 14″ – Post Arm
  • 1 – 4×4 at 16-1/16″ – Arm Support
  • 1 – 1×6 cut to the length of the underside of the mailbox – Post Arm Shelf

Build a mailbox post

Click on the drawings for a larger view!

Step One

Start be reviewing the guidelines from the US Postal Service. They have a specific height for the box from the curb to the underside which makes it easier for the carrier to reach it. You can find the guidelines HERE.

Step Two

For this plan, the main post will extend up above the mailbox to show off a finial. Cut the main post at 79″ which includes the necessary 2′ that will be cemented into the ground.

 build mailbox post_Post

Step Three

Cut the piece for the post arm. Set the pocket hole jig for 1-1/2″ material and drill two pocket holes on each side of one end of the piece. Secure to the post as shown using glue and 2-1/2″ weather resistant pocket hole screws.

 build mailbox post_Arm

Step Four

Cut the piece for the arm support. The angles are each cut at 45 degrees. Drill two pocket holes at each end on each side of the piece. Secure as shown using glue and 2-1/2″ weather resistant pocket hole screws.

 build mailbox post_Support

Step Five

Measure the underside of the mailbox and cut the 1×6 piece to fit. Allow enough room for the door to open and close easily. Mount the piece on the arm using glue and 2″ exterior screws. Allow a space at the back of the shelf (at the post)  for the mailbox to fit.

 build mailbox post_Shelf1

Step Six

Use a drill bit at the same diameter of the screw in the bottom of the finial. Drill a hole about 3/4″ deep in the center of the top of the post, then screw in the finial. Use the paintable silicone caulk to fill the pocket holes.

 build mailbox post_Finial

Step Seven

Refer to the US Postal Service guidelines for the required location for the box, and dig a new hole if necessary. The hole should be a little deeper than the required 2′, and (obviously) bigger than the post itself. Mix and add the concrete according to the directions on the bag of quick-setting concrete. Check the post with the level, then let the concrete set.

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Step Eight

Once the concrete is dry (usually in 24 hours), paint the post using the exterior paint of your choice. We used Valspar Exterior paint in White with a semi-gloss finish.

 build mailbox post Photo09251446  build mailbox post Photo09251445

Step Nine

Position the mailbox on the shelf and secure using exterior screws on the sides into the shelf.

 build mailbox post Photo09251538

Now that you’ve used your skills to build a new mailbox post, your mailbox will be the nicest on the block! Add a few gorgeous plants or flowers around the base and – voila! – you have just turned the style up to 10!

 




Auger Anchors

How to Use Auger Anchors in Drywall

I am a huge fan of auger anchors. I live in a house where the interior wall studs are not at 16″ on center – they are 24″ on center. If I want to fasten anything to the walls, I need to use something strong that won’t pull out of the drywall. In the same situation? I’ll show you how to use auger anchors to keep your photo frames, shelves, etc. securely fastened to the wall!

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Auger anchors are little plastic corkscrew-looking pieces – they almost have a dangerous look to them, don’t they? They twist into the drywall then pop apart when the screw is inserted. There is less of a chance of them coming out of the drywall compared to regular plastic wall anchors.

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Installation is so easy – here is how I do it:

If I am installing a shelf, I drive the screws through the marked location on the shelf directly into the drywall (without anchors). This creates the hole where I need it to be plus it is spaced correctly with no measuring. Then I remove the screws.

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The auger anchor will fit directly on the end of a drill or screwdriver with a Phillips head, and is driven in the hole in the drywall.

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Replace the screws through the item being hung (or by itself for a frame) and drive the screw until the auger anchor “pops”. This is the end of the anchor splitting which further secures it into the wall.

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As always, use caution when installing anchors near electrical outlets so that it does not come into contact with the wiring!

I hope my little tutorial on how to use auger anchors has helped! If you have any questions, please contact me at cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot} com!

Disclaimer:

This post contains links to a site of which I am an affiliate. What that means is if the link is clicked and a purchase is made, I will get a commission of that sale. Rest assured I would only direct my readers to sites I shop at myself!




A Quick Guide to Cutting Crown Molding Using a Jig

A Crown Molding Cutting How-to

The time has finally come for Matt and I to install crown molding in the Rebel House – yay! After nearly a year, we are almost finished! I’ve always found crown molding a little intimidating… There are a lot of fabulous crown molding cutting how-to articles on the web – a couple of my faves are from The Design Confidential and Sawdust Girl. I had purchased the Crown Pro from Kreg Tools quite awhile back and decided to give that a try.

 crown molding cutting how-to Photo12101142

First and foremost, let me state that the instruction booklet will become your best friend! It is very clearly written and easy to understand. It includes diagrams on inside corners and outside corners, as well as instructions on how to measure the wall corners.

 crown moldingcutting how-to Photo12101145_1

Start by using the Angle Finder tool (the grey tool) to find the spring angle of the molding. The three common spring angles are 38°, 45°, and 52°. (The crown we purchased was 38°). There is also an adjustment nut on the bottom of the Crown Pro jig to set it at the same spring angle as the molding.

 crown molding cutting how-to Photo12101145

Use the Angle Finder to measure the wall corner so that the saw can be set to match the correct angle.

 crown molding cutting how-to Photo12101151_1

Make the cut…

 crown molding cutting how-to Photo12101455

Then install the crown molding. Honestly, we are awful at it but then again, there is a fabulous product on the market to fill those gaps called “caulk”…

 crown molding cutting how-to Photo12101241

As with any crown molding cutting how-to, there is a bit of practice involved. I used the jig to cut crown molding for a couple of shelves and the corners came out perfectly!

Disclaimer:

This is not a post sponsored by Kreg Tools or anyone else. I purchased the Crown Pro with my own money and thought I share my experience with my readers. I do still need to practice with it!!




Functional Cabinets Are Remodeling Essentials

Kitchen Remodeling Essentials

I was compensated to post this article on Designs by Studio C. The post was not written by me but I do agree with the content. Posts like this are what helps DbSC add more great plans and projects!

Great looking cabinets can set the tone for your entire kitchen remodel, but having cabinets with extra functional features is an essential for a truly value-added kitchen renovation. Here are some great functional features that will make your kitchen remodel stand out above the rest.

Gliding Shelves

Shelves that glide out of a cabinet when pulled add to the accessibility of the whole cabinet space. They are especially convenient to quickly access what is stored on the shelf. A handy use of the glide out feature is a small appliance cabinet to make use of a deep and narrow space. A cabinet door that pulls out reveals stacked shelves of appliances like a mixer, food processor, and blender. These handy gadgets can stay out of sight until needed.

cabinet-storage-solution-19

Mounted Wastebaskets

Mounted wastebaskets that glide out of a cabinet space make bending to throw trash away under the sink a thing of the past. The glide out feature can help you make the most of the space by handling a larger waste container than what the under sink space could accommodate. Easy accessibility to your waste container means easier trash bag removal and replacement as well.

cabinet-storage-solution-8

Cookie Sheet Storage

This type of functional storage solution utilizes vertical partitions so that items like cookie sheets, griddles, and even pan lids can be stored vertically. With this type of cabinet storage, everything has its designated place. Storage space is maximized and the time it takes you to find what you need is greatly reduced.

cabinet-storage-solution-13

Hanging Pots

How to store pots and pans is one of the main cabinet decisions you will make during a kitchen remodel. If the idea of pots that store hung up by the handles intrigues you but you do not like the clutter of them hanging from a ceiling mounted rail, the cabinet version may appeal to you. A specialized rail system that is installed inside the cabinet allows you to hang out of sight yet within reach. This is a streamlined and quiet solution to clattering around in a traditional cabinet trying to find the pan you are looking for.

Multidimensional Pantry

A way to get the most storage and functionality out of a deep pantry space is to invest in a multitasking multidimensional pantry. This pantry design is the best way to get the most use out of a deep cabinet space. The pantry consists of shelving units on the inside of the doors as well as shelves within the back part of the space. The extra functional feature of this style of the pantry is the tower feature that supports two to three short depth shelving units that pivot on the tower like a store poster display. The direction that you move the towers determines which deep shelf storage you have access to.

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To make your new kitchen especially functional, it is a good idea to do your research and talk to a professional about the latest in kitchen cabinet storage ideas. The clutter you eliminate and the organization you gain can make a difference in your satisfaction with your new kitchen remodel.




How to Cut Decorative Posts for a Deck

An Easy Way to Cut Posts for a Deck

Matt and I are in the process of building the railing for the deck at the Rebel house. I’ll tell you what – the materials for a deck are expensive! We didn’t want just plain old posts either but some of those decorative posts and post caps are way out of the budget. I can across this article from The Family Handyman on how to cut posts for a deck. It seemed pretty straightforward except that they use a circular saw… Using a circular saw is not entirely a bad thing but I am still deathly afraid of mine – go figure! I decided to cut the deck posts using my miter saw and my table saw.

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Let me state up front that all safety precautions need to be in place. It is a lot easier to create these posts with a helper nearby. Keep your hair back (if necessary), no loose clothing, any hoodie strings tucked out of the way (I tie mine under my chin), and wear gloves and safety glasses.

I started by cutting the posts to length using the miter saw. They each measure 48″ which will allow 6″ to be notched and attached to the side of the deck using lag screws. Then I started cutting the kerfs for the notches. I removed the splitter, anti-kick back pawls, and blade guard from my table saw then set the blade depth to 1-1/2″ with the rip fence set 6″ from the blade.

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I made a pass with each post through the saw and even had help from a sweet stray dog we’ve named “Mama”!

NOTE: It has been brought to my attention that feeding the posts through the saw as I’ve shown is “wrong”. The post is should be clamped to the saw’s miter fence then pushed through so that there is even pressure on the post. Please note that however you choose to run the posts through the saw is at your own risk.

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I moved the rip fence in by 1/2″ and made a pass with each post. I continued to do this (what seemed like a bazillion times) until there were kerfs cut along the 6″ where the notches would be.

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I decided that I wanted a decorative line cut in the upper area of the post. I reset the blade depth at 1/2″ and the rip fence at 4-3/4″ which would make a “square” below the bevels that will be cut in the top. I made a pass with each post through the saw on all four sides.

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To cut the beveled top, I marked a line 1-1/4″ in from each side. This will give a 1″ square at the top of the post.

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I cut the bevels at 45° on the miter saw.

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To finish cutting out the notches, I used a chisel to remove the material where the kerfs were cut.

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The posts were then bolted to the deck using 3/8″ x 3-1/2″ lag screws. Rails and balusters were then added to create the railing.

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I was really glad to come across The Family Handyman article on how to cut posts for a deck! It gave me an inexpensive option to create stellar posts for the Rebel house without breaking the bank. The posts identical to these that I saw at one of the big-box home improvement stores were $10 each. I created these for $3.50 each. Not too bad, huh? Have any questions? Contact me at cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot} com!