How can you be bored when there's DIY projects to be done?
The past several weeks have kept Ron very busy with three projects. And he accomplished them simultaneously to boot!
The first one involved moving an electrical outlet, adding another outlet, stabilizing drawers, making a drawer and making a cutting board. It's really a benefit for us that we have our shop where he can fabricate his designs. I couldn't imagine paying someone else to make these for us. *Ron isn't an electrician, but he knows what he's doing. Don't try this unless you are certain you're capable.
For the longest time, well ever since owning Raven, we wondered why the GFCI in the kitchen was put where it was. Located above the drawers but still under the counter top. It rarely got used. The space could be much better utilized with an added cutting board. But not just any regular cutting board. Oh no... How about also adding a 'hidden' drawer to hold pens and the like? Time to make some changes.
|not in the most useful location|
The first step was to relocate this GFCI outlet that was hardly used. It was in such a poor spot. But it is a necessary outlet. Ron had first wanted to locate it next to the one above it on the wall. However, the wall is too thin to accommodate the housing. It instead got moved to under the sink where it is more useful. I plug my Instant Pot under there so it can vent under the stove instead of under the cabinets. So much better :-)
Now that he's got that cleared out of the way,
Ron had an open canvas to create something useful.
|it's a tight squeeze back there|
The frame used to support the three original drawers wasn't enough to hold what Ron was creating. Additional internal support was fabricated using both plywood and plastic. The drawer bottom will slide on the plastic rails which are screwed onto wooden posts. Ron also fabricated a wooden front piece so that the green plastic won't be visible.
|the drawer face and handle are on, tools inside, yippee :-)|
|the bottom has legs to keep it in place when we're in motion|
|Ron does awesome work!! Thank you honey :-))|
This one was actually very simple. The two of us changed out the window in about an hour.
Raven has a second door in the bedroom. It's great when we want to get more fresh air inside. It's not so great when we want to sleep and there's light flooding the room from a nearby lamp post.
Our makeshift aluminum foil window cover wasn't quite so attractive when the door was open.
The window that we bought is CloZures Shade made by Zarcor. We ordered the room darkening option for obvious reasons :-) It comes complete and ready to install. It fits any window that measures 12" x 21" with 16 mounting screws. The only tool required was a screwdriver. We have an electric drill so we used that too. This is a two person project. If you're a solo RV'er grab a friend or neighbor to help.
|in the open position|
We're quite happy with how it turned out. It does work very well at keeping the light out when it's closed! However, I wasn't expecting the view out the window to be somewhat blocked when it's open. This is the bedroom after all so the door is rarely used for access. Guests come to the front door. Plus, we rarely slide the control handle so it works out fine for us. The supplied handle is a bit short for our particular screen door opening. Eventually I'll contact Zarcor to get an appropriately sized handle. If asked, I would give the window replacement 4 out of 5 stars.
Roamin was sold with one of the day/night accordion style shades broken. It had been that way for a long time. We had planned to fix it eventually. I even bought a re-string kit to do it. But, we never did bother. Instead we just left the window shade down.
When we bought Raven, it came with the same accordion shades. We knew they weren't optimal but we figured it would be okay. That wasn't quite accurate. The front shade strings broke within the first six or seven months. Luckily we were able to have a repair shop restring them for no charge under warranty.
Then shortly after, the string of the one next to the recliners broke. We again kept the shade down and closed most of the time. On the few occasions we wanted it open, we would jam a piece of anti-slip mat up in the cavity between the shade and the valance. It wasn't very pretty though...
When a third string on a third shade broke we had just about had enough!!
I had been researching MCD shades for quite awhile already and knew that's the way we wanted to go. There are other options, but these are the ones we felt would hold up best for us. We did our measurements according to the website, double checked with their installer and placed our order for the front six shades. We went with the duo shades which have a day time privacy shade plus a night time light blocking shade. They arrived at our door step about three weeks later.
Ron removed the valances and the string shades from the wall. We were kind of surprised that the valance behind the recliners was secured to the window frame with "L" brackets.
|day shade pulled down|
We had hoped that we wouldn't need to keep the brown side pieces. One thing we weren't sure about was whether or not the edges of the vinyl MCD shades would warp. Unfortunately they do warp ever so slightly meaning that the brown pieces would have to stay.
A few of the valances mount on the wall as opposed to the underside of a cabinet. The mounting screws to hold the blocks of wood securing the shade hardware would be seen. We bought some brown screw caps at Home Depot to beautify them a bit.
|simply no comparison-these MCD shades are outstanding!|
It took us three days to install all six shades. It's been about two weeks that we've had them in use. We had to make some minor adjustments to two of the six. One was too close to the window frame making it difficult to move the shade up or down. The other was positioned wrong to begin with so it just needed some tweaking.
Overall, we love these shades! The bedroom still has the original accordion style shades. We wanted to replace the living room shades first to see how we like them. In time, the bedroom ones will get replaced too.