Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Porch Potty

When I move to South Carolina later this week - I will be moving to the fourth floor.  You might be thinking wow!  that will be a hassle.  And I did to, until I learned that there was a four story parking garage and my parking spot was near my apartment, so I am in fact going to be going less distance then if I were on the first floor.  The only bad part?  Baylor will need to go to the bathroom and that IS a hassle.  So I decided to build a porch potty for mornings that I am just running too behind to take Baylor 4 floors down to use the potty.  I think Baylor really liked it and I hope that it will work.

I went to Lowe's to get all of my materials and the most expensive part was making sure I had the correct equipment.  I met the nicest Lowe's employee, Anthony, and he helped me with everything!  I told him that I didn't know anything and he became my personal shopper.  I built everything in my storage unit, which was the best decision I could have ever made.  At the end of the project, I took my porch potty with me, swept the floor, and was done with it.

Not that ANY of you are interested in the porch potty... but I thought I would share with you my experience anyways if you are ever interested in building one.  This is my shopping cart before I bought the wood... nice fact to know about Lowe's - they WILL saw your wood down to the correct size.  This is a nice aspect because a good saw can become quite expensive.  As you can see I bought a staple gun (love this thing! A drill, and you definitely get what you pay for, mine was the cheapest $29 Black and Decker drill and it charged overnight and held the charge for maybe 30 minutes of continuous drilling.  BLAH.  So frustrating!  I also got a wood stain, a paintbrush, and a finish.

This was my shopping list as you can see everything that I needed.  They ended up cutting the fake grass, plywood, and vinyl matting.  You will see that my list includes bread crates - this was used in the original plans I was looking at, but decided to use stiff chicken wire instead.  The point of this layer was to create a gap between the grass and the vinyl matting so the potty stuff doesn't just sit on the vinyl and begin to stink.  We will see if this really works.  I am a little skeptical.  The stain I got is Rust-Oleum and is a oil based stain that is dark walnut.  I almost got mahogany, but they had too much purple/red in it for me.  There was definitely a need for the stain - it just completed the project and now I have it for the table I am working on.  I will give you a little hint:  the paint will not just come out of the brush by itself with water, you MUST USE ACETONE.  The acetone breaks up the oil and allows the brush to separate from the paint.

Okay here it goes the list of things to do:

1.  If you didn't get them to cut your wood.  Cut the wood in the dimensions you want.  I wanted to do a two square foot box.  Well I shouldn't have cut 4 2 foot boards because then they didn't all fit. So I ended up having to go back and cut the plywood, but it was a learning experience :)

2. After I cut the wood and nailed it together, I cut 4 scrap pieces of wood and nailed them into the wood so that when I put the plywood into the box it landed on an angle.  (it's on an angle so the potty stuff will drain out)

3. After I put the plywood in I cut the vinyl and stuck that through.  As you can see the vinyl fit through the hole at the low end of the box.  The board at the low end was cut in half so that 'everything' could drain out and I just stapled those in with my fancy smancy new staple gun.

4. Next you are going to cut the wire of your choice (just make sure it is sturdy enough to raise the grass off of the vinyl), the length and width of your box.  I chose chicken wire and folded it in half and stapled it in, the stable gun makes things so easy to place and put together.  I love it!  
5. Lastly, before you stain the wood (which I might do before next time so you don't stain the grass...), cut the fake grass and place it in the box.  I cut my a little longer on all sides, stapled it in, and then used my box cutter to cut the extra on all of the edges.  
6. Finally, I stained it - just once and I didn't put a varnish or coating on it.  By this point I was just ready to be finished with it!  I put Baylor on it and he stayed just long enough to smile and take a picture, but he wasn't too fond of it.  It will be something he needs to get used to... I might even go by a couple of squares of real grass to set on top of it??  Not sure, but I will be glad to have it, I am sure.  


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