How To's

Free Rain Barrel Plans

rain barrel plan single

Build your own rain barrel.

Admittedly, rain barrels have come down in price and have gotten much more attractive.  However, if you are like me, you might just want to build your own rain barrel. This barrel is built from a common “garbage can” that will cost you about $30.  You could probably go less expensive, but be sure that you select a strong design/material.

Rain barrels have come down to the point that you can purchase a stylish version at stores like Sam’s Club for about $70.  So, you really have to weight the idea of building your own, or buying an off the shelf version.

If you decide to build it on your own, check out the following plans.

Full Rain Barrel Plans IMG_0008.pdf – Google Drive.

It turns out that I shared a rain barrel plan a little while back (HERE).  I suppose you can never have too many plans to review before jumping into any project.  Good luck!

Exterior Projects How To's

How to Build a Cheap, and Beautiful, Storage Shed – Step by Step

Just about everyone could use a storage she at some point in their life.  You could opt to purchase one that is a prefab vinyl job, buy one from a local shed company where they will drive up and drop it in your yard, or build one yourself.


If you are like me, you will probably build one yourself.  For many, this project will take weeks to complete.  Delays in outdoor building projects can come from your schedule or weather.  This shed will allow you to use inexpensive material and it will be something that you can build in your garage on rainy days.  The shed is essentially a series of panels that are then assembled.  I build a playhouse with my son many years ago with this technique.  It took up one side of the garage for a couple of weeks, but it was a fun (and dry) project that was built in a controlled environment.

This shed plan comes from The Family Handyman.  I love their projects since they are generally very thorough.  The plans come with a full material list and include an exploded view drawing (the most helpful part on a job site).

Good luck with your own shed.  Have fun and stay safe.

Full Plans: How to Build a Cheap Storage Shed – Step by Step | The Family Handyman.

Before and After Photos How To's

Simple Porch Column Plans – Wrap your ugly 4×4

Have you ever looked at a porch column that was nothing more than a 4×4 and thought it just didn’t fit the scale of the porch/house?   Even worse, you could have 2 2″ x 4″‘s sistered up to make the 4″x4″.  It isn’t too difficult to wrap your 4×4’s with some off the shelf lumber to give a look that will be more in scale with your porch/house.

I had a project a couple of years back and decided that I would simply wrap my columns with 1x pine.  Pine was used (rather than pressure treated) since this was a well protected corner of the house, the porch had a nice overhang and the wood was to be painted.

You might look at this plan/design and think that it was a waste of quite a bit of material and you could be correct.  However, pine boards are inexpensive.  If you are in the Buffalo or WNY area, check out LenCo Lumber (  LenCo has fantastic pricing on pine boards (side note… and MDF trim).  In our case, we had just torn out some pine storage shelves and had an abundance of free material that we were able to upcycle.

You could just wrap your column one time with pine and beef it up by 1 1/2 inches each way.  By following our plan you will be going one step further and giving your home a custom look with a raised panel style design.  Take a look below and take a look at the plan at Sketchup.  Keep in mind, this is not meant to be structural.  This is a decorative touch.

Tip: You should be sure to avoid direct ground, or flat surface contact with your pine.  The wood will wick up any water that it comes in contact with.  You can avoid (or delay) this by sealing the end of each board with a primer or sealer (I smear caulk on my end grain for protection).  In addition, you should elevate your bottoms by about 1/8″-3/16″ and then fill that gap with caulk.  This will add many years to the life of your porch columns.

You can find the full Sketchup Plan for the column here:

Take a look at the end result:

1-Search results for lombardy1-IMG_1050 2-IMG_1051 2-IMG_2351 3-IMG_1052

How To's Interior Projects

Window Seat With Hidden Storage…

This is a simple plan for a DIY window seat.  If you have your own bay window and space is being wasted, you MUST build this window seat in your bay.

This builder used applied MDF panels to create depth and a nice design.  You could do the same, or if you are shorter on material, you could do a simple applied molding.  To be honest, if you have the MDF it will be cheaper, faster, and easier.

window seat plans with storage


Free Plan: DIY: Window Seat With Hidden Storage

Exterior Projects How To's

Free Circular Saw Cross Cut Jig Plan – Vinyl Siding Cutting Jig

Free Circular Saw Cross Cut Jig Plan

If you aren’t a vinyl siding installer, you probably won’t have a vinyl siding cutting tool (Bullet Tools 209 EZ Shear SST 9-Inch for Siding Trim, Dust Free Flooring and Siding Cutter
).  However, you can easily make your own for just a few dollars.  In fact, you might be able to use scraps from other projects to build this jig.

Vinyl Siding Cutting Jig

cross cut jig for siding

The real beauty of this jig is that it isn’t just for vinyl siding.  It is a cross cut jig that you will grow to love.  This jig will eliminate the need to drag a chop saw everywhere you go.

via Free Circular Saw Cross Cut Jig Plan – Vinyl Siding Cutting Jig.

How To's

Fixing Garage Door Trim and Jamb


I know that I am not alone in needed a garage door repair.  The following guide is from The Family Handyman and is a terrific (and relatively simple) how-to to repair your garage door trim, door jamb, stop molding, and door seals.


If you are like me, you might be realizing that one more year of holding this together with paint is not going to cut it.  Time to replace with PVC trim.


Fixing Garage Doors – Article | The Family Handyman.