Projects by DIYers Like You

Four stellar projects created by fellow home-improvement enthusiasts. Pretty good, right?

Optimum home office
While shopping for a computer desk for his wife’s home office, Club member Ron Mikulka of San Marcos, California, realized that the high prices and low quality of the options available were not going to work for him. So he set out to design and build a custom computer desk. For sturdiness, Ron used 3/4-in. medium-density fiberboard to build the base cabinets and made the bookcases out of birch plywood with bead-board panels on the inside. He used pine for the face frames and added crown molding along the top. The desk includes drawers for hanging files and miscellaneous items, compartments for a computer tower and printer, adjustable shelves and a pullout keyboard tray.

Delightful daybed
To accommodate an especially tall houseguest, life member Edward Dawe of Northampton, Pennsylvania, designed and built this decorative daybed. But the project wasn’t a straightforward as it looks: Because he lives in an old farmhouse, Edward had to figure out a way to transport the bed up a narrow winding staircase and into an upper-level bedroom. “I accomplished this by making it in seven pieces: the back, two sides, the front and three mattress-support sections,” Edward says. He built all of the parts out of red oak, finished them with three coats of tung oil and added decorative spindles that complement the warm color of the wood.

Wooded retreat
This beautiful backyard hideout is definitely more than a typical tree house: The interior features an electric fireplace and a loft that holds a queen-size bed. Club member Chris Willis of Mount Vernon, Washington, designed and built the structure with his son in their backyard. The project took them about a year to complete. “We are lucky to have three big trees in the backyard,” Chris says. The elevated walkway connects to the upper-level deck of their home, situated just off of the dining room, and spans about 40 ft. to the tree house.

Ultimate privacy fence
Club member Paul Veldhuis of Lynnwood, Washington, built this grand privacy screen using beautiful Western red cedar. The structure stands 9 ft. tall and stretches 42 ft. across his backyard. To make it a little more interesting than a traditional privacy fence, he built the five panels 3-1/2 ft. above the ground, allowing for shrubs to fill in and add different textures along the bottom. “The detail is the same on both sides,” Paul says, “with copper caps and a small alcove for seating.” Paul made the bench out of scraps left over from the fence and finished the entire structure with outdoor wood sealant.