Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Outdoor Spaces

Ron and I have spent a lot of time outdoors in the past year.  We like camping and hiking and kayaking and running.  But, we also like to just sit outside and relax.  This spring, we worked hard to fix up our fire pit area, although it's been too hot this summer to actually enjoy it much yet.  But we have enjoyed being outdoors on the deck---especially in the mornings or late evenings.   The only problem (besides it being really messy), is that the late evening sun shines directly into that area from the west, making it pretty uncomfortable at times.  Ron has remarked several times that we need curtains on that side.

Well, this weekend, we did something about it.  I measured the length of the span and did a little research online  at my favorite DIY spot, Pinterest, before heading to Home Depot.  

porch curtains
Porch curtains rod - spray paint color on it for pop of color

I picked up two 6' x 9' drop cloths and some eye bolts to be fastened to the metal.  I found the best price for curtain ring clips at WalMart.  Ron went to Lowe's with me to get the pipe that we used as a curtain rod.  We planned to use conduit, but it doesn't come in 12' lengths and they were sold out of the 1/2" diameter.  Instead we decided to use actual threaded pipe---it came in 6' lengths, so two of them made it the right length.  We bought a coupler for the middles and two end caps to keep the curtain rings from sliding off.  The threaded pipe was more expensive than conduit would have been, but it is also much stronger and looks better.

Ron drilled holes in the metal roofing rim and inserted 3 bolts, along with locking nuts.  Because the roof slants, he screwed the first bolt all the way in and kept the bolt at the other end fully extended.

(By the way, drilling into that metal caused tiny metal flakes/splinters to fly everywhere, so Ron had to be very careful and wear protective eye wear).    I slid the curtain clips onto the rods and we slid it through the eye hooks.  I folded the drop cloths to the appropriate length and clipped them on.

I want to live with them for a little while before I decide if I am going to cut and hem them---at this point, the flap doesn't really bother me much.  

After cleaning up the deck (those pictures above show just how messy it really was!!), and letting them hang outside a bit so the wrinkles could fall out, they really look pretty good.    It's really pretty amazing how much shade they provide!  And while not necessarily the cheapest option, it is much more affordable than actual outdoor curtains and does the trick quite nicely.
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