When we think of home renovations, we tend to picture complicated projects like room expansions or the addition of a backyard deck or patio. However, not all renovations require major construction. With a little creativity and some old materials lying around the house, you can repurpose pretty much anything—and the end results are not only impressive, but extremely useful, too!
These two DIYers learned this firsthand. One woman had always dreamed of raising her own chickens in a stylish coop, but she didn’t have the extra cash to buy one. Meanwhile, another fellow was in need of something that would help enhance the parties he frequently threw. You’ll be amazed at how the two of them each handled their predicaments…
Home renovations can be quite the undertaking; they require a lot of time, money, and labor. Most of the time, we settle for hiring contractors and builders to complete our projects. After all, not just anyone can tackle a massive project without knowing the ins and outs of it.
When we think about renovations, we usually picture large-scale construction projects: the installation of a wooden floor, building a new porch, or upgrading an entire kitchen. But some projects can be smaller and still have a big impact—while being both unique and cost-effective.
One woman hoped to renovate her cramped chicken coop, but she didn’t quite have the money to buy a brand new one herself. She assumed that she was out of viable options and was ready to give up on her dream—until she saw something that gave her a brilliant idea.
She’d been hanging up laundry in her back yard when her eyes landed on her kids’ old Playskool playhouse in the corner of her yard. The children had outgrown it, and the structure was just sitting there collecting leaves and moss…
The woman thought about how it was such a waste to let it sit on her property unused when she had a brilliant idea: maybe she could repurpose it to help with her chicken coop dilemma. Surely there was something that could be done?
Since it’d been years since her kids had used the playhouse, they didn’t mind at all when she dragged it out into the driveway and cleaned it off. How exactly would she put the house to use? She had to find a way to incorporate it into her existing coop (pictured), too.
The woman quickly got to work. She created a platform with a ramp for the floor of the playhouse while her husband helped her build a nest box that could be opened from the outside. The box fit perfectly inside the front window of the playhouse; this would allow for nesting chickens to have their own private space while sitting on their eggs.
Then, the woman and her husband simply hoisted the Playskool house on top of the platform and positioned the ramp in such a way that it connected the bottom coop area to the playhouse. Now, their chickens could have some privacy while they laid their eggs!
This woman wasn’t the only person who found a way to repurpose an old structure. One man had always envisioned a full bar in his home, but he didn’t think he couldn’t afford the project. But where there’s a will, there’s a way, as they say…
The man owned an unfinished shed, which had been built by his home’s previous owner, and it was useless for anything more than storing lawnmower equipment. So the man decided to transform it into his dream bar! After completing the electric installation himself, he put up some new drywall…
Next came a fresh coat of paint. Not only was sage green a charming color, but it allowed for flexibility in case future homeowners wanted to use the shed for something else. Once the paint was dry, it was time for him to lay the floor. Rather than spending a ton of money on real hardwood, he installed a durable vinyl sheet that had the same appearance as the real thing.
The man’s next task was to begin the construction of the bar itself. He started by building the frame; he decided on a standard L-shape, which he was able to create in no time. But he had a long way to go before he could serve some cold ones to his friends!
Once the bar’s frame was complete, the man attached long, flat pieces of plywood to ensure the frame was sturdy. This bar would need to support the weight of anyone leaning on it, plus whatever beverages he was serving.
He then stained all of the wood black to give the entire thing a sleek and modern look. He knew he wanted his end product to look as professionally done as possible, and this black stain would do just the trick!
The man then had a very unique idea of how he was going to decorate the bar, and it involved lots of money. That’s to say it involved pennies—5,500 of them in all! But how did he intend to use $55 worth of pennies?
He’d use them to cover the bar top, of course! First, the man needed to clean off all of the gunk and grime that accumulated on the coins over time; he soaked them in a solution made of white vinegar and salt. The pennies were then laid out to dry, and some of them developed a beautiful green oxidation.
He carefully sorted them by color and shade and then rearranged them in an intricate pattern on the bar top. He made sure to glue down each one so it was secure; he didn’t want any pennies falling out of place.
Once all of the pennies were glued down, he poured a thick layer of clear resin over the top to help the pennies set. Once the resin fully dried, it made the bar top appear to have a smooth glass encasing. This DIY project was nearly complete…
Last but not least came the most important part of his homemade bar: the alcohol! The man shoehorned a kegerator underneath the bar top and even added a few tap handles to give his guests a nice variety of brews to choose from.
The man’s homemade bar was finally complete. Now he had a cool space where guests could hang out and sling back a few brews—and it didn’t cost him nearly as much as it would have had he hired a crew.
In the home improvement world, nothing is better than taking a worn, dated object and turning it into something new and improved. Sure, you could always leave your old stuff by the curb and buy a replacement, but newer doesn’t always mean better.
A homeowner in Pennsylvania had a big DIY project planned for his house. But before he could begin his project, he had to gather the appropriate materials, which would’ve been really expensive. Luckily, he came across these windows on Craigslist. They’d be perfect for his DIY masterpiece: a greenhouse!
Next, he sketched out what he wanted to make. In the old days, designers used to draw their plans by hand. Now, modern 3D design and rendering programs have made it easier than ever to detail your designs and make adjustments before you even get to work.
The first wall of the greenhouse was constructed using four columns of three windows. The homeowner had a little bit of experience with building his own garden sheds and the like, but he had never tackled anything like this before…
He decided to set up the framework for his southern-facing wall at an angle. Even with just the wood framing in place, the angle of this structure was striking in this natural setting. This would be a pretty intriguing greenhouse, to say the least!
Next came the rest of the frame, which was easier said than done. While he managed to build the first stages in just an hour or so, the total framing time on the rest of this structure took him all day to complete.
Next, the homeowner made sure he insulated the southern half of the frame with clear plastic. When you’re building a shack or a tool shed, you often don’t have to bother with insulation, but for this structure—and for anything more sturdy—insulation was essential.
He wanted to add a little bit of character to his greenhouse, so he opted for some cute, ornamental woodworking. One of the perks of handling your own building projects is that you get the chance to personalize them. Talk about literally putting your mark on it!
This piece, in particular, was built for the roof and would add a little flair to his blossoming creation. It almost looked more like something you’d find on top of a castle than in someone’s backyard, didn’t it?
Next, it was time to add more windows, which were essential to this project. In fact, rather than simply being decorative, they were going to serve a critical role in the finished design. It was no wonder he wanted to place them so carefully.
To secure them to the frame, the homeowner used screws and silicone caulk. When installing windows in a structure this size, it’s important to make sure that they’re not only secure but that there is enough give so they don’t shatter in inclement weather.
This wasn’t a flashy build, so the homeowner used a simple, white color for the frame. If anything, the contents of the greenhouse itself were going to provide the color for this structure. Using something like white paint only served to highlight the natural environment!
Though he wasn’t finished just yet, he took a minute to admire his work so far. Can you blame him? This project might not have been at its completion point yet, but that didn’t mean that it was any less awesome to look at!
Now it was time to bring in the dirt! With the framing complete, the windows installed, and the paint dry, this backyard greenhouse could finally be used for its intended purpose. That said, this was going to be a greenhouse that was unlike any other you’d ever seen before…
Instead of custom-cutting glass, which would’ve been heavy and expensive, the homeowner used plywood to cover the rest of the frame. Although you might not realize it, the cost of custom-cut glass can really add up—and this DIY project had a specific budget.
Next, the greenhouse was ready for a little decoration! Just look at the way the setting sun illuminated this greenhouse with its soft, golden glow. The positioning of the structure wasn’t accidental: south-facing windows get a lot of sun in the northern hemisphere.
With the outside done, it was time to focus on the interior. First, the homeowner placed some stone on top of the dirt floor. Even though there would only be plants inside of the greenhouse, he wanted his new retreat to have a sleek professional feel.
Also, the stone would help retain heat, which was essential to making sure the plants would thrive. Not only that, but it looked pretty darn special, too! The rustic aesthetic of the stone made for a nice contrast with the outer structure’s streamlined design.
Once the floor was finished, the homeowner added some shelves that surrounded the interior. These shelves would provide him with ample space for storage and for the plants he planned to grow inside of his beautiful, bespoke greenhouse.
And there it was: a perfectly sustainable greenhouse! Check out how awesome the finished product looks. That’s the kind of place you wouldn’t mind whiling away the afternoon inside as you cultivated your favorite greenery.
With everything in full bloom, it was time to add the finishing touches and make it his family’s perfect hangout spot! Check out the finished product below. Doesn’t it look more like something out a fairytale than your average garden greenhouse?