We’ve gone and done it. Nope, we didn’t create a hybrid ceramic animal robot. And we didn’t build Burger a dog-sized palace in the backyard. Instead… we’re introducing Young House Love Forums!
The idea for a forum section (or “message board” or “community” or whatever you want to call it) has been floating around for a while. Several of you have suggested/requested it and we even put it into our 2013 resolutions back in January (see #2). So consider this to be one resolution that we’ve officially kept.
You’ll notice that the site says “Beta” on it, which basically means this is a test. Kind of a trial period to see whether or not people find them helpful and fun, whether or not we can figure out a system for running them without stealing too much time away from DIY, and whether or not everyone can support and encourage each other. That last part is especially important to us because, just like our blog, we really want the forums to be a happy place where everyone feels comfortable. There are plently of places to get your snark on, but this little slice of the internet is meant to be a positive and encouraging spot to share advice, ask questions, and have fun. If Sherry were writing this she’d pull a Mary J Blige and start singing No More Drama. You can read more about our hopes for the forums in our Community Guidelines.
We hope you’ll all find the interface pretty easy and intuitive. We’re relying on a leading forums software called Vanilla Forums, which has lots of functionality built right in. For instance, they make registration super simple (especially if you’ve already got a Facebook, Twitter, Google, or OpenID account). UPDATE: We notified Vanilla about the too-strict standards of the password registration and they say they’ve changed it so “weak” passwords don’t prevent you from registering.
If you sign up using one of your social accounts, it’ll fill in most of your profile for you. You can also edit or add to it pretty easily (like including links to your website, removing things you don’t want to share, adding a hometown, or even including a status update in the “Activity” box). But there’s no need to spill anything you don’t want – you can just start with your username and a photo. People like seeing who they’re chatting up. Bonus points for mustaches.
Posting and commenting is pretty straightforward too. You can start a new “Discussion” (aka topic thread) or comment under an existing one using a nice standard comment box. It allows you to style your text, quote previous commenters, and even include images. We’d love for people to share photos of their projects, rooms they’re working on, etc – but please just post photos that are your own, and just use links to reference other inspiration pics (we don’t want anyone getting into any copyright battles).
We created a couple of categories to kick things off.
- The “Ideas Anyone?” category is meant to be a place to seek help – like getting design input from other forum-goers, asking for product recommendations, or troubleshooting a DIY project gone wrong.
- The “Look What I Did” is for showing off your successes (which we hope will be both encouraging to you as a DIYer who’s trying to build momentum as well as to others looking for fun ideas). Just pop in a couple of pictures of your most recent room makeover or furniture upgrade. Note: this is NOT intended for folks to copy and paste their latest 25 blog posts or spam the forum with a link every time their newest post goes live.
- The “Feeling Random” category, which is for fun sidebar thoughts that don’t really fit into the other two categories. So that’s where you can exchange dinner ideas, guess what’s going to happen on the next episode of The Walking Dead, or share the funny thing your kid said.
The forum software has some built-in systems for blocking spam and other abuse, which is nice, but you guys can also be our eyes and ears. If you see something sneak through please flag it. It helps the system get smarter so we get closer to a spam-free site. Oh, and it also lets you mark posts for good reasons too – like if you liked it or it triggered your LOL reflex.
So with all that said, we’d love for you to sign up, read the community guidelines, and then get your chat on. We’re excited to see where Young House Love Forums go (we always say that you guys put the “you” in Young House Love, so we can’t wait to see all the inspiring and hilarious stuff that’s shared).
What carport? This carport. You know, the one that almost kept us from considering this house because we were so anti-carport? My how we’ve changed our tune after spending a few years with it…
Sherry actually mentioned the new tune we’re signing back in this Listy McListerson post: “we originally wanted to convert this into a garage, but now we’re leaning towards adding a trellis arch so it’s all lush and pretty like a carport with a pergola instead of being closed in and dark like a garage (we’d lose some light from two windows into the laundry room and office if we closed it in).”
The lost windows were a big game changer, since we learned that fire codes would require us to close them off. See this guy over our built-in desk? It would be gone-zo along with the window in the laundry room.
We also got over our need for garage storage because our basement and attic have proven more than sufficient. So Operation Garage Conversion has officially become Operation Carport Fancification. Our main tactic? Adding the architectural interest that Sherry described above. In short, taking it from something like this…
…to something like this. Just more real, less Photoshop-tacular. And maybe with some nice greenery running up it.
If that Photoshop job isn’t doing it for you (it’s barely doing it for me) the first image in this article might. It wasn’t until we started hunting for inspiration that I realized attached pergolas are a thing. Some fancy folks even dub them “garage arbors.” So the idea of a carport arbor (a “carbor”?) didn’t seem that far-fetched. But figuring out how to actually build one had me all like…
Then Google led us to Workbench Magazine. Well, specifically this 2008 article on – you guessed it – building an attached garage pergola.
And it wasn’t just any article. It was an article with building plans and diagrams. Glorious, glorious diagrams.
And, as if the pergola heavens were shining down upon us, their plan was just about the exact size of what we needed to do, so we could follow their material and cut list almost to a T. Hallelujah. So I printed out the plans and made myself a date with the Lowe’s rental truck.
After finding the plans, and buying and hauling back all of our materials, we were finally able to get a start building this weekend, and the first step was installing an extra column on the house-side of the carport (since we needed a place for the pergola brace on that side to attach).
We’re currently in the process of rerouting the drainpipe, priming and painting a lot of wood, making our own curved wooden braces, and cutting all of the slats for the top part. So if all goes well, we should have that knocked out by early next week so we’ll be back with a post full o’ details for you guys then. The plans involve some fairly intricate cutting and bracing (at least by my standards) so we’ll have to see how all that goes. Wish us luck!
People ask us how we get the courage to take on larger building projects like this a lot, and our answer is always “break them down into smaller parts so your brain doesn’t explode.” So to demonstrate that, here’s our own broken-out pergola to-do list:
find or create our own plans figure out exactly what pieces of wood/screws/bolts we need and somehow get them home<–we rented a Lowe’s truck for $20 to get the 16′ boards home prime and paint the wood beforehand (should bemuch easier to do this before things are assembled) <– this is about half done, hence the half cross out build a column on the left side of the carport so the bracket on that side can rest on it
- build the curved wooden braces and bolt them in securely
- lay the boards and slats across the top, making sure they’re all level and secure
- find some vine to creep up the thing for extra credit
Anyone else out there ever built a pergola? Who thinks HGTV should add Pimp My Carport to their programming? Just me?
Psst- I wrote this for Boston.
***This giveaway is now closed – see who won below!***
And the lucky winner of some Pantone-tastic paint is… Gretchen (who’s really into “robin’s egg blue with a few pops of tangerine”). Congrats!
Y’all have heard of a little thing called Pantone, right? Well the folks who declared Emerald the color of the year have a slew of color experts who have also inspired a line of paint. And our bloggy friend/decorative painter Kristen clued us into MyColor inspired by Pantone – which is a series of project-sized paints for furniture, accessories, walls and beyond. In addition to the cool clear packaging, these quarts of eggshell paint (which are sold online and at Lowe’s) are ultra low VOC, stain blocking, and self priming. And one of you is gonna get EIGHT quarts in any of their 49 paint colors!
- PRIZE: Eight quarts of MyColor inspired by Pantone paints in any color (an $100 value)
- TO ENTER: Comment on this post with the words “PANTONE ME” and tell us…
- BONUS QUESTION: … if you had to declare a color of YOUR year, what would it be? Are you craving all things red lately (Sherry is)? Do all of your clothing purchases seem to be in the aqua family? Or are you right with the Pantone folks on emerald this year?
- NUMBER OF WINNERS: One
- PRIZE SHIPS: We always beg every vendor to ship internationally but some companies are not legally able to vend things beyond specific areas (more on that here). This giveaway is open to the United States.
- GIVEAWAY CLOSES: Wednesday, April 24th or at 10,000 entries (whichever comes first)
- USUAL STUFF: One entry per e-mail address is permitted. The winners will be selected using random.org and announced on Thursday as an update to this post. That’s right, come right back here on Thursday for the announcement of our winners. Good luck…
- ***COMMENT ISSUES? If you’re trying to enter but keep getting a “duplicate comment” warning, click here to see how to solve it!
Note: We aren’t paid or perked for hosting these giveaways, we just do ‘em to thank you awesome folks for stopping in. See our Giveaway FAQ page for more info. Pics courtesy of MyColor inspired by Pantone.