Best Yard Redo: Precision is Key

Framing out the glass house was tricky because you can't cut tempered glass—it will shatter. The spacing had to be perfect. I notched the edges of 2×4s to accept the glass, then custom built frames for each panel and set them with foam tape and silicone. I built the roof's ridge out of cedar shingles (lumberyard freebies), and, except for the side open to the breezeway, the structure is watertight. It never really gets hot, since we're on a wooded lot. And in winter, I close up the breezeway with nine more glass panels to keep out the rain and snow.

Using salvaged materials for new construction is like doing a puzzle, but it's amazing what you can create when you put your mind to it.

Shown: The lumber for the stairs of Mike Sala's new deck is from a redwood picnic table that he built 46 years ago.
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