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21 Outstanding Reader Projects

Creating clever storage units, stellar bonus spaces, quirky pet projects and more, The Family Handyman readers are amazing DIYers! Check out these 21 seriously cool reader projects.

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Modular Pet Ramp

Modular Pet Ramp

Reader Doug Swanson has two lucky dachshunds. He built this custom ramp with window seating and a safety railing so they can look out the window despite one of the pets back issues. The ramp also features built-in storage cabinets and casters, so it can be moved easily when its time to vacuum the floor.
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Pond Upgrade

Pond Upgrade


Reader Janice Ferguson and her husband made changes to their existing pond based on a few ideas they found in The Family Handymans Plan a Low-Maintenance Pond project, originally published in the April 2005 issue. They lowered the water level, making it more accessible for birds, and added a small waterfall. What a great water feature!
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Private Studio SpacePhoto: Courtesy of Dale Lockwood

Private Studio Space


Reader Dale Lockwood built this amazing creative studio building for his wife. It includes double front doors, three sliding windows that face a nearby lake, an interior loft for storage, window boxes, a weathervane and a woodchip pathway. Its the perfect space for bringing creative projects to life.
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At-Home Arcade

At-Home Arcade


Reader Brian created this remarkable arcade in his basement. From the video games to comfortable seating to foosball and air hockey tables to the well-stocked snack corner and retro dcor, the space is a dream for any game lover. What a cool room, Brian!
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Outdoor Bench with Storage

Outdoor Bench with Storage


Reader Billy Keith built an amazing storage bench for his outdoor space. He used teak, which features excellent water-resistant qualities, for the exterior and cedar, which features natural deodorizing qualities for the interior. The finished piece looks flawless, dont you think?
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Firefighter Home Bar

Firefighter Home Bar


The materials used by reader Janet Emge and her husband to create their home bar make it an exceptional, one-of-a-kind space for a reserve firefighter. The front of the bar, for example, is covered with sections of fire hose. And the light fixtures and made with recycled oxygen tanks. So cool!
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Skinny Workshop Cart

Skinny Workshop Cart


Talk about taking advantage of unused storage space! Reader John White constructed this skinny shop cart for storing his surplus sheet goods. It features an open frame on four small casters, and it fits perfectly in the open space behind the lower cabinets in his workshop. Excellent idea, John!
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Cottage Shed

Cottage Shed


This creative cottage-like shed was built by reader Alan Luebs. He used our Dream Shed plans, originally published in the July/August 2013 issue of The Family Handyman. He modified the doors and windows and added awesome siding materials and colors. We absolutely love it!
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Classy TV Cabinet

Classy TV Cabinet


This TV cabinet project was executed perfectly by reader Ronald Berg. He used plans from The Family Handymans November 2012 issue, adding that he learned how to use a Kreg pocket-hole jig for the first time and loved it. We love your work, Ronald!
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Pirate Ship Tree House

Pirate Ship Tree House


This pirate ship-inspired tree house must be the talk of reader Douglas Gobles neighborhood! Its amazingly executedfrom the pretend cannon to the sail to the helm that spins. It provides his kids with hours of outdoor fun.
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Bookcase Entertainment Center

Bookcase Entertainment Center


My entertainment center is by no means perfect, but it is by far the nicest thing I have ever built, says reader Matt Godsey. It fills me with pride every time I get a book down from the shelf to read to our kids, or I watch one of them get a movie out of the cabinet for family movie night. Matt crafted this beautiful rendition of The Family Handymans Classic Bookcase project, originally published in the December/January 2014 issue.
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Taj Ma-Shed

Taj Ma-Shed


Built using plans from the Ultimate Garden Shed article in The Family Handyman magazine, reader Bill Derby says his Taj Ma-Shed was a challenging yet very rewarding project to complete. He even added to it by building a deck for the base of the shed!
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Collectors Mancave

Collectors Mancave


This mancave was once a horse barn. Now its a climate-controlled, seriously cool hangout spot that reader Robert Rhea spends more time in than his house! You would, too, if your mancave featured a full kitchen and bar, a theater with balcony seating, two bedrooms and space to showcase your many collections. Nicely done, Robert!
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Reclaimed Lumber Decking

Reclaimed Lumber Decking


From trash to treasure is an understatement for this project by reader Dallin Pedersen. He salvaged a pile of 3x3 unfinished Ipe boards, turning them into beautiful and unique decking. After reshaping the boards and a lot of sanding, Dallin added an oil-base wood toner. The deck looks spectacular!
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Fancy DIY Fire Table

Fancy DIY Fire Table


Perfect for chilly fall nights, reader Ed Merkle constructed this Fabulous Fire Table using plans from the April 2017 issue of The Family Handyman. He modified it slightly by making it smaller to fit within his outdoor space, and we love the terra-cotta color that he chose for the concrete top! Ed says the project has been receiving glowing reviews from his neighbors.
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Amazing Yellow Shed

Amazing Yellow Shed


Reader Nick Ross created this cheerful yellow shed using plans from The Family Handyman magazine. The concrete ramp in the front is a nice addition and will be perfect for rolling a lawnmower and other outdoor power equipment inside the shed. And, of course, the bright yellow color is awesome.
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Kitchen Remodel on a Budget

Kitchen Remodel on a Budget


For just $4,100, reader Mike Helsel remodeled his kitchen, and that includes knocking out a wall! He built the cabinets himself with cherry wood that he purchased from a local farmer. And his family was without a sink and stove for two days totalnow thats quick work!
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Jail Playhouse

Jail Playhouse


Reader Frank Smola asked his grandson if he would rather have a playhouse or a pretend jail to have fun with when he visits. You can guess his grandsons response based on the photo. Frank used bricks and steel bars from an old barbecue pit to construct the jail building. We think it turned out great!
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Wood Fireplace Surround

Wood Fireplace Surround


Reader Bill Wachholder wanted to update his fireplace, so he built this stunning wood surround. It features beautiful molding details and a rich cherry finish. Nicely done, Bill!
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Big and Little Storage Lockers

Big and Little Storage Lockers


Were impressed with reader J. Macphersons modifications to The Family Handymans Outdoor Storage Locker project from March 2008. Both versions of the shed were based on the project plans that he found on the website. Way to go!
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Patio Chairs with Storage

Patio Chairs with Storage


Check out the awesome modification that reader Mike Reichenbach incorporated into The Family Handymans Perfect Patio Chairs project, originally published in the March 2017 issue. The small storage compartment built onto the back of each chair is perfect for stashing bug spray, cold beverages and more. Great idea, Mike!