C3 – Kevin Catlett

Kingsland, TX – 210-394-3325


Category: tips & tricks

Addition or Accessory Dwelling?

Have you found yourself in need of more space? Maybe a growing family, an aging loved one or the need for a home office has prompted you to look at your options. When faced with the need for more space most people think of adding on to their existing home. Additions are a good option if they fit the design of the home. Additions can help improve resale value and add to the overall flow and function of your home. But additions require a good design to keep from disrupting the existing features as well.

Have you considered adding an accessory dwelling? Rural properties have very few limitations regarding additions but more and more city codes are allowing a second living structure to be built on existing lots.  A properly planned and designed accessory dwelling can increase your overall value of your property and allow a multitude of options for your future.


A detached game room can double as an office if you work from home. The same space an be used as a guest house for friends and family or even be used as an apartment for a child while attending college. The addition of a finished apartment can provide living space for a parent or loved one and become a rental unit in the future.

Photo Mar 21, 9 02 18 PM

Planning a space to be functional for today’s needs and flexible for tomorrow can add value to your life for years to come.

Kevin Catlett
C3 Contracting

Dog Proof Table

My wife recently asked for a table that our lovable, tail waggin’ Labrador wouldn’t knock over. It seems that her tail gets out of control and tends to knock over my wife’s drink, her phone, the entire table……. And she wants a drink holder that would fit her Yeti insulated cup.

Not a problem….. A trip to the bone yard and a new project is born……
c3 Table 2
Recycled farm disk base, two horse shoes, 2″ flat bar, and a recycled 2 x 12 floor joist.  I used #1 horse shoes to fit the larger cup size. Tervis tumblers also are a great fit!

c3 Table1

And here it is ready to use! Satin black paint and tung oil on the wood and this table should last for years.

Need a custom piece for your oasis. I custom build all types of indoor and outdoor furniture. Have some used farm equipment, remnants or antiques you would like to up-cycle? Send me some pictures and let’s get started on your dream project.

And I have enough material for several more of these table. Contact me for pricing…..

Kevin C

If This Barn Could Talk!

Every so often a project that is really exciting comes along. Our Barndomimum/Game Room project is in need of some country character and finishing details. The customer just happens to have an old barn on the property that he thought we might be able to salvage some wood from. There is more than just “a little” wood to work with. Take a look at the gold mine we discovered today!

Notice the old chicken coops and feed barn in the background. The noise of traffic can still be heard in the distance but it feels like I have stepped back in time and am miles from any city.

Full length 1 inch thick planks surround the exterior.

Let’s go inside and see what we have to work with.



Is that a stairway to Heaven?

Looking down from the Hay Loft. Look at all the shiplap planks. Full 1 inch thick by 8 inches wide.

How many storms have those rafters withstood?

It’s time to get to work and see if we can save some of this beautiful old wood. Thanks for the hard work today Cody.

Treasures and memories are in every corner.

Another view of the upper and lower decks in the hay loft.

How long since you have seen 1″ thick planks that are over 20 feet long? We took out a few sample boards today.

And the color is gorgeous! The board on the left is still covered with years of dirt and grim. The board on the right has only been cleaned with a little water, a clean towel and some elbow grease.

My helper asked what was wrong because of how excited I was. Some great material was uncovered today and I can’t wait to incorporate it into my customers current project. No telling where this material might be used in the future, but you can be guaranteed that as much as possible will be recycled and reused.

Keep following along for future updates. You never know what we might be doing tomorrow!

Kevin C – C3 Contracting
Built Small, Built Smart, Built to Last

Design With The Future In Mind.

When designing a new project there are lots of decisions to make. Interior finishes, exterior appearance, paint color, door sizes, plumbing fixtures, and the list goes on and on. You have an idea in your mind of what you want but how do you get there? Here are some things I consider in every project.


Purpose: What do you want to be able to do in your space? If you are going to build a game room to entertain then you need plenty of floor space for seating and “hanging out”. Do you need enough space for a pool table? How big will the TV screen be? Will the space double as a guest room or possible an apartment in the future?

I visualize the space from the middle of the room out. Make a drawing or build a model and start placing your furniture and fixtures in the room first. This will help you determine how big the space needs to be.

Location: This is VERY IMPORTANT. When adding on to an existing home or building you might not have very many options about where the addition will be. But when adding a new building to your property location is very important. When considering the location of the building I always like to know where North is. If you want to take advantage of our South East summer breeze in South Texas you don’t want your patio on the North side of the building. And shade from the West can make your space much more comfortable in the late summer days. Are you a morning person? If not, you don’t want the bright Eastern sun shining directly into your bedroom window. And how will the new building change the existing views around your property. Adding a cottage or backyard office can help block less desirable views from adjacent properties but you don’t want your new office to block the sunset views you enjoy from your back porch!

Appearance: What do you want the exterior and interior to look like? When building a cabin amid a group of oak trees in the backyard using natural wood finishes and earth tone paints can help the space blend in and feel warm and cozy. But adding brilliant colors and bold plants and flowers will make the space stand out. And don’t be afraid to add color to the inside as well. Vivid paint colors for walls or trim can define the purpose of a space. If using more neutral colors for the interior walls then consider adding bright colored furnishings or window coverings. And wall finishes don’t have to be boring. Adding reclaimed wood, metal or tile can add real character.

When adding storage space consider both built in and modular. A built in closet can be a great space to hide away the clutter but in a tiny space flexibility may be more important. Consider building or buying a wardrobe closet instead. Even kitchen spaces can be more flexible by adding islands or work stations on wheels that can be moved. A kitchen island on wheels can double as a crafting table or even be rolled out onto a patio to serve as a buffet table.

Budget: The dreaded “B” word of a project. But don’t only think of what the project will cost today. Consider what the costs will be tomorrow, next month, next year or beyond. It really baffles me why someone would build a $300,000 home but not have any budget money left for landscaping or furnishings. And will you be able for afford maintenance and upkeep costs? While a large wooden deck and natural wood siding might sound appealing, are you prepared to clean and stain/seal your natural wood every few years. Products such as metal siding, or concrete siding, such as those from James Hardi®, can reduce your maintenance costs considerably.

Budget Rules
• Buy the Best Materials You Can Afford
• Use Materials with Long Life Expectancy
• Don’t Built To Big
• Budget for Unexpected Costs and Changes
• Include Money for Finishing Touches
• Plan on Maintenance and Upkeep Costs

By planning your entire project from start to finish you can be assured you will end up with a new space to be proud of. Adding new spaces such as a cottage, cabin or office can also increase your property value if you plan on selling in the future. A new backyard tiny home can even become a rental property for increased income. A backyard cabin can be a private home for your college student to allow them privacy and keep them within their budget.

Kevin C – C3 Contracting
Built Small, Built Smart, Built to Last

Uses for Dawn Dishwashing Liquid

Copied from my Facebook Timeline: Not my work but some really great ideas.


Wild Life
Ever wonder why Dawn Dishwashing Liquid is the wildlife cleaner of choice after an oil spill? According to the International Bird Rescue Research Center, Dawn effectively removes grease but does not cause harm to the skin of the birds. It’s also biodegradable and contains no phosphates.

According to Bubbles.org, Dawn dishwashing liquid makes great homemade bubbles. Here is the Giant Bubble Recipe used in bubble makers at many children’s museums: 1/2 cup Ultra Dawn 1/2 gallon warm water 1 tablespoon glycerin (available at any drug store) OR White Karo syrup works too! Stir gently. Skim the foam off the top of the solution (too much foam breaks down the bubbles). Dip bubble wand and get ready for some good, clean fun!

Kids get into the darnedest things! Like Vaseline and baby oil rubbed into their hair! Dawn is mild enough to use on their hair and strong enough to remove the most stubborn grease.

Once a month use original Dawn as you would shampoo. It will remove excess oil from your hair and scalp and strip away any build-up of styling products without any damage. Perform this once a month and you won’t have to buy expensive salon products that do the same thing.

Soak fingers in full-strength blue Dawn. It makes the cuticles soft and easy to work with. And it removes the natural oil from the fingernails, which allows the polish to adhere very well.

A safe, effective way to repel insects from your houseplants, including aphids, spider mites and mealy bugs. Put a drop of Dawn Dishwashing Liquid in a spray bottle, fill the rest of the bottle with water, shake well, and mist your household plants with the soapy water.

Try this recipe from Merry Maids: mix 3 drops Dawn in 1 gallon water and fill a spray bottle with the solution. Spritz and wipe as you would with any window cleaner.

Use it to bathe the dogs. It kills fleas on contact and is much cheaper than expensive dogshampoos.

After you have finished your automotive repair project, soak your dirty tools in Dawn before you put them away to remove all the oil and grime. Dawn also helps prevent rust from forming on the tools.

Partially fill a strong zip-type sandwich bag with Dawn dishwashing liquid, close and freeze. The liquid soap stays cold much longer and it can be re-frozen many times. It will conform to the place you need an ice pack.

Take a spray bottle and fill it halfway with white vinegar. Heat in the microwave. Fill the rest of the way with blue Dawn. Put lid on and shake to mix well. Spray on your tub and shower walls. Allow to sit for a few minutes and rinse away. It will totally melt all the gunk, slime, sludge and other stuff that builds up including a bathtub ring.

Spray counter-tops, cupboards and any other area where you see ants with a solution of Dawn and water. Wipe dry. The slight residue of Dawn that remains will not be a problem at all for kids or pets, but ants hate it. Should you see a trail of ants, go ahead and hit them with the Dawn spray.

Add a squirt or two of original Dawn dish soap to your washer and run a hot wash, then rinse until there are no more bubbles. Dawn is a degreasing agent and helps stripping by removing oily residue. Be sure to rinse, rinse, rinse until the water runs clear.

A cup of Dawn detergent poured into a clogged toilet allowed to sit for 15 minutes and then followed with a bucket of hot water poured from waist height will clear out the toilet.

Poison ivy spreads through the spread of the oil within the blisters. Washing the affected area with Dawn, especially on children who keep scratching the blister’s open, helps dry up the fluid, AND keep it from spreading.

If you have gasoline or motor oil stains on your driveway, you can use the kitty litter method to clean up the excess oil and then use a scrub broom and a solution of biodegradable Dawn dishwashing detergent and warm water to safely and effectively remove excess motor oil from the pavement.

Dawn makes a great facial cleanser for oily skin. A drop or two combined with warm water will do the trick.

Dawn combined with corn oil makes for the perfect paint or grease remover. Simply combine a little bit of both in your hands then rub it over affected areas. The corn oil and the dishwashing liquid both help to dissolve the grease and paint – yet leave skin soft, unlike harsher paint removers.

Plastic wading pools can get very gunky, very fast. Dump the water, then scrub the pool with Dawn and a sponge. More potent cleaners like bleach will weaken and dry out the plastic in the sun.

Merry Maids recommends using a drop of Dawn in water to clean ceramic tile and no-wax/linoleum floors. You can also use the spray on:
• Bathroom and kitchen counters and sinks.
• Woodwork, e.g., baseboards, shelves, and wainscoting. (Dry as you go–wood doesn’t like prolonged contact with water.)
• Tubs and toilet seats.

For oil-based stains such as lipstick, grease, butter, motor oil, cooking oil, and some pen inks, simply apply some Dawn dishwashing liquid directly to the stain and scrub with a small brush or toothbrush until the oil is removed, and then launder as usual.

Sliding glass doors, door knobs, hinges etc. It lasts much longer than any aerosol type spray that I have tried. And Its non-toxic! It does a great job of cleaning the parts that its lubricating as well!

For icy steps and sidewalks in freezing temperatures, mix 1 teaspoon of Dawn dishwashing liquid, 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, and 1/2 gallon hot/warm water and pour over walkways. They won’t refreeze. No more salt eating at the concrete in your sidewalks

Squirt Dawn down the middle of the pool and all of the dirt, suntan lotion, etc. will move to the edges of the pool for easy clean up! AND it makes the pools sparkle.

Simply rub a small drop of Dawn on eyeglass lenses, and wipe clean. It will leave a very thin film that will prevent them from fogging up.

Cover greasy footprints on shower floors with a coating of Dawn; let sit overnight. Scrub away the gunk in the morning with a stiff brush.

Mix two tablespoons Dawn to a gallon of water and put in your sprayer. Try to get spray both sides of the leaves, branches and the tree trunks. Let sit for about 15 minutes and then rinse the trees THOROUGHLY!