I live near LA, and I enjoy DIY projects at my home. So far I've built a large retaining wall around my house, poured my own concrete stairs, pathway, and patio (4.25 cu Yards of concrete!).
But my real DIY passion is electronics. I work for a movie studio, and we are encouraged to be very creative in our office. For my office, I've built a saloon facade, an outhouse, and a rock with a fountain in it. I have several Arduino microcontrollers that control the office. It is on a 30 minute day/night cycle with ambient sound effects and an array of color-changing LED lights so that I can simulate the reds of sunset, the blues of night, and the whites of day. There is a 30% chance of rain - that's where the sound effects change to rain and thunder, and several strobes go off for lightning at random intervals. There's an animatronic vulture atop my outhouse which I built, and two PIR motion sensors that detect when someone arrives or leaves my office. At that point, the office will select a number of custom sound effects based on the time of day/weather, or trigger an animatronic rattle snake or prairie dog. A small 3M microprojector plays a looping video of custom-shot interior saloon footage through the window of the saloon which includes a fist fight and gun fight. A dynamite crate hides a mini-fridge stocked with sarsaparilla and beer. The outhouse hides my bookshelf. Inside the outhouse is a geared motor that triggers a hammer making knocking sounds for some of my sound effects (like knock knock: "Ocupado, Amigo!"). The time of day, weather, triggered event, and clock countdown are all displayed on a 4-line LCD screen. Throughout the office are QR codes hidden about, so that visitors can scan the code that they find to watch a video on a hidden feature or view how things were constructed. And probably best of all, there are QR codes that android-users can scan to download an app that I wrote which offers control over the time/lights/sound, weather, and triggered events. And the whole thing was all DIY!!
So if it sounds like I can help you out with anything, please drop me a private message and I'll try to hop over every so often and shoot back an answer.