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Though I'm not sure this picture says a lot, compare and contrast with this one and see all the work we've done.
Mabel went to Nana's and Paw Paw's so I thought we'd spend the weekend solely working on the columns, getting the project finished. There are, with us at least, certain methods to our DIY madness and sometimes we have to be honest with ourselves about these projects. Money is limited, and it is the facet we most often have to remember.
Despite my hope for a big unveil this morning, we had a budget set aside of less than $80. Most of that ended up going into reciprocating saw blades. We bought a $20 one meant for cutting iron which turned out to be overkill; a $3 blade for thick metal was actually the blade we needed. When you're talking about an $80 project, $23 takes a big cut (no pun intended). It didn't leave us enough to get the wood for the facade of the columns, and we decided to wait to get that wood anyway. For a nominally larger cost, we can get a higher grade board from a local lumber yard rather than from the big box store. A higher grade board will mean less knots and mars, making the finished column smoother and much prettier.
This coming weekend we'll both have paychecks to dole out for the finishing wood and trim, so until then our yard will remain (as one friend deftly put it) one trampoline shy of redneck gold. All of that is to give a glimpse inside how our renovations work: with time, ingenuity, and a little bit of spending money. Oh, and a generous Nana to keep the little one distracted and happy all weekend--essential to success.
It took an entire day to get the iron work down and the 4 x 4 (actually 2 2x4s laminated and screwed together) cores for the new columns up. That "entire workday" happened on Saturday, after I spent 6 hours volunteering at the community garden. My body still hurts.
On Sunday Charlie mended the fence while I built a small retaining wall from some 4 x 4s we had on hand. Having the dogs in the fenced area most of the time, they've created paths where they run laps around the perimeter of the space. That path, even on a gently sloping hill, has created an erosion problem which, in turn, created soil build up around the fence at the bottom of the hill. The soil build up pushed the fence every which way, making it lean and wobble. Once again the fence is perpendicular to the ground and we're already seeing and hearing the pitter patter of progress.