Friday, April 20, 2012

Best DIY project of all time, ever

Remember how horrifying our other "major" DIY renos were? How I thought the deck project would never end and how the basement project slowly drained my soul of all happiness? During those dark days, I dreamed of a project that would be cheaper, faster and easier than we thought (instead of projects that took twice as long and cost twice as much as anticipated).

Well, I found my dream DIY project and I'm happy to say that not only is it half-over, but it should be mostly finished by Sunday. All for about two-thirds of what we thought we'd spend.


Here's what's what:

We've torn out the old front walk.
 It was asphalt over poured concrete, which had settled into a bumpy mess.

It was also WAY too close to the plants, so only the outer-most half was usable.

 Plus, asphalt is neither glamorous nor amazing, so it had to go.

Here was Cheaper/Faster Surprise No. 1: There was NO rebar in the concrete. Granted, that's why it became a bumpy, settled, hot mess after 50 years, but it sure did make quick work of jack-hammering.

Here's the concrete layer, under the asphalt. We just shake our heads at the weird things previous owners have done to this poor house.

Cheaper/Faster Surprise No. 2? We didn't hit the gas line while jack-hammering! Oh, happy day!

Hubs was in charge of manning the jack-hammer and it was my job to pry out the boulders and move them (Bad Ass Fact of the Day: I had just come home from running 10 miles and still managed to lug what I assume to be a literal ton of concrete). Sadly, right after he busted the last bit, he had to scoot off to do some grad school work.

So, what you see here is a mostly Alexson-built pile of rubble.


Ahem. The next day, we plotted our course and took to diggin'.

It wasn't horrible and Cheaper/Faster Surprise No. 3 - again, we didn't hit the gas line while digging. Amen, hallelujah.

And now we have a moat in front of our house and a mailman whose patience is surely waning. Luckily for him, we'll be putting the whole thing back together tomorrow. The plan is to lay paver bricks, using the same pattern we did in the back yard.

I'd been thinking this would be a $1,000 project, but even with adding in mulch and some additional landscaping for the "garden" behind the new path, we'll be sitting right around $600.

What's been your best Cheaper/Faster Surprise?

1 comment:

  1. Now, that is awesome when things are better and cheaper than you expected - that never happens to me!


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