I learned in grade school that trying to be perfect would probably result in a caffeine-pill-fueled freakout a la Jesse Spano (yes, many of my life lessons were learned thanks to Saved By The Bell). Pretty much since then I’ve been in the camp of try-to-do-it-right-but-perfect-isn’t-possible.
So sometimes it’s weird when people mention that they think we live in this perfect world where nothing goes wrong and we never fight and life is just hunky-dory from the minute we wake up to the minute we go to bed. Unicorns and rainbows if you will. I think sharing Clara’s birth story helped a little in that regard (that day was definitely not the fairytale that we expected). But beyond dealing with some serious and scary moments like that, we’re also no strangers to everyday stresses. In other words, just like the rest of the world, stuff doesn’t always go our way. We fight, our house gets messy, we go over budget, projects take way longer than we expected, our moving truck gets stuck in the snow. We like to joke that we’re so normal it’s crazy, so chances are if you deal with it at home (dust bunnies, burned dinners, stupid arguments, spilled milk, broken
china ceramic animals) it also goes down here.
But since our blog is mainly just a big diary about our home improvement projects and making our house a home, it’s hardly fitting to devote a post to our latest argument about Clara’s missed nap or the dust bunny under our TV stand (this just in: dust happens, and if you don’t see it we’re just not zoomed in enough, haha). But when things don’t work out like we hoped in the home improvement realm we always try to share those trials right along with our triumphs (the good, the bad, and the ugly all have a place here). Like this post about a ton of mistakes that we hope we don’t make again and this post about a failed recycled glass project and this one about a bummer of a string lantern attempt. We’ve even posted a super candid average day video with junk all over the place and I’ve shared my goo-related secret. Our house is not a showroom, that’s for sure.
And although we pride ourselves on being cheap-os who hunt down deals, save our pennies, and research projects within an inch of their life as we go, we still totally
break obliterate the budget from time to time. Take the patio we’re currently putting in, for example. Going into it I was intensely naive. “I’m certain it’s a two day under $500 project.” Famous last words, right? Originally we were going to go for those cheap 12 x 12″ gray concrete pavers at Lowe’s and Home Depot (I think they’re around $1 a pop) so I thought we’d just need to dig out a flat spot and lay ’em down. Maybe it would come to $450 tops with some ground tamping tools and all the pavers. Then we decided we should do it right and match the fancier cobblestone pavers in our driveway, which turned out to be around $2.67 a square foot at Home Depot…
…and a whopping $3+ at Lowe’s. Our patio will be around 300 square feet, so $3 a square foot = $900 in just stone (let alone other supplies). We hoped that pricing out something local might save our budget and headed to a place nearby (Southside Builder’s Supply) and found out that they offered even higher quality cobblestone pavers than Home Depot and Lowe’s (that match our driveway and are made locally- score) for just $2 a square foot (67 cents cheaper than Orange and a dollar cheaper than Blue – which really adds up). Plus it was just fun to walk around their multi-stone sample patios to see what things would look like all laid out:
So after our local stone yard reconnaissance mission we felt pretty good about our deal seeking skillz and returned home to start digging up the side yard. And in a post about that I mentioned that the patio project would hopefully run us under 1K (I readjusted from my original $500 guess after realizing that cobblestone pavers to match our driveway would be pricier than the cheap $1 concrete square pavers that we originally planned to use). How did I get to 1K? Well, 300 square feet of stone at $2 a square foot = $600. And we figured that around $400 in gravel and sand and other materials and supplies should be about right.
More famous last words. But we’ll get to that.
First, we figured we’d do some digging before heading back over to the stone yard to place our order. Just to be sure we could get a nice level bed to place stones and not hit some unforseen craziness like a buried car or something that would make a non-returnable $600 purchase of cobblestone pavers a bad move. Remember that John had a little liriope digging party last week but we still had that brick path to remove? Well, at first it came up really easily…
… until we learned that half of it was laid on top of a huge thick slab of concrete…
… which took some pretty major sledgehammering to get through (and effectively demonstrated how NOT a two day project this was, seeing as we were already on day two without a single paver in sight).
But lo and behold, John got ‘er done. Ding dong the path is out. It took longer than we guessed and hubs was more than a little sore but it was a pretty sweet victory indeed (we worried we’d have to rent a demolition hammer for the thick concrete slab but John was a rock star with the sledgehammer).
He’ll drop in with more details about the entire digging process soon, but back to our stone order. After all that brick was up, we headed back over to the stone yard to place our order and were blown away when they worked up a grand total for us. Are you ready? $1,565. I almost dropped the baby. How could $600 worth of stone nearly triple when it came to the total cost? After I got a little color back into my cheeks I managed to stammer “ok, what can we do to get that down, because it’s waaaaaay over our budget.” Notice I was the one doing the
talking stammering – John hates negotiating so it falls into the things-I-do category. Oh well, he does laundry so it’s all good. Anyway, we worked with this lady Jeri (she was great) for at least an hour to get costs down (we reduced the amount of gravel we were getting, which then allowed all of our cargo to come in one truckload- which reduced the delivery fees we were being charged and we even negotiated a discount on the stone and downgraded from the fancy top layer of sand to regular sand).
In the end we got our total down substantially, but nowhere beneath our 1K goal. We walked out of there paying $1,260 for all of the stone, gravel, sand, border edging, and stakes that we needed (well actually $1,340 but we’ll get an $80 deposit back when we return some of the bags that our shipment comes in). But that total still doesn’t include the tamping tools, landscaping fabric, and a few other supplies we still have to purchase/rent. And you might remember that we mentioned wanting to add a 6′ privacy fence along the back wall, so if you toss that expense in on top of everything else it’s fair to say that this might end up being a $1,500-2K undertaking when it’s all said and done. Which is definitely a far cry from that original stupid-me $500 budget that I tossed out in the beginning. Oops.
But there’s no use whining about it right? I mean don’t get me wrong, I whined the whole way home from that stone yard, even after we negotiated our total from nearly $1,600 to $1,260, but there’s no sense in blog-whining about it (although sometimes sew-crying can lead to blog-whining). But we did want to share our budget explosion with you guys to demonstrate that junk like this just tends to happen in the home improvement game. Not all the time, but definitely some of the time.
In the end we’re still psyched to save some major money by tackling it ourselves (hiring someone to whip up a 300 square foot patio with the same materials would run us around 5K+) and we’re sure we’ll get a ton of use out of it so it’s still well worth the time, loot, and effort. See there I go being all cheerful about something annoying that happened. Haha. More pluses: I get to see John get all dirty. Which is always my idea of a good time. And Clara can have some fun with chalk and a baby pool out there when it’s done, which is going to be priceless. We just try to keep plugging away, even when curve balls like broken budgets or broken spirits threaten to derail us. Such is the DIY way I think. You just gotta keep on keeping on or you lose momentum and might never pick up the ol’ hammer (or crowbar or shovel or paintbrush) again.
So all of this is to say, I know that I’m annoyingly enthusiastic most of the time, and John can be a pretty chipper guy too. But crap happens. We just try to make the best of it. And you’d be surprised how helpful it is to blog/blab about failures and shortcomings (the entire reason we started this blog was because John wanted to blow off some kitchen-planning steam and we thought it would be fun to keep our family in the loop about it). So I highly recommend publicly airing your dirty home improvement laundry to come to terms with it and maybe even find a few folks who can commiserate, offer some helpful advice, and encourage you along the way. Seriously, blog-venting = our Prozac. And you guys are our therapists. So thanks. You know we love a good deal, and free therapy is up there with paint sales and appliance close-outs.
Psst- Ahhh, Mother’s Day is coming. Check out this week’s BabyCenter post about how I spent the last one and how I’m guessing we’ll spend this one (aside from hopefully laying some pavers).
That episode is the best. I was pretty young the first time I saw it and I was all, “OMG DRUGS ARE SO SCARY.”
Anyway, I feel ya about the budget thing. I recently re-did my home studio and I don’t know why I thought I could do it all for $200, but I definitely spent closer to $400. Oops. But it looks SO much better and the room is infinately more functional, so it was worth it.
Oh Jessie Spano. Classic Saved by the Bell reference.
In our household, every time we eat cantaloupe there is a “Screech, you can’t elope. Who are you calling a cantaloupe you melonhead?” reference.
And as far as projects not going as planned. We had our own outdoor mess of a project this weekend. FYI, when someone tells you that its no big deal to rent a belt sander, sand your deck down, and then re-finish it, run the other way!
THAT’S JOHN’S FAVORITE QUOTE EVER. He thinks it’s a lesser remembered Save By The Bell-ism, which makes it even more amazing than the Jesse Spano freakout in his mind. Haha.
I am always wanting to use that line and then needing to explain the background for non-Saved by the Bell aficionados. (The episode with Mr. Belding’s brother and the senior trip…)
I thought it was the episode where Screech is tutoring Kelly and Zach and Slater spread the rumor that Kelly and Screech are getting married in order to keep them from being a couple. Then Mr. Belding is telling Screech that he can’t elope(as in run away and get married) and Screech replies with that melonhead comment.
Ok, now I really feel weird because I obviously watched too much Saved by the Bell. It was a classic!
Wow, you’re right! I was remembering the confrontation in front of the lockers and misplacing it in the trip episode…Clearly, I must now rewatch all 5 seasons to refresh.
Best thread ever.
Jessica G in NN says
holy. crap. i’m sure a million people have said it (i didn’t have time to read all of the comments) but that Saved by the Bell video is so freaking funny. no joke, it surfaces on facebook between me and a few of my friends annually.
thanks for the reality check as well. my husband and i are starting some projects and things keep “falling apart”…no seriously, last night his closet system (put up my previous owners) came out of the wall & fell to the ground…add that to the project list…the same thing happened with our coat closet. WHAT?! why haven’t these people heard of wall anchors?!
anyway, it’s encouraging…especially on a low budget. he’s having a hard time with our paint-test-squares on the living room wall but i refuse to buy paint until i’m 100% sure it’s what i want! so thanks, for letting us know that kind of thing happens in the altered-magical-reality that is YHL. :) kidding.
Jennifer C. says
Perfect’s no fun. Can’t wait to see the finished product!
I paid $8,000 to have my paver patio installed at my home & $19,000 to have an existing paver patio torn up & re-laid at my lake home. So obviously I am very jealous of your DYI skills (my boyfriend could easily do it, but he just doesnt have the time) & ability to get things done as cheaply as you did.
Wow- you sure know how to make an over-budget DIYer feel good. Haha. Thanks so much Debbie!
It’s posts like these that keep me reading YHL.
Love your home improvement ideas but also love to hear that you fight and have bad days and dust bunnies. It’s what sets your blog apart from the other home blogs that I read. I walk away from reading it feeling happy and normal and inspired. You guys are doing a great job. Keep it up!
Jen @ The Decor Scene says
I love that you guys keep it real. I think blogging is pretty much about real life and our feelings about things, so thanks for keeping it real for us. I love the fact that you have dust bunnies under the TV stand but we just can’t see them from the pictures. LOL!
Believe me I completely understand your whining. Every time we do work on our house, it always goes over budget. It’s so hard sometimes not to. We are not in debt over the improvements so that is always a good sign. ;) About 2.5 yrs ago we wanted a paver patio off of our wood deck, because it was just a mud pile anyway, so we hired someone to install a 16×16 patio. That cost us about $2400 with all materials & labor. So about $8 a square foot (on Long Island). Then about a 1.5 later we had to take down the pool and all the wood decking (all rotted, previous owners never took care of it and it was going to cost $20k just to replace all of that. And we needed our driveway and walkways, etc. done, so that would have been another $10-$15k. So we hired the same company, and they reused the pavers we already had from the small patio, so we saved a little money there. We were able to get our whole property done for $20k (driveway, stoop, a paver patio that wrapped around the whole house basically, walkways, & sidewalks). No worries, we had the money saved up or otherwise we would have not done it. So I completely whined for awhile, but now we have our own backyard, not the previous owners backyard. We love it. :)
So what kind of fencing are you guys thinking about?
Just some basic wood fencing (6′ tall, full privacy to block the view of the neighbor’s car, etc). Should make a huge difference when that area is a more private little secret garden/patio.
When this patio is all said and done, its crying out for a time lapse video set to Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer =)
Haha, I can just picture it…
Thanks for another great post!
I realized in the last year that the most important thing about DIY projects is that you have fun during making them. We did lots of things that turned out great, but we argued a lot during the process. The one project I like best is the one we didn’t argue about and just had lots of fun with – although it may not look as perfect as other ones. It’s our bedroom that we painted after I asked for a color inspiration on YHL and you just gave us the perfect advice (thanks for that!). We waited quite a long time but finally painted a room for the first time ourselves – from crimson red and yellow (what were we thinking?) to a soft celery green.
I had forgotten about that episode!!! It was awesome, and when I mean awesome, I mean I almost had to turn off the tv because all the emnbarrasment I felt!!! Yeah!
BTW, we are in the middle of garden big project and it totally sucks. I admire your aproach and actitude to every project, even though sh*t happens sometimes. It’s just great and you defenetly motivates us to do our own projects.
Georgia Rowe says
Im so excited! i dont have a garden as i live in an apartment, so seeing your patio etc progress is sooooo good!
Do you get much sun on this side of the house where the patio is? or is it shady?
Just thinking you could make a canopy for the summer, could use your good ole brother to make it .. new challenge for you! haha
It’s actually pretty shady over there (huge oak trees and a few smaller trees that you see in the pics) but a canopy on the upper part of the patio could be fun!
Georgia Rowe says
I just thought, where is the small alleyway bit of the house, i thought you were going to make a feature of it… or did i dream it…
That’s on the other side of the house. We’ll be working on that a bit down the line. We just have to take things one project at a time (patio first, then landscaping, then that odd alley, etc) to stay sane. Haha.
It’s a relief to know not all your projects go as planned. Growing up my parents saved for an eternity to have the main bathroom renovated: drywall, floor to ceiling tile, new fixtures, the whole shebang. They hired a contractor to do the drywall, and they never planned for him never showing up, or only coming one day a week for an hour. What was expected to be a weekend project (two weeks tops) turned into having a literal hole in the middle of our house for five months. It took my mom having to make a 4 course breakfast for him to finally get the job done in one day. It was the worst five months of my life, especially since I had to share my small en suite bathroom with my parents. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I weren’t a neat freak with everything having to be in it’s place and my dad being a greasy mechanic who likes to touch everything.
Way to stick with it, guys! I’m sure the finished product is going to look great.
Thanks for sharing your failures! Lots to learn from it. Great Saved By Bell reference…many lessons learned from that show!
So, how DO $2 pavers triple in price when the total bill is tallied? I’m just curious – was it taxes, or fees? (Might be helpful to know for future paving purchases.)
It’s the gravel, sand, border edging, stakes, delivery charges, etc. I thought stone would be the most expensive thing, but all those other supplies and hauling fees really add up!
Jill Stratton says
For some reason every time I have a memory of Saved By The Bell, it’s that episode! (Despite watching nearly every episode thousands of times!!)
I’m curious if pavers would be cheaper for me than having a patio poured…we’re replacing out sidewalk (haven’t priced it yet) and thinking about adding a small patio space…did you guys look into that? (I’m thinking not since there were pre-existing pavers you’re matching?)
Yup, since we wanted our patio to relate to the cobblestone driveway we didn’t check that out. Anyone have any idea on price comparisons for Jill?
Sometimes I am sad that I was too old to watch SBTB. But then I remember I was 16 the year “Sixteen Candles” came out and I feel better.
Yay Elizabeth! I was just wondering if there were any *older* yhl readers who wanted to trade “One Day at a Time” references!:)
Michele Daggar says
I think the same thing Elizabeth! I was 16 that year too. Jake Ryan, he’s ideal for sure……
Amanda Wells says
I think you guys do a great job of keeping it real. Seriously. And I love the SBTB reference.
I’ve always realized you guys are just like the rest of us but what sets you apart from us mere mortals, imho, is your ability to DIY so often and so well. That’s what keeps me coming back, besides the fact that I’ve fallen in love with your little family! Rock on YHLovers!
Carla D. says
Dang, that blue glove looks like it’s emerging out of the cement and bricks. Are you sure a body’s not buried under all that stuff? I totally did a double take when I saw that photo!!
Hahaha, sometimes things take a dark turn around here.
I hope you can stay focused on how this project will increase the value of your home. Not only will it help $$-wise but having such a nice area for you to enjoy the outside, too. I would say, “Money well-spent!” and I would help lay a few pavers if I lived close enough ;)
natalie G. says
What is it with patio projects coming in majorly over budget, in terms of time and money?! Last year, we set out to “expand” our concrete patio slab by adding 12″ x 12″ pavers along the outside edge of the concrete. We budgeted $100 and an afternoon, and came in at ~$300ish and a full weekend of work, thanks to digging out grass, putting down sand, gravel and landscape fabric, buying $$$ pavers, and then deciding that we now needed potted plants to sit on the patio too.
Good luck with the ongoing project – can’t wait to see how it looks!
Heather C. says
Your timing is perfect. I just wrote this post on our family blog last night: http://www.thechaseys.com/2011/05/just-call-us-john-and-sherry.html
Thanks for the reminder that no one is perfect…no relationship is perfect…no house project is perfect. You do a really good job of keeping it real, but the blog world can make you think crazy things!
Also, on a very unrelated side note. I found this etsy shop and thought of you! http://www.etsy.com/shop/mypapergarden
Oh my gosh I love it! Thanks for sharing the link.
liz @ btb says
Hold me Zack!
And I’m laughing at the picture of the lonely blue glove. It looks like one of you fell into a giant hole and you’ve got one hand on the edge, hanging on for dear life.
i like hearing the normal stuff…. cuz i’m one that always thinks of you guys as the polly perfect couple!
on another note: did you start doing something different with your photos? staring a few days ago they won’t come up at work anymore? the only one showing today is sherry holding the two… uhm…. dead plants? the rest are just red x’s for me (but they do come up on my iphone?) as i said… it just started a few days ago? *pout*
oops… i meant starTing a few days ago… typo! :o(
So sorry! We have heard from a few people with photo issues but nothing is different on our end. Perhaps your office is running some sort of ad blocking or blog blocking software that’s keeping them from showing up? Maybe try viewing the site in a different browser (Firefox instead of Explorer for example)? Good luck!
I had three days of being unable to load YHL in Firefox, although it worked in Safari. Suddenly, today it’s back. I think maybe gremlins, or the blue hand from under the rubble.
Haha, so sorry for the trouble but so glad we’re back!
Leah W says
I’ve been having the same issue, and can only see that same picture too. But that’s on my work computer, and I haven’t had a chance to check from my home computer. My work computer/network hates me anyway, though, so I’m just chalking it up to that until further notice — and anxiously awaiting a time when I can see the creepy blue glove picture I keep hearing so much about. :-D
Oh its going to look so good!
We did our patio last weekend. Although its no where near as fancy as yours will be. We didn’t have any money to do it (not a dime) but friends of ours had a pile of brick pavers in their yard for the last 4 years and said if we hauled them away we could just have them. It took 3 people 4 loads in my moms explorer. All hand stacked. Then my mom bought us bottom sand and top sand, and 2 weekends later we were finished. It was some pretty serious manual labor, and its defiantly not perfectly flat, but we were so proud of ourselves for doing it on our. own.
Good luck with yours too! I can wait to see the results.
Julie Ball says
Ok. First of all, Zack Morris was the first man I ever loved. Sigh.
Second, this post was so appropriate for me to read today…the day that my slate flooring estimate came in $1,000 over what I had thought it would be. Eeek! Such is the name of the game when doing home improvements on a house built in 1954. We almost ALWAYS run in to issues we didn’t know would be there.
Thanks for keepin’ it real, just like Jessie – minus the drugs. ;) I love it.
My fiance was teasing me the other day that I’ve come a long way in the thrift department – but he’s a purebred. Still, there are always things that go over budget – it happens to all of us. Thankfully because of the industry we’re both in, and his job specifically, he’s the negotiator when it comes to building projects. He does it daily as a project manager so it’s second nature.
Our current barn was only about $200 total to date – but the steel roofing just got delivered this morning. I didn’t even ask. I know it will be more than I expect, but in the long run it’s still an insignificant amount of money to spend building a barn.
I take that back. I just saw the invoice this evening as I passed the table. It’s WAY less than I thought. Under $500 for steel roofing! Further proof I have NO idea what certain things cost.
Wahooo! Congrats girl! Gotta love when it goes the other way!
That picture of the glove creeped me out a little! At first glance it looked like a hand coming out of a grave. It took me back to an episode of something I watched as a kid that has stuck with me (Night Gallery, perhaps?) where a dead guy was digging out of his grave. The image showed up on the TV inside the house. Even though the person watching (the one who buried him?) turned the TV off and then unplugged it, the image kept returning. I also think of that whenever I turn off my TV at night! Probably scarred for life, but I loved watching those shows!
No way, you’re human?
Andrea B says
Great post. I identify all too well! I get all excited about potential “cheap” DIY projects and then have to back down at the last minute when I find out it will cost us waaay more than expected.
I know it’s not home improvement related, but my big problem is vacation planning. I get all happy-go-lucky and think we can go on a simple weekend getaway for a couple hundred bucks. The last time I did that chipper estimation we flew to California for a family wedding thinking we could pay for it all with the cash on hand and ended up paying off a nasty Visa bill a few months later. YUCK.
Needless to say, the hubby wants full detailed estimates from this point forward. Oops!
I breathed a huge sigh of relief while reading this post. Not because I’m happy that you experience difficulties, but because several times in the past week I’ve found myself in the middle of a renovation/home project wishing I could be more patient, more optimistic, and more like Young House Love :) It’s nice to know that everyone experiences frustrations from time to time. I’m wondering if you have any advice for helping to keep the house project related arguments at bay? My fiancé and I rarely fight, but stressful home renovation projects seem to bring out the worst in us (me, in particular). HELP!
We just try to remember that we’re both mad at the situation, not each other. Trying to keep the whole we’re-on-the-same-side thing in mind seems to help.
Seeing the picture of your broken ceramic dog reminds me, I stopped in an antique store in Sallisaw, Ok. And there right in front of me was what looked like the twin of your ceramic Dog! I thought to myself, I must buy it and send it to Sherry! As I got closer to see the price tag…..I realized, it too must have been in an accident. It had almost the identical cracks as yours! :( ha ha!
No way! Poor guy can’t catch a break.
just got a great baby pool at target for $4.99 for my little lady’s birthday! It’s very small and doesn’t hold a lot of water, which is great since she’s only 1 and I don’t want to have to worry too much…..thought you might be interested (since you mentioned Clara hanging out in a baby pool on your new patio)! It’s the only pool they had for babies under age 2….and at $4.99, you can’t beat it!
Thanks for the tip! We’ll have to check it out.
“I almost dropped the baby”. I laughed out loud at that statement…. glad you didn’t though!
branne @ the ravenna girls says
We put in a patio last year and had a very similar eye opening experience. We decided to do the cheapo pavers but in 6×12 basketweave. turned out pretty good, but its not “forever” material. I DEFINITELY recommend renting a powered compactor though instead of tamping it yourself. We rented one for 2hours which was plenting of time and it did a much better job. One tip on edging – if its not too late to return the plastic/metal edging you bought, we got a tip from a contractor who uses cheapo concrete around the border then fills in dirt around so you can’t even see it. Pic here if you’re curious.
Good luck! Its totally worth it for all that summer BBQin’
Wom-mom Ethne says
Love it – not that you had to spend extra, but the whole ‘completely-underestimated’ process. I did that with our kitchen island DIY a year ago. Love the finished product. Can’t wait to see yours.
You know who is perfect…Clara! She has to be the happiest baby ever. She has that big smile in every picture. I’ve never seen a crying picture of her. You’ll have to post one sometime so I don’t feel so defeated that I’ve taken more pictures of my newborn crying than happy. :)
Haha, we have some good ones with the big pouty lip.
I so feel your pain… I keep trying to convince my hubby that putting a fence around our backyard will be a 2-day/$500 project.
Don’t you hate that “Uh-huh” look they give you?
PS — Jessie Spano clip = awesome! Haven’t thought about SBTB in years!!!
[email protected] says
This post totally had me cracking up! I appreciate the positive spin, guys. Negativity is not fun and it just breeds more negativity. :) No sense sweating the small stuff/major fails! ;)
I am currently awaiting a concrete bid… I have a feeling that I’m in for a rude awakening!!!
Love Saved by the Bell!!
I was just thinking reading your blog yesterday that you two are insanely perfect! I wondered if you ever had a single argument or fuss. Glad to know you have dust bunnies and arguments, it makes the rest of us feel so much better! :)
Oh my gosh, there’s another Heather B who likes Young House Love. Watch out world.
Haha, you found your secret blog-reading twin.
The Jessie Spano freak out just made my day :) Thanks for another awesome blog post! PS did anyone notice that AJ from Empire Records was in that new movie Limitless??
Really? Now I have to go google that trailer. How could I have missed that?
i did! funny!
Thank goodness for awesome negotiating skills! And you’re only a little over budget but the valuable memories from time spent on that patio will be amazing!
A word of caution: my dad built a patio on the back of their house last year that’s pretty similar in size to yours. While he has a decent amount of experience working on hardscape projects professionally, it took a LOT longer than he had anticipated and was saved from near certain doom early on by a former hardscaping boss coming in and taking a look before any pavers got laid. If you have a friend who does it professionally, I highly highly highly recommend them coming in to look. Because of where my parents house sits, the bed had to be much deeper than my dad had anticipated and had he not found that out as early as he did, he would have had to tear out the patio and re-do it or face serious shifting issues. And there is absolutely nothing worse than putting all that time and sweat (and money!!) into something just to have to re-do it. Alllll that said, it turned out beautifully and was totally worth it. But if you can do it, get a professional’s assessment and advice before you do much.
Lonely Wife Project says
My Husband and I quote that episode regularly! Most of our life lessons are from Saved by the Bell :) HA!
When you first posted your plans for the patio, I was going to chime in and let you know that I like you had imagined a $500 budget for our 15x 18 patio last summer. I didn’t want to ruin your excitement or be a negative-nancy. I got the harsh reality check when we called a contractor who sent us a$10k quote. I then felt much better about the $1500 in supplies that we spent and the WEEKS of hard labour that my fiance spent on the patio. Sufficed to say it took all summer rather than a few days. EEP there I go again…what a spoil-sport I am :)
Oh the DIY fun! (It was so worth it in the end by the way)
Becky S. says
We are in the process of building our daughter a little play area for her swing set, play house and sandbox and we keep coming up with problem after problem! First, when we went to dig up the yard for the area to level it out and put her swing set in, we found giant slabs of concrete buried under some dirt…probably around 200 square feet of it and then next to that is a probably 100 square foot pile of asphalt!! The concrete my husband broke up with a sledge hammer and this cool thing that looks like a giant wrought iron dagger called a san angelo bar. The asphalt we have no idea what to do with…when you try to pick up chunks of it, they just crumble in your hands. It’s awful! So, we’ve decided to make the play area smaller than we wanted and later work on the asphalt because we just have no idea what to do with it. It’s like the previous owners had left over asphalt from the drive way and just dumped it all in a huge pile in the back yard. Nice of them, huh?!
Can’t wait to see the finished patio as we are tackling that next at our house! Quick question, how did you dispose of all the concerete John broke up? We are having trouble figuring out how to get rid of ours. It’s currently sitting in a giant pile towards the back of our lot.
Haha, we have the pile in the back going on too. We’re lucky to have a huge lot so in the back corner there’s a wooded area where we wheelbarrowed all the rock and broken up concrete and just dumped it into a hidden pile behind a bunch of trees. At least for now it works, but another hauling idea is to rent a truck at Home Depot for an hour (they’re around $20) and load up the back and bring it to the local dump. Hope it helps!
Tiffany S. says
If it makes you feel better, we paid 10 times that amount to have a patio built with Pennsylvania Bluestone so you’re saving mucho $$$.
Jo @ Jo In the Kitchen says
I get such a kick out of blogging about my recipe failures. Something that would have seriously ticked me off before becomes something for me to laugh about now.
Plus, sharing what didn’t go well for you guys is a lesson for us :)
Mel V. says
Glad you posted this! Really, the blogs in which stuff doesn’t work as planned and you have to figure out something else are the most useful. It’s pretty easy to learn how DIY stuff is supposed to work, it’s much, much harder to learn how to work around problems.