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I Know You Need A Project

March 19, 2011

“I know you need a project…”

Those are the very words The Hubster said to me on Thursday morning when he called.  We were in the midst of a heated discussion about the impending collapse of our front porch, and that comment turned the fire up under my already heated burner.

I do not need another project. Right now I’ve got so many projects on my to do list that I couldn’t get them done in a month of Sundays if I had eight arms. Here’s an un-prioritized sample of what I should be working on…

  1. Our Laundry Room – I desperately need a tall pantry cabinet and some floating shelves, a roll out cabinet that will fit beside the dryer, an ironing center, and a roman shade for the window…just to name of few of the things on my list.
  2. Lulu’s Room – my five year old could really use a twin daybed with a trundle to replace her too-large-for-the-room full size bed and some built in storage units for the clothes she’s outgrowing faster than I can buy them
  3. Dresser Refinishing – As I mentioned earlier, we’ve got a friend who lost his home and all his belongings to fire, and I’ve promised him that I will turn Lulu’s girly-girl dresser into a dresser fit for a manly man
  4. The Living Room – for some time I’ve been totally in lust with the apothecary console plans Ana White posted, but I haven’t built it because until Wednesday night I didn’t need it…not really. Now I do. (I’ll explain in another post.)

Add those projects to the rest of the projects I put on my 2011 Home Improvements list, and you can see I really really really don’t need another project…especially one the size and scope of a complete front porch re-build.

And as any DIYer knows…there’s a limit both to time and money, and therefore you have to prioritize.

As much as I want the apothecary console, as much as Lulu needs a new bed…the knowledge that our porch could collapse made a complete rebuild soar to #1 on the “Get It Done List”.

With a little help from a friend of mine, and a lot of help from The Hubster once he got home from work, I no longer have to worry about the porch falling off. In a single day we went from a complete porch (albeit one that was falling down) to this…

I wish I’d taken the time to document the process.

My friend Ben helped me make a couple of T-beams from 2×4’s and 4×4’s and use them (along with a couple of hydraulic jacks) to push the porch roof back into place. Once we knew the roof structure was stable we were able to put in temporary supports, remove the jacks, and begin demo.  We cut away the porch railings and removed the nails holding the bases of the 4×4 posts to the porch deck.  The posts dangled from the roof like some kind of weird loose teeth.

The Hubster saved us hours of back breaking labor by chaining the deck to the bucket of his tractor and using John Deere power to finish demo.

First he used the tractor to pull the porch deck loose from the ledger board.

He then pulled the entire structure from beneath the porch roof. (I know I pick on my country-boy-on-a-tractor husband, but sometimes I think his tractor’s sexy.)

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Say bye bye porch…

Friday I poured the concrete footers. Once again I wish I’d documented the process, but it was a record-breaking day as we hit 82 degrees and I was too busy sweating.  The concrete is now set, and I just need The Hubster to help me get the new 4×4 posts in place.

But he’s not here this morning. He’s putting in a new tile floor for some friends, and I don’t expect I’ll see him until late tonight.

I’ve got a baby shower to go to this afternoon and an extra child on hand as Lulu had a friend stay over last night for yet another sleepover where no one slept.

I hope to start framing the porch deck on Monday, and I’d love to go pick up the lumber we’ll need today. But unfortunately none of the places I normally frequent carry 2×6’s longer than 16′. I need 20′ boards.

None of the local contractor yards are open on Saturday, so I’ll make some phone calls first thing Monday morning and hopefully be back here by noon with everything I need to get this project complete.

Not exactly how I’d planned to spend my week or my money.

Oh the joys of home ownership.

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