Holiday Home Improvement Projects

 We've been talking about shade for the patio for years. Pretty much since the mice chewed a hole in the table umbrella. And then we went out and bought a new umbrella, which promptly broke in the first wind storm because we paid next to nothing for it and Murphy is right in saying that you pretty much get what you pay for, unless it's on super clearance. Which it wasn't.

So we went back to using the one with the small hole in it because we hadn't thrown it out yet, and just pretended that the hole wasn't a big deal. And it wasn't unless we were entertaining, in which case we pretended that it wasn't really hot enough to actually put the umbrella up, and it just sat unused in the center of the patio table.

But the old umbrella was looking so ratty with it's ever-growing hole and the faded fabric. And we talked about the cost of a good umbrella versus other options, and decided that it was finally time to do something about the situation. We had gift cards to Lowe's just waiting to be used anyway, so we took ourselves to our very favorite date destination and spent some gift cards on lumber.

On the 4th of July there was mixing of concrete and setting of posts inside blocks for stability, and then the daily afternoon rains came and halted the project. But since concrete needs to harden anyway, it was all good.

As an aside, this weather has been incredibly weird this summer. And spring. And all of 2013 really. This past week it's just hot and humid and not fun to work in outside, and then a thundershower drenches everything for about 15 minutes, cooling things off and moving on to leave blue skies in it's wake. You'd think we were in Florida or something.

The next day, on July 5th, the men folk of the family commenced to building the lumber portion of the project. Except for Josh, whose hand is in a cast because he disregarded the doctor's orders and used his hand earlier in the week resulting in dislocating his broken finger tip inside his cast. She put him in a full hand cast this time to remind him that he's not to use that hand at all. He's being so good about that, too. He'll use his hand for whatever he needs to right up until you ask for help and then it's all, "I can't. The doctor said I can't do anything with that hand." Selective working. That's what that is. 

So Sam and the nephew pretty much did all the work while I supervised things and Josh stood around pointing at things with his casted hand whose finger is permanently turned downward or pointing to the right, depending on how he holds his hand. The job was done in a day because the guys in our family are kind of boss at working with their hands and making things.

And that's how we ended up with this super fabulous pergola for shade over our patio table. It was half the price of the one Lowe's had for sale that's buy-and-assemble metal tubing, and so much sturdier. This thing is pretty much going to last forever seeing as how it's made of treated wood and all. And because I wanted more shade than less (we did, after all, want shade for the table) we bought a painter's canvas and put on the top as a cover. That may need replaced yearly, but at the cost of just $26 it's going to be in the budget.

So that was our holiday project. Or at least the guys' part of it. Those concrete blocks that the poles are cemented into are going to be covered in river rock, and that's my part of the job. I'll get back to you on that when it's done.


Kris Hurford said...

Now you just need to find some climbing, viney type plants to grow along the sides and top of the pergola for shade. Looks great!!

Jenni Miller said...

That looks AMAZING! Fabulous job!