Monday, April 16, 2007

Home Remodel Part Two

I helped my husband build a two foot concrete wall around our patio this weekend, leaving two 40 inch spaces for new screen doors. We're getting our patio screened in. But, dear hubby wants to do the concrete work himself. Like I mentioned in my previous post, he doesn't know what he's doing.

But he said he'll learn as he goes.

Uh huh. Well, he did. Sort of.

I can honestly say, it's the best wall I've ever seen built. Then again, I've never seen a wall built before.

To be truthful, it turned out a whole heck of a lot better than my wild imagination had doomed. The wall is straight. Pretty much. It's level. I'm taking hubby's word for that. And, it's the same height all the way around. That was the last thing I asked him to check before he called it done.

I did help too. Although, he wouldn't let me carry concrete blocks. He wouldn't let me slop mortar. But, I was in charge of the cement mixer we rented from Home Depot.

Did you know Home Depot rents portable cement mixers? I didn't.

I do now.

I never mixed a bag of mortar in my life, but I sure learned out this weekend. Just add the water a little at a time. Best tip I can give you.

Hubby's woes started early. He almost called it quits after laying the first few blocks. Nothing cooperated. The straight line. The block. The mortar. The lifting. Those darn blocks weigh something like 40 pounds each. I guess that's why hubby didn't want me lifting them. And the fact that if I dropped one it would crack our pool deck.

Oh, did I mention that this wall borders our pool's cool deck? And, guess who was in charge of making sure all the mortar didn't stick to the cool deck? Me, of course. Hubby didn't make it easy either. He slopped a lot of mortar around, not caring much where it went. Cool deck. Patio tile. Wherever.

I put myself in charge of cleaning tools after we were through for the day. Trowel. Shovel. Levels. Little pointy thing. The little pointy thing helped make sure the distance between the blocks remained constant. Don't know what it's called. Just called it the little pointy thing. And, it didn't work very well.

Or, I should say, hubby didn't use it very often. He said he could "eyeball" it and knew how far to put the blocks.

Uh huh.

That's why at the end we had to put in nearly an inch or so of mortar between blocks because we ended up with more space than blocks. But, who's pointing fingers? Not me. But, hey, we're done. The wall is up. No more concrete.


Our patio roof used to be held up by four by four cedar posts. Well, hubby cut those down and put up these post shorer things that hold the roof up. Yep. I learned what they were because I had to order them. Didn't have a clue what I was talking about, but I managed to order 4 of them.

Silly me, I thought we were going to replace those cedar posts with new four by four posts. Boy was I wrong. Hubby enlightened me today. "We're going to have to rent the cement mixer again," he tells me.

Guess why?

The posts are going to be replaced with concrete blocks. All the way up to the roof. Hmmm. The roof is higher than my hubby is tall. I can see ladders in the future, or would he stand on the new wall he created? Hmmm. Only time will tell.

But, I must admit. If this new screened in patio turns out like I'm imagining now, it could really be something. I'm getting excited about it.

Uh, maybe I should go back to thinking doom and gloom so I'm not disappointed?

The remodeling continues.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

A Lesson in Home Improvement

My husband and I are making changes to our house. We bought it in an "At is" state, and have slowly made changes over the years. This year, we're screening in the back patio. Our goal is to have it done before Hurrican Season.

I wanted to hire a contractor and pay to have them do all the work. My husband said, "No, don't do that. I can do it for a lot less."

Now, has my husband ever screened in a patio before?


But, he said he'll learn as he goes.

Uh, huh.

His plan is to build a block wall about 2 - 3 feet high all around the patio with concrete.

Has he ever done masonry work before?


But, he said he'll learn as he goes.

Uh, huh.

Do you think we'll be done by Hurricane Season?

Well, we have two months. That should give hubby plenty of time to get the block wall finished so I can bring in professional screeners to finish it up.

You didn't think I was going to let him do everything by himself, did you? We compromised. And, he agreed, when it comes to screens, let the pros handle it.

After the screening is finished it get to replace my sliding glass doors with French double doors. One double pane of glass, with the blinds in between the glass. I can't wait.

Who's going to put in the double doors? We haven't agreed on that yet.

But, we will. I'll keep you informed.