Monday, October 22, 2012

The Benefits of Being a Cheap-o and Other Such Nonsense

This past weekend Greg and I were outside doing some major work on our front porch - or - I should say - in front of our house.  We also did lots of much needed yard work in preparation for the onslaught of falling leaves that consumes our weekends in the fall.  It was a very physically active weekend - and I'm paying the price for it today.  I should have taken a picture of our accomplished work, but, frankly, my arms were too tired to lift a camera last night.  *Side-note: they weren't too tired to lift a few beers, which were delicious - and, besides, I have priorities people!*

On the up side, we started a project that basically cost us nothing to do, but which adds some much needed structure to the front of our house.

Our town did a lot of roadway reconstruction this past summer - which included ripping out all of the Belgian  block curb.  Thankfully, our next door neighbor works for the town, and we found out that the contractor wasn't going to re-use the block, just take them to a construction debris landfill for disposal.  So, being the good environmental stewards we are (and, because we are also *ahem* cheap bastards) we dragged nearly 40 blocks from a nearby street to our house.  And, yes, we did the move using the trunks of our sedans.  Needless to say we had to drive SUPER SLOW to avoid bumper detachment.  But, boy, was it worth it!  Those suckers are expensive!  Some online research shows that each block can be roughly $5 a pop - which, OK, wouldn't have been a HUGE impact to our overall porch renovation budget, but still, saving $200 on anything makes me smile a lot these days.

Anyway, yesterday, we dug out our "flower beds" in front of our porch and re-lined one side with belgian block.  The other side will also be re-lined, but we have to get some dirt to fill in that bed since it's literally too low and needs to be filled in to look appropriately proportioned to the front of the house.

Regardless, the side that is done (the one adjacent to our driveway) looks really great.  Greg really likes it, and has said numerous times that he wants to plant stuff in the garden to make it look more picturesque!  He's right, it will look more presentable with some kind of flowers or something installed - not sure what we're going to do there yet - but Greg wants to plant some mums for the time being just to give our front some color and more curb appeal.  We'll see.  Greg got all the framing for the lattice installed yesterday - a b*tch of a job if you ask me - but we'll be able to install lattice this coming weekend, which will really make our front look more done than it has looked ever.

We also have some mums sitting on our steps and all our porch furniture is sitting outside, and we're more or less decorated for Halloween.  Our neighbor (the same one who works for the town) told us yesterday that our house is starting to look like it belongs in Better Homes and Gardens.  Which I was totally flattered by.  I LOVE that magazine, and actually get a lot of really great inspiration on everything from decorations to recipes in there - and I can't wait to start mining it for garden ideas!

It was a pretty productive weekend, but, like I said, I'm paying the price.  My back is literally groaning every time I get up and out of my chair, and my arms are kind of shaky from all the block lifting and moving.  I'll have to get a picture up here soon so that I can enjoy the fruits of my labor and share them with you!

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