Sunday, November 12, 2006

Time and money saving techniques...

That failed.
When you’re going through a project like we are, you look for ways to save time and money. We’re not talking about scrimping on structural elements, but little shortcuts to speed up the process and save money. As it turns out, some of our efforts actually cost more and took more time. So, in recounting these, we’ll remember them the second time around. Yeah, right.

Staining the deck
We plan to replace the deck, eventually… It’s part of the five-year plan, certainly not in this early stage. We decided to stain it, but didn’t want to spend the money on the stain we really wanted. So, we purchased an “oops!” five gallon drum of paint and thought we’d tint it. Fat chance, green doesn’t want to be brown no matter how much black and brown tint is added.

So, we spent $5 on the green stain, $5 each on three tubes of tint and ended up buying the good stain for $105 on sale at True Value. So, a newly stained deck for $125. Not bad. Our plan to save ended up costing us $25 additional. But, it sure was fun to play Jackson Pollock for the afternoon.

Michael is convinced that we can use the green on the inside of the shed. Works for me.

Utility Cart
When we first moved in, our first big purchase was a riding lawn mower. We love it. It has a 54” blade. I can tell you that before having so much grass in the backyard, I wouldn’t have considered, or bragged, about a lawn mower blade. It really does make the job faster… and it has a drink holder. Neat.

We wanted to purchase accessories for the mower, but hadn’t determined what we really wanted or needed. In clearing out some of the backyard, Michael found an old utility cart. An accessory we had considered purchasing, but now we could restore this one (we love projects…).

So, he searched for new tires online, after two tries and $40, we had tires that fit. We also put 2 layers of Rustoleum brown paint on it. We already had the paint, so that didn’t really cost us anything. Our cart has seen better days though, and it is a little soft in some places, and you can see through some of the metal. But, we love the utility cart and use it almost every weekend. Recycling at its best.

Of course, we could have purchased a brand new one for $140 ready to go. But then there wouldn’t be a story.

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