90-Day Budget Boot Camp – Speaking of DIY…

by Beth Montgomery on August 30, 2010 · 2 comments

in Frugal Living, Tips & Basics

This is Challenge #9, sponsored by Yoplait Splitz, in the 90-Day Budget Boot Camp.. Scroll down to find out how to enter their exciting giveaway!

Did we challenge you to do it yourself?   Well, sometimes, that doesn’t always go a planned.

Well, I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth!   Actually, I blame my father completely.   You see, when we were young, he was the type of Dad who gave you tools and materials if you said you wanted a treehouse.   He stood there, watched you build it, and helped a bit, but for the most part made you do it yourself.   I’d complain, whine, insist I couldn’t do it, and drag out the process.   But, in the end, I’d love whatever I built more and be so proud of it, because I knew every inch of it and built it with my own hands.

I took the lesson with me into adulthood and the outcome was someone who doesn’t hesitate to start pulling things apart or throwing things together to fix, build, improve, or change things.   Without my Dad, I started small, changing my own car battery or putting together our home entertainment center.   Then, I got braver, installing a new garbage disposal, taking apart the outside water faucets, and not giving up until I did fix our wacky stove when the door locked and refused to open.   And now I apparently got a bit braver.

You see, after years, our swingset that I cheaped out on, finally gave up on us.   Ady was hanging on the monkey bars, when one snapped in half and the entire swingset literally split in half right down the center!   It was kind of shocking.   The wood was rotted completely.   I found a great bargain on a much better set and picked it up.   My husband works full-time and I was impatient, so instead of waiting for him, I enlisted 3 young assistants to help me out. (Yeah, I’m nuts!)

It took us 5 full days, but with good time management, we got it done and you didn’t even miss me during that time.   Then I went crazier and decided to build a sandbox around it, so my husband wouldn’t have so much trouble mowing in and out of all the poles.   I thought, how long could that possible take?   1 hour?   2 hours?   And wood and sand is cheap, right?

Ugh! Could I have been more wrong?

Lets just say… I learned a lot.

1.   Don’t listen to Home Depot and buy bags of sand to fill in a large sandbox, since trucks deliver it for more than half the cost (I won’t even share how much money I lost here… but I think when I say 70 bags of play sand that will give you an idea)!

2. Don’t plan construction projects that involve 50 pound bags of sand after your husband has surgery on his right hand and can’t be much help.

3. When sand appears, those 3 young assistants will likely become distracted and a lot less help.

4. Don’t invite a bunch of kids over for a birthday party and promise a sandbox, when you’ve never built one before or you may underestimate how much time it will take and be unable to accomplish anything else for a few days with fear of disappointed those kids!

5. Don’t forget you will have to stain it before the sand goes in, or you’ll end up doing one very rushed stain job and probably stain yourself from head to toe in the process (the Oompa Loompa look is in, right?).

I made a lot of mistakes!   I got too much wood, but we decided to make it work and now about half our backyard is a sandbox.   I didn’t get enough sand and now we have to order more.   70 bags didn’t even half fill the massive sandbox I built and I’m trying not to think about how much we’re going to spend to order more.   However, we love it and the kids are having a blast with it… and now I’m scrambling to catch up on all I should have done while I was attempting insane construction projects in my backyard!

But, the birthday party did go great!

Oh yeah, that was once a football cake I also made myself… but   not so much any more.

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