My dad is our project man. He knows how to do pretty much everything, ever (slight exaggeration) and if you want it, he can teach you how to build it (he designs packaging machinery and has diligently checked every item off my mom's infinite house project to-do list his entire married life.... so yeah, he knows his stuff).
And see, that's exactly it. He doesn't just swoop in and do our projects for us.
One of our first home projects he helped us with was building our fence. This was PBE (Pre Blogging Era...) so I sadly don't have perfect before and afters... But our yard was large and we needed to keep our dogs corralled. We had a million trees that we had to work around (and their roots!). It was a large undertaking, especially for newby homeowners.
We certainly didn't have the money to pay a company to put one in, but luckily we had my dad's expertise and the loving hands of many of our friends who we conscripted into service.
We built a fence. But, we didn't just build a flimsy, run of the mill fence. We built a beast of a fence. Like, a monster.
If there's something dad doesn't do, it's do things halfway. He believes in doing it right the first time, every time. Even when it's super annoying and drives us mad. Even when it costs extra. Even when it requires going to Home Depot (again!) for that one little part you need to make it sturdy. Even when it's just not fun.
My dad's done enough projects in his lifetime to know that it's worth it to go the extra mile. Sometimes, it takes a while to see the reasons why, but it pays off, always.
He insisted we build a sturdy fence. One that would stand the test of time. Our wood was nice and thick. Each post had a two foot hole with 80lbs of concrete securing it (each post! all million of them!). Our stringers were screwed in by hand (drill) instead of nailed. We anchored the pickets with lots of nails from the nail gun. It took freaking forever to get it up.
But guess what? That fence is a beast, and it's taken a pretty substantial beating already. A little pine fell on it last year - and the fence broke the pine. This year, it wasn't so lucky...
This past week, a sudden storm took down a huge pine in our backyard (well, right outside our yard). The tree was apparently eaten up by termites, but we didn't know that. It fell sideways across our yard, thankfully. It literally stretched the entire length of our backyard.
The tree was about 85 feet long and super heavy. It was pretty thick too. It fell straight across our fence.
And it damaged a whopping total of one stringer, and five pickets. That's it.
(Tony had propped the pickets back up in this shot, but you can see that the stringer broke but didn't even come off!)
A shoddier fence would have been taken out completely.
It took about $10 and an hour to fix it, good as new.
Moral of the story? Do it right the first time. It's worth it.
[And if you're wondering, we have over 100 trees in our backyard. I would love to be able to take them down, as any of them could fall on our house. However, I love the privacy and wooded lot. And we don't have $1,000,000. But we do plan on calling a company to come inspect our trees to find out if any are diseased like this one was and have those taken out. Of course, all of our neighbors have tall pines (this one was outside our fence!) that could kill us too... but it's a start.]