Sunday, July 3, 2011

Re-doing the deck

We bought a house last November, and the "to-do" list continues to drag on. One take, originally identified by the inspector, was to wash and stain our back deck. Sounds easy enough, but when you have 2 business, 2 kids, and life in general, the deck gets ignored. But the calendar now reads July and another Wisconsin winter is not far off. So, to hire a professional or do it ourselves.

The professional quoted us $500 to wash and stain the deck. That seems too high. The upside, he'd have it done much earlier than we would. The down side, parting with $500. Given our desire to step up frugality efforts a bit this month (even though the downturn we'd expected in my husband's business has not materialized as we thought), we are opting for the do-it yourself method.

So, I turned to wonders of my local hardware stores -- Ace Hardware at Hilldale. These wonderful people took my order via the phone once I explained the challenges of bringing in two small children to shop. I asked questions, they gathered materials, set them aside. The kids and I showed up, paid, and were on our way to the park. Did it cost a bit more? Probably, but for that kind of service, and maximizing quality time with my kids, it was worth it. For around $50 I got:
  • a sprayer (for the cleaner and stain)
  • 2 bottles of cleaner
  • 2 cans of stain
  • and 2 roller pans
Our goal over the 4th of July Holiday is to get it washed. Once it is dried, we'll tackle the staining. We do have our limits on do-it yourself. Yesterday I called in dryer vent specialist to thoroughly clean out the dryer vent. Even though the chipmunk was gone, it did not smell like a place to put laundry. For $90 the bottom vent was replaced, cleaned, and a outside screen put in place. Well worth the $90.

If you have advice on the washing and our staining of the deck, please comment....we could use some insight!

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