Memorial Madness

Whatta weekend. My brain is 100% mush at this point. I've barely been able to function - let alone think intelligently about anything.

As you know, Mike ordered materials last Friday. They were delivered first thing Saturday morning and the guys arrived shortly after to begin framing the porch.

And I was even pleased at the bill for all that PT - it was less than I had estimated. Always a great way to start the day. Plus the weather was gorgeous - perfect in fact.

It was just incredible to see it all take shape. It quickly became apparent that this porch was going to be awesome. It would be tall, wide - commanding I'd say. It's going to totally change the dynamic of the house.

The guys made fast work of the framing and were finished by the end of saturday.

Here's the view from the side - just look at how big this one portion will be. Still no steps though....

Speaking of which, I've got to give props to this little blue Rubbermaid step stool, which has been our main means of entry into the house since the house lift of 2005. After all is said and done, I'm going to email Rubbermaid and congratulate them on manufacturing such a rugged plastic step stool. This thing has withstood time, weather, and hundreds of ups and downs. It's been buried in snow, drenched in rain, stomped on, fell on, blasted with the rays of the sun.... and still it survives. It doesn't even have one crack in the plastic! And to think, this step stool actually came with the house.... so who knows its actual age and what it had to endure before Mike and I subjected it to the elements.

After the porch steps are finished, it will finally be able to retire to the normal step stool life - giving me the occassional lift to be able to reach the top shelf in a cabinet.

Watch it break when I go to step on it tonight....

Anyway, back to the madness. I woke up on Sunday morning and kinda trudged about the house, cleaning this and that and whatnot. Then Mike got up and immediately said, "What are you doing? Get ready! We have to leave!"

I think I actually replied, "Huh?" And then he explained that the guys were coming back to work and we needed to go to the Home Depot to get decking. Oh! I had no clue work would be continuing on Sunday.

What's more, Mike didn't think they'd get so far in one day - he hadn't ordered the decking from Morse on Friday! And although I wasn't mad, per say, I immediately knew that going to the DeepHo would be utter hell. Not only that, I knew I was about to waste a whole boatload of money - it made me nauseous. I couldn't stand that thought. I was about to purchase stuff at full price that I could have gotten from Morse at a discount. A lot of stuff. I could have given my left arm for a damn coupon I was so frustrated.

But it couldn't wait. The guys were coming. We had to do it.

The Home Depot on Memorial Day weekend. Hell. 100% hell. First off, there's two million idiotic do-it-yourselfers (even though I'm one of them, I still can't deal with the crazy other idiots) and then there's about 3 million employees floating around, not being helpful.

So we go over to the decking section. We need 36 16' and 19 14' long pieces. That's a crazy amount, so we brought two carts.

Well! First off, there's a forklift parked right in front of the 16' pieces. Next to that, there's two carts filled with trash. We moved the two carts of trash - but of course we couldn't move the forklift. Mike starts picking pieces. It's a long process.

Then, all of a sudden I turn around and our second cart is gone! Somebody walked by and just took it! I kicked myself for not putting something on it. So I had to go and find another cart.... all the way out in the parking lot of course.

I got back just in time to see a bunch of employees just hanging out in our section. One employee guy said to us, "Sucks that the forklift is there." And he did nothing to move it - or find someone to move it. Then he asked us how many pieces of decking we needed. We told him 36 16' and 19 14'. He told us they didn't carry 14'. Great. At this point we had only picked about 20 of the 36 16' pieces. And then the guy walked away, on to be of no help to somebody else I suppose.

Finally we had our 36. And we had no clue what to do about the 14' ones, so we just decided to purchase these and come back later when we had figured out what to do. Then when we got back to the truck, it was time to load 'em up.

Despite the fact we have a full size dually dodge diesel pickup truck - 36 16' PT decking is a lot to handle. As we stacked them, they kept wanting to slide off the tailgate where we had them hanging off. So we had to keep strapping them down every time we had a large bunch that I couldn't hold back all by myself anymore. Terrible. Absolutely terrible.

So to recap - we overpaid, we had a bitch of a time picking, they didn't have the 14' length, the place was crowded, the employees were totally unhelpful, we had to load our own stuff.... utter hell.

But when we got back home - finally - the guys got right to work.

Our neighbors even came over to help - we had too many people and not enough work at one point! Imagine that. And with so much bending over going on - TJ just had to pose for some silly crack pics.
OMG - we could have died laughing at this one.

By the end of the day - when we ran out of decking - we were nearly to the front door. Everyone was pretty hot and tired anyway, so we decided to quit for the day. We enjoyed the rest of the evening sitting on the deck with some drinks. Mike and Paul christened our half done porch by lighting off a few firecrackers. And then a couple of our neighbors lit some off.

All in all - a productive weekend. Next weekend - more progress is planned. More materials are needed of course. I'm not sure how much we're ordering this time. And I think we still have to go to the DeepHo for the rest of the decking - or else it won't match what we already have. Urg! Just the thought of having to pick 19 more pieces just kills me... and if HD doesn't carry 14' - we have to buy 16. And that's a cost to waste ratio that does not make me feel warm 'n fuzzy inside.

And yes, it is preferable to go straight 14' instead of breaking it up into smaller pieces and patterning it. (This is for the shorter section by the french doors.)