Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Heavy Fence Gate

Mr. DIY and I decided to fence in our yard a few years ago. We had Lowes come out and measure our yard and tell us exactly how much lumber we would need. We purchase said lumber and bring it home. Being the DIYers that we are, we were going to install the fence ourselves. A week later, I found out I was pregnant. No lifting heavy fence posts for me.

Mr. DIY's step-dad came down on a Sunday a few weeks later and helped him set all the posts. Mr. DIY built the entire fence by himself without any help at all. It was interesting to watch. He/we had never done any kind of project like this before. So we were absolute novices when it came to hanging the gates. It really isn't a difficult task, but we weren't exactly sure how we wanted to handle the opening to our carport.

He sunk the posts in the ground as close to the house as he could get. The concrete footings from the house were in the way and there was just no way to chip the concrete back. So there was always a gap between the posts and the house. Something I wasn't too crazy about.

Being the novices that we were, we used the same 8ft. posts that we had used on the rest of the fence. This would have been fine if there had been more fencing connected to that post to help support the weight. So of course, the gate began to sag and had to be supported on the opposite side. This made it extremely difficult for me to open and close so I never used it. I would trek through the house to get from the front to the back yard....which means more dirt in my house. It's a vicious cycle I tell ya!

This weekend I had a brilliant idea! Let's mount the gate to the house and the shed on the carport. Okay, maybe not so brilliant, but the answer to my gate woes. This was a simple little project with lots of impact! We simply mounted the 4x4s to the house with 3 lag bolts each. That was probably the hardest part of the project because the bolts were rather long and beefy so our little battery-powered impact wrench would only take them so far. We had to screw the bolts the rest of the way in with a socket wrench with a cheater bar on it.

I can now open and close the gate with one hand. It swings freely and I don't have to lift up on it to open it. I am downright giddy over this gate! :)The gate along with the rest of the fence and the house needs a good pressure washing. My dad was using it all weekend so it will have to wait until next weekend.

Hindsight also tells me we really didn't need take the posts all the way to the top. We could have just cut them a little above the gate. We just had it in our heads that we needed a spacer between the posts to keep them spread apart. This isn't necessary since they are bolted to the house. Live and learn.

Cutting down the old posts. Hopefully he will get them dug out next weekend and we can get started with some landscaping back here.
Drilling the pilot holes for the lag bolts.
Those are some beefy lag bolts. Getting ready to screw them in.

The finished gate from the inside of the carport.
It needs a good pressure washing, but it looks so much better. I love how it is flush with the siding.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

It's over

The tornadoes all went around us. We had straight-line winds and lots of rain. No injuries or significant damage in my town. Quite a bit of damage about 30 miles to the south of us. Every muscle in my body is aching today from all of my anxiety yesterday. I'm so thankful that we were spared and praying for those who were not.

I have many, many projects that I need to post about, but I need to scan in the before pictures. I didn't think to take pics before we started tearing things up. The only pictures I have are from when I bought the house...before I had a digital camera. The other problem is that those pictures are in a tote in the top of a closet that I can't reach. Need to get Mr. DIY to get up there and get them down for me.

I have many projects to work on this summer too. I want to refinish the rocking chair that I had as a child for my son. I also have a porch swing that my grandpa made for me before he died that needs to be refinished. So stay tuned for more posts...I promise!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The storm

Today, we are about to have a devastating storm. The weathermen and EMA have been trying to prepare us for the last 24 hours. This is expected to be bigger than the storm that wiped out Joplin, Missouri. I'm terrified. Terrified to tears. The Inland Hurricane that we experienced on May 8, 2009, won't have anything on this storm. That was the scariest day of my life. I feel so helpless and out of control right now. I'm sure this may seem melodramatic to some, but my fear is very real.

We have nowhere to go in our house. Every room has windows and we do not have a basement. Not that it matters anyway because they say that no bathtub or interior room will save us. I am packing up as many necessities as I can. We will be going to a friend's house across town and getting in their basement. It's an older home, I hope it holds up. I still haven't asked if we can bring our dogs. I just can't leave them behind. Daisy has been with me for 14 long years. We have been advised that we are to seek shelter throughout the entire night as the storm will be coming in waves. By Thursday afternoon everything should be over and we can come out.

Please say a prayer for us and everyone in our area. Let's this all be a bad dream.