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Day 632 – Hay, there

March 20, 2012

March 20, 2012

It’s been awhile since our last status update, and things are progressing slowly. We are still at least two weeks out on finishing our electrical work, but we have everything supply-wise to do so which is great (we just need the time and electrical know-how!)

Looking ahead, we have completed estimates on the upcoming things we need to do – drywall, insulation, flooring and tile work and we have found suitable contractors (and pricing) for that work. I know we are capable of installing sheetrock and insulation, but I had no idea how really quite cost competitive it is to hire it out, and how much faster. No more sanding drywall! For the insulation, we are planning to go with “polar blanket” insulation which is a combo closed cell foam and loose fiberglass fill on the exterior walls, so this work we certainly need to hire out.

One of the things we are moving ahead on right now requires absolutely no sheetrock, insulation and definitely no permits. It’s a play structure for the kids! It’s been years in the dreaming process, as we’ve wanted one of these for years.

The layout of our play structure

We are working with a local outfit, The Kids Backyard Store, which offers a professional install option. A key to us being able to do it at all is a pre-season discount they were offering. Install should happen within a week or so, with us then needing to install some bark chips or similar to the surrounding area for safety.

Speaking of the ground, it needed a TON of preparation. Literally. From an egress window install in our basement a number of years ago, we had a large quantity of dirt left over which we moved to our backyard and framed it in for a raised garden bed. We didn’t stop to think that that corner of our yard didn’t get enough light for a garden, so the garden was abandoned and the dirt pile sat for years, used mainly as a play place by the kids and the dog. It turned out that while the location wasn’t great for a garden, it was ideal for a play structure!

Working for nearly six hours, my son and I labored to move countless full wheelbarrow loads of dirt in dismantling the raised bed. The dirt went everywhere we could put it – under plants, flower beds and to help level the yard. While we succeeded at moving the dirt, what was left was a muddy yard. Planning ahead for this, we had picked up some straw from the local feed store and spread it around on the ground to help stabilize things.It’s been four days since the big dig and my arms are just feeling back to normal!

Hay! It's a corner full of straw. This is where the structure will go.

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