Skip to main content

Seeking Deck Contractors

For the last week we've been meeting with contractors -- pulled from various sources -- to talk about the deck project. I work with vendors (albeit code and design vendors) at work, so I'm pretty comfortable with this part of the process.

Here's the secret to hiring out work: Be clear about your project and then LISTEN when they explain it back to you. If they are picking up on what you're going for, that's your guy. If they are way off or pushing you into a directions that you're not comfortable with, they're not worth working with. You'll spend way too much time explaining your point of view and won't be happy with what you get.

Sure, hearing their recommendations as the experts is important. But, I'm the type of person who generally knows exactly what I want. Especially on this deck that I've been envisioning for the last three years.

Overall, the deck design is super simple: A large rectangle that's low enough to the ground that I don't need to incorporate railings. But on my wish list is a structure above the patio door that adds a little shade and some architectural prettiness to the back of the house.

Make it pretty!

Given the budget, I didn't think it was possible but everyone I talked to seemed pretty cool about it. It's simple and cheap to construct, so I'm pretty pleased about that.

Here's what I'm going for:



Once it's built, I love the idea of installing hanging flower baskets. Or stringing outdoor listens from it to the tree on the other side of the deck for romantic dining-al-fresco lighting!

Just waiting on one more estimate, then it will be decision time!

Comments

Most Popular Posts This Month

Reusable Cotton Rounds

Maybe one of the things I'm digging so much about this plastic-free venture is getting to be a little creative and crafty. It's a fun challenge to figure out the better choices and make them.

When looking through the bathroom for easy swaps, I zeroed in on those little cotton pads I use to remove mascara and swipe on face toner.  Harvesting cotton, pressing it into little disks only for me to use it once and throw it away!? Plus, I'm spending 5€ for a plastic bag of them every few months? I can do better.

A little Pinteresting found a quick step-by-step to make these reusable pads. You can find better direction here, but basically I....

1 - traced circles in color flannel fabric using a water glass.
2 - Pinned three pieces together.
3 - Used a tight zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine to close up the edges.
4 - Last, I trimmed around the edges and repurposed a pickle jar to store them. 

Nothing to it.

I wash them with the kitchen rags on a hot water setting. And I've i…

Three New Plastic-Free Swaps

This week I've been thinking about the plastic-free swaps that are slowly getting added to our home. One thing I read a lot is the misconception that you need to "buy all this new stuff" to go plastic-free. And that's kinda silly. I mean, the idea of buying a lot to become sustainable is a littlecontradictory, right?

Chances are, you have a reusable water bottle and shopping bag rattling around the house, or you can probably ask a family member for one. And you've already created a pretty good swap.

While I DO like shopping, I'm a touch frugal. So, I'm swapping out plastic items that are ready for replacement with more renewable sources as they need to be replaced. Here are the latest three.

First up, replacing our plastic toothbrushes for bamboo. 
While usually I buy Preserve toothbrushes, made of 100% recycled plastic, mostly yogurt cups, I wanted to switch to a sustainable material. Bamboo! This Bam and Boo company offers a 3-month subscription and, mos…

My Tips for Visiting Paris

One of the absolute joys of being an expat living in Paris is that I can be a tourist without the jet lag and limited luggage space for new shoes. It's such a privilege! Having traveled to Paris several times, with and without kids, I have a few tips I can share to make your trip here enjoyable.

Wear good walking shoes. Paris is one of the most walkable cities. You can start at the Notre Dame, walk to the Louvre along the river, and up the Champs-Elysees in one day. Or over to the Palais Garnier. And just strolling through neighborhoods, picking up snacks, desserts, etc., is the reason to come here. It's beautiful. But it can also be hell if your shoes are too tight. I love my grey Nike sneakers or a pair of trusty Birkenstock sandals for when the weather is nice.

To blend in with the local gals, you'll want to pack a scarf. Or two. I love a scarf and always travel with one, because it's a blanket/pillow on a plane, and an extra layer while walking around -- adding jus…