The One Where They Built a Pergola

Sweet Friends reference Nick. Anyway….

Like a lot of people with little else to do over the last several months, we took on a DIY home project. We decided to clean out one of the corners of our yard and put in a pergola. This isn’t really news to anyone that knows me. I talked about it pretty religiously, and I may have already posted about it online.

Having an actual sitting area in our yard is certainly nice, but the original inspiration for this project was to have a backstop of sorts for wiffle ball. Dad’s getting too old to hop the fence into the neighbor’s yard. So along with some lights and other smaller features, we added a privacy screen to a couple sides to stop the foul balls. Coincidentally the privacy screen also provides privacy, which isn’t too big of a deal to me because I’m very social.

That’s not the point of this post though. I wanted to get back to that tweet from above. This was easily the biggest project we’ve ever taken on. We had help from family, but I thought we could handle it ourselves, so we did most of the work. I planned it all out the best that I could. I figured out all the supplies we needed; all of the lumber, the number of screws, what kind of brackets I’d want to use. All of it. Even bought a few new tools for the project. We were ready to work.

The important thing to note is that this project was planned out the best that I could do it. Well I’m here to tell you that everything did not go as planned. The very first post hole we dug had a giant rock that I couldn’t remove, which literally caused a physical shift in our layout. I won’t belabor all of the roadblocks we hit. Just know that we hit them.

When things didn’t go as planned, it was incredibly frustrating. This plan you made, this idea that you could do it yourself, they weren’t working. I’m not exactly an engineer or mechanically inclined, so that doubled (tripled?) the frustration. And that led to arguments (my bad). To the point that I wasn’t ever really sure we’d get it done. But thanks to my wife not yet fully hating me, we were able to push through and slowly make some progress. And before we knew it, we were 50 bags of rubber mulch away from being done.

Once everything was completed, we had this awesome space that I never would’ve even dreamed about before. We could sit in peace and enjoy our yard. The boys could swing away worry free (I made a strike zone too, NBD). And it was all so much better because we did it ourselves. We did it together. The couple that survives a DIY project together, stays together.

P.S. I’m gonna get so much back from my Menards rebate checks it’s ridiculous. By the time I get it, I’ll be able to buy the finest snow shovel money can buy, but still. Rebates.

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