Monday, June 20, 2011

You want me to build what ?

As a dad you are expected to have a working knowledge of just about everything and I don't just mean knowledge to win at Trivial Pursuit (that's a whole different issue) You will need to amass an encyclopaedic knowledge of cooking, engineering and general knowledge.

The thing I seem to get relied on for the most is fixing/building. There is nothing like the pressure that occurs when when the little dudes stand in front of you with a broken item and that look of desperate hopefulness that "dad can fix it". It's not easy and lets face it the way they manufacture some stuff these days it's far cheaper to just buy a new one.

So when I was asked by the in-marriage designer to build a set of stairs to the recently completed deck, I looked at her with a raised eyebrow ( It was all I could do to stop my my heart rate from causing my heart to explode from my chest in fear)

The deck itself was a mammoth job that everybody in the family had helped with, took months to build,  had 1000's of tec-screws in just fixing the decking boards alone and that even the in-marriage designer had to help with. There's nothing like some construction to get everybody outside and having fun.

I had mistakenly assumed we were done and we would just buy some pre-made stairs and bolt them on. Then sit back and have a beer and laugh at how clever we were.

Not a chance ! To get 5 steps built at a custom width, ready to assemble, costs $700 - $800 dollars.
So armed with some brochures and some sneaky measurements from other neighbours steps while they weren't looking, off we went to Bunnings. After buying $200 dollars of very blokey looking timber and bolts
we were ready to go.
This is the start.......

Grandpa looking like he knows what he's doing 

It went pretty well - Considering we got rained out a couple of times , found out that the measurement on the timber that you pay for is not what you actually get and wet timber is very, very hard to work with. The smallest dude was in charge of bolting and spanners not falling in the mud and he loved it. 
And quite frankly Grandpa's suggestion that we start at the top was sheer genius.

We ended up with plenty of timber left over so the end cost came out at $96.00 of timber and 6 hours of construction time.

So below are the finished steps and I hereby dedicate them to all Dads facing their own DIY challenges !!

Disclaimer : All builders did their own stunts. 
No animals were harmed during the making of these stairs. 
The stairs do contain traces of sarcasm and frustration.

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