Our plan was to get the posts up and floor joists in but after 8 hours and only getting the posts up we were exhausted. I am used to things taking longer than we think and I knew our plans were ambitious but I had no idea the posts would be as challenging as they turned out to be.
We started the day with a trip to Home Depot because the plans were wrong and we needed to get a 2" x 6" x 16 foot pressure treated floor joist for our floor and return some items that were incorrect. When I laid out the footings I followed the plans exactly and everything is where it should be. Further along in the instructions it has a little note that says the distance from the center to any one post is 6 ft, well that is just not physically possible when you start out with an octagon where the distance between opposite sides is 12 feet! Anyway, other than needing to buy an additional piece of lumber it shouldn't cause problems any where else in the project that I can see.
When the last post was set it was 6:30 pm and we were hungry and tired. We didn't argue too much on this day...a few moments of frustration but not many believe it or not, even when I thought I might cry when the bolt started to move:)
Some things I have learned so far:
- I married one of the best men in the world. I am so happy that we can work on these projects together. Ladies, its worth learning how to do all this stuff so your weekends can be spent with your husband doing things together rather than each off doing your own 'projects'. I assume you got married because you wanted to spend time together.
- Don't trust the guy at the 'pro-desk' at Home Depot to get the material list right for your project. Check and recheck everything. This would have saved us at least 4 return trips so far on this project and there may be more. Also the pro-desk isn't open on Sundays which makes it even tougher since everything has to go through them for this project.
- Assume everything will take at least twice as long as you think. But be prepared to move forward to the next step if it doesn't. I knew this 'truth' back in my project management days but it's so easy to forget especially when you aren't relying on others to do the work.
- Remember to have fun along the way and reward yourself with a hot shower and good dinner (take out) at the end of the day.