Last week I built a chicken coop. Well, that’s a bit of a stretch, last week Steve and I built a chicken coop, but I was an enthusiastic apprentice in the project. I’ve never really built anything before. Funny, but building that coop meant a lot to me. Here is what I learned:
I can dig postholes exactly 16 inches deep and I have the blisters to prove it. Soft hands are a perk and a curse.
I can lift, and pour an 80-pound bag of cement into the holes that took me hours to dig. It seemed so sad to destroy the evidence of my labor.
Treated lumber weighs a lot more than conventional lumber, especially when it has been in the rain. I lifted and set all 8 of the 10-feet posts while Steve made sure they were plumb (that means level for all of you novices:))
I find I get very competitive when a male tells me I can’t do something (read above). Now I am starting to wonder if Steve said digging was too difficult and the cement and posts too heavy as a way of getting out of having to do it…………
The cloth tool belts from Home Depot are way better than the one’s from Lowe’s. I find I have a certain swagger when I strap mine on.
You can’t use regular pencils; they have to be the square kind that are impossible to sharpen.
There is a lot of measuring and talking to one self when building. But I have mastered fractions in the process. The other night Steve asked me if I wanted more wine and I asked for 5/8’s of a glass….oh snap
Metal roofing gets super hot in the sun, especially when you are the one designated to climb up there to drive in all the screws that couldn’t be reached by standing on a ladder. Sometimes weighing less sucks.
There is nothing quite like strutting into Home Depot with your list on a scrap piece of lumber. It screams, “out of my way you weekend warriors, the pros are in da house”.
I feel totally comfortable being a great wife, in an apron, preparing a hearty breakfast and then trading the apron in for a tool belt for the rest of the day. Yeah, that’s right, I swing both ways, wanna fight about it?
Even when your male partner looks at you with complete embarrassment at Home Depot because you are asking if it is okay to add glitter to the stain as he is talking to the burly dude in the paint department, don’t back down; Glitter added to stain really adds some pizazz.
But seriously, there is a tremendous sense of pride when the project is complete. I have always had a great deal of respect for the trades, as my father was a general contractor and Steve, being a real estate developer has worked with the trades for years, but I never fully appreciated their expertise. Carpenters may not wear a suit to work everyday, but that doesn’t make them inferior. It takes brains and brawn to take a bunch of sticks (lumber, duh!), and end up with what I affectionately refer to as the “Glitta Coop”.