Friday, 3 January 2014

I just want to vent!

The wind and rain continues here!  Work on my new project has began but hampered due to the fact that the ground is sodden and I fear that if I continue I will be doing more bad than good. 

I had to make the most of my son's last day off work today - I really need his help to assemble the pergola arch.  I took the notion of making a start and building it in the kitchen.  There is enough room providing nobody wants to eat, that is.   The crate was opened and all pieces accounted for - check!  Hardware - check!  Tools required for assembly - check!  Dustsheets down - check! 

I'm a bit of a stickler when it comes to checking and double checking - much to the annoyance of anyone who gets roped into giving me a helping hand.  I was double checking the hardware that came supplied.  I was not impressed - the sheer weight of timber and those smallish screws just didn't seem quite adequate enough.  I've built enough flat pack furniture and the likes in my time to immediately doubt the screws were up for the job.  A debate was had - not really a debate, just Lee listening to me ranting if they were up for it or not.  Against my better judgement - we got started.  Following manufacturers instructions measurements were taken, checked and double checked!  The old adage of 'Measure twice, cut once' is probably the best tip I've ever been given.  Admittedly no cutting involved but the drilling of pilot holes was recommended and as the holes were going through two separate pieces of timber that then needed lined up, the thinner/narrower pieces could prove to be quite unforgiving if mistakes were made.  Therefore, care was taken to get it right first time.

All systems were a go - four pilot holes drilled and lined up perfectly.  So far so good!  My attentions then turned to the skimpy 50mm screws I was being advised to use - those doubts kicked in again!  Another debate - think logically Lee kept telling me!  Maybe once they were all in place they would be up for the job.  The were offered up and as soon as we began - the poor quality of the screws were soon apparent - despite using the recommended type and size of screwdriver, the heads were ruined before they were driven completely in.  It wasn't just me, Lee was having the same problems at his end.  I sourced alternative screws, once which I knew were better quality from the shed and decided to use more than the 4 recommended.  I would space them evenly along the entire length.  Once this task was complete it was time to put the top section on.  As we were hoisting up the side sections - I was still unconvinced that the recommended length of screws would be suffice.  The trellis that was by now attached to the 4 inch posts was still quite flimsy.  I was not happy with it at all.  I could see how the top section would hold it square enough but not how it would aid the trellis to stay secure.

I stood scratching my head, as you do, for a few minutes.  Bolts would have been a better choice of fixings - why didn't they supply bolts?   Knowing that I did not have bolts that would have been large enough to do the job - off I went to the nearest DIY store to source what I needed.  I also decided to buy substitutes for the other screws I had yet to use.  On leaving the store, I was sure I had covered all the bases.

I don't live far from the DIY store, a quick run onto the motorway and 1 junction down - less than 10 minutes from home.  Just as I drove back onto the motorway slip road for my return journey, I was met with a massive tail back!  The 2 mile journey to my exit Junction took me almost an hour and a half!  By the time I got home, it was almost dinner time and the component parts for the arch were still strewn about the kitchen floor!  Of course it would have been far too much to have expected Lee to have thought about clearing up!  He was however, sent up for a takeaway - I was angry, frustrated and rather miffed!

After dinner, we dismantled all we had done and after much consideration - decided to start afresh tomorrow morning when my head was much clearer and I was in a better place!

Don't you just hate it when a plan doesn't come together?

46 comments:

  1. Oh Angie, what a pain! I hate that too and it seems this sort of thing is all too frequent. With all the planning in place now you'll have a better time of it tomorrow.

    Looking forward to seeing it all completed and in place soon.

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    1. Shirely, had I bought a budget one I would have expected problems such as I had but I chose from a from a better range thinking that I wouldn't have had such problems. I examined many in various places before I selected the one I wanted purely because it look sturdier. How wrong I was!

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  2. As the saying goes, sometimes the best laid plans go astray - in this case, clearly through no fault on your part. I'm sure it'll come together and that you'll enjoy it when it's in place.

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    1. Kris - I'm sure I will enjoy it - although it's only phase one of project privacy, as it has since become known. It's a long way from completion yet.

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  3. Oh, how very frustrating! Here's hoping things go more smoothly tomorrow.

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    1. Alison, things went much smoother once I was able to sleep on it and mull over all the potential problems I was going to have for the remainder of the job. All sorted now though!

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  4. Bloody wet here too: we had 1300 l of rain last year, normally it's about 800 l. When we ordered our greenhouse it was such a shamble parts missing, wrong parts you name it. Keep your chin up, Angie, and you'll appreciate the result a lot more in the end! ;)

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    1. Annette - you are dead right, it has made it ever so satisfying knowing that I managed to over come that little hiccup! You are not the first person that I've heard of having bother with a greenhouse - it's a lot more common than we think.

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  5. I do. We also are suffering from motorway roadworks at the moment. One Saturady evening we drove home to find our junction was closed. The only warning was just before the turn off - wouldn't it have made sense to warn us before the previous junction so we could have left there? Hope the pergola goes better - I thought for one minute you were going to say you built it and then couldn
    ';t get it out of the kitchen.

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    1. Yea of little faith Sue ;) - dimensions were checked before I decided to make a go of it indoors. The French doors open wide enough - but as it happens I ended up finishing it outside, I hadn't accounted for the sheer weight of the thing once it was complete! Luckily mummy's little soldier was their to help :)

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  6. How frustrating! I've found here that often items sent out with DIY projects (like screws) aren't up to the job and so I've had to raid our own stock for replacements. Hope it all works out in the end.

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    1. Wendy, I usually have some stock that can be used as alternative and I did have a load of coach bolts but my brother raided my shed for some back in the summer and he never did replace them. I've hidden the shed key now so he has to ask next time.

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  7. I am always surprised at the lack of adequate hardware that comes with most things. I mean why would they skimp on that of all things. Good for you for going and getting better quality.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. Cher, you are so right! For the sake of a few bolts that probably wouldn't have added much cost wise to the manufacturers seems rather silly to me!

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  8. Great rant Angie, I don't blame you, but you have made me smile.Hope you get it all sorted out soon.

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    1. Glad to have made you smile Alistair - all sorted now. If it collapses it certainly isn't through lack of skimping!

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  9. Ciao Angie! Tutta la fatica che stai facendo sarà ripagata! Vedilo come un investimento :), un po' di fatica all'inizio e poi tutto bene alla fine :)

    Buona continuazione dei lavori! Continua così!!!

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    1. hai ragione e sarà bello quando è finite Pontos :)

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  10. Oh I hate when things don't go right. Hope your pergola goes better tomorrow. Look on the bright side...you are not buried under a foot of snow and soon you will have a beautiful pergola in your garden to enjoy! Better day ahead.

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    1. I am so glad that we've had no snow but only so I can get this job done as I was on annual leave this last week. We had a much easier day of it yesterday and it's all complete now.

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  11. I must admit I also wondered like Sue, how you would get the pergola out of your kitchen! Is it less than a door width in one direction? I am sure you have thought about it already, just wondered ;-
    Looking forward to seeing it up when you have it all sorted, and also wondering what you are going to have climbing onto it? Perhaps some rose cuttings from London? Good luck getting it finished!

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    1. Luckily, as I said above Helene, the French doors open completely and the dimensions would have 'just made it!
      I see roses and honeysuckle Helene - I think you told me you had red rose cuttings in your email re plant swap, I might just have a home for one when I'm finished ;)

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    2. I have a 'Crimson Cascade' in my garden with your name on - two if you want!

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    3. Helene, I'm seeing Crimson Cascade growing up over the dark green trellis at the top end of my garden, I need to move a few plants around come spring time - so please, please, keep my name secured firmly on one :)

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  12. Your a far better DIY person than I. I'm more of a cut first, measure after sort. Doubtless in your shoes I would have just jammed the thing together. Not proud of it, but there it is. I have no doubt you will come out far ahead in the end, aggravation and all.

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    1. Jason, you are not alone in that respect! My son would be the exact same if I was there. I lost count today the amount of times he told me 'that will do' - he should know by now I don't do 'that will do', I've only been his mother for almost 25 years ;)

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  13. I love me a good rant and I bet you feel a lot better after getting it off your chest.

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    1. Yes, much better thanks ricki - although reading back, it seems rather trivial now! I get wound up by stupid things, yet major disasters I just sail through ;)

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  14. Good morning Angie,
    Sometimes it's wise to just admit defeat for the time being, get a takeaway, and watch tv instead. My motto is' If in doubt, use bolts'. Hope it goes together easily on the next attempt.

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    1. We are cooking by gas now Gary - in fact all in the ground and as perfect as I can get it! There's no stopping me once I'm on a roll!

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    2. Lol....glad to hear it! I hope we are going to get piccies of the finished work, bolts and all? By the way, whereabouts in Edinburgh are you?

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    3. Plenty of pics as 'Project Privacy' progresses. Way out in the sticks in the west of Edinburgh - Newbridge, in fact. Better known for it's roundabout and motorway junction. Although, don't tell Edinburgh Council we are in Edinburgh - you'd be wasting your breath, their staff never believe me if I have occasion to contact them :)

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  15. I too had visions of you completing the pergola in your kitchen and then not being able to get it out! I can understand your frustration, it is so annoying when something goes wrong when you have checked and double checked all the way through. Hope we will see the end result in the garden soon.

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    1. I did check dimensions before I began Pauline - I did have that vision when the thought of doing it indoors popped into my head. Everyone in the house thought I was mad!
      I will be looking forward to showing you all my hard work when it's all done.

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  16. Lol....I know I shouldn't...but Lol. :-)

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  17. Hi Angie,

    Lol, oh dear. Never experienced this before... But then I don't have a pergola. Most things aren't meant to last long these days. Not unless you're willing to sell your house and children to buy 'good' quality!
    Generally I leave Pete to do any assembly. Not because I can't do it, but rather he gets quite nasty to be around when he's trying to build something - it's easier to stay clear!

    Tomorrow is another day, and hopefully you'll be able to get your Pergola together - looking forward to photos :)

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  18. Angie I do hate when my plans don't come together or something I bought is not quite constructed right so I can put it together. I feel your pain about the weather...we have entered another Ice Age here with sub zero temps and lots of snow....more on the way.

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  19. Hi Angie, good reasons to vent! Usually the arbors, trellises, obelisks etc. that are offered here in America are so flimsily build, they look good for the moment they are up, but when they should support a rose for example they are totally overwhelmed. That is if you can assemble them in the first place. I am thinking about getting an obelisk myself, but couldn't decide to move forward for exactly that reason. We could build one out of wood ourselves, but probably don't have the time and I prefer metal anyways, so I am kind of stuck. Hope you find a solution for your trellis problem! Happy New Year!
    Christina

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  20. I feel your frustration! I hate cheaply made components! I am reminded of a clothes drying rack we bought and had to assemble. The thing had a great design, but all parts turned out to be flimsy. So frustrating! I hope that once your arch is completed, it will serve you beautifully well for years and your frustrations will be long forgotten!

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  21. Yes--very frustrating, indeed. Some days are like that, anyway, but having a product that isn't quite right and needs to be supplemented makes it even worse. I hope you end up with a pergola that makes all the frustration a distant memory soon.

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  22. At least you got a takeaway out of it Angie !!:-)

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  23. Oh no dear Angie what a shame nothing worse.

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  24. Hi Angie,
    My first visit to your site - and still lots more to read. I was very impressed by your D.I.Y. I also found the section on containers very useful. I have never grown much more than bulbs in containers myself, but maybe this year I will try a few more specialist plants. I have started collecting bubble wrap in anticipation!

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  26. No matter how good you are at DIY things rarely go to plan. It's called Sod's Law!

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