Isn’t it funny how projects always sound so easy in the planning stages? I’ve always been one to do things myself if at all possible. I’d like to say it’s because I enjoy a challenge, but truthfully I’m just too tight to pay someone a lot of money to do something I think I can do myself.
So, how hard could it really be to install new flex-drain at the back of your house? I did my research, read way too much about it and watched the videos online showing exactly how to do it. Yep, all I needed was to go rent a Ditch Witch and cutting those trenches would be a breeze. Then I just needed to add the ground cloth, shovel in the gravel, lay in the drain, add more gravel, then more ground cloth on top and put the dirt back in place. Simple as that!
So I called the handy little 800 number that notified all our utility companies and they came out and marked where their lines are (wouldn’t want to cut any of those). So I had my project set for Friday. Surely I could do this in less than a day and then enjoy the rest of Easter weekend.
So Friday morning I sent my son, Cliff, with Tommy and the trailer to get the Ditch Witch. As usual, however, I forgot about several “small” things that would need to be done.
Thankfully both of my boys were here to help me. First we had to take up Thor’s fence at both places where it meets the back wall. Next, we had to remove the back wooden steps from the house to cut the trench under that area. Then of course, I had to carefully hand dig the areas where there were utility lines so we didn’t cut through them. Finally, it was time to let the Ditch Witch work its magic. Again, I was thankful my boys were there. This thing was a beast and not nearly as easy as it looked on the videos. There was no way I would have been able to handle that by myself, but after several hours Cliff and Jeremy had completed the trench digging. Now the hard part was finished, or so I thought.
Long story short - what I thought would be done in less than a day turned into a two day project. By the time I quit Friday night I had a nice blister on my hand and everything on my body hurt.
Ibuprofen is a wonderful drug and (along with a margarita) helped me to sleep that night.
When I woke up Saturday morning I was really wishing I’d paid someone else to do this for me. Oh well, there was nothing to do but go out and finish. My back yard was a mess and Thor was clearly unhappy that his back steps were gone and he couldn’t run in and out of the house. With the help of my boys we got everything in place, and got the fence and the steps back up by Saturday evening so that we could celebrate Easter without thinking about an unfinished project.
I’m still sore this morning, but slowly recovering. Even so, I must admit there is some satisfaction in knowing that we were able to do this all ourselves. I even got excited when I saw the water on our lower driveway where it had run out of the newly installed drain - it worked! Would I do it again? Absolutely not! On the plus side, I think I burned more calories in those two days than I normally do in a month!
Cliff and Tommy unloaded the Ditch Witch. I really didn't expect it to be this big!
My boys trying to figure out how to operate this thing.
One of the areas I had to hand dig because of utility lines. Also had to remove our back steps here.
The Ditch Witch did dig a nice straight trench.
Thor did enjoy laying outside while we worked.
Back to work today. I hope you all have a wonderful week!