Monday, May 24, 2010

Before start, after start and termination checklists (Landscaping)

The day (early April) I started was the day I filed my tax return. Still haven't received the refund which financed this project, but it's coming. The CRA gave me a run for my money, but it all worked out. I think?

So what does this have to to do with flying? Well, that's an airline in disguise.

I will tell one story. Two 747-400 skippers were having a concerned conversation one day. One skipper, recently retired, was asked by the other about money. "How do handle the huge pay cut?" The retired skipper said, "we learned to do things ourselves." I get a chuckle out of that one because I must have missed something. I've been doing things myself since day one. I helped build a house when I was 13 and 14. My first real job started at age 15 as a painter making money to chase a dream. My wife still ensures I have a paintbrush in my hand now and again after 34 years.

The old railings were removed and forms were built to widen the existing steps. The old side walls were smashed off by a maul. The original steps were kept to keep the same profile plus they were bolted to the foundation stopping everything from settling. I didn't want the same thing happening to the newly built airport in Osaka, Japan.

Two cubic metres of concrete. Never did concrete before. What did I get myself into?
The lower landing is ten inches thick but not as thick as a runway.

Doug the mason. At one point I told my wife, "I had met my match." But perseverance wins in most things in life. I got through the hard part.

The steps are finished and six cubic yards of soil is moved in. All before a "red eye."

Captain Doug the carpenter. The posts and railings are made from scratch.
As reiterated in the comedy show, RedGreen, "If your wife doesn't find you handsome, she should at least find you handy." Doug the comedian.

These posts have turned many heads in the neighbourhood. Most use wrought iron railings. These are the first for the area and many neighbours/strangers have stopped by.

The grand finale. I also modified the garage doors by removing the old hardware, painting them and adding 'carriage' hardware. That was one of the many last year's projects. Not bad for being in the house less than a year.


Jack said...

Wow! Very impressive, Doug! Wish I lived close by so I could have given you a hand in exchange for some lessons!


From the Flight Deck said...

Jack. You are quick on the response! I'm glad the project is over. I have nearly three weeks off so I'm certain the wife has more "marching orders."

Doug the landscaper

Giulia said...

Doug. It's absolutely beautiful!

Jack-of-all-trades--and master of a helluva lot!



From the Flight Deck said...

Thanks Giulia.

Things work out if you persevere. :)


Andrew said...

Wow Doug that is very impressive, looks very professional.


From the Flight Deck said...

Andrew. I didn't think it was ever going to end. Now I'm looking around for my next project. But I'm taking a small group of student pilots for a tour of Air Canada flight dispatch tomorrow. Captain Doug

Christopher said...

Well done Captain - looks like a very professional and well constructed job.

Reg said...

Good job. Google street view has your neighbour a few doors down doing something similar.

From the Flight Deck said...

Reg. There's lots of landscaping going on. The big difference is some of them are spending $80,000 to $200,000 on it. It's not happening here. There are pools going in everywhere. Been there, done that.
I'm living up to the thrifty pilot image. :)

From the Flight Deck said...

Thanks Chris. There were a few mistakes made along the way but I'm not telling anybody. :)

arf said...

Nice work! I do most of my own work, too, as I cannot stand to pay someone else to do shoddy work (at least when I do it myself I know where all the mistakes are!). However, I don't have the skill you do so my stuff doesn't look as nice as what you have in your photos. I am putting in walnut flooring in my upstairs right now, which is proving to be an interesting learning curve.

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Arf. Sometimes one has to do the work themselves because it's difficult getting someone else to do it. A case in point, last year a contractor agreed to build stone steps for $14,000. We kept waiting and waiting. He never did show after several calls. So I did the entire job including all the landscaping for $6000.

Walnut hardwood floors? That must be a beautiful wood. Last winter I removed the carpet from all four bedrooms and installed hardwood.
Good luck with the project!

I agree, most projects involve a learning curve.

This morning I'll be building a seven foot long flower box to hang from our front window.


arf said...

The learning curve often goes together with new tool acquisition, so it is well worth it. LOL

Good luck with the window box. Nice looking house, btw.

From the Flight Deck said...

Arf. I managed to acquire a few new tools for the project. :)
I'm starting to build up quite a repertoire.

Yes, the house is starting to turn heads.

Especially, with the seven foot long flower box. Built, painted and mounted it today.

Now, I'm off tomorrow to do some extra flying to start paying for all of this.

Curious, what "neck of the woods" are you from?