Middle-of-the-line or Go-for-the-gusto? Which Will It Be?

So back in November, we spent a good chunk of change covering our deck. If you’d like to see the entire process, I blogged about it here.

This is what we started with

Nice, huh? I loved the view, but basically, the space was unusable in summer. We couldn’t sit out there without the sun baking us to death. So hubby and I finally decided to cover the deck, opting for a partial cover and no screening. Neither one of us wanted to venture out in twenty degrees to open the screen door for Bruiser to go outside. Brrr! After this frigid winter, I’m so glad we chose not to screen it in.

Here’s the deck with the new cover

Super sweet, right? 

In case you didn’t know, late fall isn’t necessarily the best time to remodel a deck. By the time the construction was complete, plastic Santa Claus’s, artificial Christmas trees, and twinkling lights had swooped in to replace the patio furniture in the home improvement stores. So much for finishing our deck.

Now that spring is almost here and warmer temperatures are teetering, we just ordered new patio furniture. I can hardly wait to spruce up our sparse deck. But, alas, we have a dilemma, one I hope you’ll weigh in on.

The last task is to replace our tired old grill. Although it was a hand-me-down from our parents (their house came with a snazzy built-in grill), it was an expensive grill. Over several years, we’ve replaced various parts and what not, but it’s time to buy a new one. 

When it comes to major purchases, I believe in two philosophies: one, buy cheap and replace more frequently. Or two, buy expensive and keep it longer. In most instances, both hubby and I hang out together in the first category~buy cheap and replace more often. But this grill purchase has us wavering. 

It takes us awhile to reach the buy stage, so we went looking last weekend. Last year’s middle-of-the-line model was marked $30 off, but rust was already evident on the rack. Really? After only a year? I don’t know how you feel about plunking down hard-earned cash for something that already has rust on it, but I find it extremely difficult to swallow. At this point, I don’t even care to pay $30 more for this year’s model. The reviews validate this. 

I have a hunch which way we’ll choose, but what would you do? 
Buy a middle-of-the-line grill and expect to replace it after a couple of years? Or go for the gusto, pay a couple hundred more, and hope it weathers better than the mid-priced grill?

And don’t even get me started on the grill covers…

Jumbled Mess

Looks like a jumbled mess of boards in our back yard, right? 

Maybe right now it does, but by the time hubby is finished with these wooden slats, you won’t believe they came from those pallets.

So what’s he going to do with the jumbled mess?

After seven years of living in our house, we finally decided to add a cover to our deck. Here’s a snapshot taken on a late September afternoon.
That flimsy umbrella doesn’t do much to prevent the sun from continually beating down on the deck for most of the day, which means it really isn’t pleasant for lounging except early mornings or late evenings. Plus, hubby wanted an outdoor space to house the smoker so he wouldn’t have to lug it out of the garage every time he’d like to crank it up.

If that means smoked ribs more often, I’m all for that. 😀

Well, you know how it goes. Suddenly, our plans mushroomed from just a cover to a total outdoor kitchen, complete with one of those fancy gas grill inserts, an outdoor sink and mini-fridge. 

We finally found a contractor with a bid that we could swallow, and we decided to go ahead. But the high price of the cover meant cutting costs on the outdoor kitchen. Even switching from the fancy gas grill insert to modifying a regular one to fit and chunking some of the components like the outdoor sink and mini-fridge, didn’t help the cost too much. We decided to stick with the original plan. A cover and some type of bar/counter to store the smoker.

“Honey, you know, you could build something that would look just as nice as any of these. And it would be exactly what we wanted,” I said, smiling sweetly.

His brows narrowed, and his head began a ferocious wag back and forth. He’d heard these exact words before. He doesn’t consider himself a good woodworker. But I know better. Check out a couple of his DIY projects…

Along with my father, he built these two goodies, a desk and a cubby-holder:
my office
And this work bench for the garage, even including sliding drawers and pull-out organizers:
garage work bench

What do you think?For now this may be a jumbled mess of boards, but it won’t be that way for long. I’ll keep you posted. Bring on the ribs! 
A to Z blog hop at Patterings.http://www.linkytools.com/thumbnail_linky_include.aspx?id=204563