Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Doing it Right

Finally after all these years I think I’ve learned to do things right the first time. I once had a relative that always said, “Either job big or small, do it right or not at all.” I admit some things are still done by trial and error, but these days I sincerely try to work out all the bugs in my head before beginning any project.

Over the years I’ve had to re-do many projects. I had to rebuild a rabbit hutch three times before it met my wife’s approval. The manure shed I just built replaced the one I built that blew apart in the 2007 storm. This one was built with the wind in mind with buried pier blocks and all wood is attached with screws and Simpson hurricane ties.

The lesson that took the longest to learn was the horse corral. When we first got horses I built each of them a 12’ X 12’ stall and outside their stall each has a 16’ X 16’ corral so they can stand outside when they want and go into their stalls when they want. The first year was upsetting because the dirt in the corral turned to mud and the horses were standing in mud a lot of the time. That’s really bad, so I ordered a lode of hog fuel, which is chipped up used lumber. This worked fine for a time, but picking up the manure was difficult and eventually the hog fuel mixed with the mud and it too became a disaster. Next I put in ten-yards of sand and that too sunk into the mud, but I finally got it right.

I dug trenches 16 inches deep every four feet apart and I buried drainage tile in the trenches and covered with 2” drainage stone and I put a six inch layer of stone over the rest of the yard. Then I covered it with geo-cloth and on top of that I put ¾ inch stall mats anchored with foundation bolts so they won’t slide around.

It’s been three years now with this system and the horses no longer get muddy. It is easy to pick up their droppings and the mats get washed every time it rains or can be hosed down. It feels good to get something right.


Blogger darev2005 said...

I know what you mean. Sometimes we have to learn the hard way, but we do learn in the long run. But lawsy lawsy the road getting there is rough at times. And in the end you smack yourself in the head and think "Why didn't I do that in the first place?"

5:18 AM  
Blogger Tango said...

I'm the queen of head smacking. Only thing is, that I usually don't get the chance of doing it over.
Nice job, Guy :)

6:09 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Apparently, my problem is that I believe I’m doing it right the first time. You’d think I’d have learned by now... ;)

8:19 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Maybe I can justify failed first attempts by calling them prototypes.

5:34 AM  

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