Renting a Tractor vs. Hiring Teenage Boys - Live Like a Mensch
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Renting a Tractor vs. Hiring Teenage Boys


This is our back patio/wisteria bower. It's one of the reasons why we fell in love with the house, and it's a lovely spot to enjoy dinner and relax while LO plays in the backyard.

Unfortunately, it was shoddily built. The wood forming the bower is starting to fall apart, and the pavers that make up the patio section are rapidly decaying into dust.

We've decided to deal with the bower next summer. It will certainly last that long, and the uneven and broken pavers are the more urgent potential hazard. And there's not enough time for J to do both this year.

So, we've spent some time investigating our options for replacing those pavers. We discovered that for the relatively small section that is our patio, we will need SEVEN TONS of limestone underneath to prevent the paver-pocalypse that we are currently experiencing.

This will require someone to dig six to eight inches down in order to distribute said SEVEN TONS of limestone.

Even though we had planned on this being an in-house project, digging 8 inches down for 215 square feet is clearly more work than J can expect to accomplish on his own, even with the potential help of a friendly neighbor who, oddly enough, seems to enjoy digging holes in exchange for beer.

(And this is one of the many reasons why I am grateful to currently be pregnant, lest J start eyeing me as a candidate for digger's helper).

We have been discussing our digging options. There are a grand total of two:

1. Rent a tractor from Sunbelt Rentals

2. Hire some burly teenagers.

I have decided to compare the pros and cons of each of these strategies, in the hopes that it will be considered a contribution to the work I will otherwise have no part of. (Thanks, Thing 2!)                            

Renting a Tractor

Hiring Burly Teenagers

Cost: About $200 for the day

Cost: $5-$10 per hour, plus pizza. (Guess which will be the larger line item in the budget?)

Potential difficulties: We will have to temporarily remove a portion of our fence to get this bad boy in the back yard.

Potential difficulties: The parents of these kids might object to their future chiropractic bills-and they'll know where we live.

Pros: It's a TRACTOR! Power smash!!

Pros: As my mother has long posited, teenage boys were invented to handle difficult yard work.

Cons: LO will want to drive it and will get in the way.

Cons: LO will want to help the big kids and will get in the way.

Conclusion: POWER SMASH!!

Conclusion: If we can handle the pizza (and chiropractic) bill, this will probably be the cheaper option.




frugal_fun said:

You did forget the potential con that burly teenage boys come in varying levels of ambition. The rental tractor that asks for nothing more than gas might start to look good after an hour or two. :)

PS - That's a very nice back patio. Well worth whatever you decide to do to fix it up.

June 25, 2013 4:28 PM

haverwench said:

Maybe you could contribute something to the project after all by making homemade pizzas. Even if you use the fancy ready-made crusts, it's gotta be cheaper than delivery.

June 25, 2013 6:13 PM

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