Thursday, October 18, 2012

Getting your dream home ... on a budget

Misty from The Family Math is a cousin of mine that lives in Tuscalooser, I mean Tuscaloosa :)  She has a wonderful husband Bobby, and the cutest son Noah.

She blogs about all different topics. She and Bobby have been updating their home, losing weight, talking about religion, and loving on their little Noah. So stop by and see what they are all about!

They recently built a fire pit and anyone thinking about making one is sure to be inspired!

I'm so excited and honored Whitney asked me to guest post on her site today. I'm a PR professional, a mom, a wife, a workout enthusiast, and I somehow also find time to blog regularly over at The Family Math.

My husband Bobby and I bought our house three years ago, and we are in the process of putting it together the way we want it -- on a very tight budget. We are working the Dave Ramsay plan, trying to save and pay off debt, and (at least at the moment) there's not a lot of extra cash to spend on house projects.

I'm sure some of you can relate.

Bobby enjoying the fruits
of his hard work!
At the same time, we don't want to completely put our dreams for our home on hold indefinitely, so we are having to be savvy about opportunities that arise: taking advantages of sales on RueLaLa and One Kings Lane, shopping at second-hand and salvage stores for specific items and using our local Freecycle and Craigslist to find deals.

One of the things Bobby has been itching for since we bought our home is a fire pit. You know about dudes and fire, right?

He's priced them, told me about nice ones he found on clearance in the off-season and all but begged, but we just hadn't been able to find the room for it in our budget. A few months ago, I found this tutorial for a homemade fire pit that I shared with him and pinned as possible inspiration for a future project, but, again, we were waiting for the right time to buy the supplies.

So when some friends of ours announced on Facebook that they had a huge pile of bricks to give away, I jumped on that immediately!

We were a little iffy about how it would work out at first, but Bobby, who is admittedly not one of those McGuyver-type guys who can build a helicopter out of a paper clip and a rubber band, was more than up to the task. It ended up being a really simple little project that just about anyone with the bricks and space could do.

The final product
Bobby set up one layer of bricks as a base for the fire pit. He then stacked a "layer" of bricks three-by-three around the edge of the square, breaking bricks with a hammer to fill odd spaces, before doing a couple of two-by-two layers. This method of staggering causes the whole structure to be more stable. Counting the base, the pit is four bricks high. To finish it off, he added a row of bricks all the way around the outside of the pit to be used as a foot rest.

Total cost of the project: FREE.

You really can't beat that. We debated whether we wanted to mortar the pit together, but as is, it's plenty stable for use (believe me, we've put it to the test!) but can also be moved and rebuilt quite easily.

If you are like us and on a tight budget, don't let that keep you from accomplishing what you want to in and around your home. Be creative and patient, and you may just end up with something better than what you even imagined to begin with!

Thanks Misty for showing us your mad fire skills!

Come back tomorrow and enjoy an afternoon under the covered porch!

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