Two years ago I had the old cement slab patio removed and a flagstone one installed. It had always been a dream to have flagstone on the patio area and then on the paths spreading into the garden. I love a wild garden but with structure. Sounds weird eh, but that's me. I like conformity but there's a wildness about me. Much like English secret gardens bordered by brick walls, sheltering perennial beds flopping hither and thither over their edges.
The pergola posts remained and their bottom brackets showed, miserably. It was not what I wanted, at all ! SoI decided to build post bases to finish their brutal looking bottoms. Boy o boy did i learn about lumber.
A 2 x 4 is NOT actually 2” by 4”, it is 1.5” by 3.5” (if you're lucky). I measured using the ole 2 x 4 STANDARD and came up sorely lacking. Evenings were spent in the basement cutting trim with me dads saw on a 60 year old mitre box relying on the 2 x 4 STANDARD. The bases were nailed and glued in place. HA! I thought, this should be easy to complete. Little did I know I was lied to.
Two trips to the lumber yard for trim and it still wasn't finished. Sitting back I wondered what the feck did I do wrong. I work with numbers all day long so it wasn't like me to make these mistakes. Talking it out with me buddy at work I discovered STANDARDS had changed. O really? So there is no such thing as a 2 x 4? Nope was the response. Feckin' wonderful!
I won't say how many trips up and down the stairs I trudged, or the extra journeys to the lumber yard, or the tubes of No Nails, by the way did you know there is Exterior and Interior? I didn't and used Interior for an exterior job. I shall see how they survive the winter.
In the end I was pleased but I'll know more in spring when joints have breathed or split or cracked. In the meantime I'm pondering a class action suit against lumber associations for lying about their standards. After all when they sell you a 2 x 4 you expect a 2 x 4! I have a feeling I won't get too far with that.