AMHERST – The sounds of spring. The chirps, tweets and whistles of the returning birds. The drone of a bumblebee. The peeps of small frogs. And the ear-splitting screech of a mitre saw making a spring DIY project come to life.
“Still just a little bit early yet,” said Mike Gallagher.
The Harrison’s Home Hardware salesman spoke about the most popular builds his customers will be tackling this spring, and offered advice on smaller undertakings for novice craftspeople.
When it comes to decks, a simple platform is yesteryear’s model.
“The projects seem to get a little more elaborate,” said Gallagher.
For example, 20 years ago, using pressure-treated lumber was an upsell to a customer, according to the salesman.
Along with decks, sheds are his other popularity pick. Eight by eight feet, or 10 by 10 are the most requested.
He won’t pick a champion between the two when it comes to rating difficulty, although he did suggest getting a professional to put in posts if you’re building a deck. For either project – any project, really – Gallagher recommended an extra set of hands, too.
The Home Hardware employee said there are lots of beginner projects online, but said they’d already constructed a couple of examples of good items for novices to tackle: a planter box with a bench and a bench with a trellis.
Billy Langille has a construction company. A ground-level deck – without posts, built on a gravel bed – was his nominee for a starter enterprise.
Of course, Langille’s interest isn’t DIY. He does the work for his clients. But things are a little slow, he said.
“Just the economy in general is quiet around here.”
Windows and doors, kitchen and bathroom renos are jobs his clients request. Renovations to cottages will come later in the season. When asked to comment on the notion decks are getting more elaborate, he concurred: outdoor living space is getting more attention than it has in the past.
As for that first, ground-level deck, the contractor said building it will give someone a sense of how everything goes together.