SCREWED UP: Lisa Donovan has discovered the joys of DIY. Picture: MARIUZ DAVID
SCREWED UP: Lisa Donovan has discovered the joys of DIY. Picture: MARIUZ DAVID

YANK IN OZ: Caravan project a little bit screwed

RECENTLY, I bought my own house. By “house” I mean a permanent caravan with an annex and two garden gnomes out front – not to brag.

So, because all good caravans come with small yards full of various pieces of scrap metal and at least 20 blades of grass, I knew I had to do a yard reno so that my dog had a proper place to poo and dig holes.

Over the last few years, I’ve gained a lot of invaluable experience in home and yard renovations through extensive watching of The Block and House Rules, not to mention my online education in Bunnings DIY videos.

I knew straight away I would need to get a fence up since the rusted futon frame that was there wasn’t meshing with my aesthetic of early-21st century modern trailer park. So, I headed off to Bunnings.

I should mention that I’m an instant gratification kind of gal. Doing renovations takes skill, which I have in spades (see paragraph 1 for recap on vast experience) and patience, which I don’t have. For example, I love to eat, but unfortunately in order to eat you have to cook. Which, by the way, I can do very well after six seasons of watching MasterChef. So, with a backyard renovation, I have a picture in my head and then it takes time not only picking everything out, but executing it.

All in all, this tests my patience, but is achievable. The one complaint I have that slows the entire process down, besides taking snack breaks every half-hour and squeezing in a nap, is simply picking out screws. I can hear all of you saying, “Lisa, they’re just screws for Pete’s sake. Pick some and get on with it.” And to those people, who clearly don’t own a toolbox or watch The Block, I say to you, have you been down the screw aisle lately (yes, there’s an entire aisle dedicated to screws)?

There are:

Screws for wood

Screws for different types of wood

Screws for metal

Screws for different types of metal

Screws for concrete

Screws for masonry, which apparently is not the same thing as concrete

Double-ended screws, which are not as fun as they sound.

Then you have screws with pan heads, button heads, mushroom heads, counter-sunk heads and there’s even one called a cheese-head, which again, is not as fun as it sounds.

It doesn’t stop there. Sometimes you need to go back and get a special drill bit to drill a pilot hole (fancy word for hole) before you can screw in the screw.

And guess what, there are bits for metal, bits for wood, bits for drilling your brains out when you return to the hardware store for the 15th time and your fence is half up and your male neighbour is smugly chuckling to himself watching the train wreck that is the early-21st century trailer park backyard reno.

Tune in next week when our topic will be: Liquid Nails – are screws really even necessary?