The countdown to Christmas

Deck_gardenDare I say that at the time of writing this there are less than 12 weeks until Christmas. I won’t bother calculating the days, but you get it? The shops have already started flogging their Christmas decorations and it won’t be long before the big items purchased as presents will be picked up and ‘hidden’ in cupboards and sheds across the country, with the expectation that the rest of Christmas Day won’t be spent with a bag of allen keys and a set of bad instructions trying to put the damn thing together – it will have already been assembled, probably by me.

At this time of year, on top of keeping my regular clients happy and getting the bigger paying commercial call outs, there are the requests to put together cubby houses, flat packed outdoor and indoor furniture, patching, painting and paving, and lots of quotes to get done on small jobs that I may or may not get. It’s that time of year when everyone wants their renovations and garden maintenance “done by Christmas”. That includes assembling stuff, patching, painting, paving, cleaning gutters, renovating decks, pruning and mulching, and the like. It’s great to make hay while the sun shines (and boy, does it shine), but by Christmas Day I feel like I’ve earned that beer we left out for Santa. In fact, I’ve played Santa several times over by then.

If you think you might have a list of things you want done by Christmas, in all seriousness, please allow some time for us to get back to you, quote, and then get the job done. It also helps if you have a list of things for me to quote on or do while I’m there, because it gets harder to come back to a job the closer we get to Christmas. Tradies across the nation are collectively quaking at the sound of that “done by Christmas” line dropped into just about every domestic enquiry from here on in. I get it in on the home front as well! You know that container conversion? Christmas has been the deadline for the past year…I keep saying she has to specify just what year that is to be.

Now, if only I can slow down time between now and December 25, there might be a chance of fitting it all in – even the container. I’m already looking forward to that beer.


If you’re working on getting your deck ready over summer and you want to have a crack at it yourself, keep in mind that if your deck has a polyurethane finish you’ll have to strip it right back. When it comes time to recoat, think about using an oil finish a it’ll be much easier to maintain going forward. Every finish has a life span and while some polyurethane products might say they’ll last four years, you then have to completely remove it to start again. Decking oil doesn’t last as long (12-18 months), but it won’t leave any kind of surface that can peel or lift. So, when you come to renovate your deck it’s a simple matter of a quick clean and a new oil coat.