Got a do-it-yourself project planned for spring, something you've been waiting for warm weather to tackle?
As you're cooling your heels to begin that project, an Elkhart couple is looking forward to enjoying the fruits of their labor.
Last October, Tiffani and Kevin Searer decided to build their dream backyard patio for entertaining, complete with a firepit. They budgeted for the project, took off a week from work to complete it, got a camera crew and dug right in.
"It was a little weird at first," Tiffani said of filming her amateur construction project in her backyard. "Then you get used to it, then you go, 'Where did the cameras go?' " she said.
DIY Network's "Renovation Realities" series captured the couple's ordeal on film over five days, for 10 hours per day.
Throughout the project, the couple's determination meter varied, starting with them being pumped up about the project to not so much.
"I wonder if she'd mind us having a dirt patio," Kevin asks at one point in the show.
Meanwhile, Tiffani compared the project to giving birth: "Childbirth was a piece of cake compared to this," she said while on the work site.
Reflecting on it now, she said she is glad they did it.
"The experience was fun and a lot of hard work," she said. "I may have annoyed him, but I thought it was fun."
Some of the obstacles the couple encountered, such as having to re-route the sprinkler system, make you wonder: Is Kevin trained to do this?
No, said Tiffani, but he is just really good at figuring things out and working with his hands. Not to mention, she noted, that "90 percent of the time, the DIY Network is on the television. My husband is obsessed with it."
The project ended up taking five days and four weekends to complete.
Tiffani said the No. 1 motivation to do it themselves was that they were able to complete it for a fraction of what a contractor would charge.
Since completing the project, they have used the patio once with one of their sons and are planning to host both boys' birthday parties in May and June.
The next project, Tiffani said, is to finish the basement, sooner than later.
Staff writer Erica Morrison: