balancing act: after
Photo: Mary Kay and Pat McPhillips
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Balancing Act: After

Who: Mary Kay and Pat McPhillips
Where: Ellensburg, Wash.

Then Pat took over. He's pretty much self-taught but very methodical. He laid the composite decking for the porch floor, put up stone veneer, built the stairs, and painted the railings. My job was cleanup and landscaping. We worked for three months, almost nonstop. Now we love sitting on the porch with friends—and Pat is so inspired, he's started working on the back.

Who did the work: I did all the work myself
Cost: $1,000 to $5,000
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