QUINCY -- The project took a bit longer than Stephanie Johnson originally anticipated, but that delay now seems inconsequential.
"It was worth the wait," she said, without any hesitation whatsoever.
Johnson and her husband, Tad, had a retaining wall replaced in their front yard and a patio area added in the back of their South 19th Street residence. There were considerable delays due to inclement weather -- rain in particular -- before the Johnsons could enjoy their new additions.
The combined projects were supposed to take less than a week, but the ongoing wet weather extended that time frame to about six weeks.
"It was frustrating," Johnson said.
Once finished, however, their property took on a much-improved presence, so much so that the project has earned the Johnsons this week's Lookin' Good contest award.
The Lookin' Good contest, sponsored by The Herald-Whig and First Bankers Trust, is now in its 31st year of recognizing homeowners who complete outdoor projects.
The Johnsons will receive a $100 prize as a weekly winner.
Weekly winners will be announced through Sept, 1. All weekly recipients have the opportunity to win a $1,000 grand prize, determined by a vote of The Herald-Whig readers.
The grand prize will be announced Sept. 29.
The retaining wall the Johnsons had replaced actually added about three feet to the family's front yard.
"There were some problems securing things up," Johnson said of the retaining wall portion of the project. "The frame broke at one point and spilled concrete out on to the street. We knew it was going to be a large undertaking."
The patio went together much easier. The patio is also the new home for Tad's grilling equipment.
"The patio is fantastic," Johnson said. "It's a great complement to our deck. Everything on the patio is new -- except Tad's (grilling equipment). The new patio doubled our entertainment/lounge space."
Lookin' Good Entries must include before-and-after photos of the home-improvement project, along with a brief description of the undertaking.
Projects must be started, underway or completed between Sept. 1, 2018 and Aug. 12, 2019.
Entries for the Lookin' Good contest will be accepted through Aug. 19.
Entries can be mailed to Lookin' Good Contest, c/o The Herald-Whig, P.O. Box 909, Quincy, IL 62306. All entries should include name, address and a daytime phone number.
Online entries can be submitted at whig.com/contests. More information can be found at whig.com/contests or by calling 217-221-3306