Saturday, June 22, 2013

Bob the Builder

Bob here with another cameo appearance on Mere's blog. Little Elvis has been set on getting a treehouse this summer, ever since he saw the plans for one in a book, Handy Dad, that I received as a Christmas gift. I managed to put him off during the school year, telling him that it was more than just a weekend project. However, once the school year wrapped up, the pressure was on. Turns out that our backyard is full of oak trees, the trunks of which go straight up at least 20 feet with no branching -- not good treehouse material.

Rather than a treehouse, I managed to sell LE on plan B -- a storage shed with playhouse loft. I have been wanting to level an old rickety shed (in fact, that was supposed to be my project last summer) so a shed/playhouse would kill two birds with one stone.

The demolition of the old shed was the easy/fun part. Mere and I were able to take care of that in an afternoon.

That left us with a 8 x 10 concrete slab and two problems. The plans that I ordered online were for a 12 x 12 building and the existing slab didn't have enough anchors in the concrete. I wanted to make the shed according to the plans, but was stuck between a property line and a tree so compromised with a 10 x 12 plan.

My father-in-law, who has a lot more construction experience, helped get things off the ground with a plan to build on posts and use the existing slab to support most of the weight of the building. I'm off for the summer (with the exception of teaching an online class) and he is recently retired, so we put in the better part of two weeks in construction.

Notice the playhouse loft has a small balcony -- LE calls it his "watch porch." The cantilevered beams support the porch so there are no posts to run into. I made a super sturdy ladder that will provide fire-fighter training for the boys. At the top of the ladder is a trap-door that Little Elvis and Baby Plum think is so cool -- it gives them a few more square feet on the porch.

I've taken to calling the entire building "Shed-zilla" as it required so much sweat and hard work. Here's hoping it gives the boys years of enjoyment and, when they're done with it, it should give us some nice extra storage. I'm pretty thrilled with the results and I think the boys are as well.

Next project -- attaching a zip line from the "Watch Porch" to "Oakie" (the oak tree that LE had originally imagined would be home to his treehouse). Thanks Handy Dad!

15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful job. Congrats to Bob and Danny. The boys will love it. Will negotiate on Naming Rights when I visit.-Grandpa Stew.

12:45 PM  
Blogger Ann Wyse said...

Looks great!

And functionally, two birds with one stone - awesome!

7:46 PM  
Blogger mpotter said...

what a great job.
fun idea.
fun memories.
awesome!!

did you manage to wire some AC out there for good use this summer?

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