Monday, April 23, 2012

Beautiful Weekend for Hard Labor

Today is the most beautiful day in the history of weather. And I can't get myself to do anything except barely stay awake. The weather was just as beautiful this weekend but we put it to such good use that I'm now rendered useless. Hopefully tomorrow I can pull myself together because my children are B.O.R.E.D.

Not entirely true, they're tired as well. Quinn is still sleeping, going on hour 4 of her nap and I cannot get her to wake up. Kellen took a 2 1/2 hour nap this morning and he's on his third nap of the day right now.

We took the opportunity of this weekend: no plans, gorgeous weather, and lots of inspiration, to work on the swingset. I've been wanting to enclose the bottom portion for some time to make a playhouse. We have a plastic Little Tikes one now that Quinn is already too tall to stand up in. 

Jason groans when I tell him my plans on building things. And rightly so. Even though I offer to do it all, lets be honest. I just don't have the strength or building know-how to pull a lot of it off. So although I understand the general engineering and architectural concepts, I need help. Plus, he's just so good at it.

First thing we had to do was fix the structural beams on both the top and bottom. They were starting to bow from sinking into the ground and safety is definitely the number one concern.

That took all of Saturday. I feel like it always looks so easy but when you start to do it, you realize it's a frickin' rubiks cube of a puzzle until you have half the roof torn down, the sides torn off and you stand back and scratch your head.

disclaimer: he's not scratching his head. He had a good idea of what was going on.

So replacing the support beams was Saturday. We stopped about 3pm, rested (Jason and kids napped while I put up new roman blinds in the master bath), and then we took the kids to Gatti Town because we kind of felt guilty for making them entertain themselves.

Honestly though, they got to play outside all day, snack like crazy, play in the playroom with each other, watch some cartoons, etc... I guess they're fine. I wouldn't call playing outside with snacks and a water table suffering.

So back to building...

Quinn and Kellen love to help us. Kellen is a bit young of course so mostly he's watched closely when around the lumber (no screws or nails accessible to him)

But once he went down for a nap, Quinn helped us completely. She hammered, measured, and took tools back and forth between me and Jas. Awesome helper!

She also played a bit...

 Our plans are to enclose the bottom portion. It won't be waterproof or have some special air conditioning unit beyond a good breeze, but it will have a little deck to the side!

We spent the entire day, until 6:30pm, working on the bottom portion. You'd never think it would take so long but it just always does. The trip to the store takes an hour or more picking out lumber, measuring, cutting, screwing everything in and then finding out it needs to be screwed in on the other side (more on that in a minute), and building each piece on uneven ground. Thank goodness Jason owns every type of level you can think of because we used them all.

Okay, so here's the short story on having to rescrew the boards on:

Jason originally put the back of the enclosure on the other side of the beams to make it flush and more pleasing to look at. Problem is, the floor boards that are already in place aren't long enough and it left a huge gap on the inside of the playhouse that screams ripped skin and splinters. So we took it all down and put it on the inside part, beams exposed to the outside. If we bought all new lumber to replace the old boards, we were looking at an extra $100. Kind of pointless if you ask me. So this is how it's going to be on both sides:

Here is the little deck we built on. We'll have an arched (I think) wall that you can go between to get on the deck.

Originally, we plan to put up a third rail. But it might be kind of nice to have a back way to exit the playhouse rather than just the one door on the front. I don't know, we'll see...

And this is what she looks like now (the playhouse is a "she" in case you wondered)

You can see the new boards we put up top as well (for safety)

So the back wall is in. We need to put up the front, cut down some lumber that sticks out too far all around, sand, paint, and then add windows, arched doorways, and maybe a cute planter's box, mailbox, etc...

How cute is this porch?!


Cheryl said...

I think it is awesome! The deck is a great idea and you already have some chairs you can put on there! Hmmmm, we need a little (fake) charcoal grill! :)

Angie said...

This looks fantastic! The kiddos will love it!

Anonymous said...

I saw a play grill at walmart the other day...
Super cute Hil, great job!

Debbie said...

You all did such an awesome job...Jason Aunt Debbie needs some boards replaced so bring your levels to KC. I want a playhouse too!!