Monday, June 13, 2016

Priority: Play

We have officially finished our first project! (Well, for all intents and purposes. There will be a few more finishing touches). Before painting walls, or putting up blinds, or any of that jazz, we knew we wanted to build the kids a swingset/playhouse. So that's what we spent this last week doing.

But before we get to that, I have a few other pictures to post of a few other little fun things we've been up to in between all the craziness of unpacking and getting settled. (So. Much. Heavy. Lifting.)

This is what most of our house looked like for the first few days. A sea of boxes. Oy. We managed to get mostly settled within a few days, but I'll be happy to not move again anytime in the foreseeable future.

Kids' room done! They were so happy to see so many toys they hadn't seen in 3 months (we kept a lot of stuff in storage in between moving to Tennessee and buying a house).

Reed finally reached his goal of going to bed on his own, and the reward was a Build-A-Bear. He chose a teddy bear (named "Awesome Man") wearing a Kylo Ren costume and roller skates.

Taking a break at the splash pad.

Guys, there are fireflies in our backyard every night!! It's the most awesome thing. We LOVE watching and catching them! If you squint, you can see one in this bug catcher Rachel has.

Reed catching fireflies in a mason jar. Be still, my heart.

Reed just bein' his cute self.

Reed being a zombie. That's what he said he was, anyway.

Our massive yard sale to get rid of all the seller's old stuff. So much stuff.

Rachel just running around the backyard.

Helping Daddy mow the lawn.

Now, onto our project! 
 When we decided to build a swingset, Mike decided that he didn't want a kit. The wood in them isn't all that sturdy, and he wanted to build it the way he wanted. So instead, he researched it a ton and we just made it ourselves. We bought the lumber, screws, and slide at Home Depot, the swings on Amazon, and a bunch of beefy bolts off eBay. Mike seriously was so awesome in getting it all figured out and planned. He's so handy and did an amazing job!

Buying the slide!

All ready to get some lumber!

Helping push the cart at Home Depot.


It doesn't look like a lot of wood here in the truck, but trust me, it was a lot of wood. We rented the pickup from Home Depot to get it home, and it took us a good half hour to unload it all and carry it around to the backyard. A lot of two-by-fours, planks for the floorboards, and big solid pieces for the frame.

The build begins! First, Mike cut these pieces to size and assembled the sides of the frame for the playhouse portion.

Luckily, we had a neighbor outside who was willing to help lift and hold up parts of the frame. It was a three person job.

Once the frame was up, we got to work installing floor joists. A lot of playsets leave the bottom open for a sandbox or just dirt, but we wanted it to have a floor.

Floor in! This was the end of the first day.

The next day I worked on installing the top floor while Mike was at work. It was like 95 degrees out, but I secured the floor joists and got all the planks measured, cut, and down.

Who says building is men's work? Not this girl!

My day's work. :)

Rachel enjoying the new shade, reading her Minecraft book.

That night when Mike got home, we worked on the ladder, steps, and top wall slats.

By that night, we had something that was ready to be tested out!

Reed also utilized some leftover moving boxes. He would slide down and then punch and kick all the boxes over.

The next day, after being in the heat of the big yard sale for a couple of hours, I cut and installed the bottom floor railing and slats while Mike worked on the swings. He built the A-frame, drilled the holes for the swings, and then we leveled and measured for a support on the side of the playhouse to attach the beam to.

The finished product! It still needs a roof, and we have stain for it too, but we used pressure-treated wood, so it needs to dry out for a couple weeks before we stain it. 
The kids have had so much fun on this thing already (and the neighbor boy). And it's sturdy. Mike and I can be on the top, climb up the stairs, and swing all we want and it doesn't move an inch.

Side view.
Reading through this post myself, it sounds like it was pretty easy, but boy was this thing a ton of work! There was a lot of measuring, sawing, and drilling in screws. There was also a lot of trial and error in the details, and a few bonks and bruises along the way. It took us a full week to get it done, and it was super hot outside the whole time. But we're so happy with the finished product!

We're also planning on installing a bunch of fun things for imaginative play, like a steering wheel, telescope, old rotary phones, random switches and buttons, etc. 

Our backyard just got a whole lot more fun!

1 comment:

  1. So impressive!!! I'm so glad you made this blog so I can see what you're all up to!!