Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Playset Is Installed!

 After about 3 months of planning (HOA approval, purchase, ground prep, construction), we have completed building a playset in our back yard!
 As a reference point, here is what that spot looked like before we started.  It was in this condition for an embarrassingly long time.  We have bigger plans for the back yard which is why it had been left empty, but when we realized those plans wouldn't come to fruition this year, we decided to fill that space with something that could be used right now.
 So we purchased a Backyard Discovery playset, the Independence model.  We found Sears had the best price and free delivery.  This is what it looked like when they dropped it off on our driveway.  I had expected bare wood and something much bigger.  Note each of those boxes require a minimum of two people to move.
 Opening the box...
 Wood components as far as the eye can see.  Let's get to work!
 The stairs are one of the first things to be built.

 Putting the swing area together is my son Dave.  He actually built most of the playset while I handed him parts.
 This is far as we got the first day (about 3.5 hours work).  On the second day,  Troy and Teo came over with David.  Troy took one look out back and said "What's THAT?".
 Continuing construction on day 2.
 A few from the deck after putting the first portion of the roof on.
 We had just barely cleared the tools away when this photo was taken.  The kids had already scampered out to inspect. 
 Teo and Troy slowing down for a second so I could take their pic.
 Best bud brothers.
 Our little monkey Teo took to the ladder very naturally.

 Troy trying on one of my hats.

And the finished product.   We certainly didn't do as good a job as a professional installer would have done, but we kept costs down.      Overall I would say we are pleased with the playset.  All the wood was Chinese Cedar - shipped from China! - and is a little soft.  Except for the platform, we wouldn't recommend adults use any of the components as they would almost certainly break it (this includes the slide, bench, and swings).   They should be fine for kids under 10 though.

It took us about 6 hours to build spread over two days.  I would predict the quickest it can be built is about 5 hours if you have everything pre-staged and ready to roll.   Note to be VERY careful about orientation of each board before installation.  There are a couple of boards that are installed upside down on our playset!  A hole that should have been towards the top is actually towards the bottom, for instance.

Videos in the next post...

New Playset Videos

They barely gave us time to clear the tools off the new playset before they jumped on. This is there first few minutes on the playset: Troy's first trip down the slide: Teo first trip down the slide without pausing...great landing! Bumping heads:

Selfless, Cold, and Composed

Friday, April 26, 2013

Saturday, April 13, 2013