The deck is complete. The framing is complete. And the siding is complete (though this picture was actually taken before the siding was complete or the roof put on). We had gone back and forth on the style of the roof (as we did many aspects of this build). We considered a flat roof. A flat roof with a grade. An A-Line roof. All the different options come with the benefits and challenges. Ultimately, we chose a flat roof with a slight grade tilted towards the back to the water would run back and out of your yard. And when it came to materials we considered the usual suspects - plastic, metal, and wood. For materials, we chose corrugated plastic. It would not seal the heat in (which there is a lot of in Florida) but it would keep the rain out. And we chose white because otherwise the sun would stream right through and raise the temperature by 20 degrees. The roof went up fairly quickly and was very inexpensive. We purchased 6 panels that were 6 feet long to cover the roof and have a bit of overhang to make sure the rain stayed out. We have had a fair bit of rain and so far so good. Given the low cost of the materials, if we decide they are not holding up or we want to upgrade, we would not feel like we wasted money starting with the corrugated plastic roof.
As a kid all I knew was sports. Basketball. Tennis. Baseball. Soccer. Football. You name it and I probably played it. And I loved every single minute. I loved the competition. I loved the euphoria of victory. But most of all, I loved having a team around me that I knew I could count on and they knew they could count on me. And not just on the field but off it as well.
the things you learn playing sports, particularly team sports, are lessons that cannot be taught in many other areas. And this is one of the reasons we want our boys to play sports. Yes, we want them to have fun. And hopefully they are good and want to keep on playing for as long as they can. But we want them to have all of the experiences and opportunities we had growing up.
I am coaching our oldest son’s baseball team and I think he is starting to get some of this already. And I am very excited for him. And proud. And yes, he loves to play. And yes, he is good. Hopefully he gets out of it all that I did and more.
So our youngest son just turned 4. His birthday fell in the middle of the week, but because of holidays and school events, he wound up celebrating 4 times (no that was not intentional). He enjoyed every single minute last week. But who wouldn't? It was all about him. Not that the second child does not get enough attention on a daily basis, but we cranked it up a few notches this week. And his big brother celebrated right along with him. It is definitely not easy to celebrate one of your children and make sure the other does not feel left out. Again, I think we did a very good job of keeping his sibling a part of the celebration - he helped us pick out presents, plan the party and decorate the house.
The festivities began on Monday and kept right on rolling with his Monsters University outside social distancing covid-safe party. He had a blast though! He got plenty of presents and ran and played with all of his friends. While obviously we wish he did not have to wear a mask at his own party, he did not miss a beat and had all the fun you would hope for. Our biggest fear is going to be how to top it next year. A week long celebration topped off by a terrific party? We set the bar too high going forward. Rookie mistake...
Our sturdy frame sitting on top of our solid deck...
We built the deck and we got our confidence up. (Yes, the deck is still holding up quite nicely). So next it was time to build the frame.
Once the deck was done, the rest moved along fairly quickly. We knew how to build the frame as we learned a bit from doing the frame for the deck. The framing was all made with 2X4s. We bought them in 8 foot sections and planned to use any extra cuts for other parts of the build. And we did as the build progressed. Our deck was about 8X8 when we finished, with a little bit hanging off the front. The frame we built was 6 feet high all around. For the back wall, we made it 6X8 to cover the entire back side of the playhouse. For each of the walls we made it 6X6 because we wanted to leave a small porch for the boys to be able to climb onto the deck and in case they wanted to play or walk around.
We started with the back wall first. We built the 6X8 frame with only one vertical support. After the back wall frame was up we decided to add two more vertical supports. Definitely the right move. We screwed the back wall frame to the deck with our 3 inch deck screws. They were long enough to be secure where as the 3.5 inch screws would have popped out the bottom of the deck. And as any parent knows, underneath play equipment is where kids love to go. Once we had the back wall frame secured, we were on to the side wall frames.
The side wall frames were identical to each other. They were both 6X6 so we could leave space for the porch at the front of the playhouse. Once they were screwed into the deck, we secured the side wall frames to the back wall frame. That way none of the frames would fall over but rather they would support each other.
Next up was the front wall framing. We decided to leave a fairly generous doorway (actual decision on door still to be determined) so it would not feel too small. And I think we made that happen. The front wall frames are 2X6 each with one horizontal cross beam. We decided to put horizontal cross beams on the back wall too. They were put in for support but with the secondary purpose of attaching shelves to them.
We still have not decided what to do with the door. We have discussed a fabric of some sort to be pulled back, a sliding barn door, a bi-fold door or no door at all. But with the way we built the frame we have options. The only thing I am sure of right now is that we built this playhouse tall enough that I can stand up without fear of bumping my head and at 6 foot 1 inches that can be difficult at times.
The crack of the bat. The snap of the glove. All of the sounds that make baseball great are music to my ears. And now our oldest just joined his first baseball team. Okay it’s tee ball but I will take what I can get! And he loves it! Absolutely positively loves it. It helps that he is good. He is wearing number 7 like the great Mickey Mantle but he is not quite there yet. Nowhere close really but loves every minute of it. And we could not be happier. At first we were not sure where we would find the time to take him to practice and games but we have figured it out (like parents do) and it was definitely worth it. On practice days he wakes up and can’t wait to get there. And on game days he is on cloud 9. And being the way we are with our boys we could not sit idly by and just watch. We had to have an impact, We have to help. And the best way to do that is to coach. So I am. And I am happy doing it. Really excited to see how the season goes! Hope he has some fun and learns a bit along the way! Stay tuned for updates throughout the season...
Any solid house starts with a solid foundation. In the case of a Playhouse, that is the deck (and posts). It was our anniversary weekend and we wanted to build a Playhouse for our boys. Not a typical anniversary trip, but those who know us know we love doing things for our boys. So this was not out of the ordinary. The idea of it anyway. The actual build was daunting before we started, but once we got the lumber we were not turning back.
We got all the supplies from Ace Hardware and Home Depot. The section titled "Kid's Playhouse" has more details about the lumber and supplies we used for the deck. Like I said, once we got all the supplies we were moving forward. There was definitely still some doubt as to whether we would finish the deck but with each step forward our confidence grew.
We laid out the frame and made sure it was square. We only started with one floor joist, but the finished product now sits with a total of 5. The last 4 were added once the deck was in place. Not the easiest way to do it, but the result was a strong floor that a full sized adult male can jump on with no fear. Once we got the frame screwed together, we added the posts to each corner. The 4X6s were the right choice, especially since we couldn't find the 4X4s I originally wanted.
The next part of this was tricky. Be built the frame and attached the posts but with the frame on the ground and the posts up in the air. This was simply because of a lack of options. Hindsight being 20/20, we would have used sawhorses or something similar to support the frame while we attached the posts the proper way. It was heavy and awkward, but we got it flipped without breaking the frame. Once we breathed that sigh of relief, we placed the frame and were ready for floorboards.
The first couple of floorboards were slow because we needed to be sure they lined up properly. Then the rest flew by quickly as we got into a rhythm. Next thing we knew, the deck was built. We fought nightfall and mosquitoes, but got the deck stained too. All in all a long day, especially for two full time working parents dabbling in DIY projects. But it is done and we could not be happier with the way it turned out.
The next step is framing. Stay tuned for the progress. Keeping checking our site and our Instagram page for progress, tips and tricks. And eventually the final project.
If you have checked the @thedaddyslife instagram feed at all, you know about our oldest child - our princess, Madison. Soaking wet she is 8 pounds of fury in a Maltese-Shih Tzu body. In spite of her size, she has gone through all types and sizes of toys with relative ease. Some professing to be tough and durable and all the other synonyms you would expect. But her favorite has been, and always will be, the Petstages ORKA Mini Bone. Yes, sooner or later she does get through it, leaving it in pieces over the course of days and weeks. But not as quickly as the other toys she has played with. Each night before bedtime she searches the house to make sure she has it with her to chomp until she falls asleep with it in her mouth or laying right next to her. We now order them in bulk so we can avoid sleepless nights if she can't find her favorite toy...
Because being parents is not enough for two full time working parents, we decided to take on a DIY project. We want to give our boys a new playhouse so we did hours and hours of research. But we kept coming back to the same conclusion - the only way that we would really get what we want would be if were to build it ourselves. So we are. We are building a brand new playhouse from scratch. We are both very handy, but have never quite taken on a project like this. So here goes nothing! (And keep checking our blog and this site for progress, pictures and all the details of how we build our playhouse.)
Our Community, by and large, is at home with their children of all ages and have been for days on end. One of the biggest challenges we are facing staying indoors is finding entertainment. As we come across any tips, tricks, or activities we will post them here for our Community to share.
What we have today is a Britto Coloring Book with many pages that we believe is both fun and appropriate for children of all ages. Just download and print it out for your family to enjoy.
Just a note to our community. We are in extraordinary times right now. Our health. Our economy. The most important thing to remember right now is to take care of ourselves and our families. Wash your hands. Keep a safe distance from people if you must venture out. Stay safe!