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.