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Building a child's dream (With LOTS of pics!)

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by 4H kids and mom, Jun 25, 2007.

  1. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    Well, lemme give y'all a little background first. First, we've have these passes to the Dells for weeks and had planned to all go to Mt Olympus on Sunday (24th). Kids were all jazzed about it, and we were really looking forward to blowing $6 on hotdogs, getting a nice deep red sunburn, and a hot sweaty crabby ride home. [​IMG] Well, then this weekend (just passed) my DHs mom wanted to take our kids and of course, being summer we simply could not say no! So, we packed them off, and away they went! lol [​IMG] We had planned to drive up early Sunday morning to get them and head off to the Dells.

    DH and I settled into our very first weekend ALONE in YEARS! [​IMG] We had a romantic dinner, saw a new movie, walked around the mall, drove through town and window shopped (lol), and jsut had a great time. Ok, and there is some stuff I'm leaving out, but I cant post it all here because this is a "family friendly" forum. [​IMG] (Those of you married with kids who haven't had them ALL gone at once for YEARS will TOTALLY understand where I'm coming from here! Hehe) Anywho, we were having a great time. Until Saturday...

    We were getting ready for dinner Saturday, and getting everything ready for the drive up to the Dells and the waterpark. I laid the passes out while we packed our swimsuits and towels and whatnot in our bags. Then, I looked closely at the passes. They'd expired! Oh no.

    We're not by any means broke or anything, but we hadn't budgeted on having to pay for it all either. So, what to do. Go anyway and worry about money the whole time? Or not go, and have 2 severely disappointed kids? Then DH had an idea. He wanted to build them the playset they've been dreaming of for months.

    Our kids are by no means spoiled. They work for what they get and things they want. They are rewarded for things like no beating the crap out of their brother and good grades on their report cards. We look in our yard and see the old, "rustic" one swing swing set they share and cringe knowing they should have something much nicer. Well, both kids had done really well on their report cards, and both had been good all week (in anticipation of the weekend in the Dells) so they had earned something. Well, DH moved some things around and pulled a few extra bucks out of hiding and we set out on his plan.

    First, we had to call his mom to let her know the kids would be riding back with her, and explain the situation to her. She was OK with it and then we had to tell the kids, without telling them. We just told them about the passes being expired, but not to worry that we had a HUGE surprize waiting for them at home, and they were happy and excited, though a little bummed about missing out on the waterpark. So, then the work began. We had exactly one day. Talk about pressure!

    DH is quite gifted in computer animations and such so he drew up his plans in his 3D Max program, printed them off and we headed out to the store. Bought what we needed, set it up to be delivered later that night, and headed home. Early the next morning (Sunday- 6:30 am) we began the task at hand.

    Now, DH is good, but I guess we just didnt realize how BIG this thing was! The over all size of it as it went together was astounding! lol So, here's photos of the whole thing as it went up. If anyone would like a parts list or plans, let me know and I'd be happy to share! We ended up building a $2400 retail valued playset for just under $400! [​IMG]

    The wood arrives...

    Framing the tower...


    Putting the tower together....


    Tower frame upright (and THAT was tough!)...

    Attaching the first A-frame (for swings)...


    First A-frame up and tower framed....

    Framing the monkey bars...

    Auging the holes for the monkey bar pipes...

    Cutting the pipe...

    Completed monkey bars...

    Preparing to raise the monkey bars into place...

    Attaching monkey bars....

    Attaching second A-frame...

    Laying the decking floor and sides of the tower...


    View from the side with both A-frames up (one on each side, though hard to see at this angle), monkey bars done, and decking/sides done...

    Framing the pitch roof...

    Roof tarped...

    First side of swings hung...

    And then my cam ran out of batteries. [​IMG] It's all done now and the kids LOVED it when we showed them when we got home! The finished parts not yet shown (I'll upload more pics in a little while) are a rope climbing ramp on the back side with 2 ropes (so 2 kids can climb at the same time), a fireman pole in the front on the other side of the monkey bars, the other side of swings so there's a total of 4 swings, and 2 sets of rings, and the safety handles on the back for those using the rope climber. All in all, the set has over 12 things to do! Plus, we're putting in benches and a little sandbox under the play tower. [​IMG]

    Overall size is massive! The tower is 5' x 5' with a 6' pitched roof! Each swing side is 8' long, and the monkey bars are also 8' long, making the whole thing 21' long and 13' wide (give or take). Its so big in the corner of our yard, that I will have to cross the street to get a picture of the whole thing! lol So, how did we do? [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2007
  2. lacyloo

    lacyloo Cooped Up

    May 26, 2007
    north florida
    wow i wish i had one of thoughs ,lol
  3. Katelyn

    Katelyn Cooped Up

    Jun 2, 2007
    Thats so cool, I really wish I had on e when I was younger. How old are your kids?

    I would reather have that than go to a themepark, because the theme park only last how ever long you are there, and that will last a WHILE!!!
  4. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    Thanks guys! [​IMG]

    Our kids are 8 1/2 (girl) and 7 (boy) and they are out loving it right now! [​IMG] My daughter is playing with her My Scene Barbies in the playhouse, and my sons swinging away. I love seeing them have fun on something I helped make! [​IMG]

    By the way, the photos are a little misleading. I did JUST as much work as DH did, but he wouldn't stop to take photos so thats why he's in them all. lol [​IMG] I am sore today from holding up heavy boards for him to attach, and scraped from head to toe. I've got splinters in my hands and every muscle in my body is yelling at me this morning! [​IMG]

    BUT its all worth it to see them enjoying our hard work. To the younger forum members here, please keep this in mind the next time your folks do something special for you. We (parents) don't do these things for us. We do them because we get joy from watching YOUR happiness. [​IMG]
  5. Barb Schuetz

    Barb Schuetz Songster

    May 24, 2007
    Viroqua, WI
    Wow! You weren't kidding that it was gonna be massive. Great job! Now you guys can come to my place and build on for Harry:)
  6. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    Haha! [​IMG] You buy the stuff and supply fresh lemonade and lunch and we'll talk. [​IMG] Hehe.

    If anyone wants to know what it took, here's a partial parts list:

    19 4x4's (on sale at Menards for $4.47/ea) and we had 1 extra
    15 2x4's (Menards for $1.99/ea) used them all
    11 1x6 decking (Menards for $2.80/ea) have 1/2 of one left
    Several bags of 6" lags with nuts (I think 7 bags with 7 lags in each and each bag was $1.99)
    1 box of decking screws ($4.80 used almost the entire box!)
    12 swing hangers and clips ($1.15/ea)
    25' of rope ($19.00)
    4 swings made by PlayStar ($13.33/ea at Menards)
    2 sets of playrings made by PlayStar ($11.60/ea at Menards)
    6 earth ancors 1' long ($4.20/ea)
    3 stainless steel conduit pipes (2 for the monkey bars, one for the fireman pole) 10' long by 1 1/2" diameter ($9.80/ea)

    And I think there was some other stuff, because I remember the total cost being close to $380, and this only adds up to $346.28 with our 5.5% sales tax. I'll look through the receipts later and post a better listing once I figure out what I missed! [​IMG] But at least this would get ya started if its a task YOU want to take on. [​IMG] It took DH and I about 7 hours working with small breaks, but more people working on it, or working without breaks and someone could pull it off much quicker.
  7. aran

    aran Songster

    Apr 28, 2007
    rochester ny
    4H....I have been meaning to get onto building William one of them...i would REALLY appreciate a full materials list and if your husband still has the plans and doesnt mind sharing i would love to take a peek at them too.

    awesome effort!

  8. wendy

    wendy On the Hill

    Jun 14, 2007
    central louisiana
    Hi 4H, I agree with aaron I would love a full parts list. Your husband and you did a great job:cool:
    My husband and I have priced one of these at several places and you are right you could give a arm , leg, and a organ for them, lol!
    I like you putting in there no kids and a family friendly site and all that, he he, I laughed about that. Cause I know exactly where you are coming from!
    Man I am envious too, 5.5% sales tax. Ours is like 9%, what are you car tags and things, ours are cheap. Some people say that is where the state makes up the difference but I don't know I feel I am getting riped by our local officals:mad:
  9. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    Ok, here's a full detailed listing. We bought everything at Menards, so the prices are their prices. Call around when shopping for wood. Also, when building outside, go with the pretreated wood, but make sure its the Arsenic free treated wood. [​IMG]

    Parts List

    *19 4x4x8s (on sale at Menards for $4.47/ea) and we had 1 extra
    *15 2x4x8s (Menards for $1.99/ea) used them all
    *11 1x6x8 decking (Menards for $2.80/ea) have 1/2 of one left
    *2 sets of gym rings made by Play Star @ $11.79 each
    *4 swings made by Play Star @ $13.99 each
    *1 set of safety handles by Play Star @ $8.48 each
    *9 packages of 3/8" x 6" lag screws (6 in each package) @ $1.98 each
    *1 package (or at least 54) 3/8" flat washers (we got a bulk package of 50 for $4.99, and had to dig around the garage for a few extras.)
    *2 packages of 1/4" x 3" Lag screws (4 in a bag) @ $1.98 each
    *1 box premium coated deck screws (you will use most of them!) @ $5.99
    *12 3/8" x 6" eye bolts w/nuts (make sure they are NOT pointy on top. Should have a flat top to the bolt with the large eye at the bottom.) @ $0.64 each
    *3 stainless steel conduit pipes 10' x 1 1/2" @ $9.98 each
    *6 Earth Ancors (in camping supplies) 1' long @ $3.48 each
    *25' of heavy duty braided rope (NOT POLY! Too hard on hands! We used nylon) @ $19.99 for 100'
    *one tarp or canvis for tower roof (we used a 7.4' x 9.6" tarp that we cut to fit because it was very inexpensive!) @ $2.59 each

    Other Needed Supplies

    *CORDED drill with various bits (a cordless would need recharging too often thus increasing your work time.) You'll need a bit to drill out the 3/8" holes in the 4x4s, the 1/4" holes through the 4x4s into 2x4s, and bits for screwing the deck screws in. You'll also need a bit to fit the head of the lag screws, but we had found that you will still need to finish tightening those by hand afterwards.
    *sockets (or an impact wrench) to fit the lag screws
    *a bit to aug out the holes for the monkey bars. We used 1 1/2" diameter pipe and made the holes snug to keep the bars in place.
    *a grinder or saw blade that can get through metal piping (conduit)
    *a brand new saw blade (because it will be dull after cutting all the wood! lol)

    Full Costs

    $405.61 after taxes

    We looked at similar priced pre-made wooden sets and found one in that price range. It had a 2' x 2' playhouse, ONE swing, ONE slide, ONE set of rings, and a tiny "rock climbing" wall (which was a wooden board with 4 plastic 'stones' on it).

    Full completed size of the set we've made is 22' long x 15' wide and it has a 5' x 5' play tower, FOUR swings, TWO sets of rings, TWO ropes for climbing the 5' wide ramp in the back, a 8' long monkey bar set, and an 8' tall fire man pole! PLUS, we are enclosing the bottom mostly to make TWO built in benches and a 5' x 5' sandbox underneath the tower. [​IMG] The only thing our set lacks is a slide, but a single slide runs $100 alone, so we are adding that later as a seperate structure, along with a seesaw. [​IMG]

    AND, if you can get the wood free or for less, then you're already off to a great start!

    I will write up the full plans and email them to you if you'd like, or if you are pretty handy, I have the detailed drawings with the dimentions of everything and you could piece it together yourselves. Up to you! But we are happy to share! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2007
  10. chickflick

    chickflick Crowing 11 Years

    Mar 10, 2007
    You can put chickens in that playhouse!! How many do you think it'll hold!![​IMG]

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