The rain has returned, and despite having lift more than half my life west of the Cascades, my mind keeps finding indoor activities to pursue. With one last board to cut for the siding of the playhouse though I know I have to get out into it soon. The last week has been a flurry of activity on the playhouse necessitated by recent events; the plan had been to get the house framed in by July but now I have two weeks. The photo above was taken Saturday when the last windows and the boor went in. Now it looks like :
It all started with a simple request for a tree house. We don’t really have any good tree house trees on the property and I had a bunch of deck lumber in the barn and this the “platform playhouse” idea was born. Thinking back now I start one of these projects about every three years or so when I forget how much I actually dislike building things. The one thing I hate more is paying someone to do something that I can actually do myself, particularly if the outcome would be less sturdy than if I did it myself. An 8×8 shed with no windows delivered to my house would be around $2000. The platform (really an elevated deck) could be built by a crew for another $3000-4000. Then I would need to rent a lift to get the shed on the platform. But the shed would be 1″ x 2″ beams (really 3/4″ x 1 1/2″) with the plywood sheathing glued on an held in place with staples, meaning that the plywood would not add to the strength of the building, there would be no flashing to keep the water from leaking through the roof and there would be no windows to let in the light. So for around seven grand one would have a lesser building than what I have so far spent several hundred on.
The platform playhouse is framed in traditional two by fours which nowadays are 1 3/4″ by 3 1/2″, with the sheathing nailed into it on 6″ centers so they function as one structural unit. The windows were from https://bringrecycling.org/ were cheap and while there I found a solid short door to help keep the building looking to scale. The handrail was shortened slightly for the same reason. Yesterday after the last angled window frame cut I was left with one last square to fill in when I simply ran out of gas. There are big changes ahead, and this playhouse is but one of the things that must be done before the month’s end.
The path I am on is a long one, this blog cannot be part of the next few chapters. What to write about is another of the challenges ahead of me. Recently my daughter has been demanding stories of my past. She found a picture if a very young me holding my oldest as a baby and she looks at it every night before bed. She wonders at the skinny long-haired me holding a baby who she as only known as a grown up. Trying to retell my life in a way appropriate to tell a seven year old has presented it’s own challenges. But with some heavy editing it works after a fashion. There are stories enough to tell and ways enough to tell them. Something will be here in time. Until then a view from the porch of the playhouse: