A while ago I showed you the playground Andy built for Weston, but every time I sat down to write the tutorial, I wanted to poke myself in the retina with a fork. Projects like this – following instructions, putting together puzzles, etc – are just not as fun to me as, you know… picking out fabrics. Laying on the hammock. Eating more cookies.
So guess who’s heeee-eeere! Everybody say hi to my
contractor husband Andy.
First, I need to warn you that I am a math teacher, with all the nerdiness and illiteracy that comes with that. I don’t do “words” or “sentences.” (But I sure can tear up a graphing calculator and geek out an excel spreadsheet.) So take all your expectations of my wonderful wife’s fancy writing (and pesky things like proper grammar) and throw them out your beautifully decorated windows.
Here are the facts. Please take notes and be sure to raise your hand if you have any questions.
This will be on your final exam.
When we decided to get Weston a playset we started shopping around and found that they start at more than $1,000 for what we want – so I decided to build one myself. I googled playset plans but couldn’t find anything I liked, so it was time to come up with our own plans.
I found inspiration online, like this photo, and decided to try to build something like this but BIGGER. HUGE. My kid needs the biggest tower in the neighborhood, know what I mean? I wanted Weston and me to have
lots of room for ACTIVITIES.
(Will Ferrell reference, anyone?) I also want to be able to upgrade and add on things like a climbing wall, a second level, a rooftop pool and other crazy things that Kelly will never approve of.
We can totally use the $70 we saved to buy a bungee so Weston can bungee jump off of the tower.
(Kelly, please disregard.)
You will also need these tools:
- miter saw
- jig saw
- drill with a long 5/16″ drill bit
- and a 1/2″ socket or wrench.
First, find a safe, level area for your playset. The whole thing ends up being about 18 feet wide and 15 feet deep.
Once you have all of your materials, cut and assemble two of these things, which will become two sides of the tower.
Drill holes for each of the 5/16″ bolts, washers, and nuts to attach everything and check to make sure it’s square. I used two bolts to attach each of the 2″x6″ boards and one bolt for the 2″x4″s.
Next we connect both sides of the tower together with 6-foot 2×6′s and 2×4′s to complete the tower frame.
Now you can install the decking support and decking. Cut and install the deck supports with screws like this.
Then cut and install the decking on top using the deck screws. Use a jig saw to cut around the 4×4 posts for the first and last piece of decking. (See pic below.)
Now we installed a piece of 2×2 around the outside of the posts on top of the decking with the deck screws just like the picture below.
At this point I got sick of climbing up into my gigantic tower, so I built a ladder out of 2x4s by cutting side pieces at an angle on both ends and screwing the steps in parallel to the ground, then attached the whole thing to the tower.
I may or may not have taken several breaks to “test out” the slide.
This should keep you busy for a day or so. Next time I’ll show you how to build the swingset portion… when (if) Kelly decides to relinquish control of the ol’ blog once again.
Update: You can check out part 2 of this post at this link.