Last monday (nearly two weeks ago now), our new Cedarworks playset arrived in 18 large boxes, 1 slide, 1 pole, and 1 large bucket of bolts and other hardware. I had just cleaned the garage out so we could fit the delivery. The weather had been iffy and it wasn’t clear when we’d be able to start building. The following Sunday looked promising so I put out the call for help and Ann and I paced around the yard trying to figure out where the best spot would be. The problem is that our yard slopes down towards the house and you need these things to be level so they don’t… well… fall over.
Sunday came and only one person was available to help. Thankfully, Jay is, among other things, a contractor. With his help (who am I kidding — with Jay doing much of the work) we got the basic structure of the gazebo standing along with the first level floor done by Sunday evening. This included digging under the uphill side so that the structure stands level on the hill that is our yard.
Monday, Ann and I hurt and took the day off.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Ann and I worked solo and managed to get the second level deck up, the chin bar and rope and pole up, the side walls, and the trap door and inside ladder together. We also added the long structure support on the gazebo on the swing side (to keep it from tipping when swinging is happening). This also involved digging to make sure the support lies flat.
On Thursday, I got the slide up and discovered that in order for it to sit flat on the upper deck, the end has to be about 4 feet in the air. While Jack loved the idea of launching off the end of the slide, I did not like the thought of broken legs and angry neighbor parents. Luckily, Jay was able to come by to lend his expertise and he figured out that if we remove the large block under the top of the slide and move it to the bottom of the slide, it won’t be unreasonably high yet still be secure. Ann and I will also be putting in a nice pile of wood chips at the base to provide a softer landing spot (in fact, we’ll be putting wood chips all around the structure when we do our landscaping work, the next big yard project). Jay also helped us get the swing side up and attached.
Friday, Ann and I finished it — adding all the remaining structure supports (more digging!), the front booster step, handles, the crow’s nest, steering wheel, bucket and rope, telescope, roof, and flag (yes! it has a flag!).
Needless to say, Jack is over the moon about this. He has been having so much fun with this set that he has been falling asleep during the nightly bedtime story which, at the moment, is Taran Wanderer by Lloyd Alexander, a book he is deeply into.
You can see more pictures during and after construction here.
Got kids? Come on over and have some margaritas and let the kids play!