in only 173 steps…well, practically.
Max and Abby are normally at my home a couple of days a week. They have grown bored with the same old sand table and their outdoor toys were for the younger ones. I had the brilliant idea of making them a little “clubhouse”. Shouldn’t be difficult. After all, I have put together those vinyl sheds before and thought that would be the most durable and affordable way to go. AmazonSmile.com to the rescue. Free delivery and they put it right at the front of your garage door. Easy peasy – right?
Not so fast, my friend.
Picking out the shed was fine. Then, I got it into my head to buy this base grid to construct the shed on top. Brilliant!
And after taking great pride on seeing how the entire 8×8 grid looked and just how well the level sat … I realized that the ground was too hard and even if it wasn’t, I had installed the entire grid (wait for it) UPSIDE DOWN! Back on go the gloves and each grid piece is “unlocked” from another and stacked up for another day. Back to my accounting work.
It’s Saturday! I have half a ton of landscape sand being delivered. One of the hazards of not owning a truck is paying $20 for the sand and $49 for the delivery. The delivery, I soon discovered, only covered it being dumped on the driveway or curb. Well, that wasn’t going to fly as I do not own a wheelbarrow not to mention my back issues! Could you wheel it to the backyard for $50? Heck ya, they could. Then, as one guy loaded his own wheelbarrow, I queried of the other, Could you lay a foundation of the sand and then assemble the grid and fill with the rest of the sand? $100 good? Oh, hell ya, it was good!
Apparently, I needed to also tell them that it had to be leveled. Sometimes, just when you think things are going well …
Turns out that being uneven was not the worst of it. After laying the shed floor over the sand filled uneven grid, walking on the “floor” produced a lovely sound like sandpaper grating against your teeth. That would aggravate my OCD for years. So, thinking that the weight of the structure itself would get rid of that problem, I commenced to putting up all the walls by myself. Not really difficult, but a little heavy and awkward for one person to deal with. Using my patio lights as my guide around 10 pm, I began construction. Looked great! Everything was aligned and fastened together and ready to begin the roofing.
Except for that teeth gritting stomach turning noise was still there. That grid and sandy base had to go. Well, Scarlett, tomorrow’s another day.
The next morning I am up and taking the entire thing down to the ground again. Third time should be (and was) the charm. The following weekend, my handyman, David to the rescue. He surmised the situation, trying his best to contain his somewhat judgemental head shaking; made a list and off to Lowe’s he went. Back a bit later and in a couple of hours built a perfect base of 2×6 lumber and treated plywood.
Yeah, I will admit that another $390 later for lumber, nails, plywood and labor may now seem like the better idea. So it was level and made no sandy sounds in my teeth and so it only took about 30 minutes to install all the walls (again). Kind of surprising how much easier that part goes when the base for the structure is level and sturdy. David worked the next day constructing the roof and inside beams. Installed the double doors as well as an extra window I bought to give the kiddies more light and ventilation. Then it was my turn.
They have their art center with color pencils and water-color paint, lots of papers and books to work their designs. Legos and Barbies. A clock since their school teaches the kids how to tell time on such a non digital contraption! They have whiteboards and a rod with clips to hang important artwork and documents (one of which is titled “secret codes”). A couple of wires to hang artwork needing to dry. And 4 adorable battery LED lights that hang from the roof beams and turn on and off with the slightest of tugs.
Max and Abby love playing in the clubhouse. I think it is going to entertain them for at least a couple of years. And when they tire of it …