Making this summer bit more awesome...
We bought a small (574 sq meters / 6200 sq feet) plot of land some 10 miles outside the city in a small gardening community. That decission was made so the kids do grow up in "concrete jungle", but grow more connected to nature. The lot was empty with some old old fruit trees.
It was 7 years ago and we are developing it since.
This year we decided to 7 x squeeze more out of summer. So we picked an empty corner of our lot, and built these:
- New raised deck with stairs
- Hottub and the firewood heater
- New arbor with some sills for putting down tea cups :)
- Swings for the arbor - I got an instructable on this
- Firepit - still in the making
- Hammock sitting swings
- Extreme Birdhouse
As I mostly did it all by myself (with some help of my lovely wife), it took me around 2 months (day-ends and weekends) to build this April / May. My iPhone died on me loosing half of the photos.
Pine boards (5cm x 20cm), Pine boards (2,5cm x 10cm), Pine boards (3cm x 15cm), pine (10cm x 10cm), iron spikes, woodscrews, wood treatment chemicals
Hammer, saw, showel, wheelbarrow, electrical screwdriver, patience ;)
Step 1: Preparation, Excavation and Spikes
First things first. We removed parts of the top soil / grass / weeds.
I was unwilling to make concrete posts, so I bought 20 iron earth spikes. They are hammered into the ground and provide decent support for structures above.
After that I cut wooden "legs", 7cm x 7cm. After putting them in place I used spirit level to mark the main level and cut the tops. "Spikes" are from 60cms to 100cms apart.
The hot tub itself was pre-ordered, therefore the dimensions were fixed. Decission was made to put half of thehot tub into the ground, so it does not stand out too much.
I took a 2 m length pine plank and used it to draw a circle on the ground.
Our soil is mostly heavy clay, except for top soil. Boy, it took some effort to excavate all this clay by hand.
We also did dig a 8 meter long draining ditch and put it 1,3/4 inches water release pipe.
After finishing the hole, we filled 5cm with sand and another 5cm with concrete.
Tools needed in this step:
Hammer, meter, saw, spirit level, showel
Step 2: The Holding Structure, Pumps, Electricity, Etc.
As my iPhone died during construction, I only have a few pictures of the actuall assembly left.
As you can see from attached photos, I cut a bunch of 10 cm pine boards and formed a holding structure.
Each "leg" has two boards on each side. The "legs" are rotated to match the direction of upper supports.
On top goes the main boards (20cm x 5cm)
I also wired some electricity and used an "outdoors use" grade electrical outlet. Got plans on adding some air pump ant turning this hot tub into a jacuzzi :)
The bottom part leaves alot of room for storage / pumps / etc.
Step 3: The Hot Tub
We bought the hot tub, which did cost ~1000 USD.
I removed the protection fence as it still needs more treatment to stay in the water for prolonged time.
As my daughter is 2 years old atm, we needed some extra protection, so I build an extra lid. It was open in the original design and the gap was wide enough.
Inside the hot tub is a wood burning stove. Some 10 kgs of wood briquetes heat up the water pretty well in the summer.
Step 4: The Arbor and Swings
There is an istructables on the swings: Skiedras garden swings
I basically use 4 of the 10cm x 10cm poles for legs, some 10cm planks for the top crossbards, 15 cm plank for the front bar.
Added two sills on the sides. They are great for putting down a book or couple of tea cups.
Added extra back support, so noone bangs into the fence.
Step 5: Finishing and Fancies
In the fourth photo you can see a sparrow nest. We accidentally discovered it while constructing. There were three little eggs inside.
We also did hang a sitting hammock and a beach chair. A quiet reading corner.
In the pre-last photo you can see my "Extreme Birdhouse". I attempted to build one last year. It was hell of a project - long, tedious, requiring extra precission.
In the last photo you can see my first attempt to build a firepit. We plan on buying some rock/concrete blocks and building a small tower.
I'm submitting this to "Squeeze more out of summer" contest - please vote for this project ;) Cheers.