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7-in-1 summer squeeze: hot tub, deck, swings, arbor, firepit, birdhouse, hammock swing

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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.

Materials:

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

Tools:

Hammer, saw, showel, wheelbarrow, electrical screwdriver, patience ;)

 
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Step 1: Preparation, excavation and spikes

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

buck221727 days ago

terrific use of the space

DragonWOF1 month ago
How much did this cost?
fig_and_pie12 months ago

This is awesome! Will you come build me one :)

skiedra (author)  fig_and_pie11 months ago

If I could do it, so can you! :)

You only really need a pencil and a handsaw for all the wooden part.

wilgubeast skiedra11 months ago

That is the most hardcore Instructables comment EVER. You'll just need a pencil and a handsaw, no big deal. \m/

skiedra (author)  wilgubeast11 months ago

wahaha, wilgubeast.

Seriously, I have no formal or informal carpentry/building training. Nor do I have any expierence in the field.

Wood/planks are pre-cut and planed in a sawmill. Therefore you end up with a pile of nice pile of wood in your yard.

After that is just measure, cut, try to make it level.

Seriously, it is really as simple as a pencil and a saw.

xGrape12 months ago

Amazing setup. I've been toying with the idea of a small pool/tub on a raised deck myself. Might expand that plan to also include a swing :) With limited outdoor space, this is a great option. Thanks for sharing!

skiedra (author)  xGrape12 months ago

Thanks, xGrape,

That was my initial intention - minimal area, maximum usage :)

The tub takes some time and dedication to take care of (cleaning, sanitation, etc.) But it's worth it imho.

brmarcum1 year ago
You put a wood stove IN your hot tub?! I love it! Such a good idea!
skiedra (author)  brmarcum12 months ago

It came with a hot tub. It is made out of thick sheet of stainless steel.

brmarcum skiedra12 months ago
I've never seen that before. My buddy would have loved to have something like that when he had his pool and hot tub. Thanks for sharing.
skiedra (author)  brmarcum12 months ago

No problem.There are two options - put the heater on the outside - it's more expensive, as it needs double walls with water in between. Or put it inside - so it's cooled directly.

It's never too late to get a new one if you have some 10-20 square meters of garden or a rooftop.

anapet011 year ago
This is awesome!!
skiedra (author)  anapet0112 months ago

Cheers ;)

Wow!! Absolutely beautiful. I want one of these in my backyard :D

skiedra (author)  jessyratfink12 months ago

Thanks, Jessy,

I consider myself novice builder. If I could do it - so can you ;)

Great
skiedra (author)  cooldude78612 months ago

Cooldude, are you planing to post any of your instructables?

jmyers11 year ago
This is great! Modular outside fun!
skiedra (author)  jmyers112 months ago

Thanks ;)