Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Tree House and More

Original Sketch
A few weeks into my unemployment my brother and sister-in law asked if I would build them a tree house for their kids. I agreed and asked them to start sending me pictures which resulted in a series of screen shots (from Pinterest) being sent in a flowing text string "I like this in this picture". Fortunately my sister-in law is pretty good with a pencil and paper so she put together a sketch.

After a series of discussions which resembled stand-ups we settled on size and budget.

The result was a structure built in 17 days. Actual build time was 10 days. It is connected to 2 trees in the back and supported by 6x6 post in evenly distributed around the structure.

Nerd Facts

  • 4- 6x6x16 post
  • 2- 6x6x8
  • ~ 50- 2x4x12
  • all floor joist are 2x8 on 16 inch centers
  • stairs are 2x10
  • roof is tin (runs from 8 feet at the front to 7.5 feet at the back. 
  • NO nails, over 5,000 screws
  • ~75- 3/8 x 6 or 8 inch lag bolts
  • 3 different deck areas (2 - 12x12 and 1 - 6x12)
  • moveable bench, swing, rope ladder, slide and plenty of eno hooks

Bottom Deck (12x12)
Stairs to second level

Second level (6x12)

Third level (12x12)

Back with swing

Side with rope ladder

It was a fun project. Building the basic structure then continual communication with the "clients" (including the kids) as the details were added. Interestingly enough, though it was built for the kids, seems the adults are enjoying sitting on the upper level as much as anyone.

Concept to Build

Life- Interesting Couple of Months

On April 15, 2016 I was informed my last day (with previous employer) would be May 13th. Unfortunately other members of my team were immediately let go. Interesting how you feel when you have poured a lot of effort into something and then the rug gets yanked. The first few days I reflected on the why, what and how. Then I decided it was time to get busy. I put a resume together for the first time in 16 years, reached out to a number of contacts and let the churn begin. At the same time I realized I had to be busy or things just wouldn't be good.

I was made to work. It is just ingrained in my being. So I started doing what I did before my first job working for the state. Simply put - manual labor. I quickly found out I had softened (and obviously aged) over the years sitting behind a computer. My feet, hands, back, arms, and legs hurt but I slept good and felt great. Manual labor is good for my soul. I have not found full time employment yet, but I have been enjoying what I have been doing.

My brother flips houses so he always has a need for help. I worked for him finishing up a house - hanging doors, laying floors, cleaning the yard, pressure washing and various other polishing touches.

Then I returned to my high school and college days, landscaping.



Buddy called and asked for a play structure to be torn down at a day care. Demolition is always a good release (sledge hammer, chain saw and crow bar). the kids were not happy with me but the structure was removed. First time I have removed poles buried in 4 feet of concrete.

Next was good old construction work. Knocking down cinder block walls and hauling debris to the dumpster. Then I spent a few day removing building a deck followed, which coincided with building a tree house (of sorts) which I will detail in another post.



So though officially unemployed I am some how coming home whipped, dripping in sweat and somehow full-filled.

About Me

Little Rock, Arkansas, United States