Monday, September 13, 2010

The Tree House Project - Phase 1

For the record - it's not just 1 tree house. Instead, it's an A-frame tree house on two trees, a small platform on another tree and a rope bridge connecting the two. Each tree house would, of course, have its own ladder. Not to mention all other bells and whistles - a pulley for lifting baskets with food, a trap door in the A-frame house, a zip line, a tire swing, a bell, signaling flags, strings of tiny garden lights, etc, etc.
I hope you understand that such a big project is not something that can be done in a weekend. Not when you only have a Kia Rio to haul building materials. Definintely not when you have just one ladder.

But lots and lots of work was done nevertheless. First, supports for the platform went up (we re-used a bunch of lumber from an old deck - recycling is good for your soul and for your wallet).

Don't let this picture fool you. The finished platform is almost 9 feet from the ground!

The platform structure is up and my brother is the first one to test it. Nothing broke or came loose!

Putting on some finishing touches...

Here's what it looked like from the ground. For some reason both Chris and Arkadiy were very proud of it. What's the big deal, I ask?Actually, this is where I ask "what's the big deal".

It's well after 2pm on Saturday and less than 24 hrs until my brother has to leave. In short, it's about time the guys started working on the A-frame tree house.

M's been busy building his own little structure. Oh, do you see all the new lumber in the background? Yeah, there was a Home Depot run earlier that day. Luckily for all involved (and for our little Kia) the guys ran into our neighbors at the store. The neighbors, who have a mini-van, volunteered to bring the lumber over to our yard. They are awesome!

The supports for the A-frame are up and being tested. They hold well!

This is a cat's-eye view of the building process. Actually, I stand corrected. If it was the cat's-eye view, the picture would be totally dark as the lazy cat napped through most of the day. At least he mellowed out towards my brother, enough so that Arkadiy could walk around the house without fearing a scalping attempt from Xander.
The next morning... The A-frame is put together on the ground. How are they going to put it 9 ft up in the air with just 1 ladder, 1 rope and no pulleys? Scroll down to see (spoiler alert - noone got hurt or even scared).

See how they do it? Yep, some pure muscle power.

Aided by my hubby's natural height with some extra assistance from a ladder, the frame goes up in practically no time (20-30 minutes, not much longer).

Inspired by the fine example, M sets to drill holes in our deck.

And what was I up to? Well, I cooked (a little), took pictures (a whole lot!) and then, after we dropped Arkadiy at the airport and M fell sound asleep, I played a small, but very determined bulldozer. Check out the cleared patch made by moi on Sunday afternoon. (You can sort of get an idea of what it looked like by comparing it to the background on the photo - underbrush, English ivy, poison ivy, 5-inche layer of pine needles with lots of random objects buried underneath - broken glass, old speakers wire, pieces of plastic, etc, all courtesy of the previous home owners).

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