Building an Outdoor Playset

Playset

If anyone is interested in building an outdoor playset then here is a few ideas to help you out. My son and I built this one this past summer for children to play on during the apple season. Is also best to use treated lumber for this project  as it will be outside year round.

Almost completed plays
Play set nearing completion

 

No Plans

This DIY playground has no plans , as the ideas just came out of my sons mind as we went along. So if your interested in building one take a good look at the photos, and there should be other plans on the internet for some of these.

Platforms

First thing to do is to build a couple platforms, and in this case  they are six feet by six feet. Using the four by fours by eight feet long for the corners and two by sixes for around the base to square them up.

Leveling the platforms
Getting things level for the play set

Cement Blocks

The four by four post are set onto the cement blocks that are designed for them. With the wider bases the blocks will not sink into the ground in time.

Platform Height

The platform will also have two by sixes at the six foot height so you can install a floor on them. Later the slides can be attached onto the floors giving good support to them.

The floors for these platforms are made from one by sixes and also are treated lumber, plus two by sixes spaced at two foot spacing to give support to the floor boards.

Getting height for play set
The right height for play set

Squaring the Platforms

To keep everything square while building the platforms a few braces can be used, and attached  to the four by fours to keep them level in both directions.

The Bridge

The second platform was spaced ten feet away from the first one, so a bridge could be built connecting the two together.

We used metal brackets designed to fasten  the ten foot two by sixes to one platform and then to the other one.

Bridge being set up for play set
Play set bridge

Bridge Width

In the center of the ten foot span  are also four by four post for support, and the bridge was spaced at a three foot in width and three ten foot two by sixes are used. Then the one by six boards were put on for the floor.

Railings

Decking screws were used for the whole project, plus some bolts  for the four by four bridge railing supports.

The four by four post  to support the railing had the bolt holes drilled through them and through the ten foot two by sixes for extra strength. We used  cordless drills for the project, a twenty volt Makita and a Dewalt, both worked very well.

The bridge post were four feet in length, with one at each end of the ten foot span, and two more at an equal distance in the middle. Then two by fours were attached top and bottom between the post with metal brackets, and leaving about a two inch space at the bottom.

The boards for the railing were spaced at two inches, but this can vary depending on codes in your area.

Supports for bridge railings
Railing for play set

Play in the Railing

We found that after the railings were finished there was a small amount of movement at the top of the four by four post and railing. In order to fix this pieces of two by six were installed between each of the ten foot two by sixes and also at each post. After this was done there was very little to no play in the railings at the top.

Another Platform

The next thing you can build is another six foot by six foot platform with again the four by four post and two by sixes to square it up and the floor at a four foot height, with two by sixes spaced at two feet for the floor to be supported on. Then a stairs can be built from the bridge platform down to this one.

Slides

On this platform you can attach one of the DIY playground

slides which in this case is a three foot wide drainage plastic tile. With the groves on the outsides of the tile it is easy to anchor to the platform , by just installing a two by six across the top and bottom and one by five boards on the sides.

Slides attached to play set
Slides for play set

Slide Supports

At the bottom of the slide you can build another platform wide enough to support your slide about thirty eight or forty inches. Use the four by fours and two by sixes to create the frame  work, then two by fours to lock in the slide at top and bottom. Have your slide about two feet off the ground

We added another slide from the six foot platform and enclosed it the same as the first one. Having more slope it was a little faster.

Slides supported for playset
Building the slide supports

To The Ground

After this there is another platform built at a height of two feet with stairs made down to it, and then another set of stairs down to ground level.

The same was done to the first platform also, making two more platforms at a four foot and a two foot levels then also stairs to the ground.

Bottom Platforms

On the bottom platforms two sets of climbing stairs were made, Four two by sixes were used and ten there top boarded in solid.

On top of the boards one by three cleats were added and spaced two inches apart so children could climb up these, giving them the choice  of stairs or ramps.

Forts For Children

Under the two bridge platforms the openings were boarded in then a couple windows made and a door into the six by six small room. This can create a playground fort for kids.

Sand

Another thing  is after everything was constructed a good thick layer of sand was placed all around the structure. It covered the cement blocks that were used to support the four by four post.

Sand to cover cement blocks
Sand for leveling

It also gives a soft landing under the slides so no danger of a child being hurt.

Tools

The tools used on this project were a Dewalt cut off saw, skillsaw, two drills eighteen volt a Dewalt and Makita very handy for all the screws we used.

Also a hammer and handsaw, shovel, and a few wrenches  to tighten bolts used on the four by four post of the bridge and slides. If interested in any tools for these projects try http://amzn.to/2kr0Xnh.

Building with Makita and Dewalt
Makita and Dewalt used for outdoor play set

Time

Now to construct this DIY playground slide set it took the two of us  a week, so if anyone is wonting to build this its not something you can do in a day.

In some of the photos you will see a green canopy  tent , this we put up to do our cutting under as the temperature was ninety to a hundred F. that week. Being Canadian takes us a while to get used to the heat.

Outdoor cutting area
Working outdoor in the heat.

Materials Used

Here is a list of materials used on this project.

Thirty – four by four post eight feet long.

Seventy- two by sixes eight feet long.

Hundred twenty- one by fives eight feet long.

Thirty four-cement blocks for the four by four post.

Sixteen- half inch bolts for four by fours on bridge.

Eight quarter inch bolts for anchoring slides.

Anyway hope you enjoyed reading about this playground design idea, if there are any questions about this leave me a comment and I will get back to you.

Wayne.

 

 

 

 

Installing Oak Wood Flooring in a Hallway

Oak Hardwood Floor

Here is a few ideas for installing oak wood flooring in a hallway.

First thing to do in this case  was to remove the carpet covering the plywood under it.

Best to start in a doorway and give it a pull, as it is usually just tacked down around the outside edges.Oak Fooring

Carpet Removal

After you have taken up the carpet and rolled it up, if your not saving it then best to take it out to the garbage.

Once its out of the way then you can pull any staples left stuck in the plywood, and all the wood nailing cleats around the outside of room that held carpet down.

Preparing Plywood

Once the plywood has all the staples pulled then its time to add more floor screws to your plywood base flooring. This will prevent any squeaking from your hardwood floor once its laid.

Make sure to put plenty of screws as most people will not appreciate a floor that squeaks.Plywood Flooring

Doorways

In this hallway there happened to be five doorways, four bedrooms and a bath.

Between the thresholds of the door ways you can install pieces of the oak flooring  cut to size.

These usually go from the door stop to the hallway edge of the door frame, and as door frames need to be cut to oak floor height to allow your pieces to fit under door frames.

Door Frames

Is best to take a piece of your oak flooring and mark all the door frames  at the right height and then cut them out.

I find using a multi craft tool works very well for this.

And if you happen to have steel door frames then there are also metal blades that fit this tool, and will work quiet well.

Flooring

Once all your door frames have been cut then you can start laying  the flooring .

You don’t wont the joints to end up in the same place, usually ten inches plus separating them. Also you can chalk a line out from wall for a reference point to keep the rows straight, as you will find very few rooms are perfectly straight,

Best to lay out a few rows first to see how they come, and how much will have to be cut off the ends of a run.Oak Flooring

Nailing

The first two or three rows will have to be drilled through the tongue of the boards and nailed by hand , because the floor nailer will not have enough space to be used yet.

Also be careful when nailing by hand as sometimes the nail can get bent if the hole you drilled is not of sufficient size. And a good nail punch to drive the nails home is required.

Once away from the wall  then its just a matter of laying the floor boards out , staggering the joints and using the floor nailer on them.

Space your nails  about six to eight inches apFlooringart and about two to three inches from the ends of your boards.

Stair Railing

Also in the case of this floor there was a steel railing around the stairway opening, some will be wood.

Is best to remove them and then after the floor is installed  you can put it back on top of the flooring.

Any screws holding the railing down  should be predrilled through the oak flooring first.

Overhang on Stair Thread

Also when you are coming to the top step of your stairs, you might wont to make a nose piece out of your oak flooring in order to finish it off and match the rest of the stairs.

It could have an overhang of an inch or more, as that will depend on your set of stairs.

Mouldings

Once all your floor is laid and nailed into place, then the floor mouldings can be put back on to cover the quarter inch space left for expansion.

You might also have some finer mouldings to put around the stairwell opening and these can also be attached now.

Now your oak floor in the upstairs hallway is finished.

If you have any comments or ideas about doing this type of flooring, there always appreciated.

Wayne.

 

5 Things To Do To Get Your Yard Ready Before Winter

autumn-212733_6401. Racking leaves

When it comes to racking leaves in the fall you can save them by putting them on your garden for mulch.

I have noticed others just go over them with the lawn mower making a finer mulch that works very well also.

 

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2. Planting Tulip, Daffodils and other flower bulbs

Weather is still warm enough to spend some time out on your yard, if you want to get more colorful blooming on your yard next Spring, time is perfect to plant some tulips and daffodil bulbs.

You can find some stores have them this time of the year, so people can get them easily.

Soil is still warm and soft to dig some holes with the help of your gardening tools and place these bulbs according to each plant directions, just follow each instruction for depth and placing for each plant.

Bulbs can stand winter chilly temperatures once they are planted, and you will enjoy  a nice colorful yard next year.

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3. Keep squirrels and chipmunks out of your house

Squirrels and chipmunks can be a pest during this time of the year, while they live happy in your yard during the nice weather during Spring and Summer, with the first chilly temperatures both will look for the easiest way to get into your home.

They will try to get inside your house walls and make a nest to live in during the long and cold Winter.

To avoid this, check all out side of your home, if you see any holes, you can put some wire net to cover them, this way you can keep them out.

If this don’t keep them out and they keep trying to get inside, you can set some traps to catch them alive and relocate them far from any house or farm.

I find the chipmunks seem to do the most damage as there always digging holes around your house and property. Had one dig a hole under my above ground pool, and before I could catch it the liner in the pool had dropped about a foot into the cavity it made.

Cute little critters but can do a lot of damage around your home.

hose-pipe-1536413_640

 

4. Bring inside all your gardening tools

After you finish all the tasks you need to do before cold temperatures get where you live, be sure to bring all your gardening tools inside, if you have a shed or a covered garage it’s better to keep all tools inside, they won’t rust and will last longer saving you some dollars.

Garden hoses should also be drained and stored away, and not to forget to turn off any water lines that go to these hoses.

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5. Cover with evergreen dry needle leaves your strawberries plants.

I have found if I cover strawberries with evergreen pine needle leaves plants will stand the chilly winter temperatures pretty well, next Spring when weather turns warm enough you can take off those needle leaves  from strawberries plants and they will continue to grow and produce some nice strawberries for you and your family.

Also works well for other plants that need protection over the winter months.

For your Garden

Once your garden is cleaned out in late fall, then it is a good time to rake some leaves to cover it, and will act as mulch for next years planting.

You can also throw more leaves on in the spring and work everything together.

Things to do on your garden before winter hits Click To Tweet

You could be surprised to find some plants already blooming.

Now you have a few things to do to get your yard ready before winter weather hits your area, if you need more tips for a particular issue on your yard, leave a comment.

You can read also How to Prepare Your House For Winter

Now it’s your turn, how big is your yard? write a comment.

Wayne