In what is fast becoming the phrase that fills the husband with instant dread… I had a vision.
When we moved into this house five years ago we inherited the plastic slide and swing you can see in the ‘before’ photo below and, whilst the tinies adored them, I had a dream to upgrade to something that would blend more naturally into the garden. A desire to save money coupled with a wish to create a treehouse with a beautiful rustic feel sent us down the woods and up to the loft – foraging and salvaging most of the timber used for the project.
The children ADORE their treehouse and we love the aesthetics of it – win win.
I know what you really want to know though – how long it took, how much it cost and was it worth it? Scroll down for the answers…
BEFORE & AFTER
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE?
Considering we completed this following the epic DIY patio and pergola project, it honestly felt like a walk in the park. We probably spent as much time foraging for broken branches and storm felled trees with our barrow and saw as we did building the thing. In total it took a month but we only worked weekends and did not exactly pull tough shifts – the pace was super manageable.
5 hours timber foraging (we did this as a family – the husband grafted whilst I mostly galavanted around the forest with the tinies)
2 hours planning and measuring (this was all me – the husband has no patience for the finer details)
4 hours sawing posts, digging holes and setting uprights with Postcrete (x 2 people)
3 hours framing the platform (x 2 people)
3 hours boarding the platform (x 2 people)
5 hours adding the ladder and railings (x 2 people)
10 minutes fixing the slide (a one man job for sure – so simple)
Total 37 hours
(Like I said, some time foraging and then a weekend or two, depending what kind of shift you want to pull, for two to complete the construction).
HOW MUCH DID IT COST?
Considering how much we foraged and salvaged, not an insignificant sum. That being said, to buy a readymade timber play frame would have been more and it would not have been custom built around this beautiful ancient pine so, really, there is no comparison.
£126.80 (timber 2x6s for framing)
B&Q & SCREWFIX
£107.11 (screws & nails)
MATERIALS WE SALVAGED OR FORAGED
4 x bags of Postcrete we had left over from the patio project
foraged timber trunk posts
foraged timber branch railings
salvaged decking used for the ladder
salvaged floorboards from the loft (getting the loft floored coincided rather nicely with this project as it turned out)
WAS IT WORTH IT?
The tinies just love it; they helped source the wood and build the thing and the novelty of careering round that behemoth of a trunk has yet to wear off even ten months later. Toys and children fly down that slide (which may or may not be fixed at a slightly steeper angle than it should be), it is their den, their pirate ship, their safe haven and occasionally their chill-out spot.
For us, the aesthetics, of what is essentially a GIANT toy, are great. It blends naturally into the background and gives the kids somewhere to play whilst we enjoy the adjacent sun patio. We have been known to require laps of the ladder and slide to earn crisps or nuts during aperitivo hour – the tinies happily oblige and we can enjoy the snacks at a more leisurely pace. It frees up lawn space too and, although it was something of a mud pit upon completion, the grass and shrubs have really filled out now giving the illusion it has always been there which is just perfect.
It is pretty cute at Christmas time too…
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