Alex’s Playhouse: Footers

With Alex’s birthday fast approaching, we thought it was time he had a playhouse to enjoy. Our initial plan was to purchase a playhouse from Costco or Amazon (something like this, not this – read the reviews), but discovered the smallest ones needed a flat area approximately 154 square feet for the structure and 598 square feet for a safe play area. Our sloped mountain lot does not have this type of level area, at least not without a major earth moving project.

Plan B? Build a playhouse from scratch! Since we can’t find something that suits our lot, we are going to build. And our next house project is with the various engineers, we need something to keep us busy.

As always with our construction posts, when associated with actual building, ‘we’ is Dave.

Preparation: Select build site, with consideration for set backs. Know your local regulations on how large of a structure you can build without a permit.

Critical Tools: Makita 20 lb Demolition Hammer – This tool was rented from Home Depot and was selected because it also has drill functionality.  Just in case rocks are encountered in the Rocky Mountains.

Trigonometry and guide string – To ensure square corners just remember a^2 + b^2 = c^2. Yes, that seemingly useless class will come back to haunt you.

Process (Simplified):

  1. Dig first hole and set concrete form
  2. Mix and pour concrete, set support brackets
  3. Confirm location of next hole
  4. Repeat

Skill Level: Advanced/Expert. There is trigonometry involved.

Tip(s): Just rent the demolition hammer. A post hole digger and breaker bar will only get you so far.

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