Well, we have reached the inevitable part of the project where we really just want to be call it. I’ve toyed with the idea of an open concept fort. You know the kind of fort where we could just be done because we decide not to side the fort. It would leave all the untreated wood exposed to rot and it would ruin the whole vision for the fort… but on the other hand we could be done.
Since the last update we finished the roof! It was just as haphazard and fun as the initial piece of plywood roofing (in case sarcasm is not your strong suit – it was haphazard, but no, it really wasn’t fun). The only plus side was that we had to lift each sheet of plywood slightly less far above our heads, making it only slightly less dangerous as we went.
This has been our first project where the kids have really been right there the whole time. They have enjoyed each phase of construction; loads of mud, unattended hammers, and power tools. Levi especially loved climbing all over the framing. Gideon mostly loved dumping out all the screw boxes. It really never got old (to him). The worst injuries have been a pair of splinters, so I can’t complain.
The sun going down earlier has made for some extra challenges. We were used to doing some work with kiddos around and then doing the heavy lifting or thinking intensive parts after putting the kiddos to bed. We managed to finish the roof with a cell phone light and facing the van headlights towards the fort. In total it took 5 sheets of plywood. Three for the climbing wall side and 2 for the less sloped part of the roof.
We didn’t take much of a break after finishing the roof to get started on the siding. We ended up going with a Pine plywood siding. It has vertical slats for some interest, it was relatively cheap and we can paint or stain it to seal it.
Turns out our fort design did not take into account that we are not big fans of figuring out angles, taking lots of measurements and cutting out for windows. There was one wall that did not have janky angles or cut outs, so of course we did that one first. And we managed to screw it up. We didn’t think about the overlap functionality until we had already screwed the siding on and cut the second piece of plywood. At which point we totally saw how one piece was meant to go under and the second piece overlap. Yeah, we cut off the under part of the first sheet, so the over part on the second didn’t exactly have anything to go over. Instead of wasting whole sheets, we will probably add a hint of caulk where necessary. We don’t want it to turn into a prissy fancy fort the kids will never play in. So of course we are careful to not be too careful. Lucky for us that comes very naturally to us.
This is the first side we attempted. It has the lookout window facing towards the street. The part you can kinda see sticking out is the door for grown-ups. It’s still a work in progress. I’m pretty sure we have hinges on the inside when they should be outside, or something since it really can’t open. I mean I don’t want to be a stickler, but a door that doesn’t really open is a bit of a buzzkill.
Brett has been much more motivated than I have. While I have been offering up helpful tidbits like, “that seems really hard,” “this part sucks” or “I’m pretty sure we are going to ruin the whole thing,” Brett has been actually doing the work. He’s been a master with the jigsaw. He also has been carrying the gumption and can-do attitude.
The second wall had two windows and some crazy angles to work with. We tried our old tiling trick of cutting cardboard to fit the space, so we could just trace the angle. Just goes to show cardboard is not only for awesome 3D models…
Well, I was a little sloppy in making the cardboard template which lead to a little bit of a sloppy angle cut. It wasn’t too far off, but could have it been more correct? Sure. The funny thing is we own one of these angle do-jobs and have zero clue how to use it. I mean I do use it to trace my cardboard template, but yeah what do all the numbers mean? Who knows and why are there so many options!?
Brett’ dad is back today to help us with the front side, which is the most wack-job of all. Levi keeps reminding us winter is coming, so we better get a move on!