Monday, December 24, 2012

Playhouse - Before Drywall (2012-066)

Here are some pics I took of the house to show the window trim I "completed."  I actually am not quite satisfied with the fit and finish of the pieces, so I may redo them in the near future.  But for now, I cleared out my construction stuff and set up a folding table and chairs.  Now the kids can use the playhouse for a little while.  My company is shut down this first week of the new year, so I want to take advantage of that week to install insulation and drywall.  Hopefully, I can get it done in that time!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Lights! (2012-065)

This year I used solar Christmas lights on the house.  I got 3 strings, which I was concerned might not be long enough to span the doors and windows the way I wanted.  But they were just the right length!  I also have lights decorating the inside.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Seven Window Salute! (2012-064)

As planned, I installed the final window today!  I installed the previous  five windows as I finished building them.  I still need to install trim to seal the gaps around the window panes.  But until then, I opened the windows to salute to the camera.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Windows, Windows, Windows (2012-063)

Geez!  I am waaay delinquent in posting.  But my excuse is that I've been working in a self-imposed Chinese window making sweat shop!  The playhouse needs SIX more windows, so I've been working like a madman making windows whenever I don't need to work or raise kids.  I barely had time to take a few pictures of me making windows.  Tonight I assembled the last window.  Then I will install it tomorrow.  Here are pics of the last window, plus a few other windows since my last post.

Me toiling away with my palm sander.

Wood stain, wood stain, and more wood stain ...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Playhouse - Three Doors Done! (2012-062)

I finished installing all the doors!  Now I get to do five windows ... Wahoo.  Then I need to do a lot of door and window trim ... Joy.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Playhouse - One To Go! (2012-061)

Here's the last door .  It's kid sized, and I let Renee pick the color.  She chose this shade of green, which makes me think of green Playdoh.  It's a good color contrast with the rest of the dark wood stain I chose for the house.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Playhouse - Two Doors Down!... (2012-060)

... And one door to go!  Well at least I got most of the work done for two doors, and I'm pretty happy with the progress I made today.  I got the second adult sized door hung up (top picture) and installed the door handle in the right side door (bottom picture).  I still need to install the threshold, side trim, and sliding bolts to hold the left side door.  I feel the rainy season is fast approaching, so I plan to move on to the third door to close up the currently open door frame now.  Then I will come back and finish the smaller door details.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Playhouse French Doors (2012-058)

Here I am toiling through the night on the first door.  I stained the wood, cut and installed the window molding, installed the window acrylic, cut and installed more window molding, and caulked the seams.  Next, I will need to install the hinges...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Playhouse French Doors (2012-057)

I decided to switch from building the windows to building the doors, because they'll cover bigger openings to protect the house against rain.  So here's step one:  getting the wood cut, assembled, and glued ...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Playhouse Window Caulking (2012-056)

This week I went back to working on windows, because I still needed to caulk around the windows I already built before rain penetrated the surrounding seams and joints.  Renee shot this picture of me in the act.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Playhouse French Door (2012-055)

We recently had some slightly drizzly days, which lit a fire under my butt to finish the playhouse.  I really want to close up all the window and door openings before the rainy seasons start.  The playhouse interior is really vulnerable to rain through the big opening I made for the French doors, so it is now my priority to close it up.  The picture below shows I finished off the double door rough opening edges.  Next I can work on building and installing the French doors.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Playhouse Windows (2012-054)

I have A LOT of windows and doors left to build ... six more windows, one small door, and one BIG door.  Thinking about it can be pretty overwhelming.  So to create some construction momentum (at least in my mind), my strategy is to build all the remaining windows in parallel.  The next step is to cover all the exposed felt paper in the window rough openings with wood trim, which the pictures below show.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Windows II (2012-050)

Here is the first window basically complete.  It looks a little messy on the outside, because it has some wood putty that I need to stain black.

Wow!  Moving parts ...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Windows (2012-049)

I finally started working on MAKING the windows.  Of course, now I wish I designed the house to use standard off-the-shelf windows I could get at Home Depot.  But when I was designing, I thought it would be better to make simple windows myself and save some money.  Now I have SEVEN windows to MAKE, which will take so much time I don't want to think about it.  Yes, I will save some money.  Yes, the basic Home Depot windows only come in white, and I can paint the windows I make any color I like.  But now I am so eager to be done with the project, that I wish I could buy the Home Depot windows for the playhouse.  However, now it's too late.  I've committed to making my own custom windows, so I just have to do it.

My plan is to completely build up the first window, including the window sill, frame, and pane, so I know for sure how it all comes together.  Then I will build the remaining windows in parallel.

Here is the window sill and frame for the first window.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Corner Trim (2012-048)

Last weekend I finished installing the siding.  This week, I finished installing the corner trim pieces.

Dormer and southeast corner trim
North corner trim
South corner trim

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Siding Continued ... (2012-047)

I'm almost done with the siding.  I put up the east wall siding, and two thirds of the north wall siding.  I just have one panel to go!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Wahoo Siding! (2012-046)

With my window issues hopefully under control, I finally moved on to install siding.  Yesterday I got some good momentum and "installed" siding on the west wall.  Then I "installed" one of three panels on the south wall.  Today I "installed" the remaining panels on the south wall.  I say "installed" with quotes, because I just used the bare minimum amount of finishing nails to hold the panels up.  To finish the job properly, I will need to install a lot more nails.  But I only have a hammer, and that will take a long time to finish.  So I may have to bite the bullet and pay $200+ to buy a nail gun and air compressor ... Ugg.  In the meantime, I enjoy looking at today's pictures, because the playhouse is starting to look like a real house.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Windows Yet Again! (2012-045)

I've become rather paranoid about my top windows leaking because I made them on the cheap with plexi-glass, and they are not what I would pay a professional contractor to build.  So I went back yet again to my windows and slightly disassembled the bottom portions to ship in additional felt paper to protect the top edges of the OSB plywood walls.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Windows Again (2012 - 043)

I had to yet again test my motivation to build the playhouse by disassembling and rebuilding all three of the windows I built so far because the z-bar metal flashing I used was too small to channel rain water over the top edge of the siding I plan to use. So I had to install a new larger z-bar.  I also used bigger wood to trim the bottom of the windows.  Here is a picture of the rebuilt west wall window.  It looks virtually the same, but you can clearly see the larger bottom trim, and if you look closer, you can see the larger z-bar.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dormer Roof Window Trimmings (2012-041)

On Sunday, I added the thin plywood as siding for the small dormer walls (first two pictures).  The acrylic I used for the windows is pretty thin.  It's strong enough as along as no one pushes or hits the windows hard.  But as an added precaution, I replaced the temporary railings I had before installing the windows with more nicely finished permanent railings (last picture).

Friday, June 1, 2012

Dormer Roof Window (2012-040)

The dormer roof window is up!  I actually got it done last night, but I didn't take a picture until today.  The dormer still has small portions of wall that I need to cover with some exterior material.  Right now I just have felt paper for coverage.  I will probably use  thin plywood for the job.  But my primary goal this weekend is to finally get siding from Home Depot.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Playhouse Stealth Mode (2012-039)

I finally got the felt paper up on all the walls, so it feels like the playhouse is in stealth mode ...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Loft Gate (2012-038)

I got the new and improved loft gate finished yesterday, but I didn't take pictures of it until today.  The previous gate was just temporary and pretty flimsy.  I removed it over a month ago.  This new gate is much more sturdy and the vertical elements follow the same construction as the rest of the loft railing.  I opened up the playhouse for the kids to play in during our Memorial Day weekend barbecue, so I wanted to make sure I had the gate installed for their safety.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

East Roof Window (2012-037)

I got the second "roof window" installed on the east wall.  This one will require a little more thought than the west window, because the east window is adjacent to the dormer roof.  So I want to make sure I keep things water tight.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Gettin' the Felt On (2012-036)

I didn't get as much done last week as I should have, so I am pulling out all the stops to get more done each day after work, even if I can only spend an hour or half our on the house.  So by Friday of this week, I wrapped more felt paper around the north and east walls.  Then I added water proofing material to the remaining south wall window sills.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Construction Week Day 7 (2012-035)

Today turned out to be disappointing, because I decided my inexpensive siding solution for the playhouse won't work.  It just looks too half-assed.  But at least it's good that I recognize it now and cut my losses than continue down the path I started.  My original inspiration for my siding design was the first picture below, which is a little unconventional, but they pulled it off well.  So I thought I could do the same with cheap cedar fence board material I found at Home Depot.  But that fence board material is just too rough and unstable to make the clean crisp look I like in the original picture that inspired me.  I have to come up with another plan.

My original inspiration ...
... my unsuccessful recreation.