Building a deck is the ideal home improvement project for the average handy man or woman. No advance carpentry skills or expensive tools are needed to build a useful and beautiful deck that will add style and value to any home.
- 5×4 inch decking lumber
- 2×8 pressure-treated lumber
- 2×10 pressure-treated lumber
- Fibreboard pier form
- Plastic footing form
- Ledger fasteners
- Polyurethane sealant
- Face mounted joist hangers
- Post bases
- Masonry expansion bolts
- Siliconised acrylic caulk
- Metal flashing
- 6D,12D and 16D galvanised or stainless steel common nails
- 8D Galvanised or stainless steel finish nails
- 5/8-inch roofing nails
- Self-adhering waterproof membrane
- Concealed-flange and face-mounted double joist hangers
- Hanger nails
- Construction adhesive
- Hammer-drill with masonry bit
- ½ inch drill with 3/8 inch bit
- Socket wrench
- Plumb bob and string
- Circular saw
- Chalk line
- Concrete mixer
- mpact wrench
- Tape measure
- Utility knife
Attaching and protecting the ledger
- Remove the building’s trim and siding to 1 foot above the top of where the ledger will sit.
- Cover exposed sheathing with self-adhering waterproof membrane.
- Mark the exact location of the top of the ledger.
- Any step down to the finish decking, which sits atop the ledger, must be 4 to 7 ¾ inches below the door sill.
- Snap a level chalk line.
- Cut a 2 inch wide, 1 ½ inch thick treated wood spacer for every 2 feet of ledger length.
- Align the top of each spacer with the chalk line and fasten with a 6D nail.
- Align the ledger with the tops of the spacers and nail it to the wall at each spacer with the 16D nail ensuring Joints between ledger boards fall on a spacer.
- In a zigzag pattern, drill a 3 3/8 inch pilot hole through the ledger and into the house’s rim joist at each spacer.
- In each hole, insert a ½ inch lag screw and tighten it against a washer using an impact or socket wrench.
- Cut a strip of self-adhering waterproof membrane 6 inches wide and the same length as the ledger.
- Fold the membrane length wise along its centre line forming a right angle.
- Apply it over the ledger-to-house joint so one leg covers the top of the spacer block and ledger and the other leg extends up the wall.
- Cut a strip of metal flashing at least 6 inches wide and as long as the ledger.
- Fold the metal length wise to form a right angle. Apply it over the waterproof membrane.
- Drive roofing nails through the top edge of the flashing, every 8 inches.
- Fasten concealed-flange double joist hangers at both ends of the ledger and flush with its bottom edge, using joist hanger nails.
Setting footings and piers
- Set up batter boards and mason’s strings and determine footing locations at the deck’s outside corners and at 8-foot intervals along the front rim joist.
- Mark each location then remove the mason’s strings temporarily.
- Dig a hole wide enough to hold the footing form and deep enough to extend below the frost lone at each footing location.
- Assemble footing and pier forms according to the manufacturer’s instructions then position one in each hole. Gently back fill.
- Run a level line from the top of the ledger to the pier tube and from this line to determine each pier’s finish height.
- From this line, measure down 1/16 inch per foot of the pier’s distance from the house, plus the height of the rim joist and post base.
- Mark the form at this point and repeat for each pier.
- Trim pier tubes at these marks.
- Check the positioning of the piers and adjust if necessary.
- Fill with concrete using a shovel to work out air pockets.
- Allow the concrete to cure for a week.
Installing post bases and side rim joists
- Place a post base on a pier, position it so it will not interfere with joist hangers, and mark its location.
- Remove post base and bore into pier with a hammer drill equipped with a masonry bit.
- Reposition post base, insert an anchor bolt, and tighten with an impact wrench.
- Repeat for each pier.
- Cut pressure-treated 2x stock for the doubled side rim joists and beams.
- Glue them up with construction adhesive and nail them together from both sides with 12D nails, spaced every 16 inches in a zigzag pattern.
- Fit a side rim joist into a hanger at one end of the ledger, square the corner and toenail through the hanger into the ledger with 16D nails.
- Rest the joist’s opposite end on a corner pier.
- Repeat with the other side joist, removing mason’s strings as necessary.
- Cut pressure-treated 2x stock for the deck’s front rim joist.
- Stagger any butt joints by varying board lengths, ensuring joints fall in the middle of post anchors.
Installing front rim joist, beams and interior joists
- Fasten concealed-flange double joist hangers on the ends of the front rim joists inner 2x’s.
- Fit the inner 2x’s into the post bases.
- Fit a side rim joist into a front hanger and square the corner.
- Secure front rim joist 2x to the post bases with hanger nails. Drive the six 16D nails through the face of the front rim joist into the end of the side rim joist.
- Repeat with the other side rim joist.
- Fasten face-mounted double joist hangers for beams every 8 feet on centre along the front rim joist and ledger, flush with bottom edges.
- Fit and nail each beam as described above.
- Glue and nail the outer 2x’s to the inner 2x’s.
- Install 2x joist hangers along the beams, 16 inches on centre.
- Fit and toenail joists through hangers.
Attaching trim and decking
- Nail paint-grade trim boards as wide as the rim joists to their outside faces with two 8D hot dipped galvanised finished nails spaced 12-16 inches apart.
- Scarf any joints in the run; miter joints at the corners.
- Measure distance from wall to the outside of the trim board and add 1 inch for overhang. Cut the deck boards to this length.
- Squeeze a bead of polyurethane sealant on the top edge of a side rim joist.
- Lay a straight deck board in the adhesive so its long edge overhangs the trim board by 1 inch.
- Secure each end of the deck board with an 8D finish nail.
- Tack 8D finish nails alongside the first board to maintain consistent spacing.
- Squeeze dabs of adhesive onto the top edge of each joist.
- Lay and nail the next deck board as before.
- Continue gluing and nailing until deck is complete.
- Replace house’s siding within ½ to an inch of the decking.
Tips and warnings
- Decking laid at right angles to the house makes for a stronger front edge.
- If the joist has a crown install it crown-side up.
Building a headboard is an easy to moderate home improvement project with room for personal creativity and fun. To make a simple headboard, square pieces of ply can be used and covered with upholstery. However, More intricate headboards can be created with patterned designs or recycled materials.
Building an upholstered headboard
- Safety glasses
- Power drill
- Drill bits
- Staple gun
- Polyester batting
- Finish nails
- 3/8” plywood
- Upholstery thread
- Mirror hangers
Mark and drill the plywood
- Mark the centre point of the plywood and use a yardstick to draw a line across the diagonal with a pencil.
- Draw an intersecting diagonal and mark the point where the lines meet.
- Put on safety glasses and use a power drill with a medium bit to drill holes through all the pencil marked spots.
Arrange the fabric and batting
- Pick a piece of upholstery fabric that is 6” longer than the piece of plywood on all sides.
- Lay it on a work surface with the right side facing down.
- Cut batting a few inches longer that the piece of plywood on all sides.
- Place it on top of the face down fabric.
- Top it with a similar sized piece of thin batting foam.
- Centre the drilled plywood on top of the three layers of material.
Attaching fabric to plywood
- Pull all three layers of material snugly over each corner of the wood and staple it.
- Do the same to cover the hard edges on the sides of the board.
Hanging the headboard
- Hang the headboard with mirror hangers equidistant from the centre of the headboard.
- Use very short screws.
- Use a level and an anchor if you don’t have a wall stud available.
Making a headboard from recycled items
You may recycle unique wooden items and add your own personal touch to create a headboard. Just follow steps 1-3 under ‘hanging the headboard’ above to hang the customised headboard above your bed. Below are a list of a few recyclable items that can be used:
- Old closet doors
- Picket fence
- Wooden shutters
- Boxed panelling
- Mosaics of recycled glass, china or tiles
- Photo collage
- Wooden boat wheel
- Arched Arbor
Making a traditional headboard
For a traditional headboard you will need to obtain a patterned design from your local hardware store. These patterns contain detailed instructions and specifications for tools and materials.
Tips and warnings
- Choose the right headboard measurement to correspond with the width and height of your bed. Also measure the space above your bed where the headboard will hang.
- This article gives you the step by step guide to creating a floating headboard. This headboard is not intended to be attached to your bed. For a more intricate headboard, design plans and patterns may be obtained at your local hardware store.
- To create intricately carved headboards seek assistance. More intricate headboards require advanced skills in carpentry.
Rammed earth houses are one of the earliest forms of housing but houses built from more expensive materials have steadily replaced this type of housing over time. However, home owners are increasingly looking for cost effective ways to build environmentally friendly homes and a rammed earth house fit this description perfectly.
- Low-grade brick-layering loam
- Shoot steel
- Angle iron
- Wooden planks
- Building paper
- Reinforcing rods
- Rail ties (optional)
- Baling wire
- Hand-pounder or appropriately sized mechanical vibrator
- Big hand saw
- Drill with bolt-removing bit
- Tape measure
- Pencil and paper
- Slanted screen of 1” mesh hardware cloth
- Chalk line
Preparing the earth
- Find the correct blend of earth (50-75% sand without too much clay is ideal).
- Sieve soil through a slanted screen of 1” mesh hardware cloth to separate out any big stones or roots.
- Spread tarpaulin over the screened dirt to protect it from precipitation. Precipitation will cause the dirt to puddle, not compress. When you make a ball of earth in your hand it should hold its shape but break and scatter when dropped.
- Lay out foundation using 2×6 planks lined with building paper and strengthened on the outside by 2×4 uprights, in 8 feet sections.
- Dovetail each section into the next and connect to it with reinforcing rods. Make forms 12 inches wide at the top tapering to 8 inches in the middle then out again to 12 inches at the bottom.
- Loop a chunk of baling wire around the uprights and snug the supports tight by twisting the doubled strand in its middle.
- Prepare foundation mix from 1 part cement, 2 part sand and 3 part gravel.
- After the first section of concrete is dry, move the plank forms forward so they overlap the previous pour by only a foot.
- Use a chalk line and level to keep the segments straight.
- Frame in door and window openings with 2×12 planks as you go along, being sure to brace them thoroughly.
- Line wooden moulds with shoot steel and edge with ¾” angle iron.
- Clamp wooden moulds onto the foundation and reinforce with 4×4 uprights.
- Use three pieces of 4×8 plywood to make an L-shaped form. The outside section sould measure 8×4 feet and the inside 7×3 feet. The mould should be 1 foot wide.
- Shovel a 4 inch layer of dirt into the form and pound the earth until it rings like rock.
- Keep on adding 4 inches and pounding.
- Cover your forms at night to protect the soil from rain and keep precipitation from the walls.
- Rammed earth hardens as it dries so the forms may be removed as they become full.
- Pull out bolts that hold the form in place and fill the holes that are left. This can be done by bending a piece of tin into a V shape, and holding the guide against one of the openings of the wall, filling the chute with dirt and pushing the soil into the hole with a bolt.
- Stagger the joints on your second course by placing a 1 foot long dummy unthreaded bolt crossways in the compacted dirt, about 18 inches from the end of the first form.
- When the frame is pounded full, remove the dummy and insert the first bolt for your next form in the resulting hole.
- Frame the window openings with 2×12 planks and ensure they are braced as you go along.
- Embed a 14 inch anchor bolt with a 3 inch washer every 3 feet along the top course of the earth. These bolts will hold a 2×12 plank which will serve as a footing for your roof (the cap).
Doors and Windows
- When a wall makes it to the top of a door opening, lay in a head piece such as a rail tie and keep on going. For the jams, drive a rebar into the wall and jam again.
- Do the same for windows.
- Libraries are stocked with books on how to make a roof, frame a window and do plumbing and wiring.
- Instead of wooden window sills, consider using concrete window sills with the outside lips slanted so water drips away from the earthen wall.
- Functionally, a rammed earth wall doesn’t need covering. However, for appearance the outside of the house can be painted with two coats of mortar made from 1 part cement and
- parts sand. Wet walls to prevent them from drying out too quickly and scratch finish the first layer.
Tips and Warnings
- Building a rammed earth house is a time consuming process, however the more people involved the less time the work will take.
- You will know when any two walls are exactly the same height by taping a glass tube to each end of a garden hose, and stringing the gauge from one wall to the other. When the hose is filled with water and the liquid’s level matched the top of both partitions, they’re level.
Beer enthusiasts and hobbyists alike build stills to brew and ferment home made beer or wine. While building a still is not illegal, it is illegal to use it for distilling alcohol in most countries except Austria, New Zealand and Italy, Russia, Romania and Bulgaria. This article will provide you with a step by step guide to building your own still.
- 4 gallon size copper boiler
- 18” diameter copper sheeting
- 2” diameter x 36” long copper pipe
- 1” diameter x 24” long copper tubing
- Lead free solder
- Glass thermometer
- Stainless steel milk can
- 1” x 1 ½” reducing coupler
- 1 ½” x 2” reducing coupler
- 1” diameter elbow joint
- 3” nipple
- 1” x 2 ½” nipple
- 5-6 feet of 1” copper pipe coiled into a spiral shape
- Standard spigot faucet
- Large copper tub
- 1 ½” copper elbow pipe
- New bucket, glass gallon jug, or other container that is easily sealed
- Siphon or piece of unused garden hose
- Rubber stopper to fit the opening made in the sealed container
- Connecting ring to fit the boiler and 2” pipe together
- Flour and water or silicon kit
- Mixture to be fermented
- Lots of ice cold water
- Solder gun
- Heat source (propane or electric heater)
Assembling the boiler
- Saw the copper boiler into two halves.
- Lay the copper sheet face up on a flat work surface and place the open end of one boiler half directly on top of it.
- Cut a piece of sheeting with a diameter 1cm larger than the diameter of the open end of the boiler.
- Place boiler, flat side down, on the work surface.
- Cut a 2” diameter hole in the top of the boiler.
- Solder the connecting ring to the top of the boiler directly over the hole.
Assembling the column
- Drill a hole on top of the 1 ½” elbow connector large enough to solder it to the 3” nipple.
- Solder the 2” pipe to the connecting ring on top of the boiler.
- Solder the elbow connector to the top of the pipe using the 1 ½” reducing coupler.
- Solder the nipple in place. Insert thermometer into the nipple and secure it in place with a silicon kit.
- Solder the 1” reducing coupler to the other end of the elbow pipe. Solder 1” length of pipe to the coupler.
- Solder 1” elbow joint to the end of the pipe so the pipe’s opposite end points downwards. Solder the smaller nipple to this end of the elbow pipe.
- Solder the nipple to the coiled copper tubing placing a large metal container below the coils so their bottom part rests in it.
- Cut a hole low in the side of the metal container. It should be large enough to force the end of the tubing to meet up with the hole then solder the connection.
- Solder the spigot to the hole cut in the side of the metal container.
- Place the heat source beneath the copper boiler.
Assembling the fermenting container
- Place the mixture to be fermented in a clean, new container.
- Add yeast and seal the container. The container does not have to be permanently sealed but must be airtight.
- Cut a hole in the top of the container large enough for the rubber stopper.
- Place the rubber stopper in the hole and attach the airlock to it.
- Use a siphon when removing the fermented mixture from container. If this is not done, leftover yeast will contaminate the mixture and ruin distillation results.
- To begin the distillation process, fill the metal container with water and siphon the fermented mixture into the boiler.
- Turn the heat on.
- Place a clean container at the end of the spigot and then open it.
Tips and warnings
- It may be against the federal regulations of your area to use these instructions in constructing a still for alcohol distilling proposes. Consult the authorities in your area for regulatory laws and permits.
- If you have been granted permission to distil alcohol, consider using a reflux still to enhance the distillation process.
- When using gas as a heat source, see to it that the work area is well ventilated and beware of the resulting toxic fumes.
Stucco houses provide a warm and cosy ambience, so it’s no surprise home owners opt for the beautiful textures and colours of a stucco home. Though not entirely easy to do, building a stucco house with the help of a licensed contractor and some elbow grease is all you need to get the job done.
- Wire lathe
- Framing materials
- Stucco mix
- Portable mixer (optional)
- Drill with assorted bits
- Paint sprayer
- Staple gun
Home structure and foundation
- The first step is having a strong home structure.
- Earthen homes and foundations are good options in the appropriate climate, and have become popular due to their environmentally friendly features.
- Standard cement foundations, however, do remain the norm and are suitable for a stucco home.
- The foundation should be poured so that the home can be connected to the subsoil. If the home is in a frost location ensure the foundation reaches below the frost line so it will not crack or shift in cold weather.
- Any method used to frame the stucco home should provide a system with a wall, insulation and lattice structure.
- A stick frame home design can be used so the lath system of narrow boards can accept the stucco. This system works well, but in some cases the stucco absorbs water and rots the wooden lathe it was attached to.
- Wire mesh can be used in place of wooden lathe. (The mesh will serve the same purpose as the lathe but will not rot). Wire mesh is also easier and less expensive to install.
- Once the basic framing, plumbing and electrical wiring of your home have been completed, begin covering your home with stucco.
- If you opt to use wire mesh instead of thin wooden lathes to attach to the wall system, use staples or nails as needed to keep the mesh tight to the wall.
- Generally a soft ice-cream like consistency is ideal when mixing the stucco. A stiffer or more watery mix may be used, depending on your preference.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when mixing stucco.
- If you do not intend to paint your house after applying stucco, you have the option of colouring it when mixing.
- Use coloured pigment when mixing the stucco until you achieve your desired colour. If you are using powdered pigment, mix it with water before adding it to the stucco mix.
Applying the stucco
- Decide on a texture for your stucco home. A stucco mason should be able to give you several ideas.
- Apply a scratch coat to fill space and make the initial connection to the mesh.
- Lay it on with a trowel in a push and smooth motion (the idea is to push the mortar into the mesh voids).
- Ensure the finish is relatively smooth, but not too smooth.
- After the scratch coat has been applied, trowel on the final coat.
- Apply the final coat less aggressively, forming your desired texture and aiming for an even application.
- If the final coat begins to dry out as you work, mist the affected areas with water while avoiding the areas that have been finished or have yet to be worked on.
- If you plan to paint your stucco after application, wait a year for it to cure first.
- Use paint specifically formulated for stucco and a paint sprayer for an even application.
Tips and Warnings
- If you are unsure of anything regarding the application of stucco to your home, hire the help of a stucco mason or a contractor.
- An incorrectly built structure or stucco application can ruin or damage a house.
Building a custom window blind requires moderate handiness and sewing skills. There are several different types of custom window blinds that offer distinctively different features and require slight modifications to the general guide for making window blinds. This guide will offer the basic instructions needed to make any window blind.
- Slat of fabric material
- Mounting bracket set
- Blind rod
- Tape measure
- Pencil and paper
- Drill with assorted bits
- Coping saw
Measuring the window
- For an interior mounted window blind, measure the window and not the frame.
- When making the width measurement, allow for the width of the shade bracket.
- Always round down by an eighth or sixteenth of an inch if the measurement could go either way.
Cutting slats or fabric
- Use your measurements to lay out and cut the blind material. Hold it against the window to ensure correct measurement.
- Sand the ends and both sides of rough materials like wood.
- If a fabric material is being used, hem the edges.
Assembling the blind
- Construct a loop from the window cord, leaving a decent amount for a tail before the loop.
- Insert a single slat into the loop approximately 1-2” and close the loop.
- Leave approximately ½” of cord and construct another loop.
- To complete the shade portion of the blind, repeat the process for each slat on both ends.
- For the top slat, use a wider and slightly thicker piece of strapping and a slip knot to allow for raising and lowering the slats.
- For a fabric blind, staple the fabric to a window roller.
Installing the bracket mount and blind
- Pre drill three holes–left, right and middle–into the top board of the window box. Attach the main blind support to the top of the window frame.
- For a fabric blind, place the chosen mount onto the window frame and measure to the bracket allowing for the width of the rolled-up blind.
- Mark the screw hole locations.
- Pre-drill the bracket holes and then screw in the bracket screws.
- Place the blind into the bracket holes and test.
- Whether working with a slat or fabric blind each type will require and adjustment before it can be used fully.
- For fabric blinds, adjust the tension of the roller by tightening its flat pin. Use caution when turning becomes more difficult, at some point, the spring inside the roller will let loose and hurt your fingers. Stop turning the pin when you foresee this occurrence.
- For a slat blind to be held up, tack a screw into the outside of the window frame to form a peg.
Tips and warnings
- Visit websites to get more information of specific types of slat and fabric blinds. Alternative-windows.com is an excellent place to start as they provide the guidelines for creating up to five different types of blinds.
If started and managed well the movie theatre business can be a lucrative one. Like any other entrepreneurial establishment it takes funds, time and dedication to get it up and running. Good marketing skills, and relevant research are also invaluable to the start up of the movie theatre business.
Types of Movie Theatres
- First Run theatres run mainstream films from major film companies and distributors, coinciding with their release date. A first run theatre can only be opened by obtaining an expensive franchise and licence from major movie theatre companies that are already established. You must abide by the rules of the original theatre company in running your own franchise.
- Second Run theatres feature movies that have already been shown in first run theatres. Ticket prices for these theatres are much cheaper than those of first run theatres.
- Art House theatres or Repertory theatres typically feature alternative art films, independent films or second run classics.
Independent versus Franchise
- Independent theatres run speciality films and so have an edge over franchise theatres. An independent theatre provides a refreshing alternative to mainstream movies, and so is not in direct competition with franchise owned movie theatres.
- Franchise theatre owners have to abide by set rules and regulations in running their movie theatre. Independent movie theatre owners have the flexibility to create a unique atmosphere and cater to a smaller, specialised niche market.
- Franchise owners do not have to put as much effort and capital into advertising. Independent theatre owners have to invest heavily in advertising their films to create awareness and gain ticket sales.
Writing a business plan
- Decide what type of theatre you want to open and do relevant research.
- Establish how much capital you will need to start your business.
- How you plan to run your business should be established.
- Make a projection of the probable profit you’ll be able to turn with your theatre in increments of 6 months, 1 year, 2 years and beyond.
Setting up a bank account
- Set up a business account at a major banking facility.
- Inquire about loans for business and construction if the project will be self financed.
- Pitch your business plan to potential investors to secure funding.
- Put all your capital into your business account so tracking your account can be done with ease.
Building the structure
- Acquire a plot of land. Movie theatres are typically built from the ground up to accommodate their technical and spacial requirements.
- Hire an architect to draw project designs. Decide on the number of individual theatres, bathrooms and where concessions stands will be placed.
- Obtain permits and design approval.
- Hire construction crews to get the building underway.
- Decide how your films will be projected, whether by standard film reels or digitally.
- Decide how your films will be heard, whether by surround sound, Dolby digital or another option.
- Buy audio visual equipment from wholesale manufacturers and have them installed to the correct specifications.
- Create a unique atmosphere for your theatre so your establishment will stand out.
- Contact studios and speak with the manager of distribution.
- Explain your position as a new vendor and express your desire to buy a distribution license to exhibit their films. The manager will walk you through the process and the film prints will be shipped to your location a few days before the film’s scheduled premier.
Getting ticket sales
- Market your new theatre by providing discounts and specials.
- Invest money and time into relevant advertising.
- Initially, host free movie nights. This will bring people to your theatre and give your establishment the advantage of free word of mouth advertisement.
A planter is typically used to elevate plants above infertile land into rich soil however many persons use it now a days to get a but more planting space as well as for beautification.. It tends to add a little more style to your garden and home exterior giving you the edge over many onlookers. So how can you get one of this planters that is affordable you may ask? Well its simple actually you can build it yourself and below I will show you how.
- Cedar Panels
- Wood Glue
- Galvanized Nails
- Sand Paper
- Speed Square
- Miter box (optional)
- Drill Driver
- Drill Bits
- Nail Gun (optional)
- Measuring Tape
- Build the top and bottom frames with 1×2 cedar strips.
- Fasten two 26” strips and two 13” strips together to form each rectangular frame.
- Butt the ends of the shorter strips against the longer strips.
- .Repeat for each end of the longer strips.
- Apply a bead of wood glue to the junction of the strips.
- Nail each junction with a single nail.
- Pre-drill the ends.
- Insert a screw in each corner.
- Allow two beads to stand on their sides.
- Apply a bead of glue onto the long sides.
- Attach four side panels to each long side.
- Smooth out the sides.
- Nail from the inside.
- Repeat on the other side of the box.
- Stand the box on its end.
- Apply a bed of wood glue to the bottom end frames (on the inside)
- Attach two panels to each end just as in the steps before.
- Ensure that the ends are flush on the bottom.
- Repeat on opposite end.
- Use wood glue and screws to attach three bottom panels to the base of your planter.
- Drill several holes in the panels.
- Smooth out all splinters.
- Decorate as desired.
- Add a layer of gravel.
- Fill with soil.
- Have fun planting.
Tips and Warnings
- Consider building a decorative edging using 17 inch planks to make a square frame for your box. You can use your miter saw to cut the planks at 45degree angles then simply nail the planks together in a square.
- Exercise extreme caution when using sharp or heavy tools or equipments. Wear respective safety gear at all times. Never take your safety for granted.
Do you want to build an affordable playhouse for your kids? Then why not build a teepee? It could save you over $200 as everything you need can be found right around your home.
- Sticks (preferably from pine trees)
- Twine, Rope or Yarn
- Manure or Compost
- A Shovel
- Measure/ Compost
- A Willing Toddler
- Paint and markers
- A White Canvas Drop Cloth
- Gather your sticks – The first thing we will be doing is gathering our main material. Feel free to use the dead bottom branches of your pine tree, there is no need to climb to the top. You will need at least three big pieces. If you see any fallen branches feel free to use them as well. You want to choose sticks that will achieve your desired teepee size. Sticks with a “v – shaped” end would be easier to maneuver.
- Making the Main Support – Lets begin building our teepee. Lay down your three big pieces of sticks together then proceed to wrap the rope around the branches and tie it. Be sure to use a long enough rope so that some of it is left hanging. Now that you have tied your sticks together bring your main support to a stand and spread the sticks so that they stand on their own. Using three pieces of sticks your teepee should begin to look like a 3 sided pyramid.
- Make a door – You should by now have a visual of how you want your finished teepee to look like. So it it should not be hard to decide where you want the entrance to be. Once you have located your entrance place a long stick to stand (vertically) in the position which your door will be.
- Lets Put in some cross pieces – Depending on the main purpose of your teepee this step may not be necessary but I would recommend including it to ensure a more study structure. To do this you will need to simply place some sticks horizontally around your main structure while using your rope to make firm knots to attach them. You may put this up at feet intervals from the bottom of your teepee up to the top. Be sure not to place any of these cross pieces in the section in which your door will be.
- Decorate your area – If your main purpose of this teepee was by chance to use as a “clubhouse’ for your children you may want to think of creative ways to get your teepee to appeal to them. One way to do this is by decorating the area outside your teepee. There are various things you can use for decoration. You may choose to plant flowers around the area as well as you may also decide to use your sticks to make figures around the teepee. Remember this is your teepee feel free to go crazy and just have fun.
- Wrap the Teepee – A major factor in making your teepee attractive will be wrapping your teepee. Depending on the type of material you are using you may need to tie your wrapping down onto the teepee. You may also choose to paint your wrapping to make it more attractive or just to make it more you.
Rivaled only by a long walk through a botanical garden or a forest, an outdoor brick fire pit can be considered as the closest one can ever get to nature. Imagine you and your love ones huddled around a warm place sharing stories, enjoying laughs and drinks. A brick fire pit can even take you back to the time where ranchers in the old west use to do all their grilling outdoors; at one with nature forgetting about that stainless steel kitchen.
Brick fire pits are very simple and easy to build once you possess the correct tools and materials.
- bricks (fire bricks and regular bricks)
- quick-set cement
- Find a suitable location for the construction of your brick fire pit (ensure that its located a reasonable distance for electrical lines, trees, ground vegetation, children play areas and your home)
- Use the shovel to dig a hole at the chosen site, the depth of which should at least be 12 inches. The hole may be of any diameter and shape you chose. Use the level to ensure that the bottom of the hole is flat and even.
- Add the rocks into the hole using the level to ensure that they evenly placed in the hole. You can also some gravel on top of the rocks for further smoothness.
- Make a mixture of sand and cement ensuring that the ratio is 3:1 respectively, and then add water.
- Apply this mixture using the trowel over the rocks and gravel while scraping off the excess. Use the level to ensure that it’s perfectly flat. This is the base of the pit and should not be above ground level.
- The next phase is to construct the pit wall. To do this, you mark where you want your bricks to run along. Upon completion, place the mixture along these lines and lay the bricks firmly into place using the string and the level to ensure that they are even. Ensure that the bricks are not place EXACTLY on top of the other as this will make the structure weak. Instead each brick should be halfway the other. Continue laying bricks until the pit has reached the desired height. Use the chisel to chip the bricks in instances where you don’t need an entire brick
- The fire bricks should be placed on the inside of the pit wall while the regular bricks are placed on the outside.
- Leave a few small spaces in the walls of the pit. This will allow air to flow through to aid the fire.
- Do not construct the pit too high so as to be negatively affected by strong wind making it difficult to manage the fire
- Use proper safety gear such as protective eye wear and hand gloves when constructing the pit.
- Ensure that the construction of a fire pit is permitted by the local authority in your area.
- Ensure that you put out the fire from the pit once you’ve finished with it.