We've wanted to build a tree house for ages. But when you're working with various personalities, and time demands, projects don't always get off the ground. Or into the tree. James and John are no longer interested in having one, and Z and I both got a little panicky last month about never having a tree house for the children!
Craigslist to the rescue! Sort of. We found a standard play set. The ad said it was "gently used", and the price was good. It was a bit of a drive, but we called it a Date and justified the trip.The whole thing turned out to be a reminder that using Craigslist can be a cautionary tale. Ask for more detailed pictures and measurements before you make a drive to pick something up. We knew this, and yet... well, I guess we just needed the excuse to spend some time in the car, alone.
"Gently used" included a two foot wide hole in the middle of the slide,
and a good bit of rot on the wood that made contact with the ground.
That actually made us laugh, and laughter is good for the soul. The "paid $1100 new" set can actually be purchased brand new today for $600 at Wal-Mart. I know they're fond of price droppers, but I'm guessing that's... not it.
So we offered her what we were willing to pay for it, and she acknowledged that she was probably making out pretty well, all things considered. We dismantled it and brought it home. Yesterday, Z and the kids spent the day putting on better quality wood and reinforcing the frame. They cleared a spot in the back yard, and the Littles could not be more excited if we'd built an actual tree house. So, that's good. We also bought some stain to protect the pieces that are still solid, and will have it cleaned up in no time.
We think we can replace the broken slide with sheet metal, using the existing frame. That'll be less static-inducing, and a little faster. Also, less likely to give way while in use, because regardless of one's definition of gentle use, I doubt we'll fall into that category. In the end, the cautionary reminder was good, but everyone is happy with the results.
Kiss those babies!