guest post by Mark
If you ever get one of those backyard play-sets, you should probably know what you're getting yourself into. Having recently completed one, I found the manufacturer's claims that you could "Build and Play in One Day" a bit disingenuous. Here's what really went down: 143 pieces of wood in 42 different dimensions, plus 94 additional plastic and metal pieces held together with 935 screws, bolts and fasteners = 1,172 parts/pieces.
Day 1: Monday May 23 Delivery and unloading. 1 hour
Day 2: Tuesday May 24 Unpacking and sorting. 2 hours
Day 6: Saturday May 28 Shopping for stain, water seal and other supplies at Lowe's. 2 hours
Day 7: Sunday May 29 Water sealing party with the Kerstings. 14 hours: noon to 2am (minus hours spent on BBQ, plus time gained from two workers)
Day 8: Monday May 30 (Memorial Day). Finished water sealing. 10 hours: 2pm - midnight.
Day 10: Wednesday June 1 Cleanup and wood sorting. 1 hour.
Day 13: Saturday June 4 Counting and sorting hardware. Discovered 6 of 10 brackets are faulty. Called company for replacement. Completed steps 1-2. 6 hours: 3pm - 9pm.
Day 17: Wednesday June 8 Replacement parts arrive.
Day 25: Thursday June 16 Completed steps 3-6 (okay, 5.5) before nightfall. 2.5 hours: 7pm - 9:30pm.
Day 27: Saturday June 18 Completed steps 6-19 (minus 16 and 17). Began leveling ground underneath playset. 12 hours: 9:30am - 9:30 pm.
Day 28: Sunday June 19 (Father's Day) Continued leveling with only partial success, completed through step 22. 8 hours: 9am - 3pm, 7pm - 9pm.
Day 29: Monday June 20. Got stone and slate to support and level posts. 1.5 hours: 7:30pm - 9pm.
Day 30: Tuesday June 21. More leveling. 0.5 hours: 7:30pm - 8 pm.
Day 31: Wednesday June 22. Assembled rock wall while alone with three kids. Found bricks to aid in leveling foundation. 3 hours: 3pm - 6pm.
Day 32: Thursday June 23. Built ladder and began roof section. 2.5 hours: 7pm - 9:30 pm.
Day 33: Friday June 24. Rebuilt roof section, correctly this time. 1 hour: 8:30am - 9:30 am.
Day 35: Sunday June 26. Installed roof and canopy. Attached ladder and supports, as well as rock-climbing wall and supports, upon newly-laid brick foundation. Leveled foundation for extension section with brick, after going out to collect discarded bricks at Rosemont Station. Laid decking on extension. 11 hours: 10:30am - 9:30pm.
Day 36: Monday June 27. Raised slat walls on extension, built and attached picnic table and bench. Added window trim. Back in order, completed up through step 36. 4.5 hours: 4pm - 9:30pm (minus one hour for grilling and dinner).
Day 37: Tuesday June 28. Hung swings, filled around benches, assembled monkey bars. 2.5 hours: 7pm - 9:30pm.
Day 38: Wednesday June 29. Assembled stairs to monkey bars, attached stairs to monkey bar assembly. Used post-hole digger to prepare two 2' deep holes for stairs. 2 hours: 7pm - 9pm.
Day 39: Thursday June 30. Attached monkey bar assembly. Built landing zone from leftover wood. Attached slide to unit and then to landing zone, which had to be built upon level ground and brick risers, and a 2x4 stake driven a foot deep. Cleaned the playset and mowed the yard. 8 hours: 10am - 6pm.
"Build and Play in One Day" totals:
95 work hours over 39 days.
Note from Jen: The kids love their "park" and Daddy is our hero!