Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Why Not to Hire an Architect to Build a Sandbox:Part 3

However, my poor children have no choice. The design bug bit both of their parents as young adults. My DH and I don’t always have the same taste or opinion on design (read: 3 years to paint one bathroom). However, what we agree on is a love the problem solving, imagining, making, and a hate of painting the bathroom. When we found out we were having my son, the first think I could think about was how to redecorate his room, and the kick-*ss tree house we were going to build. He was one before his room was done, but that is another post for another time.

This post is supposed to be about architects and sand boxes. This is going to tell you how we did it, but please do not take this as a How TO post if you need instructions for a simple, functional, and rational designs go here: ==>>Great Sandbox Plans <<== . As doctors make poor patients, architects make poor clients, so we both took these plans and proceeded to ignore them completely.  See the start of this project check out Part 1, and Part 2.

Here's the back story: Probably 3 years ago my husband drove by one of those traditional sandbox turtles, and garbage-picked it. It appealed to the both of us, re-used, retro, already to fill with sand and it covered the not grassy spot in the back yard perfectly. My son loved it for at least two summers!


(You can see the outline of the new one behind there)
Then DD turned one. The turtle was not big enough for the two of them. Something had to be done immediately!

So in and effort to fit a bit more sandbox in an already cramped back yard we came up with this design. I really wish I could find the old plans for this one, yes there were plans, just be glad I didn’t draft it in 3D. It didn’t take too many weekends, used a bit of log from a tree damaged in the “2006 October Storm”. We constructed it just like our raised garden and it would have been integrated as planting space when the kiddos lost interest. I say, “would have been” because about a month after its completion we decided to put our house on the market and move. Kind of like when the city decides to pave your street the year before they decide to dig up and replace the sewer, (and those are engineers…sheesh). Fortunately, family that bought our house also has a young son, and I’d like to think that he’s enjoying it right now.

So, with moving last fall, and winter, and the rainiest spring ever it was the first week of July before we started the new and fabulous designer sandbox.
The outline on the ground was my DH idea, and since we couldn’t have just make a simple rectilinear box, in fact, we couldn’t even make it an octagon, that would have been too easy, and as I said before we needed a challenge. So, it is mostly an octagon, except when it's not, (heptagon I think). We used 2x12’s for the walls and the seat, and 4x4 for the corner and bench supports.

Here are a few more images

Of course, Sunday evening just before we would have called it quits for the first weekend, we have a minor job site injury. So there was a 6-hour detour to the ER, but DD is doing much better now, and as soon as the glue’s gone, we can get back into swim lessons and back yard sprinkles. Good thing we have the sandbox to entertain everyone.

It will probably take 2400lbs of sand

We stained it “Gettysburg Blue” I’m not sure DH really likes the color (it’s almost the same as that epic bathroom re-do that I mentioned earlier), but I bought the paint without a formal change order so there you have it.

Its blue!
The cover and sunshade (Ikea, but discontinued I believe) were in fact off the rack, but I’m sure I’ll end up hacking them up in the end. But that’s for next week’s project.

our shady spot

So in short the reason you don’t hire and architect to design your sandbox is that is they will likely go way over on time, materials and of course budget, pay no mind to site safety and in the end you’ll have a seven sided blue sandbox. 

Sun Sail over "over designed sandbox"

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