Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The cubby house that love (and lots of recycled timber) built - progress report

 Just to keep with our current trend of taking forever to finish things, here is a peek at another unfinished and s-l-o-w going project: a cubby for the kids. Just like last time, we decided to make it ourselves out of as much recycled timber as we could. So aside from buying the concrete, the saddles (? those metal things you put in the concrete for the main structural beams to sit in), and a few pieces of timber for the main frame, we've pretty much created a hodgepodge cubby house out of scrap materials we've found in various places. We've used bits left over from our own renovation, we've picked up fences people were throwing away, have raided council clean-up piles for long lengths of flattish wood for cladding and stolen bits and bobs from our families. One neighbour gave us his old architraves and skirting boards; the other neighbour donated old gates. An eBay slippery dip that just cost us petrol money to get was erected to one side; a found old timber ladder is screwed to the wall to allow the kids to climb to that platform for the slippery dip or the pole from our front porch that is now a fireman's pole. A tyre we rescued from the water was strung up off the small pergola and tied with rope from our boat's old anchor which is still at the bottom of the sea after getting stuck one day and being cut loose. We're planning to paint coloured polka dots on the tyre for fun and spray paint the pole in rainbow stripes using the stupid amount of paint I've stockpiled in recent years. 

This weekend just gone, we finally got around to laying the floor. Well Steve laid the floor. I helped  with the measuring then took one of our many children to one of many parties that they get invited to (all those estimates on what it costs to raise children? Do they include all the presents for their friends you're meant to purchase over their childhood as well? Cause those things add up!). Anyway the floor is a very uneven mismatched surface made from two different gates from next door. The panels were different widths, thicknesses and some had weird ridges so it's certainly not the smoothest floor going around, but they can stand on it and play. A lack of a roof and interior walls did nothing to stop the kids from moving in yesterday - Zak even hung a picture or two...

Even the broom and timber rocking chair were roadside finds (I scored a mid-century extendable teak dining table yesterday too. Yay!) and the chandelier was given to us by a neighbour at our old house for our first cubby.)

We thought about leaving the walls as is on the inside - the kids use the studs as shelves! - but they can also push out the cladding and some of the other walls are scarily hideous with all sorts of random bits of wood. No carpenter is ever allowed near our cubby!

Today I mixed up a bunch of black and grey paints I had leftover and gave the floor its first coat (it had a bit of a sanding yesterday). As soon as it was dry, off they went, dragging half the house in there with them and stayed out until after the sun went down.

Seeing as the finish line is in sight and they are so keen to play in there, I think we'll get a move on to finish it off. Famous last words! But tomorrow we'll paint the door (I said the kids could help - God help me) and I think some curtains are in order, solar fairy or cafe lights (seeing as the roof will again be clear - they should work well here!) for nighttime playing, and some scrap-fabric cushions and cheapie rug. So far it's been used as a shop, a tap-dancing stage, a house, a school, a movie theatre, a weapons storage bunker and general hang out spot. Tt was perfect timing getting that floor down in time for the holidays - yay!

This little house has been nicknamed "The Grubby House" (The Graham Cubby House). The previous one was "The Grugly House" (The Graham's Ugly House). I think this one might be slightly uglier, but we needed a new name so Grubby House it is. And oh boy, will it get grubby with my lot! It's going to cop a beating this cubby, which is kinda the point. x


  1. That's a lot of scrap wood that you had to find to build a little cubby like that. That would have taken me months to find all that wood and then put it together.

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  4. A nice place for your kids. I am sure they would love to spend their time playing at "The Grubby House". I can see some excitement and happiness in their eyes already. :)

  5. I would have loved something like this when I was younger. You guys must be good parents. Just add a little mud pit and I would have been in heaven:).