Sunday, May 23, 2010

Summer Holiday Building Project

Hubby starts his summer holidays in a month or so and he is starting to get the itch to build something. Truth be told, he gets 4 more weeks of vacation than I do so he needs something to fill in the time while I’m at work. I mean, after all, I can only expect him to do just so much housework before he blows a gasket. A little building project is just what he needs. Besides, back in early March he spent $700 for a new Bosch mitre saw and he hadn’t even plugged it in before today. Building something complicated out in the backyard will put his new toy to the test. It had better be worth the money!

So, what is it to be? Have I mentioned before about the insects here on the Witch’s Island? Summer here consists of about a month of Black Fly season followed by two months of Mosquito season. We are very blessed to have a beautiful backyard and a nice deck to view it from but it can be a bit uncomfortable to sit outside unless you are willing to bathe in insect repellant. We need something to screen out the bugs and still be out in the fresh air.

It just so happens that we found an old copy of “Country Home & Kitchen Ideas” magazine from 1982 with an interesting article about gazebos which included some basic framing plans and dimensions. One line in the text really caught our attention.

“A gazebo can integrate your garden into your homelife by luring you outdoors – not to work or weed, but to relax and enjoy.”

And hopefully to escape the bugs, too! I like the relaxing and enjoying part! A screened-in gazebo sounds like just what we need.

Okay, now how big should it be, where should we put it and what should it look like? We started looking at our neighbourhood and found some nice examples including one at a local nursery. Really, they are not that complex. It’s the trim work that makes them seem so intricate. The size is going to be the most difficult problem to solve. Hubby decided that the easiest way to decide would be to draw a few diagrams and then make a full-sized template and actually place it out in the yard. It’s a good thing, too because the first try was too small.

We have decided that our gazebo will be octagonal and we thought that 4 feet would be a good length for each facet. A little trigonometry said that we should get an octagon of about 9.5 feet across using that dimension. After building a pattern we decided that the interior would be too snug for any more than two people at a time. We increased the length of the sides to 5 feet and the octagon grew to about 12 feet across. Surprisingly, this felt much roomier, almost too big. Maybe somewhere in between but closer to 12 feet than 9.5.

After we got the size more or less set we had to decide where in the yard we would put our gazebo. We dragged the pattern around the yard for a couple of hours, stopping here and there to gauge the view (okay, there might have been some beer consumed while pondering but it is a holiday weekend), finally deciding that we had it right at the start. A couple of feet to the west of the existing deck and at ground level on the high side is where it will likely go. Subject to change, of course!

All we need now is access to a lumber yard and a few weeks of vacation time. Wish us luck!


Canadian Saver said...

What a wonderful project!!! You're lucky your DH can build it himself, think of all the money saved on labor!!

I've always wanted a gazebo... you're going to love yours! Can't wait to see the finished pictures :-)

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I think it sounds like a great plan!! It's nice that you have a husband who is talented enough to do such a job, because mine can't--Although he cleans the house better than I do! ;-)) Good luck with the project, I think you have a beautiful backyard and this addition will allow you to enjoy it so much more!!
~~~Thank-you for the kind thoughts for Maguire!! ~~

Nakamuras on Saipan said...

You know...every-time I see pictures of your yard...I am just in awe. You are so lucky-you live in such a beautiful place! I grew up in Wisconsin and -well..yeah..ok-I'll admit-I really miss pine forests. Your project is going to make your place there even more wonderful...can't wait to see pictures of it!!

Gill - That British Woman said...

if your dh has any free time after building your gazebo, can he pop by and build me one?

I love your house its gorgeous.

My dad did make us the martin house. Just glad to see some birdies interested in it at last.