Home Project

I’m going to be honest and say this particular item on the “50 Things” list seems like cheating. Fact is, this was just one of those things that migrated from my weekend to-do list onto this list because of a lack of imagination.

Here’s how it went down: I’m building a fence in my backyard. It’s long, complicated in design, and runs down a steep hill. Plus, we live in Los Angeles and we’ve been undergoing heat waves. In short, it is taking years off my life every time I *think* about the damn thing. Anyway, my daughter’s 9th birthday was coming up in a few weeks so I proclaimed that I would finish the fence (half of it, anyway), by hook or by crook, before then. She likes hosting her birthday parties at our house which is a lot of preparation. I worked on the fence nearly every day- on weekends during 100+ degree days, after work, inhaling stain fumes, pressure treated lumber sawdust, and lots and lots of dirt. Despite all that, by the weekend before the party, I had persevered. The fence was complete!

But at nearly the same moment, Sylvia bought us a couple hanging chairs for our anniversary.

… and then asked if I could have them installed by Ruby’s birthday party. In less than a week. I do enjoy challenges.

List item: Install hanging chairs

First thing I did was designed a frame, similar to a swing-set. The ground is fairly soft down in that area of the backyard, so I sank a couple 4’x4′ 10′ long PT posts ~3 feet into pillars and poured cement.

We had some long pieces of lumber leftover from our deck project we did around 9 years ago, including a nice 4″x12″ beam I anchored to the top of the posts.

I was planning on adding angled supports on both sides of the posts (similar to a swing-set A-frame), but after putting on the back supports and doing some tests (read: letting a soon-to-be-9-year-old who weighs ~80 lbs jump into the chairs and swing about like a chimpanzee looking for deflection and sway in the frame), I decided to forego the front supports. They weren’t needed and they would have cut-off access to a couple side paths around the chairs.

The only down side of this design change was that I’d bought through bolts for the size of including two supports, so I had to improvise and add a couple small cuts of post to extend out far enough for the hardware. It looks a little weird, but I place a bluetooth speaker on these ‘shelves’ when I go down and read.

That’s about it. Took a couple days, but added an element of charm to an otherwise seldom used part of our yard. It’s a grand place to chill with a book, some tunes, and a beer (the chairs have cup holders).