Our house came with a gazebo in the side yard, so we fixed it up! We've also put a few other things in the side yard, so I'm using this folder for all of that.
You can see a video of the catwalk here: Gazebo Bridge Video.
A tiny play structure
Gazebo With Added Bracing. Our house came with this gazebo in the side yard. It used to have trellises and wood siding all around it, but that just seemed to collect spiders, and the wood was rotting, so we took that all down. Then we put up a few angled braces made from branches which we had left over from trimming the trees. Oh, and re-painted the posts.
Improved Gazebo, after tearing down the latticework.
The Old Gazebo, how it looked before we made any changes. Well, beside trimming the trees back pretty drastically.
Cody On Gazebo Bench. It's just the right height for toddlers to sit on!
High Gazebo Bench. I wanted the benches to be mostly flat, to make them comfortable to sit on, and yet drain well, so they wouldn't collect standing water. This branching pattern is what I came up with. Turned out rather nicely!
Low Gazebo Bench Radial Engraving
Low Gazebo Bench. The two knots in the lumber inspired this radial pattern.
Gazebo Bench Structure. I didn't want any visible fasteners on top, so I used splice plates to anchor the formed wood beam to the seat above. The ends are supported on angled blocks, so the whole bench can be lifted and moved out of the way to open the gazebo up even more.
Chairs In Gazebo. We have a few outdoor chairs that we keep in the gazebo for seating.
Root Ball Chair And Cody. I carved this chair from the root ball of a tree we pulled out while making my Dad's basketball court.
Root Ball Chair Close. The structure of root wood seems a bit different from that of normal wood. Spiders seem to like it a lot.
Root Ball Chair Side. This is a poor view of the root ball chair, but I don't have many photos of it, so I'm leaving it in.
Root Ball Chair. The garage sale where we sold the root ball chair. Or maybe gave it away?
Here's the big catwalk, running from the roof of the gazebo to the roof of the enclosed patio.
Big Catwalk Rail. If you watch the Gazebo Bridge Video you'll notice that I added an extra brace here. The rail post was just too flimsy without it.
Small Catwalk Brace. I made the stand for the small catwalk out of spare pieces of EMT. Might have looked better if I had just bought the "right" parts... but it certainly has character!
Small Catwalk Mount. The attachment to the gazebo would have been a lot easier if I had just used some galvanized hanging strap, but I think this looks a lot better. Kind of a torch sconce kind of thing?
Small Catwalk Surface. I put these notches in the surface of the walkway to divert water, and provide a little better grip. As you can see from the dust stains in the other pictures, it at least diverts water all right. And I've never slipped on it either, so the traction is fine too.
Tree Seat Overview. I wanted a nice chair to sit against this tree, so I came up with this.
Tree Seat. The design was carved freehand with a ball-end bit in a router, then selectively stained and sealed. The wear around the base is from before I had permanent support blocks. The seat still worked, but was easy to dislodge, so it spent a lot of time swinging against the trunk in the breeze. I'll have to re-finish it at some point.
Tree Seat Mounting. There's nothing holding the seat down on the supports except gravity, or against the tree except the rope tension. The screws are loose to allow for the tree growth, and I back them out a little every few months to keep up with it.
A well sorted wood pile. Instead of chipping our tree branch trimmings, I cut them to length and sort them by diameter for firewood. A bucket of each size makes a fairly good fire.