Our neighbors have the backyard we lust after. It’s covered in lush, level green grass, fenced in with tasteful wood picket, and features a large play area with an industrial-sized playset. A couple of weeks ago they decided to go bigger, bought a new playset twice the size, and offered their old one to us. Would we like it? Sure. Can we move it? Maybe.
I started out Saturday morning renting a tiller for the garden, figuring I could get the whole thing turned over in an hour or two. On my way back from the rental store I stopped at a yard sale along Edmonson Avenue and happened upon a box containing two industrial sized casters for $3. Amidst some other assorted tools was a leather toolbelt, which I grabbed and paid for, and headed home.
We had standing plans to hit another community yard sale nearby with the neighbors, so I parked the truck and we all headed over. The pickings were kind of slim for such an upscale neighborhood, sadly, but I did find an overhead projector for cheap as well as two Leapster pads for $1.50.
After mowing the grass around the garden, it took about an hour to weed out the center and all of 15 minutes to till the soil. At this point it started to drizzle a little, but I knew we needed to get the playset moved, so we forged ahead.
Over at the neighbors’, I started by unbolting the smaller sections. The climbing wall, ladder, slide, and swings came off relatively easily, and between the two of us we got the swingset arm and roof section unbolted and moved off. The remainder of the set started to get a little shaky so I grabbed some 1×3″ from our garage and we screwed them into the top for support. Then I busted out the casters I’d found and bolted them to the bottom two legs of the set.
By now the drizzle had turned to rain, so we had a beer and contemplated our next move. He had eight cubic yards of wood chips in his driveway partially blocking our path, so we shoveled it into wheelbarrows and wheeled it into the new play area. By the time we got done, the rain had tapered off, so we planned our journey.
Once we’d tipped it on its side onto the casters and dragged it up onto the walk it moved easily, so we squoze it through the gate and placed the front section on a metal dolly. Then we continued down his driveway, across the street (in front of two carloads of incredulous people), up the neighbors’ driveway, and across two sheets of plywood to sit drunkenly on our lawn. By then it was close to dinnertime so we packed up the rest of the tools, had a celebratory beer, and called it a day.
It’s going to need four sistered 4×4″ supports on each corner, some crossbracing, and a really good powerwashing to clean up, but it’s in remarkably good shape for its age. We put it outside the kitchen window so that we can see it from the sink, on a spot that also happens to be the only (mostly) level spot on the lawn. Luckily, Memorial Day is next weekend, so I’ve got plenty of time to level it, bolt some stronger feet into place, wash and stain it, and then let Finn have fun with it.