Bamboo Shade Hut
This pic of my kids bamboo hut was taken about a year after we put it up. I admit this does look like
the straw house from the three little pigs.......but I promise (since we built this last spring) that it has held up against a lot of wind and storms, and (though I can't make any promises it can hold it's own against a big bad wolf) it was worth the trouble of making this little shade hut.
If your yard is like ours, there aren't a lot of places to retreat from the harsh sun during the summer. So when I came across a great deal on rolls of bamboo privacy screen, I knew I could come up with a useful shade solution for my kids for the summer. After thinking about the best design for the width of the screen, I came up with a simple gabled hut design.
I've used a lot of concrete mesh in my garden for different purposes and even ten foot lengths of metal electrical conduit pipe, (which are both pretty cheap). I've also used rebar (made for concrete) hammered into the ground with conduit slipped over the rebar to support some of my birdhouses around the yard. So it seemed like the mesh, rebar, and conduit would make a great house frame for the bamboo screen. This project is definitely more for people wanting to provide shade for their kids but also happen to have the ability to work with pretty crude (and large) materials. This hut could be as permanent or temporary as you'd want. The most difficult part was my husband welding two small sticks of rebar to make each gable frame.
We figured out where we'd want our hut, (in the yard out of the way but near our playset) and we drove four 4ft. sticks of rebar into the ground where we'd slip conduit over them to support the four corners of the hut. We also measured out where we'd place the door and back window and again we drove more rebar for conduit to support the roof gables and serve as the side frames for our door and window. We then drilled some holes into the conduit poles where they would be attached to the frame of the hut, so that we could slip zip-ties through and get sturdier holds to the frame. We then attached the gables my husband made at the ends above the window and door. (One of the gables attached at the front of the hut is pictured at the bottom.) We used five poles for the roof, we put a pole at the ridge of the roof two at the bottoms and two at the midway points of the roof.
We then attached the concrete mesh using zipties
(the ones for outdoor use). I always wear gloves when working with wire mesh, it saves me from worrying too much about getting jabbed by the sharp edges. After that we zip-tied the screen to the frame. The bamboo didn't need to be cut because the height of the metal mesh was the same as the bamboo screen (it was the same for the roof). I did cut some bamboo screen to fit the gables though and that was tricky because as you cut through the wire holding the bamboo sticks together it all tries to fall apart so you need to add small gauged wire at the points you cut apart. I thought of using plastic trellis for the gables which would look good or some old sisal rug cut down to fit, but had plenty of the bamboo left to work with.
That's pretty much it! My kids have mostly played in there to make mud pies and this year I planted morning glory vines around it and it's beginning to be taken over and looks a bit like something out of a fairy-land. Anyways, it's served it's purpose well and can seriously take a beating by the wind (which it gets a lot of). Maybe I'll post some more pics later when the morning glory is in full bloom.
Thanks for checking this out!!