DIY Day Bed

We bought this house with great potential (Doesn't everyone say that?) Anyway it's a renovators delight and the fun will keep going on and on until my kids get sick of watching - "Are We Done Yet".

This is the latest design issue. In the rear yard is a concrete pool (Empty and damaged) in the corner amongst the landscaping rocks and 80's palm trees, the previous owners left a patch of soil, which appears to have no design element involved. In fact when we viewed the place prior to submitting an offer to purchase the owners had two white PVC chairs sitting there. I know what you're thinking, what good are they?

Here's the main design problem. I wanted to use a standard double sized mattress in the construction, so when it's ruined by the sun and my kids jumping all over the thing, I can easily replace it plus a double mattress will be bigger than most day beds offering plenty of pool side comfort. As you can see in the image above the trick is to position the frame in between the landscaping rocks and somehow under the existing palm tree and close to the pool edge. The answer was to raise the day bed and cantilever it over the pool edge, Simple! yeah right.

The design brief also required a roof, not any roof mind you, it also had to be waterproof and offer shade from the midday sun. For this project I used treated radiata pine timbers. This timber is easy to work with and resistant to pests and rot.

In order to cantilever the bed over the pool, most of the weight had to be to the rear of the design, plus the rear two posts had to have increased weight in the footings. This was achieved by digging oversize pits and pouring in three wheelbarrow loads of concrete around each rear post.

All care was taken in the construction to ensure the surrounding trees, shrubs and plants were not disturbed or damaged. This would allow the day bed to fit in nicely amongst the green when completed. Once the base timbers were in place the next obstacle was to position the roof frame, once again without damaging plants (Or my wife would kill me!). 

The design also meant the roof was supported by four posts extended past the base line with no diagonals or struts in place. To straighten any lean on the whole structure and to pull the frame into square prior to fitting the roof, I used car straps. The straps worked a treat, but be careful where you place the hooks to ensure they don't fly off under load. 

Once the frame was square and secure, the next step was to fit the roof sheeting and stain the timber to give it that Balinese Island appeal. After staining, the base timbers were screwed into position. Each piece was secured, knowing the kids would end up using this day bed as a launching platform into the pool. Finally I used bamboo sheeting to cover in three sides to offer privacy and limited wind protection.

With all construction completed the next phase was too add some colour and comfort with cushions thrown in - courtesy of my wife.

Do you want to give this a go, or try your hand at designing something bespoke for your piece of paradise - try this fantastic e-Book to help you on your way. I'm not a carpenter by trade, I learnt my skills from asking questions and reading the right books. This is one book I recommend............ 



Happy DIY!

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