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 Post subject: Floor in my fort or not?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:30 pm 
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Dear builders,

Last year I redid our garden and in the process, got rid of a lot of old bricks. I couldn't get myself to throw them away and one day, got the idea to build something with them. I had never used concrete or mortar ever, but loved it and try to learn as I go along.

Now I have a question! The project I'm making is a castle for my two young boys (please don't laugh at my attempt, it's a sturdy construction but my first and not pretty at all ;)) The boys would love a floor/platform in the building that they can climb on with a ladder, but I'm wondering: would this be a good idea? And if yes, how could I best approach this? My main concern is safety of course, because I don't want a floor that will collapse on the kids' heads.

Any advise or ideas would be really welcome so thank you so so much in advance!

Kind greetings,
Suzy


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:48 am 
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I don't have an answer to your questions but I love the fort, especially semi-ruin look to the right in the last picture.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:33 pm 
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If it were me I would lay 2x4 rafters front to back and brick around them to hold them in place. Few more layers would make good ramparts around the top. Then lay decking boards as your floor leaving gaps for drainage when it rains. This construction method is not ideal of course and the rafters and even with treating the rafters and decking boards will rot, but by the time they do your kids will have long since overgrown the fort.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:50 pm 
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It looks like where the army train on house to house searches :lol: Sorry to be a dampener but I would be a bit concerned about stability. It looks like the structure is resting on a wooden platform and the walls appear not to be secured into a footing. My worry is that a wall could wobble and collapse and injure the children. Am I seeing this wrong?

DWD

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:52 pm 
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its an excellent job well done :huray:

do you get on well with your neigbours :scratch:
technically any raised platform greater than 300mm from ground level needs planning permission
so ladders or upper ramparts could be construed as a platform in case off an argument :dunno:

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:06 pm 
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dewaltdisney wrote:
It looks like where the army train on house to house searches :lol: Sorry to be a dampener but I would be a bit concerned about stability. It looks like the structure is resting on a wooden platform and the walls appear not to be secured into a footing. My worry is that a wall could wobble and collapse and injure the children. Am I seeing this wrong?

DWD


Just thinking, could it be made more stable by embedding restrain straps along the top under another course of brick, something like this? https://www.screwfix.com/p/sabrefix-heavy-duty-restraint-straps-10-pack/74769

Would that at least tide the structure together?

AH


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:30 pm 
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It's a valid point, Dewalt Disney! When I started this, I didn't know that bricks are just the skin of a construction and that usually you would first build some kind of framework to support the walls. I have been thinking if maybe I should build some sort of framework at this point (maybe some wooden poles I could screw in the wood?) Or a roof to support the walls? I'm not really sure :) Thanks for all the tips and kind words so far!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:37 pm 
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I think tying the bricks to a tough inner frame might be a good idea. It is really about protecting the children from a progressive collapse. One brick falling can really do a lot of damage so it is wise to secure it better. The wooden platform it rests on will expand and contract with the weather and this could result in the cement join to the base failing which in turn could allow movement as the children play.

As I said earlier I do not want to dampen you enthusiasm but safety is paramount and as this is a responsible forum we must point out issues we think are important for safety reasons. :thumbright:

DWD

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:28 pm 
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I am not a builder, so this is just my opinion:

It looks nice at first glance but it appears to be built on a "pallet" (or similar) either way its base is timber, timber flexes and rots, yes it won't happen "overnight" but you will become "accustomed to it"

In the electrical industry there is a saying, "Just because it works, does not mean its safe"

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No such thing as "Thou shalt put this wire here, Thou shalt put that wire there" .............Take a picture BEFORE you do the job.

If gloom had a voice, it would be me. :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:17 am 
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Thank you for all the replies and for the safety warning. And don't worry, you don't dampen my enthusiasm at all! I came here exactly for that reason: to inquire if my idea could work from a safety point of view. And I have decided that maybe in this project, it's better to give the climbing platform a miss :) I don't worry too much about the wood it is build on (it was made by the previous owner of the house who was a builder himself, so it has been standing here for quite a couple of years and the wood still looks excellent), but you are all right about the "bricks are just the outer skin". I can just focus on the fun finishing details of this project and make it safe as it is and not try to cram all my ideas in this one building ;) There will definitely be more!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:52 pm 
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I'd just get a couple of upturned milk crates for the kids to stand on so they can shoot over the top of the walls.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:24 pm 
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SuzyQuid wrote:
Thank you for all the replies and for the safety warning. And don't worry, you don't dampen my enthusiasm at all! I came here exactly for that reason: to inquire if my idea could work from a safety point of view.
I have just come in to say :welcomeuhm:

Two questions from me please. How tall are the walls? And what have you used to put the bricks together (sand and cement or something else)?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:27 pm 
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artillerydave1 wrote:
they can shoot over the top of the walls.


To shoot kids over the top of walls, I would suggest a trampoline might work better than a milk crate.

Where do you find milk crates these days, anyway?

Anyway, congratulations to Suzy for having a go, some work went into that, mixing the mortar etc. and whilst DWD now acts the responsible adult, I bet he played with stuff far worse when he was a child. I know I did......


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:41 pm 
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OchAye wrote:
How tall are the walls?


At 100mm per course, about 1.3m? Four foot?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:55 pm 
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OchAye wrote:
SuzyQuid wrote:
Thank you for all the replies and for the safety warning. And don't worry, you don't dampen my enthusiasm at all! I came here exactly for that reason: to inquire if my idea could work from a safety point of view.
I have just come in to say :welcomeuhm:

Two questions from me please. How tall are the walls? And what have you used to put the bricks together (sand and cement or something else)?


Hi and thank you for the welcome! I used "Gamma Kant en Klaar Metselspecie met kalk" which would translate as something as "ready made mortar with chalk". You basically add water, have 2 hours before it dries and I keep it moist with a sprayer for a week (I'm actually not sure if this needs it, but I made sculptures with concrete before and I always kept them moist for a while to stop them from cracking and breaking).

The walls are 80 cm high on the photo. They'll probably be 140/150 when I finish the next few layers and the battlements. I am also working on a draw bridge, a few LED torches and arrow slits so our garden will be safe for the next century ;) (or until my bricks collapse because mommy didn't understand inner framework).


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