So here it is. This is what I have been building since May !!!
Presenting - The Castle Garth Guinea Pig Hotel Lodge - from construction to almost ready for occupation :)
The Meadow Run is to the right of the Castle Garth Guinea Pig Hotel with a space in front that was just perfect for The Lodge to be situated. Incidently, there is another run to the left of The Hotel which is called The Woodland Run. In the bottom right-hand corner you will see a 'normal' sized run that is sold in pet stores for guinea pigs and rabbits to exercise in. 'Normal' is where I like to start from !!! There is a built-in opening on this end of the run that I wanted to utilise by building a bridge between the run and The lodge for bunnies to be able to enter and leave The Lodge when they wanted.
I couldn't wait, I built the foundation while I was waiting for The Lodge to be delivered.
Construction started in May when we had a variety of weather conditions, this will be obvious in the photos as we went from bright sunny days to torrential rain and dark grey skies.
YAY :) - The Lodge has arrived. This is the base, it has been painted 4 times both sides and is stood on membrane between the wood and bricks. It looks warped but that was due to the heavily packed parcel it came in for protection. The weight of the walls will even that out.
Next the back and side walls were screwed into position. The underneath and outside have also been painted 4 times. This I had to do under a plastic sheet as it kept raining - Stupid weather !!!
The front section now in place. Darling husband can't saw in a straight line or paint without getting paint everywhere, but he is very useful when it comes to needing an extra pair of hands to hold stuff in place :) Oh, and bringing me cups of tea. I never stop otherwise :)
The instructions wanted the window to go on first, but I decided I wanted to fit the door. So I did.
Now the window.
This playhouse is actually sold with the roof gable on the sides so that the roof slopes towards you, but I wanted the roof to slope over the sides so that I didn't get wet when no doubt it would be raining when I was cleaning out after any bunny guests. Luckily the playhouse is square enabling me to rotate the roof. The Lodge also matches The Hotel this way.
I spent a lot of time researching playhouses and I absolutely loved this one when I found it. The price was excellent, delivery within 14 days, and the building was very easy to construct (even a girl - me - could do it !!!). In fact, I can honestly say it is was a joy to build. It is strong, the wood used is of excellent quality and well-built as a kit and even if you had never built anything before in your life the instructions were very helpful and easy to follow. My only teeny tiny change was to add an extra roof joist to stop the centre of the roof from sagging.
The extra roof joist. A beginner may not be able to make this, there are a lot of angles to be aware of, but I do think this is needed.
Left side roof panel in position. You can just see the felt is already tacked to one edge. I really should have painted this side too before attaching. It certainly would have been easier than painting above my head and upwards which paint does not like to do.
Close up of excellent angle cutting on my part. It is the little details which take the longest. They may not get noticed by my guests but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be completed to the best of my ability.
Second roof panel in position. With the felt attached to the bottom edge of each panel it is simply flipped over on one side and overlapped on the other and tacked into place.
So easy :) The tacks are on the other side. You can tack both sides if you want.
At this point I looked up to see all these people jump out of a plane which had been circling - You do have to look very, very closely at the photo though - This is the start of the annual Bournemouth Sevens Rugby Tournament held at Chapel Gate.
Another unusual interruption occurred when this racing pigeon literally fell out of the sky into our garden. The poor thing was clearly exhausted and very thin. There was very little muscle on his/her chest. So I caught it, noted his/her identification details, which were on his/her leg ring, reported them on a racing pigeon website and followed their instructions by putting him/her in a large carrier and feeding/watering him/her while it got its strength back. He/she looked so much better when I released it 2 days later. I like to think he/she returned home safely.
Lots and lots of painting later this is the inside which also has a raised insulated floor.
The hardest part of painting 4 coats - ever, but done. The colour looks odd in this photo, but that is due to the light. The next photo is a better comparison.
Outside painted and finished.
Interlocking bridge completed
Close up of bridge and bunnyflap, which took forever to complete. I think it took about 2 weeks in all !!! There just seemed to be so many slight adjustments that had to be made until it fitted perfectly.
Bunnies like levels, so at the back of The Lodge I have fitted a donated hutch which I also painted, it has had all its wire taken out and a sturdy roof fitted. This gives any guest bunny at least 5 places to snooze if he/she doesn't want to venture outside. It has also been built so that everything can be taken out and deep cleaned. I also constructed a door under the hutch to store things like food and hay.
And this is the view from The Lodge through to The meadow Run. I loved sitting here and working on the door. Maybe that's why it took so long to finish !!!
This is why it is called The Meadow Run. The grass is about 4 feet tall. At the back, you can also see another donated hutch which is far too small for use as a hutch for any small animal let alone a rabbit. It has been painted and had its wire taken out and now it can be used by bunnies to hide in, if needed. The top-level I use for storage.
There is also an odd-shaped log to rub against, climb on, sit next to, run around, chew. Dandelions are also allowed to grow here.
Buttons - Guest bunny who watched me making The Lodge but missed his chance to occupy it. Next time, Sweetie, next time :)