I have been putting it off but now that we are having our third child it was time to get the room finished.
I was at Menards a few weeks ago and out back in the pick up area I saw about 4 pallets of random wood stacked about 6 or 7 feet high. When I inquired they said it was $50 a pallet. It was either left over, cut offs, or just random pieces. I bought one pallet that had a lot of good wood and more than enough to build the boys reading area.
It is worth it to look in the bargain areas sometimes apparently.
This is the area before:
And this is what it looks like right now:
I am basically making a loft area on top with a ladder going up and a simple railing. Underneath will be a little hiding place as there will be a book case built in front of the square opening.
This is the start of the reading area and I will add more photos once I continue.
I still have to add the book case, a light underneath, and stain it all.
All the joints on the railing were made with the Kreg System, http://www.kregtool.com/default.html, my new favorite tool! It makes pocket screw holes that then when screwed together make nice square joints, and it is fast and simple.
The Kreg System:
They sell different setups and at the time I bought the bigger set but since then they have come out with a new one that is even nicer.
The system works with stock wood from 1/2" up to 1 1/2".
Just adjust the system, clamp one piece of the wood in and drill some holes.
The special bit that comes with the system drills an angled hole (this is how the system is set up) and a pilot hole for the screw.
Kreg also makes other tools to aid in making perfectly lined up joints. This "C" clamp keeps the wood flush while screwing.
The system comes with an extra long square head bit that works with the Kreg screws and is long enough to screw into the pocket the drill bit makes.
I bought a Kreg variety screw pack but they can be bought in individual types.
The screws have a large flat head that helps pull the wood in tight to the other piece.
I haven't tried but I don't believe a regular screw will do as good a job.