We are online every day, sifting through free and cheap building material offerings. About once a month we beg for leads on free and cheap building materials on our personal profiles. The simple reason being is how much the price of lumber has skyrocketed, and stayed high, even though we’re pretty certain that at this point post-COVID, mills are more than able to keep up with demand. They are loving that cash cow and are going to continue to milk us.
Regardless, buildings are expensive. Maybe not one or two, but we need more than one or two to really make the field *pop* with fun cover and concealment. We have two complete village areas planned out; just need to clear some saplings and throw some lumber together.
Most of the buildings aren’t going to be anything special; just some studs covered in sheathing. No roofs, no floors, just some thin plywood. After playing at other fields and looking online and seeing how they’ve done it, we feel we have a great way that we can quickly build all our buildings.
We are going to start with panels. These will be pre-studded sheets of plywood that can be quickly nailed together (we already bought the nails.. 200# of 12D). Our buildings will all be multiples of 4′ long, with a minimum size of 8′ x 8′
A panel consists of a 4×8 sheet of plywood and four 2x4x8s (three studs, 24″ oc, and top and bottom plates). Each panel will cost about $50. But honestly, if we get one person who buys one panel, that’s not going to be very useful.
Basic structures are built with the number of panels listed (see the table below), constructed in a square or rectangle. There is no “cut” door for entry/egress, just a “missing” panel. Any windows in the structure will be simply cut out.
Obviously, we can put more doors in a structure, or even smaller “cut out” doors, but the first few structures we’re looking to eliminate as much waste as possible. To better stabilize the walls, we will place diagonals on the corners (not pictured in the quick blueprints).
- Basic 8’x8′ structure (7 panels): $280
- Basic 8’x 12′ structure (9 panels): $360
- Basic 12′ x 12′ structure (11 panels): $440
- Basic 12′ x 16″ structure (13 panels): $520
Yes, that works out to $40 per panel.
We’re also happy to do up custom shapes. We do have some basic requirements when considering non-square/rectangle structures:
- Distance between walls must be 8′ minimum.
- Wall height must be 8′ minimum.
A plus (+) shaped building would require at least 23 panels, assuming only one “door”. Doors can be cut, but will require some framing. This would be 24′ x 24′ and be at least a $920 structure.
A C-shaped building would require at least 19 panels, assuming only one “door”. Doors can be cut, but will require some framing. This would be 24′ x 12′ and be at least a $760 structure.
Larger buildings like these would serve a bigger purpose outside of “random village building” and be featured more prominently and used for special operations… like somewhere a quest item may be discovered, or a location that a HVT may be hiding. Larger buildings can also have more “stuff” inside them: interior walls, furniture, etc.
Yes, we would be happy to add trim. Lowes is selling 1″ x 4″ x 8′ furring strips for about $3.50 each. 1×4 trim can be added, and is a requirement for hinged windows and doors. 8′ of trim can go around a 24″ x 16″ window. A hinged window would require another at least 32″ of trim so the hinge screws will have something to grab onto.
One gallon of paint will cover approximately 3 panels (outside, inside, and all the framing). An 8′ x 8′ structure will require about 2.5 gallons (7 / 3 = 2.3333, but round up for waste and unforseen problems). Walmart’s cheapest paint is like $25 a gallon, and it goes on like crap. For our color decisions, we’ll buy whatever “mistints” are on sale, whatever we can find in bulk that’s cheap.
Color doesn’t matter, we are more interested in protecting the wood.
So what’s in it for the donor?
- You can name the building. Sorry, but “GaryBallsack22” is already taken.
- If you opt to help out with the cost of the paint, you can decide what color the building will be. Hot pink would be awesome, yes.
- Our undying gratitude.
- No field fees for a long time.
- I’ll make you a hoodie.
That sounds like a darn good deal to us.. for both of us.
I was going to add these options to the Merch page, but will instead just say: hey, email us! email@example.com.
Anyone with more planning/building experience out there, please get in touch if you think there is a better/easier/cheaper way to do this. And honestly, if a bundle of 3/8″ CDX mysteriously appears in our driveway, we’re not gonna ask questions.