Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How to Build a Bamboo Hut for Your Tropical Getaway

We rent a plot in the U.F. Students' Agricultural Gardens, so we have to follow certain rules for land usage. Metal and plastic are not allowed to be used in the gardens.

My favorite building materials have become bamboo and twine. I have used both hemp and jute twine. Hemp lasts longer, but jute is cheaper. 

To build a bamboo garden hut, start by measuring the size you want and mark out the corners using sticks and string.
Then,  dig evenly spaced holes about 8-10 inches deep for each upright pole. After inserting the pole, fill in the hole and stomp it down firmly.

Horizontal pieces of bamboo were woven through the upright pieces and tied in place.


To help with water run-off,  build the hut with a shed roof, the front higher than the back.

Palm fronds are layered and tied in place, starting at the back of the building and working towards the front.





Furniture can also be built from bamboo. For extra support, I tried the table to the vertical wall pieces.



Straw beach mats make a good washable floor covering.

After about a month the palm leaves on the roof will have dried out and settled down into a flat covering.


More palm fronds may need to be added at this point, to cover any holes that have shown up during the drying process. Also, vines should have started climbing up the sides, giving additional shade and privacy.




Birdhouse Gourds, Morning Glories, and Green Beans make excellent climbing vines to cover the walls.



If your getaway becomes a magnet for curious tourists, as ours did, and you wish to have more privacy, a door curtain may become necessary. Many shells already have tiny holes in them when you find them on the beach, which makes them perfect for stringing.


The important lesson we learned, and why we don't have our little bamboo shack anymore; DON"T BUILD TOO CLOSE TO TREES.

While we were off enjoying the sun and surf at Sanibel, a storm came through Gainesville and caused a tree to fall onto our little house.



Joy said...

That's beautiful!

I tagged you on my blog today. Just wanted to let you know. :)

Tammy said...

Oh. My. Gosh.

I am sooooooooooo impressed! You and your family are amazing.

SANDRA said...

As always, your blog inpresses me each time I stop to visit. I enjoyed reading this post. I can wait for my oldest son to see it when he wakes up.

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Oh WOW! This is awesome! It makes me want to go on vacation right this second. I'll be linking to this. What an amazing memory!

caitlin said...

Um, what? I cannot believe you made that?! Props.. and I'll remember to read this before I go on Survivor!

Dawn said...

That is so cool! I hope that tree that fell on your little house didn't ruin it completely.

Crescent Moon said...

The hut was partially crushed by the tree, but the demolition job was finished by removing the tree. The only remaining unbroken pieces of bamboo are the ones I used to build the tepee that is now in our garden.

CoveredInCrafts said...

Cool! That looks like so much fun!

Lisa said...

That is awesome!!!!!! I especially love the gourds growing up the sides. I hope to try this someday soon.

Big bummer about the tree falling though!
Lisa :)

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Crafty Crow