Last year was the first year I built my own Sukkah. A Sukkah is a temporary home designed specifically to be used during the Jewish holiday of Succos. I’ve explained it in the past, if you don’t know what these things are, check out Wikipedia or Google or Bing or Cuil (oh, Cuil is offline).
Last year, I had to go Sukkah Shopping. It ended up with me making some detailed Sukkah plans, which was off by two inches. Luckily, I got the replacement parts from the outstanding people at Esrog Headquarters (aff link) and the Sukkah really turned out great.
This year, I decided to build it in three stages. I believe total build time was about 1.5 – 2 hours. Most of the time was taking the Sukkah out of storage and onto my back deck. The three stages of development were:
(1) Frame: I had to snap together the frame. The first wall and corner is the hardest, but once you get those up, the rest is quick. Estimated time from when the frame pieces are on the deck? 30 minutes.
(2) Walls: A couple weeks after that, I put up the plastic/fabric walls. The velcro on by wrapping around the frames and onto each other. Most Sukkahs come where they roll around the frame. Mine velcro on as pieces, because I made my a bit more custom to fit most of my deck. Very easy job. Takes about 15 minutes once all the pieces are on.
(3) S’chach or roof: This is also pretty easy. I place down several wood poles across the top. They snap into the frame. I then lay the S’chach, which is a simple roll-out matt (I have three) across the top of the Sukkah, on top of the wood poles. This takes about 15 minutes as well.
There are a few more steps which adds more time, outside of transporting the materials from storage (my basement) to the deck. I have to install the lighting, which I use two commercial grade overhead florescent lights plugged into an outdoor timer. I also help hang some decorations, yes, customary to decorate the inside of the Sukkah. I personally put some non-customary signage in mine, including an exit sign and a no hunting or trespassing sign.
Finally, last year I wanted to become aquatinted with Google Sketchup and I built my Sukkah in Google Sketchup. Here it is again:
Here are some more pictures of my actual Sukkah, they are taken from last year: