Taping together any kit lets me understand how the parts work, and gives me a visual, in my space — I know how big the finished house is going to be. Mocking it up also helps me figure out how I want to decorate it.

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The instructions that come with the City Cottage kit from HBS are a simple single sheet (w/ instructions on both sides). I’ve laid out the ten foundation pieces in a grid …

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… and taped them together. Then you draw a pencil line on 1/4″ in from the edges of the foundation and lay the floor on those lines, flush at the back.

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Floor laid in place.

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I puzzled over why the floor didn’t come all the way to the front end, then realized the front bit holds the porch floor. The front wall of the house goes between the floors.

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I decided to start the tape-together from the back, so the main floor is set flush to the rear foundation. Taped in place.

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Up go the walls. They have to be supported in place while you fit the front and rear beams into the notches on either side.

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Walls and beams in place.

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This odd piece is the back beam support. See next picture.

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The back beam support gives you a little stability while you put in the outer two of the three rafters.

I have to say I wished the instructions had contained more pictures, especially photos of the pieces–even a schematic of what each piece was. I had to reason out the difference between the rafters, beams, and roof supports. Also, the smaller parts are sealed into a cardboard sleeve, which I thought just had the windows and trim in it.

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However, when I opened it up, I figured out that these were the roof supports, and they go between the walls and outer rafters.

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Four smaller roof supports (there are eight in all–four largeer, four smaller).

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I’ve taped the roof support (lighter colored wood) in place between wall and rafter (instructions say glue, but for now, I’m taping everything).

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Rear roof support. Beveled edge on top, following curve of walls.

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Rafters and four roof supports in place.

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Center rafter installed and four small roof supports taped in between the outer rafters and inner rafter.

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Front sliding glass door trim acts more or less as the studs for the house’s front.

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Two short front walls slide into place on either side of the trim.

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Windows pop into place above the walls.

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Turned around on my table so the porch floor can be put in place.

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The front with walls, windows, porch floor, and now the sliding glass door.

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A working sliding glass door, as you can see.

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The only things left in the box are the trim pieces and the acrylic that goes in the empty space above the sliding door. Screws are also included to secure the side wall into the beams.

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The roof piece is scored to curve.

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I’ve simply set the roof piece on for now, to see how it all looks.

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And that’s it! I taped this together in about twenty minutes, even with the time it took to figure out what all the pieces were.

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In my last post, I said I’d make this a garden center, but now I’m thinking–mechanics garage. With lots of grunge. Will be fun change after all the cute girly things I’ve been doing. 🙂

Everything is included in this kit–windows, trim, sliding door, and trim for the outside. Everything slides very neatly into place. A good build for a simple project or a lot of kit bashing!