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I'm planning to build a sukkah using dimensional lumber from Home Depot for the frame and some tarp for the sides. It should be big enough to fit 2 adults and 2 small kids, but generally as small as possible.

I would like to know if there are any ready-made plans available online, so I don't need to reinvent it. Of course I would like it sturdy and kosher. I have access to all the basic woodworking tools.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

When using panels, usually people use 4 foot by 8 foot panels. (8 feet tall is perfect for height). Thus 8 X 8 or 8 X 12 is common in size.

If you do it your way, with tarps, you are not limited to 4X8 panels. However most things you might buy as beams (wood at least) come in 8 feet long. So 8 feet tall makes sense.

Also, a simple cube 8 X 8 X 8, is easiest based on the existing lengths, minimizing wood cutting.

A table is usually 36" (3 feet) wide, so a 4 foot wide succah is probably too narrow.

I would rather consider the space you have available, and build to that. Remember you only need three walls, not 4 (and technically, one of those 3 can be very short/small).

Simplest approach is build a basic frame, I like bolts in 2X4s since it is easy to reuse next year. What I would recommend at each of corner to put in two bolts, otherwise, the square becomes a rhombus very quickly. Other approach is to use a diagonal brace in the each corner.

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In my experience people use 8x2 foot panels because they're easier to carry –  Yitzchak Sep 9 at 16:43

You may want to check out the kits sold by The Sukkah Project. They will sell you all the hardware and plans you need, leaving you to get the lumber and tarp. I once bought and put up a Sukkah using one of their kits. The frame went together fine, but it was a bit annoying to get the not-custom-made tarp I bought to hang nicely. If you know something about hanging tarps (and, e.g., are willing and able to punch your own grommets into the right places), you can probably make it go more smoothly.

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FOUR tips [OK, 5]:

  1. I used pressure-treated 4x4xs in the corners -- eliminates "rhombus" concern.

  2. I used 5/16"ths instead of 1/4" bolts -- increases durability of threads over years of successful re-assembly.

  3. USE FLAT WASHERS :-) -- allows you to apply force to secure it together with less impact on wood.

  4. Using 2x6s instead of 2x4s to connect top of frame -- this allows extra sukkah length without need for center support. (I halved a 4x8 plywood sheet the hard way -- making two 2'x8' panels --, put them on a "long" wall and, viola, a 8x10 sukkah instead of 8x8, leaving room for an unobtrusive heat source when built in the northeast...).

  5. High-Gloss outdoor paint in small cans of primary colors [you should browse the 'reject'-paint shelf!], and a dozen "chip" brushes, given to kids, makes both a re-usable family treasure and a personal statement. (For less than $20). I used a lot of blue and white... :-)

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