Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm looking to build an 8ft x 10ft x8ft(height) sukkah. How can I do that in the easiest (requiring little to no handiman skills) and cheapest way possible? I have 1 wall of my home which I can use as part of the sukkah. I would consider anything under $250 (not including schach) cheap.

Answers may include product recommendations, blueprints and materials list or other suggestions which you have first hand experience with.

share|improve this question
1  
how would you balance easy over cheap? Do you have any existing structures to use (house walls, trees, lamp posts)? –  Double AA Sep 1 '13 at 20:56
    
@DoubleAA see edits, does this address all your questions? –  not-allowed to change my name Sep 1 '13 at 21:19
    
I want this question to succeed, but I think it's both too vague, and, as @double aa suggested, too subjective (even with the edits). –  Seth J Sep 3 '13 at 2:55
1  
Actually, now that I think about it, it's really only the "-est"s that are bothering me. Can you dispense with them? –  Seth J Sep 3 '13 at 2:56
    
@SethJ wouldn't that make it much more vague? –  not-allowed to change my name Sep 4 '13 at 2:35

4 Answers 4

I bought the frame for my current sukkah from The Sukkah Project. Their 8x8 (expansions available) currently lists for $345, but that includes the walls. When I bought mine I ordered without walls (I already had material I could use) and that dropped the price noticeably, but I don't now remember by how much. You could email them and ask.

This sukkah goes together in less than an hour using no tools at all -- just slide poles into sockets and hand-tighten. The (wooden) roof slats have velcro loops on the ends to attach to the frame. I spend more time putting up walls and lights than I do on the frame and schach.

I've owned mine for about ten years and my roof-support slats are now noticeably bowed. (That one year with an early snow is probably relevant.) They still hold the schach up, but I'll probably replace them soon. They're just 1x2s, so the hardest parts will be (a) transporting 8' boards from the store and (b) getting hold of a staple-gun to apply the velcro.

I've upgraded my original cloth walls to lattice sheets like those sometimes used for fences. These come in 4x8 sheets and are lightweight enough that one person can carry two or three of them at a time. I store all this in the garage next to the patio where I set it up; if I had to carry things up and down basement stairs I wouldn't use the lattice.

These same people sell a kit for $75 for a wooden 8x12 sukkah, for which you have to buy the lumber (2x4s, 2x2s, and 1x2s). Since they don't say on their site what lumber you need I don't know what you should expect to pay to complete the project, but I'd be surprised if it exceeded your limit.

This was my second sukkah. My first one was a home-made concoction requiring no tools at all, definitely cheap but kind of rickety. It involved 2x2s, cinder blocks to hold the vertical poles, and rope to lash the corners together. (Screws would have been better, but I didn't have a drill at the time.) The walls were bedsheets in pretty designs that I bought for a dollar each at Goodwill. At the time I made it I had a wooden shed in the yard that I could use for one wall, and I attached a couple of eye-bolts to the side of it to help anchor things in place. That wasn't strictly necessary (I moved this sukkah to a new location and still used it), but it helped.

share|improve this answer
    
Interesting site, The Sukkah Project. I'm curious about their hexagonal sukkah, though -- I thought halachah requires either 4, 3, or 2.5 walls, a list that does not include 6. Is the hex sukkah kosher? –  Codes with Hammer Oct 6 at 20:09
    
@CodeswithHammer a hexagonal sukkah seems peculiar to me. I've done no research on that. You could ask. :-) –  Monica Cellio Oct 6 at 20:12
    
I'll do so, one of these years. –  Codes with Hammer Oct 6 at 20:15
    
@CodeswithHammer actually, a sukkah can even be a circle, as long as it encloses an area of 7x7 handsbreadths (sukkah 8a). –  YeZ Oct 6 at 20:30

I would strongly recommend finding the used market for sukkas in your area. Your shul or community may have an active email list for stuff like this, or your community may have an active branch of luach.com. In the run-up to Sukkot as well as other times (such as the Summer, when many people relocate), you will frequently find used sukkas offered for sale, by people who are moving or upgrading to a different sukka. Or, you could post a request for a used one and see what that turns up.

The specifications you listed are pretty typical of a relatively small (but not tiny) sukka, and are therefore pretty likely to be met by a decent proportion of used sukkas for sale. Like with most goods, there tends to be a significant markdown from the new price on used sukkas. Also, there could be added convenience in the previous owner selling you schach as part of the bundle and/or giving you tips for setting it up.

I do have first-hand experience with this tactic. My wife and I purchased our first sukka, an easy-to-assemble prefab a bit smaller than the size you describe, a few years ago from a family who was switching to a larger model and posted the old one for sale on a community list. We've been using it ever since, including modding it slightly to encompass more area by resting against the wall of our current house.

share|improve this answer

My current Sukkah (a 20'x10') is made from Ruff Cut Ceder Wood 10' long 2x4s held together by galvanized bolts with nuts and washers (Two at each joint set at a diagonal). The walls are agricultural shade cloth (I'm in the south) held taught with hundreds of zip ties. To turn the corners I used construction grade L braces that fit the 3/8" bolts. Total cost was about $230 (Not counting Schach), but I had a 30% off total purchase coupon for Home Depot as part of my "New Homeowner Welcome Kit".

share|improve this answer
1  
How long did this take to construct, including planning and shopping (I only ask because a DIY Sukkah takes considerably longer the first time, owing to those aspects), and how long does assembly take now that it's been constructed once? –  Seth J Sep 3 '13 at 2:52
    
@SethJ - It takes longer than the snap together ones, that's for sure. But it has 10 foot ceilings! and a great natural homemade feel. Anyway, about 5 hours to put together the first time with 2 people. Process was to drill the hole through that the bolt would slide into, and then cap the bolts in place. I imagine that it will take me about 5 hours to do it by myself this year, as my wife is expecting, so I'm doing it myself, but the wholes are already drilled, so it's just tightening the bolts. –  Reddit_Rabbi Sep 3 '13 at 21:36
    
Sounds terrific. Can you post your plans and a list of parts? –  Seth J Sep 3 '13 at 22:08
    
@SethJ 10' 2x4s, arranged as a cube and joined together with 2 bolts at each meeting point. Not sure how else to describe it. I'm a Rabbi and not an engineer... Corners are joined with metal corner braces... –  Reddit_Rabbi Sep 25 '13 at 2:28
    
Thanks for sharing this. I'm having a little trouble visualizing the construction (the corners, particularly); could you add a photo? –  Monica Cellio Oct 6 at 19:41

I stood in someone's succah made of pvc piping and shower curtains. Don't know how long it took but pricing should be ok. He then wrapped rope around it with each time around being less than three tfachim to the last because he was trying to take into account the opinions that don't aprove of material walls that blow to and fro in the breeze. But that's a different story.

share|improve this answer
2  
Are there any opinions that do approve of walls that blow in the breeze? –  Double AA Oct 6 at 20:17
    
@Double AA first of all yes. But even if there wouldn't be the implication of my words would not suggest there are. Sometimes when the Mechaber or Ramma write yeish omrim even when noone argues simply because its a chidush. –  user6591 Oct 6 at 20:25

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.