Sukkah Shopping

I swore to the children last year that we would build a real sukkah this year for the Festival of Eating In Little Booths In the Backyard instead of our usual mini-versions made of graham cracker walls, a pretzel roof and fruit-shaped cereal (although my Shalom School kids always enjoy that project!). I was super inspired by this month’s hip sukkah spread in Jewish Living Magazine and I have Martha Stewart fantasies of lounging with our neighbors in a fabulous tent with purple curtains, feeding each other pomegranate seeds.

But there’s a teeny problem: Building a sukkah requires tools. Now, El Yenta Man wields a fishing rod like a Viking, and should the banks continue collapsing like the four horses of the Apocalypse are galloping into town snorting fire, he could probably feed all of us from the sea with nothing but a spool of thread and the pop top from an old beer can. But the thought of spending several continuous evenings in a structure that he nailed together – even if he did manage keep all his limbs while constructing it – makes me nervous.

Everyone keeps telling me to buy one of those pre-fab modular jobbies, but OY GEVALT they’re expensive – and the price doesn’t even include so much as a fringey strip to decorate the bare walls. But then I found this basic 8×8 kit for a decent price, “designed for the complete novice builder and requires no previous carpentry skill or knowledge.” That’d be us. Supposedly the only tool required is a power screwdriver, and it comes with a “Klutz-Proof” Manual, which sounds very promising.

Any of you done this before? Can ya help a sister out with some advice?

7 thoughts on “Sukkah Shopping

  1. How about trying this, at least for this year: Built it by tying several lattices together. Stand them, tall side up and down. It’s light — might even blow over. But at least you don’t have to shlep heavy lumber around. (Believe me, I’ve done that too.) You can tie the bottoms to bricks or something to try to keep the thing upright in a wind. Add schach, etrog, lulav, and shake.

  2. There is a website called the Sukkot Project. I have the plans for several types of Sukkot and I built one myself one year. I would be happy to give you the plans and even help construct it. Just let me know. It is really idiot proof.

  3. The Sukkah Project kit is super easy. We bought one last year after several years of do-it-yourself lattice and 2×4 sukkahs that ultimately rotted and attracted carpenter bees in the off season.

    Once the pre-fab sukkah is up, we string on some twinkly “sukkah lights” and hang laminated pictures drawn by the kids. We usually find corn husk stuff for the roof at the hardware store, depending on how close sukkot is to halloween. By the way, I can’t wait when my kids grow up and go to the local craft store asking for the sukkah lights.

  4. Jon Cohen — If that’s you & you’re interested in performing a major mitzvah, feel free to come over to chez Skidmore-Hess & help this klutz put up a suk.

  5. Jon — Should I order the kit?

    Marcia — if we get our sukkah built and if you happen to be in Savannah … you’re invited … bring a helmet 🙂

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