Life Video

By Lucy Notarantonio


A savvy dad has put his DIY skills to the test and created an incredible fortress in the back garden for just £170.

Marc Ely, 33, spent three days building an impressive play area which includes a tower, swing and even a rock climbing wall.

The scaffolder was ‘fortunate’ enough to have most of the materials at his workplace yard meaning the fortress cost just £170 as opposed to purchasing from a store for £2000 or more.

The dad-of-two was helped by his daughter Bella, eight and son Blake, three, who are ‘loving’ their new play area.

Marc, from Rochford, Essex, said: “Since being in lockdown, I have a lot of spare time on my hands and Bella has always wanted a tree house.

“I looked online and the ones with swings, stairs, and a slide were over £2000 and I knew I could do it myself.

“Fortunately, I have my own scaffolding business and I had the materials at the yard.

“I spent approximately eight hours a day on the whole project – the kids loved being involved too – they helped with the painting and some shovelling.

“The only things I had to buy were the wood chippings, swings, slide, rock-climbing stones and paint from Amazon, eBay and B&Q.

“I built a castle with a bridge and a rock-climbing wall for such a small amount of money.”

Marc is now encouraging other parents to build something in their back garden if they are ‘handy’ with power tools.

Marc is the owner of Ely Scaffolding and will be returning to work this week – he is looking into the legalities of building fortresses for clients.

He said: “It was lovely to spend time with the kids and occupy all of our minds during lockdown.

“I think everyone should give DIY a go if they have used power tools before!

“I didn’t use YouTube but there will be ways to learn online.

“As a scaffolder, I am always working outdoors and do not need to come into any physical contact with anyone else.

“I have shared the fortress to inspire others and I am looking into the legal side of building these for customers as it is a great way to keep the children entertained.”