The first thing I did was take out all the pieces of furniture I've collected over the years and create rooms that would fit everything. I did a lot of research and made a list of the rooms I wanted. After many variations, the rooms are as follow:
Kitchen 20" x 24"
Dining Room 16" x 20"
Great Room 31" x 30"
Entrance and Staircase 12"x 34"
Music Room 20" x 36"
Dressing Room 20" x 24"
Master Bedroom 16" x 20"
Girl's Bedroom 14" x 17"
Boy's Bedroom 17" x 14"
Bedroom Hall 15" x 31"
Gallery 12" x 20"
Library 20" x 36"
The 3d floor dimensions are not finalised yet, but there will be a Nursery, Housekeeper's Room, Bathroom and Sewing room... at least.
The plans were, to put it mildly, overwhelming. I decided to build the structure in 5 sections. Since I wanted to use MDF I knew it would be extremely heavy and I also needed to be able to fit the pieces through doors and my staircase.
I'm lucky enough to have a great father-in-law, Tom, who is always ready to help, encourage and find solutions to my problems. Well, he was patient and listened to all my concerns, and in the end he became the best accomplice I could ask for.
We brought the plans to our hardware store and asked that they cut the pieces in 1/2"Mdf.. By the time I got the pieces, checked them, and had a dry run, I realized they had cut all 87 pieces in 5/8" MDF instead of 1/2". After a mild panic attack, I looked over the plans, did some measuring, and went back to the hardware store. I didn't want to bring back all the pieces, so I had them re-cut about 12 in 1/2 inch Mdf ...the rest I could work around.
I then drew all the door, window and fireplace openings onto the Mdf and cut them out using a Dremel with a multipurpose cutting guide and #561 Multipurpose Bits. I made sure I used metal rulers held in place with clamps to get perfect cuts. the dremel worked great!
The final preperation was making channels for wiring. I decided to use the hard wire system. In the past I've used tape wire and it was more trouble then it was worth. I'll discuss wiring later on. I used the dremel with the same multipurpose bit, this time adjusting the cutting guide so the channel would be 1/4" deep. All electric channels go to the back of the house and the power bars will be in a section of the attic
To assemble the shell, I first glued the pieces together using Yellow carpenter's glue. I waited a week and drilled 1/4"holes and added 1 1/4" wood dowels to make sure the structure was solid. The next step was priming the whole structure with Behr Premium Plus Primer and Sealer.