Anybody can pack wet sand into a bucket, turn it over, pat the bucket bottom, and lift up to leave a truncated cylinder of sand and call that a sand castle. That’s precisely what the Czar did for this post, just to get a photo here to make the Twitter feed more eye-catchy. But you don’t want to be that guy, do you? No, you want to make an epic sand castle.
Sand castles require only three ingredients: water, sand, and tools. Without water, your sand collapses into a grainy pile. Without sand, all you have is a little bit of water. And tools, ranging from a small cup to a full-on 500 horsepower fully articulating hydraulic excavator, make building that sand castle awesomely dope. Beyond those things, you don’t need much.
The first step in building a sand castle is finding a good location. You’re probably thinking a beach, which makes sense but isn’t always a good idea. Sure, beaches have killer views and scanty-panty women playing volleyball and silky-smooth tropical drinks and surfer songs, but most beaches aren’t big enough for the truly rad sand castle. You need something big, so don’t overlook open pastures, shopping mall parking lots, or the Ellipse. Bottom line, if you can get sand to it, you can build a sand castle on it.
Remember to pick your location wisely. Pick one close to good schools, shopping, and access to at least two interstate highways, so you can get going easily even in really bad weather. Avoid areas with a high crime rate, deep water oceans, or places inhabited by creatures that eat sand, as you’ll soon be disappointed with the maintenance and upkeep.
Establish a good foundation before building your walls. This is really good advice, because everyone knows this on its face value, but are at a loss to know how to really do it. Like when boxing coaches tell you that the secret to solid punching is good footwork, but never seem to be able to tell you what that means. You’re just supposed to know it, apparently. Or worst case, figure it out by trial and happenstance. If your sand castle collapses due to bad foundation planning, you’ll know you need to adjust whatever you did to make it better.
Once the foundations are in, plan out your walls. Remember that windows are great to let in natural light and air, and you want multiple ways out in the event of a sand fire. But big rooms are all the rage, and a sense of interconnectedness is excellent for the first floor, so that the kitchen, living room, and family rooms are all on the same eye plane and within sight of each other. That’s a big plus for large parties, and guests will congregate to these areas.
Whoops, yes, we said it: first floor. Because you also need to think about how many floors you want. And describe them. With sentence fragments. A second floor is great for bedrooms, but don’t limit yourself to this. If you’re into sand castles with towers, these can get pretty high, with a lot of stairs, and become great places for observatories, libraries, and craft rooms. It’s all up to you how high you want to make it, limited only by your imagination, the strength of your foundation, and the under-500-foot limit imposed by the FAA for terrestrial structures within the United States. Higher than that, and you gotta put red flashers on it, which detract from that authentic sand appearance.
Don’t forget storage. You’d be amazed how often people forget closets, storage rooms, pantry space, a butler’s pantry, mud room, changing room, walk-in dressing rooms, dry good storage, a deep freezer, a humidor, an exercise room, and other places to just dump stuff you’re too embarrassed to throw away. Also, be sure to stack bathrooms vertically, because it saves a lot on piping and plumbing costs.
Anyway, you’re all set. Remember to bring in furniture, or it will be like living in a box of sand. Like a sand box, if you can imagine such a thing.
One note on stairs: if you need stairs, consider folks with disabilities. Ramps eat up a lot of space (and sand), but they take a lot less time to put in compared to stairs. Elevators are a common consideration, but most elevators made entirely out of damp sand collapse after a couple of weeks and become useless. Worse if you’re in it when it collapses. If you’ve ever been killed in an elevator that dissolved a couple hundred feet up, you’ll know what we’re talking about.
So now you have your phat sand castle! All you need is a bitchin’ party to help celebrate its grand opening! If you’re doing that, avoid letting drunk guests urinate on the floors, as this tends to eat away the floor and pretty soon you’re all plunging down an abyss of urine to the lowest level. And that’s not a good way to say “Welcome.”