Howdy. I just wanted to share something that we're doing for this year's "Carnival of Souls." Our home haunt is going to do a walk-through haunted house, and we were looking for a way to do haunt walls that was sturdy, but could go up and come down fast.
One of our volunteers mentioned "strong ties", also known as "hurricane ties" and "rigid ties". These are essentially metal brackets that allow you to very securely attach two or three 2x4's at right angles to each other. Today, we decided to do a test run with some and see how fast they go up, how fast they come down, and how sturdy they are.
I'm happy to report that they went up like a dream. In about 15 minutes, two people working together (plus one or two to hold up the frame sides as you attach the tops in place) can set up a eight foot by eight foot cubic room frame using eight 2x4's and four strong ties, basically making a table structure - a square top and four "legs" that come down from the corners. It's strong. It can be shimmied a bit, but some diagonal braces fix it.
The total cost for framing out the 8'x8' room, including the lumber and strong ties, plus some 2x2's to do some cross-beams for mounting props or interior walls, came out to about $50. We're planning on making somewhere between three to nine of these 8'x8' cells and running our haunt through them and into our garage.
For walls, we're planning on using painted pink insulation foam attached to the frames with velcro.
The nice thing about this setup is that it is light, easy and quick to set up and tear down, and only takes up a fraction of the space of solid walls. You can even use the Strong Ties to build a lumber rack to hold the lumber for the haunt walls off-season!
For more about Strong Ties, visit their web site
. You can also do a search on "rigid ties" which is the cheaper, consumer-level alternative. Many of the "big box" supply stores, including Lowe's and Home Depot carry them.
Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos of the structure, but next time, I'll try to snap some and share.