With all of the electronic media today, most kids don’t want to spend any time outside. To most of us that didn’t have these options growing up, playing outside is a right of passage of childhood. So, to get your kids playing outside, why not build a playhouse in your backyard? Here’s how to go about building one.
Use Pallets for Flooring
Reducing your carbon footprint has become quite the topic in the last few years. So to be more environmentally friendly, remember you can recycle wood to create flooring. Pallets — which can be obtained from warehouses for cheap or even free — create a perfect base for your flooring. You can nail several of these together to make a base, and then fill in the gaps with plywood or bits of scrap wood.
This pallet base can then be placed on top of cinder blocks to keep it free of ground moisture. Just make sure that it’s level before proceeding. After that, it’s up to you what to do with the floor. You can leave it as is, or you can sand, stain, paint, or lacquer it. The choice is yours.
Measure and Erect Walls
Walls to the playhouse are simple. Measure each side to the appropriate the length and use two-by-fours as studs. Depending on the size of the playhouse, you typically want to space these 16 inches apart. Most playhouses are no taller than about 5 feet.
On the exterior of the playhouse, use plywood and cover it with sheathing, so the exterior isn’t rough. Do the same on the interior. Remember to leave spaces for doors and windows, and place studs accordingly.
Build the Roof
The roof can be constructed from metal, wood, or shingles. The obvious choice for a more simplistic and easier roof would be a flat roof. Make sure to have a slight angle on the roof, though, so it drains properly. You can also build triangular trusses that attach to the roof of the playhouse and build a more proper, “house-like” roof.
Go Crazy With Customizations
The best aspect of building your own playhouse is you can customize it however you’d like. Discuss painting and decor ideas with your kids and let them get in on the action. Add doors, windows, shutter, and molding if it suits you.
Remember to Do Maintenance
To make sure the playhouse lasts, maintenance is key. Remember to seal surfaces exposed to the elements with a coat of polyurethane (plus, it protects the wood from the kids). Adding doors and windows can keep birds and insects out of the playhouse as well.
Termites are always a concern to any wood structure that is outside. Protect yourself from these wood-eating creatures by considering getting it treated with services like termite control from Orkin.com. Take these precautions to protect your investment.
As with any other wood working project, make sure you use the right tools and safety equipment for the job. But just remember that when you complete that playhouse, you’ll feel the satisfaction of doing it yourself. And you’ll get those kids out of the house and have at least five minutes to yourself. Seems worth it, don’t you think?