Friday, May 11, 2012

Play Place in the Backyard! - Designing A Play House For Your Kids

Before you can build a playhouse in the backyard for your kids, you obviously need a plan. Without a plan you'll stumble along, making random cuts and wasting your time and money on wrongly cut lumber. But how and where do you get a design and a plan? Let's face it, most of us are just regular guys or gals without a degree in architecture, right? So how do we design and build a playhouse? One way to get your creative juices flowing is to study other playhouses. Whether online or in person, look at and study as many playhouse designs as you can. If you are lucky enough to see some in person, take a measuring tape with you and physically measure the height and widths. Get a feel for how big a playhouse should be and how big you want yours to be.

Figure out where you are going to put it, how it is going to be used, the age and size of the children, and what theme they would like best, be it a plain old club house, a log cabin, a pirate ship, or even a castle. Sketch it out first; details can be added later. Make sure you choose weather resistant materials appropriate for the climate you live in. You want the kids to be able to use if for as much of the year as possible. Decide how high you want the roof, and then add doors and windows as needed. Instead of glass, why not add wood shutters for cooler weather and a bamboo shade for use during the hot months?

Make sure it is large enough for three to four children to sit in and study enough to withstand some roughhousing. Instead of adding electricity or any feature than can possibly endanger the kids, plan to have a couple of battery operated lanterns in the playhouse. Once can hang from a ceiling hook, and one can sit on a small play table. Hang a bungee cord from another ceiling hook for the kids to hang a plastic bag of snacks on. It will keep them safe from critters. For flooring, use either a remnant of outdoor carpeting, or a bamboo mat. A couple of sleeping bags, a bean bag chair in a sturdy water resistant material, and a small play table with a couple of chairs, and all the kids will need is their imagination!

It is also a good idea to remember that you can build two different kinds of playhouses. You can construct a playhouse that rests amongst the trees, or you can build a small house that rests flatly on the ground. You can also choose construction plans that utilize specific themes. If you are building your playhouse on your own though, you should certainly keep in mind that the type of theme you select may affect the complexity and difficulty inherent in the building process of the playhouse itself. If you are considering building your playhouse yourself, you should definitely keep in mind the fact that there are a variety of different playhouse plans available on the market today that can make the process of building your playhouse incredibly simple. When you choose a plan that clearly lays out the process of constructing your house, you can be certain that you will be able to complete the task using your own carpentry skills, even if you do not have a very advanced knowledge about the art of woodworking.


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