Everyone needs a clubhouse! You can build your own backyard shelter, retreat, or clubhouse even if you have never built anything before. The clubhouse above was built in 1959 by three kids aged 8, 9 and 11, with no money or help from grownups! I know; I was the 11-year-old who took this picture. I'm sharing here what I have learned since then.
Readers of all ages are welcome to comment with their own ideas, pictures or stories.
To help you on your way, I've written a book titled "Keep Out! Build Your Own Backyard Clubhouse", which is available through bookstores or at Amazon.com . Many of the items I post here are also in the book.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

After a Summer of Adventures, Another Clubhouse

Eventually we built our clubhouse, but not on schedule - it went unpainted until the next year...

When school started again, we settled into the routine of classes but continued to hang out together after school, usually at Kathy's house. One day we wandered out to a fenced-in back lot that was full of lumber and wood scraps. Kathy's parents used the lot to store leftover materials from a large addition they recently built for their growing family. The yard was a weedy mess but we decided it was a perfect place for a new clubhouse!

The best location was a spot next to the fence, where no lumber was stored, but where a huge pile of cut-off blocks and scraps of wood had been tossed during the construction. We spent a Saturday clearing it all out, and we saved a few usable boards that weren't yet termite-eaten! We had a clubhouse site!

So every day I went back there after school, and with Kathy or Chris we started building. As the construction progressed, I drew the schedule-of-progress, above, and another after-the-fact plan, below.

The parents whose yard we used let us build our new clubhouse against their fence,
the line at left, which saved us a lot of wood.
Some of the stored lumber, none of which we were allowed to use, can be seen on the right.
However, I couldn't help assembling some iron sewer pipe pieces
 and then including them in the plan!

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