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.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The One That (Almost) Got Away

On large estate-house grounds, elaborate playhouses were often constructed for the kids. This one Is my favorite of any I've seen so far. It was discovered by New Jersey resident John Rickershauser:

John lived near an old country estate in New Jersey, which was eventually razed for a condominium development. Just before the demolition, he was out walking (fortunately with his camera handy) when he spotted this wonderful but neglected playhouse on the grounds. These estate playhouses often had running water, wood- or coal-fired cook stoves and electric lights, and I suspect this one had it all. The fence alone is an architectural treasure.

I drew a floor plan of this in case anyone wants to build it!
Photos contributed by John P. Rickershauser

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Two-story Playhouse in Tucson

In Tucson, Arizona, having a lot of opening windows is a good idea to let cooling breezes flow through. This playhouse was built of 2" by 2" framing and 1/2" thick OSB panels, all brightly painted. Another bonus is the high ceiling at one end, tall enough for a cozy loft.