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.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Using Old Doors

Here is a way to build your clubhouse (or garden shed, studio, backyard guest room...) with very little cost, at least for the walls - use old doors.

In many neighborhoods, there are "anything goes" trash days, usually in the summer. (Look at your city's trash pickup schedule). This is when you can sometimes find old doors and windows on the curb. Also, the Re-Store, second-hand stores, St Vinnie's and architectural salvage yards also sell old doors and windows very cheap. Get doors made of real wood - not the plywood or composition "slab doors", which will disintegrate outside.

First, collect enough doors to roughly fill up your outside walls. You might need to find some narrow cabinet doors or windows to fill in gaps. Once you think have enough, then plan your floor size to fit the doors plus the studs in between to tie the doors to the floor and the roof.

To seal the gaps between the doors, use some 1 by 4 trim boards, as shown above. Build a roof in the Classic Clubhouse style and voila! you have a palace of doors!

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