The Playhouse

So, Tristan and William’s dad got bored of spending his days in front of a computer and needed to pound a hammer and rip some wood. This has resulted in plans for a playhouse for the boys. Originally, this was supposed to be a simple kit from Toys R Us…

but when Tom found out that the shipping was as much as the playhouse, alternative options were explored.  After all, there was a simple playhouse at the boys’ nusery school…how difficult could it be? (And after reading the reviews, I am pretty glad we did not go down this route.)

Early Inspiration

Tom had a basic idea of how to build the walls. Studded wall are everywhere. He had even been lectured on the need for “headers” and the such around doorways and windows. The problem was how do the walls attach to one another? You see, 2×4’s are not square. When you butt them up at 90 degree angles, they don’t match up exactly. Enter the internet. Have you noticed how this is a great resource for almost anything?

Well, it turns out that this is not really a problem if you don’t plan to using interior wallboard. But the web research did result in a basic plan that would provide many of the ideas for Tristan and William’s playhouse.

The Rockler design was just what Tom wanted…but he refused to pay $9.95 for the plans. It would be much easier to work them out from scratch.

The only problem with the internet is that sometimes your kids are watching over your shoulder. One day, Tristan was watching as dad browsed the various links to various playhouse plans and he saw this Gothic Americam Playhouse.

While to Mom and Dad, this looked more like a country church, to Tristan, the dominant feature was the peaked front door…which looks just like the door to his real house. Suddenly, dad’s vision of a rustic log cabin started to morph into a bizarre amalgum of design styles. The initial sketches were not pretty…

Dad’s Initial Sketches
Designs did evolve…and it appeared that the door situation could be left “open” for the time being. Trips to Home Depot were scheduled…and wood was purchased. Taking two toddlers to Home Depot to purchase wood is not a trivial task. The real problem is trying to figure out how to get two 4×8 sheets of plywood and 20-odd 2×3’s into/onto your SUV while there are car seats in the main section. It’s not like you can just have the boys sit on each other’s laps in the front seat…straddling the 2×3’s. So this meant the wood had to be strapped to the roof. This also meant “committing” to the purchase…cause once you have the wood out in the parking lot, you need to get it strapped to the roof in some manner. This also tends to mean a very slow ride home…with hazards flashing…so pieced of wood don’t go flying hither and yon down the Saw Mill River Parkway.
Once the initial load of wood was purchased, the first part of the project was to establish a firm platform for the construction project. I specifically do not use the word “foundation” as this platform was just some weather treated 2×4’s set on a level plot of dirt…leveled by some available bricks/rocks. Anything more permanent would potentially have zoning implications. With the platform in place, Tom could start to work on the sections of wall that we talked about so long ago…
More to come…

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