"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." ~e e cummings

Monday, August 25, 2014

DIY: How To Build a Playhouse

About six and a half months ago, Sam dropped the bomb:
"I'm going to build a playhouse."

I was excited...for the kids...and for Sam to have a project....
but a playhouse?

Um. Shouldn't we practice our building skills on bird houses or doll houses or...I don't know... 
something small and flat and on the ground that our kids won't be in and on and jumping from?!

But Sam was determined.

So he headed on over to YouTube and taught himself how to build a playhouse.

The posts were cemented and the foundation was built really quickly...like over the course of one weekend in late February.

But then, it snowed.

A lot. 

And construction came to a screeching halt.

Once the spring thaw finally arrived, it was Back to Work.

Before we knew it, it looked like a real, live play house.
And the kids started using it, and loving it, immediately. 
They didn't care that the walls were rough, the railings were nonexistent, and that they were playing in a muddy, weedy dirt patch.

They were in love with this playhouse. 
And I was blown away by their dad.

You guys. 
He built this thing with his bare hands.

He used power tools and brought loads of lumber home from his many trips to Home Depot.

He measured and cut and built and painted and
there were no instruction manuals.

Sure, it took six months...but I didn't mind. 
He never let His Project interfere with our schedule or family plans. After the kids were in bed he'd hang out in the garage, assembling the frame indoors while his foundation lay buried beneath the snow. He'd work an hour or two at a time, or for as long as the kids were happy to "help" him. He'd come home on his lunch break to put up a few boards of siding.

And then, all of a sudden...

The Playhouse was Finished.

There's still some landscaping that needs to be done,
but let's take a tour, shall we?

A sweet little paver and "steppable" groundcover path leads to the main entrance. 
There's a mailbox there, of course, for letter and package delivery.

The interior will be a work in progress.
So far, the kids have each painted a tile...

and we made a tic-tac-toe board that should stand up to the elements.

There is seating indoors, as well as a grill/cooking area (not pictured). There are paint brushes and containers of all shapes and sizes for cooking and collecting and organizing.

There are bug bins for "pets" and wooden blocks (building scraps) for...well, they've been used as canvases, tower-building, packages for delivery in the mailbox... 

There's a peek-a-boo window on the side wall with a cool little telescope. 
I'm pretty sure squirrels have been spotted, although there are unconfirmed reports of invading armies and unicorns in the area.

And this afternoon...
the finishing touches.

My favorite (though I do love that door bell I found at World Market...) is this horseshoe. 

When we arrived at this house, our Forever House, for the first time, this horseshoe was sitting on the island in the kitchen. There was a note from our builder: "Found this while excavating the property. Hope it brings lots of luck in your new home!"

We hung it up over the Escape Door.

Kids, as you escape down your get-away slide in hot pursuit of scurvy pirates or space invaders or to introduce yourselves to the friendly mermaids who swam up to say, "Hello," may the luck of the found horseshoe be forever on your side.

Lesson Learned:
This amazing playhouse was worth the wait...and delivered just in time for the start of the glorious month of September, during which nearly all of our waking hours will be spent outside. 

And can I get a Hell, Yeah for Sam?! Dad of the Year, you guys. Dad of the Year.

Oh, and if you were here looking for actual instructions for your own DIY playhouse, check out the videos on YouTube. I hear they're pretty helpful.