If the global coronavirus pandemic has caused your child to sit around more than normal over the past 12 months, it’s a good idea to find ways to encourage them to make a change. One great way to get kids outside moving and breathing in the fresh air is via a backyard playhouse.
If you’ve never built one before, though, don’t stress about not being able to get the job done. This is a DIY project that many people can handle themselves. Read on for some tips to help you complete the task more effectively and delight your child.
Consider Goals and Skills
Before you start buying materials, stop and work out your goals for the project. For example, what size playhouse do you want to build, and are you looking to make something simple you can create in a weekend or something more complex that will take a month or more?
Do you plan to have your child help you in the build, so they’re learning skills at the same time, or do you want to surprise them with the finished product? Consider requirements for factors such as the layout of the playhouse, how many children can fit inside it at once, how weather-proof it is, and what type of access kids will use to enter it.
It’s also necessary to assess your skill level before you begin. If you haven’t spent much time building things in the past, it’s likely not a good idea to plan on making a multi-storied, complex playhouse unless you plan to enlist the help of someone adept at these types of projects.
Once you know what you hope to achieve, start looking for plans to build the playhouse. Check out designs and tutorials online for ideas you can use as either the basis of your build if you have enough experience to adjust as necessary or a simple plan to follow step by step if you’re a beginner.
Alternatively, you might like to buy a kit that includes all the materials you need plus instructions. This latter option is perfect if you want to whip up a playhouse quite quickly. Another tip is to analyze your budgetary constraints before selecting a playhouse design, as the costs can climb, with some elaborate designs costing thousands of dollars to create.
Choose the Right Location and Do Some Prep Work
Spend time finding the right location to situate the playhouse, as this will affect what you build and how well it lasts. Look for a firm, level site to use, such as decking, concrete, paving, or a patio. An ideal spot will be in natural sunlight, too, and not too far from your house if you want to be able to hear or see your children when they’re playing.
For easier maintenance, choose a location accessible from all sides. Plus, choose a site that will stay as dry as possible and isn’t likely to be flooded or littered with tree debris or mud, dirt, and the like. Also, erect the structure somewhere it won’t obstruct your neighbors’ views or be too noisy for them if your children get a little loud when playing.
Plus, look into whether planning permission is required for this outbuilding, as some local planning authorities have limits and conditions that must be adhered to. In particular, factor in property setbacks, as there may be no-build-zones surrounding the edge of your property where you’re not allowed to build.
Get Your Tools and Materials Together
Once you have all the above sorted out, it’s time to collect all the necessary tools and materials to complete the job. You’ll need a tape measure, level, square, drill, hammer, and a sander. To make all the cuts in the wood or other materials you plan to use, consider investing in jigsaw, circular, and miter saws to get the job done speedily. Add some safety gear to your collection so you can use power tools without risking your eyes or hearing, too.
Choose pressure-treated and pest-resistant lumber for the playhouse, and stock up on paint and accessories to finish it off. Plus, don’t forget to find yourself an assistant for at least the assembly stage, as these kinds of structures need two adults to fit the main sections together securely.
When you’ve completed building the playhouse, check that it’s stable and secure for your children. Over the years, maintain it properly, too, so it continues to stand the test of time.