Clubhouses offer kids a special retreat away from the demands of school, chores and social pressures. Parents who provide a clubhouse for their kids recognize kids' needs for solitude and space, but parents who involve their kids in building the clubhouse give their kids even more. Working on building a clubhouse helps kids learn to work together and learn important skills. Building the basic clubhouse is relatively simple, but kids can make it more elaborate by painting it, decorating it and making it their own.
Things You'll Need
- 4-foot by 8-foot sheets of plywood
- 2-inch by 3-inch lumber
- Table saw
- Electric drill
- 2-inch wood screws
- 3-inch wood screws
- Metal brackets
- Corrugated metal sheets
- Exterior primer
- Exterior paint
- Paint brushes or paint rollers
Locate a level site for the clubhouse. Decide which way you want the clubhouse to face. Choose a front side of the clubhouse that gives easy access to the front door.
Lay out four 2-inch by 3-inch boards to create the floor. Cut two long boards to 8 feet long, and the two short boards to 3 feet 9 inches long. Situate the boards so they form a rectangle. Fasten the boards at the corners with 3-inch screws.
Place six more 3-foot 9-inch boards inside the rectangle 12 inches apart all across the length of the rectangle, and screw each board in at the corners with 3-inch screws. Lay an 8-foot by 4-foot piece of plywood across the frame and screw the plywood in place with 2-inch wood screws.
Frame the walls. Use 4-foot by 8-foot pieces of plywood for the front and back walls, and cut 3-foot 9-inch by 4-foot pieces of plywood for the side walls. Cut door and window holes in the panels with a jigsaw. Lay a 2-inch by 3-inch by 8-foot board along the bottom of each of the front walls, and screw it into the plywood. This board forms the footer and will help steady the walls.
Cut three 2-inch by 3-inch by 4-foot boards for the front and back walls, and attach them vertically at evenly spaced intervals to the front and back panels. These are the studs, and they'll strengthen the walls.
Cut a 2-inch by 3-inch board to fit the bottom of the side walls, and screw it into the bottom of the panels. Cut two 2-inch by 3-inch by 4-foot boards -- one for each of the side walls -- and attach these vertically in the center of the walls. Get a friend to help you raise the walls and secure them with metal corner brackets and screws in three places for each corner.
Construct the roof. For a basic wooden clubhouse, Lay a piece of plywood over the open space, and secure it with metal brackets every 12 inches. Alternatively, buy corrugated metal sheeting for the roof, and drill holes around the edges of the sheeting for attaching the metal brackets to the clubhouse.
Paint the clubhouse to protect the wood from the elements. Start by painting the plywood with two coats of exterior primer. After the primer has dried for at least two hours, add one to two coats of exterior house paint.
Tips & Warnings
- Hang a shower curtain from a spring rod for a simple clubhouse door.
- Don't allow children to use power tools unless they have been properly trained and are supervised at all times.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
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