Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Playhouse/side yard

This is how the south side of our house looked when we first moved in. It stayed this way for about a year and a half or so. The pavers looked alright but they were put in wrong so they were really bumpy and uneven. I considered leaving them but eventually I decided to pull them out.

This is how it looked after I sold all the pavers for about $350. Sweet.
It's a good thing we pulled out the pavers. That is when I found one of our downspout drain pipes had a hole in it. (On the left next to the house.) That was a separate adventure trying to fix that. I can't get into it now. I didn't take pictures of that process either so I guess you can call me if you have a similar problem.
Dirt smoothed out. Pipe still busted.

We started building a playhouse for the kids. We found the plans (free) on ana-white.com. You should go there. Seriously. It's awesome.

All the sides framed.
I used lauan for the walls.
And then trimmed all the sides.

And then painted it all out.

And painted the insides white (primer).
And assembled it in place. Since the playhouse is on the ground, I screwed pressure-treated 2x4's to the bottom of each side of the playhouse to protect it. I bought bark chips from a local nursery too. This is before we framed up the roof.
This is after we framed up the roof.

And then I put down some stepping stones which were just hanging around. I was going to get rid of them but then decided to use them. I am so glad I did because I think they are cute.

It sat like this for weeks...months even. I was trying to decide what to do. First I wanted to find materials as cheap as I could so I got to work on that. I ended up getting one piece of plywood from a friend (free!) (Thanks, Shiara), and free shingles and felt paper from a guy on Craigslist. So we roofed one side.

I found I kind of liked looking out my kitchen window and being able to SEE the kids playing in the playhouse. Plus, I was concerned that once I put another sheet of plywood on that it would make it really dark inside. So I figured out a clear roof solution and this is how she looks today! ALL DONE! WHEW! (Oh! And we added the shutters...and the new fence!) We were lucky that our neighbor decided to replace his fence. We paid for half of our side.I moved the red table in and got the chalkboard free. I found a guy on craigslist from a church who was switching from chalkboards to whiteboards! So I threw that up and the kids can draw with chalk all they want and I NEVER have to worry about cleaning up chalk dust!

I took apart an old bench from our deck and put together this sandbox. There is no sand yet (obviously) and I still have to secure the corner "seats." But the kids are getting excited about that. P.S. Is it illegal to steal sand from the beach?

This is just the view as you look back towards the deck.

I am so excited this project is done! The kids love it and I am glad the roof is on just in time for the rainy winter.


  1. I love love love this project! YOU ARE SO SMART SOMETIMES!!! :D

  2. handy honey said "I just found this post. I have a similar fireplace and was wondering....how did you attach the facade pieces to the brick? I couldn't find if you had answered that already so sorry if I am making you repeat yourself"

    I was unable to reply to you via email, because you are NOREPLY@blogger. You might want to consider getting a free email such as gmail just to hook it to your blog. If you enter giveaways, people will not be able to contact you should you win.

    On to my answer. :) I used liquid nails on the hearth. The mantel fits so snug, I didn't put any adhesive on it. If I need to, I could just pull it off. Good luck with your project, I am sooo glad I've done mine.

    Wow! love the playhouse! great job.


  3. Sorry, I just reread your email. I answered your question wrong. The facade pieces are not attached to the brick. The top of the facade is tucked behind the mantel, the bottom is tucked behind the hearth, both very snug. Sorry for the confusion.

  4. Wow what lucky kiddos you have. I love that you used space that would go unused by most people for a play area! Great job!!! found you through ana white's photo gallery.

  5. The playhouse is so awesome! I am so jealous! When we buy a house you'll have to come over and help me build one!

  6. you are the bomb! wish i was that handy, but when you have a hubby that can do all that in no time, it's an easy copout! kudos on all the free stuff too. you know how to work it!