Exterior Projects

Playhouse Updated

An updated picture of my son’s playhouse. We made sure that it was ready for the winter weather. There is a dutch door so that we can keep an eye on what is going on back there. There is still a good deal of trim work that needs to be done. If the weather continues to cooperate, we should be able to complete it this weekend.


Exterior Projects

A playhouse for my son

After seeing some of the incredible playhouses at the Barbara Butler site and going over the free playhouse plans that are posted on this site, I decided to build a cool playhouse for my son.

The project is about 80% complete and I wanted to post a picture to document the progress.

I built the skeleton of the structure in my garage. This gave me the opportunity to work on the clubhouse when the weather was less than cooperative. I followed the basic concept that is outlined in our free plan, but built the structure as a panelized unit. Each wall section is a separate unit that is bolted to the others. This makes it possible for one person to build the entire playhouse. After the basic framing was complete I took the walls down and sheathed them with 1″ x 6″ T&G (tongue and groove) pine. Everything is going to be painted so the pine will be protected from the elements.

Doing everything alone isn’t the most ideal method, and also not the safest, but it is possible. I had help from my brother in law and father in law when bringing the wall panels out to the site and assembling the walls on the foundation. My son loves the fact that his uncle and grandfather helped build his new playhouse.

The windows were purchased at 84 Lumber. I had a bit of a hard time locating what I wanted (at the right price) and happened to come across these ‘shed windows‘ or ‘garage windows‘ for about $33.00 each. This playhouse will double as a storage shed during the winter, so making sure it is weather tight is a priority.

We were going to do something creative with the roof material, but instead decided to use a simple shingle to match our house. It is a 30 year architectural shingle. We could have gone with a cheaper shingle, but we only spent about $10 more to use an architectural shingle and it was a match with our house.

There will be a front porch added to the structure using salvaged lumber from a past play structure (a bus). The wood will also make up the railing and the bridge that leads out to the building.

I will post an update once the project is complete.

children's playhouse

Exterior Projects Tools and Reviews

BML Contracting Review

This post regarding BML Contracting has been removed. The comments that were coming in reached a level that was far too personal. This site is provided as an open forum for discussion, but there does come a point where people go too far.

If you were considering using BML Contracting, or ANY other contractor, I would encourage you to do your homework. I would recommend that anyone get at least 3 estimates for any job and CHECK REFERENCES!

I cannot emphasize the importance of checking references enough. Too many people fail to do so and are sorry.

Here are links to a couple of articles regarding how you should choose a contractor. You might even want to consider a site like when bidding a project. You should still do your own homework, but working with a company that does some advance screening should provide you a little peace of mind.

Choosing a contractor (from Lowe’s)
How to choose a contractor (

Exterior Projects Tools and Reviews

Custom Children’s Playhouse

Do you want to see some of the most amazing playhouses, playforts, and tree forts for kids?

Take a look at Barbara Butler extraordinary play structures for kids. These are some of the coolest play structures you will find. Of course, they come with a hefty price.

I am pointing this site out to give those of you who are building your own play house, tree fort, or play structure some great ideas. I found that the easiest way to navigate the site was from the price list. There is a thumbnail image of the play structure along with a photo tour of each when you view the detail.

Have fun.

Exterior Projects

Free Children’s Playhous Plans

Here are some free children’s playhouse plans. The plans are very easy to follow and include some photos and diagrams. This project will require some moderate woodworking or construction skills.

Children’s Playhouse Plans

Good Luck.

Exterior Projects Tools and Reviews

Free Deck Design Software

Are you looking to design your own deck and come up with a complete material list and layouts for your structure?

There is some great software out there to do a lot of the work for you. In fact, there is an online tool to design a deck and it will even provide you with enough information to bring to your local building department to obtain a permit to build your new deck.

The site is Their deck design program is easy enough to use. You should be able to design your dream deck within about 20-30 minutes. You might find that you have to start over if you missed something, but you can save your deck designs and revisit them.

The deck plan print out that you receive when you are finished is terrific.

Best of all, this deck design software program is free.