From basic sheds with a few embellishments to miniature Colonial mansions sporting all the architectural details, you're bound to find a free plan for a do-it-yourself playhouse or treehouse project. A few of these projects are for patient beginners with minor carpentry skills, others state that the projects are difficult and require a certain amount of skill.
Include the lucky child or children who will be the new "homeowners" -- it's a great way to teach kids DIY basics, give them a feeling of accomplishment, and share a hands-on experience together. Plus, you'll be the coolest adult in the neighborhood.
It's also suggested that you and your construction crew devote a long weekend, preferably three or four days, to the club house project. Plan B: build it over two weekends (or maybe three), which will including final steps like roofing and painting. Kind of like a real house, on a much smaller scale.
This colonial-style charmer can be used as a storage shed when your children outgrow it. Includes clear, detailed instructions with step-by-step photos. Also helpful is a "reader comments' section. Keep in mind that Popular Mechanics' readers are usually experienced and skilled do-it-yourselfers.
Good for those with basic or beginning do-it-yourself skills. If you can read directions, you can build a playhouse. But you knew that.
This Handwerker Gingerbread Playhouse, which was in Memphis, Tennessee, features Victorian architectural details. The basic floor plan exists, but you'd have to improvise -- if you have super DIY skills, go for it! Search around the site for your favorite architectural style and let your creativity run rampant. Enjoy the archival photos.
When you think about it, a treehouse is a playhouse in a -- you guessed it -- tree. Constructing a treehouse is going to be difficult -- Popular Mechanics has always been the monthly bible for hard-core DIYers.
This is not the quickly assembled sheet of plywood wedged into the branches of a tree you might have built with your father or grandfather. It takes into account building a platform as a foundation, along with safety, movement of trees, preassembling pieces and framing on the ground instead of perched precariously on a ladder, one board at a time. A well-built treehouse is enticing to children and adults. Who knows? It might be where your in-laws ask to stay on their next visit.
This particular house stands 78 inches high, is 92 inches long and 48 inches wide, with an additional 28-inch-wide porch or deck along the front. Instructions and blueprints are included on this site, but a downloadable version is available for a small fee.
I'd venture to guess that this is for experienced DIYers, or extremely talented beginners who catch up easily, interpret directions well, and are creative to boot. When your kids outgrow the Jungle Cruise, you can turn it into a man or she-cave.
Another structure from instructables.com for the more rustically inclined miniature home dweller. Includes a covered front porch for keeping an eye out for bears and other wild critters. This clever log cabin can be built for around $300, give or take a few dollars. Again, it's something that won't look like every other playhouse on the block, and you can retire to it when your kids have gone off to college.
Something to look forward to.