The clubhouse I am building (so far)

I spent a good amount of time over the weekend building a new clubhouse for my boys. The plan is to have a downstairs area for the boys to play and then a ladder with a hatch for an upstairs exclusive balcony. I envision many sleepovers and camping nights of “roughing it” in the wilderness of our suburban tract parcel.

In an ideal world I’ll be able to finish up over the next week, though I’m really tired already and I’m expecting to be knee-deep looking at big houses (appraisals) in coming days too. If you have any tips for me before I wrap up this project, I’m open ears. Also, if you had a clubhouse as a kid, what role did it play in your life?

If you have any real estate appraisal, consulting, or property tax appeal needs in the Greater Sacramento Region, contact me at 916.595.3735, by email, on our appraiser website or via Facebook.


    • says

      Thanks Rachael. They are so excited and I cannot wait for them to climb the ladder and explore the balcony. I really hope this will be a friend magnet too so their friends want to spend time over here.

  1. says

    Now you’ve done it, I’m excited about your playhouse! Oh yea, We had a treehouse made of simple planks and carpet in an elm tree. The most ingenious idea my brother had was to create an elevator. He used a circle seat with a rope through it tied with a knot–then flung it over a sturdy branch way up higher than the sitting area. You could sit on the seat and pull yourself up by tugging that rope. It really works for little kids who are light weight. We also built a ladder out of scrap wood leaning against the tree. If I had to do it again, I would wrap a piece of carpet around the tree branch pulley area so the tree would not get worn. Your playhouse looks terrific, and many years from now will be a great shed. Suggestions? I would also build a ladder on the outside of the playhouse that leads to a window for another fun way to enter the upstairs on the right side of the pic. I would build a destination outdoor seat at the top of the ladder for a lookout spot (and a good step to and from the outside ladder). You may consider putting two walls of built in benches inside. If it was me, I’d put two inside benches on the first floor that are cornered together, leaving space for a small table to be moved around as needed. The bench width can be the size of a cheap chair cushion you buy at the hardware store for moving around on the benches. Storage should be high and narrow (6″ wide cabinet by 1′ high)–place it above the benches and it wont interfere with walking around. Storage should be along the ceiling line because you dont want to bump your head. Kids store paper and art supplies, not big things that need a wide cabinet. Lastly, I would make two seats outside near the ground, maybe flanking the doorway. The outdoor seats years later can be used as a flower pot stand. Have fun with the project! Post pix when its done.

    • says

      I love the elevator idea. What a fantastic and adventurous way to get up the tree. Thank you for all your tips for my clubhouse. I really appreciate it. We aren’t yet sure what we’re going to do with the inside. It’s a bit of a blank canvas for now and I’m waiting to see the finished product before making any decisions. I think a built-in bench could be great though. I do plan on putting in some storage for rubber band guns and all swords and such. I am toying with the idea of adding some secret compartments on the balcony (planks that open up to store things). One of the challenges is that this clubhouse is only 8×8 roughly, so there is not too much space to work with. Thank you again for the tips and the thoughtfulness you put into your comment.

      • says

        The more I think about the interior benches the better it sounds. Instead of a bench, do two longer corner seats, intended only for 2 people to sit near each other, then if a person wants to lean against the wall, they can stretch their legs out straight to read. That corner backrest idea is what I’d like to do someday with a new deck outside in the backyard. Funny, even today, I enjoy different “environments” to go sit and relax in, and the childhood treehouse was one of a few of those environments. This weekend, my front deck environment got a new fountain this year. I never enjoyed that fountain much on the back deck, and it is EXACTLY what I needed on the front deck. I enjoy visualizing sitting areas in homes, and its no surprise that I’m an appraiser. ask me about my second childhood clubhouse…

        • says

          I am starting to like the idea too of corner benches. It’ll free up more space that way, while also providing a place to sit. I’m all for places to relax and enjoy life.

          This clubhouse is actually patterned after one I had as a kid for a few years (prior to my house burning down). If you had a different clubhouse, I bet it was nice. It sounds like whoever was building for you did a really good job. I’d love to hear about it.

          • says

            No one built terribly much, literally plank boards and a few nails with my hammer. Nothing nice like the one you are building. The second clubhouse was along a stone wall and using an old dead tree. My Mom let me have sheets and I strung them up high on the branches so it was completely enclosed and shaded from the sun. Of course there was an opening allowing for a nailed up ladder along the trunk. I would climb the tree and sit on a single chair high above the yard as a lookout. The plank chair was only about 8″ wide. Inside, it had old carpet from edge to edge. I’d even sweep it to keep it clean, and I hung various soup can holders and shoeboxes up to hold art supplies. It lasted about 2 years due to the modest amount of rain in S. Calif, before the molded carpet became gross! That was the end of that clubhouse. Oh, and my brother who invented the elevator idea, he works today for TV as a pyrotechnician, so he is super handy with building things (and blowing things up). It was nice to write about my old treehouse memories today!


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