Guidlines for playhouse?

Does anyone kow where I could get guidlines for building a kids playhouse? Things like railing height, spindle spacing, ceiling height, things like that. I'm building a 2 story structure with a bridge to a "look-out post" with ladders, a rock wall, a slide and a pole to slide down (not sure about the pole yet). Any info will be helpful.
Thanks
Nick
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Sun, Jan 9, 2005, 8:43pm (EST-1) snipped-for-privacy@msn.com (Nick) asks: Does anyone kow where I could get guidlines for building a kids playhouse? <snip>
Never heard of such an animal as guidelines for a playhouse. I'd say lots of common sense. You get politicians giving guidelines, and they'll suck all the fun out, for everyone but them.
Railings, I'd think at least waist high on an adult - don't want the little buggers trtipping and falling over accidently, let 'm climb on it and fall off like they're suppsed to do..
Spindle spacing, I'd make them too close for even a little kid to stick their head thru, because, sooner or later one probably will.
Ceiling height? I'd make it high enough you could walk in standing straight, unless you want to walk thru bent over.
Bridge, I'd want either a solid floor, or very closely spaced planks. A kd in one of the Raleigh parks was screwing around on a bridge, with I think railroad ties linked with chain. You'd have thought no prob, but somehow this kid got his foot between them. I'd have been willing to bet no one could have, but... Took seeral adults seveal minutes to get him out.
Ladders, I think I'd make hand rails, and fasten them in place probably. Or, have them so they can't tip backwards anyway. I would think pull up would be OK too, as long as you figured out some way they wouldn't tip backwards.
Rock wall I wouldn't, but it's your call.
Pole? Why not, as long as you make sure it's smooth, so no one gets cut hands, or metal splinters.
In other words, anything you want to play with, as long as it's reasonably safe for kids too. If you make it totally safe, not too many kids are gonna want to play in it. I mean, kids are gonna trip on level ground and themselves at times.
JOAT Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get. -  Dale Carnegie
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Most of these things are (unfortunately) regulated by various building codes. Go to yoru municipal/town office or City Hall and talk to the building permit people.

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JOAT pretty well summed it up. Also, Google for a little inspiration and if you look close at many of the pics you can estimate distances for certain objects. I'd suggest you build it to adult height so when the kids outgrow it, you can use it for storage or as a shop. Take a trip by several of the larger stores like HD & Lowes etc and see what they put together for these in the spring, then build yours stronger<G>. John
Nick wrote:

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Nick, I served as a "team captain" when we built our local public playground. Here's what I learned:
1. By far the most injuries occur from falls to the ground. Therefore the surface under the climbing equipment is one of the most important considerations. Designers get technical about ratios of voids to solids, but basically, you want something that will cushion their fall. Sand is bad because it packs down like concrete. Wood chips are good. Grass is bad because it wears away and leaves packed earth.
2. Head Entrapment is a big concern. Remember that very often, a child's body will pass through a slot that their head won't pass through. When they go through feet first, then their head won't make it through, and their feet won't touch the ground, the results are often very sad. Any opening needs to be less than 3.5 inches or more than 8 inches at its smaller dimension.
3. Avoid situations that create a "V" with narrow part at the bottom, especially if it's off the ground.
As others have said, there may be local regulations. If you don't get any help there, the Consumer Product Safety Commission publishes guidelines (not regulations) in their Handbook of Public Playground Safety. Get it here: www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/325.pdf
DonkeyHody "Every man is my superior in that I can learn from him." - Thomas Carlyle
Nick wrote:

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Nick, I served as a "team captain" when we built our local public playground. Here's what I learned:
1. By far the most injuries occur from falls to the ground. Therefore the surface under the climbing equipment is one of the most important considerations. Designers get technical about ratios of voids to solids, but basically, you want something that will cushion their fall. Sand is bad because it packs down like concrete. Wood chips are good. Grass is bad because it wears away and leaves packed earth.
2. Head Entrapment is a big concern. Remember that very often, a child's body will pass through a slot that their head won't pass through. When they go through feet first, then their head won't make it through, and their feet won't touch the ground, the results are often very sad. Any opening needs to be less than 3.5 inches or more than 8 inches at its smaller dimension.
3. Avoid situations that create a "V" with narrow part at the bottom, especially if it's off the ground.
As others have said, there may be local regulations. If you don't get any help there, the Consumer Product Safety Commission publishes guidelines (not regulations) in their Handbook of Public Playground Safety. Get it here: www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/325.pdf
DonkeyHody "Every man is my superior in that I can learn from him." - Thomas Carlyle
Nick wrote:

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