playhouse. They had been considering a kit (I'm not sure which one) that
was $13K for materials, but they want to do something a bit less
extravagant. I've already decided the playhouse should _not_ be a kit
and should match the main house (on the exterior: simple ornamentation,
wood-shingle sided, composition roof, two-story gabled 1917 with many
The kids are girls and the older one is now about three +. The father is
a surgeon and the mother has an artistic/cultural background.
Has anybody made or designed a successful playhouse? What features
should it have?
- Charlie Spitzer -
- Nehmo -
You're right. I should have crossed to there too. I did it for this
********************* Nehmo Sergheyev *********************
Every summer in Santa Cruz California there is a playhouse competition
involving local architects and builders. The eight or so playhouses that
get built are displayed in Capitola Mall, where some are auctioned and
one is raffled (or something like that). Designs range from miniature
houses to things like spaceships and undersea voyagers. One year there
was a submarine a la Jules Verne - quite impressive to adults with its
simulated steel plate and rivet detailing and big wooden gears, but
those features are probably lost on kids. And there have been castles
and fire stations and garden sheds and houseboats and train cabooses.
One of the hard things to cope with is that children will grow, so what
is a nice miniature scale for a 6 year old will be unusable for a 12 year
old. The more successful designs seem to be those that are open to a
variety of imaginative uses. The undersea voyaging vehicle doesn't lend
itself to much of anything else - and being simulated watertight it gets
stuffy and hot in there pretty quick. The most popular designs seem to
be those that have two or more levels, slides, ladders, secret doors,
swinging ropes, belfries, etc.
You probably won't have heating or cooling or plumbing, so it will be a
spring and fall utility. You may want electricity - it might look pretty
lighted up at night. You could put in some bunks so the kids and their
friends can have sleepovers in it. Then you might have a mosquito problem.
I built one a few years back for my kids. I didn't want an enclosed
playhouse I felt that the inside would get filthy from mud, spilt drinks
etc. . I wanted one that would get a good cleaning everytime it rained.
There are some very important design consideration that you must take into
account when you are building anything that kids are going to play on. Some
of the details arn't as obvious as you would think.
The superstructure on my playground is on the outside so that the kids can't
climb up and over the top. Sounds silly but that's how most playgrounds
are built. Every window, trap door, railing, bridge and swing poses a real
damger and needed to be well thoughtout before you begin to build.
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