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Clubhouse #1: Found in our backyard

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Blog entry by ConnieReed posted 10-27-2014 03:12 PM 1665 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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We bought a house this summer, something that happens often enough when people move, and we’ve moved often in the past 20+ years. However, this is different. Most of our moves have been work related, overseas, and into houses and apartments that we really did not have much input into. We’re back in the US now, and finally got to choose something for ourselves.

The challenge of finding this house though, was still work-related. We had to find something in the DC area for work. We did not want to be downtown. We wanted good schools. And after many years of living in the desert, we wanted a little patch of green. We lucked out and found a 2 acre property in the suburbs of Maryland with an old/new house and workshop. The house is half and half – half built in the ‘50’s, half built in 2004. For the last 10 years though, the owners rented the place out as an investment property and things have gotten a little run-down – not a bad thing, as it brought the price down for us, and it gives us the opportunity to fix it up our way. It’s more than livable in the meantime.

One feature of the house, which I barely noticed when we moved in, was a club house in the back half-acre, which is overgrown with trees and brush. When looking at the property, I had written it off as a falling down play structure that my kids probably wouldn’t be interested in anyway. Something to tear down. I barely glanced at it. Turns out, it’s actually a darn solid, quite good sized club house and my 11yo and her friend are definitely interested in fixing it up. I think that this will be a great forum for me to keep track of the progress, and I will start with some ‘before’ photos.

I don’t think this was a ‘kit’ playhouse. It was made quite well by somebody who knew what they were doing. Besides the obvious cleaning and painting that this house needs, the railing on the ‘porch’ needs replacing, I may want to brace the main posts with a couple of additional beams (the house is sturdy enough to hold adults without wobbling, but I’d feel better in the long run with additional safety measures), and the kids were also discussing doors, screens and shutters for camping purposes.

-- "My plate is full, I can't possibly take on anything more... Oh, look! A project!"



11 comments so far

View Richard's profile

Richard

1901 posts in 2156 days


#1 posted 10-27-2014 05:56 PM

I would almost bet that the Kids House gets fixed up before the main house. :)

View pretzer's profile

pretzer

21 posts in 780 days


#2 posted 10-27-2014 06:05 PM

This sounds really fun. Quit an adventure for the kids.Clean wholesome fun. I want to see pictures when it’s remodeled !

View ConnieReed's profile

ConnieReed

59 posts in 775 days


#3 posted 10-27-2014 07:20 PM

The house, as is, is a great fixture for the kids and so I thought it would be nice to share for others who are looking for inspiration. I won’t try to take credit for the building of it, I don’t know the builder, but I know that my father had been the type to look at photos, get out his yellow pad and pencil, and start planning, so I thought I should pass these photos along :) I will use this blog to keep track of progress and post updates.

I haven’t taken any measurements, but if anyone has any questions about specifics, I can break out the tape measure. I may be doing this eventually anyway as I want to build a chicken coop and why not copy what I already have? (just not so high!)

And you’re right Richard… this house will probably get work done before the main house, especially as the kids’ other grandpa is coming to visit soon and wants in on the to-do lists!

-- "My plate is full, I can't possibly take on anything more... Oh, look! A project!"

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

2635 posts in 2575 days


#4 posted 10-28-2014 12:46 AM

Very nice. I think you should look into corner braces for the stilts. It will prevent racking of the structure when the kids are running around up there. Reference this-http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/corner+brace

These pics are let in corner braces on a house, but you get the idea. All homes have to be braced like this, there are a few options. I live in earthquake country, so we are more sensitive to bracing issues. I’d recommend it for your children’s improved safety.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5059 posts in 2613 days


#5 posted 10-30-2014 12:10 AM

What a great play house! I’ll keep this on my watch list!

-- Dean

View NormG's profile

NormG

5507 posts in 2470 days


#6 posted 10-30-2014 11:53 PM

Congrats and have fun, get the kids involved as much as possible

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View ConnieReed's profile

ConnieReed

59 posts in 775 days


#7 posted 11-03-2014 04:13 AM

Dark_Lightning – It looks like the builder put diagonals on one corner only, which is better than nothing(!) and it is sturdy enough when I get up into the house, but yes, I will definitely feel more comfortable about it with more than one corner braced! I’ve been in a couple of earthquakes, which are definitely frightening the higher up in a building you are when you ride one out, but am less familiar with the building requirements for them. I’m from Florida though, and recall that my dad had to take extra measures to brace the roof of our home and his workshop to prevent hurricane damage. Probably similar to earthquake bracing.

-- "My plate is full, I can't possibly take on anything more... Oh, look! A project!"

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7483 posts in 1473 days


#8 posted 11-03-2014 02:34 PM

Looks like a win – win – win situation there. A “new” house, has the beginnings for a workshop, PLUS a cool playhouse for the kids. Will be watching to see which one gets worked on first :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7483 posts in 1473 days


#9 posted 12-21-2015 09:10 PM

OK Connie. You’ve been here a year… so which one is it? The house? The workshop? Or the playhouse?
Which one was improved upon most this past year? :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View ConnieReed's profile

ConnieReed

59 posts in 775 days


#10 posted 12-21-2015 09:44 PM

The house and the yard. :) I can actually force my way through the vines, brush and deadwood and get to the back of the property now. When we bought the place, it was practically impassable! There’s still a lot of clearing to do, but it’s beginning to look like a backyard, not a jungle of doom, now! I’ve been working on organizing the house too, but we’ve also been venturing into hobbies where I’ve needed to learn to sew as well.

Soooo many hobbies, so few hours in a day!

-- "My plate is full, I can't possibly take on anything more... Oh, look! A project!"

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7483 posts in 1473 days


#11 posted 12-22-2015 12:39 AM

I hear you girl. Seems like now that I’m retired, I cant find time to accomplish much of anything LOL

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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