Clubhouse Construction – 101
Step by step instructions for building your own playhouse!Congratulations on deciding to build your own clubhouse! When the whole process is broken down into smaller chucks, building your own playhouse really isn’t too difficult. We’re sure that both you and your kids will have a total blast fashioning the playhouse of their dreams. Let’s get started!
The construction of the clubhouse can be broken down into 6 main components. Each of these steps contain multiple executions to complete and move onto the next step. The main steps are:
- Prepping the foundation and building the flooring system – (see below)
In order for us to prepare the foundation and build the floor system, we must first know just how big we want the clubhouse to be. If you have 1 or 2 children between the ages of 2-5, you may only need about 48 square feet or a 5×8′ floor. If you have more than 2 children above 6 years old, we recommend at least a 6×10′ flooring system to allow them to move around freely and grow into.
Step One: The Floor Prepping the foundation and building the flooring system
While you can build the floor box-frame on top of dirt, we recommend that you take the extra effort in the foundation process to make sure your clubhouse will last. There are two good options when it comes to the foundation.
Based on the floor size you have chosen, add 8 inches too all four sides and mark the rectangular corner points of the floor in the ground with stakes. Use the cross-measure technique to determine if your box is square. Next, tie string connecting all the stakes together. Make sure the string is tight and level using a line Level. Making sure this string is level is important or else the grade will not be level either. Dig out at least 6″ of grade inside your string lines. When finished, the grade should be an equal distance from the string line all around. Fill the area with gravel until even with original grade.
If your clubhouse is on the smaller side, you may only need blocks on just the 4 corners for support. However, if the dimensions are more than 6×8, you should also place blocks between the corners as pictured. Use cross-measuring to check for square and a line level to determine the 4 corners are all on the same flat plane. Using flat and large blocks will help keep the clubhouse from settling in the coming years.
Now that the foundation is set, let’s build the floor! Make sure everything is made out of pressure treated lumber to prevent rot. If the clubhouse’s dimensions are smaller than 8×8′, use 2×6 material. If larger, use 2×8 material. Whatever the longest dimension is, that will be our header joist. All the other joists will run perpendicular to that with 16 inch spacing. After making the spacing marks, use a speed square to draw a plumb line to easily line up the joists. After the floor box is built and nailed, use cross measuring to check for square as pictured. Screwing down a piece of lumber on an angle across the joists will keep the box square while doing other work. Make sure that before cutting, you have a sharp blade in your circular saw so you can move along quickly.
Whether you chose a gravel or concrete block foundation, run at least two 4x4s longways from corner to corner as girders and screw them securely to the joists. This’ll keep the joists off the ground and make the clubhouse last longer. After the flooring box is in place, use tongue and groove plywood and construction adhesive to lay on top of the box. Cut accordingly to keep plywood joints from lining up and space them a nails thickness apart for swelling space. For each sheet of plywood, nail every 6 inches along the perimeter and every 12 inches along the top of the joists.
Below is a great motivational video to prove that anyone can build a clubhouse if they’re willing to put the effort in. Check it out: