Thursday, June 5, 2014

Nathaniel's Club House

Building a club house/tree house/play house in our backyard

Difficulty Level (Easy, Medium, Hard, Insane):

The process was fairly straight forward. The first part was similar to building a deck, the second one was more like building a garden shed. The summary steps were as follows:

1. Drill 6holes
2. Set 6 4x4 posts
3. Frame the 8'x12' platform
4. Frame the 6'x8' play house
5. Build 3' railing
6. Shingle the roof
7. Frame the window and door frames
8. Install the soffits and facia
9. Install the cedar siding


Front and side view plan
Framing plan for club house
The calculations for installing the high pressure air piston for the trap door to the upper level
Digging the holes for the posts
4x4 posts installed and Nathaniel with his friend inspecting the work
Building the frame for the platform
Adding the floor joists
The A-frame for the end of the zip line (this is version 2)
After cutting the 6x6 posts for the end of the zip line
A view from the deck to the club house/zip line platform
Building the end of the zip line (this is version 3)
Splitting the 3/8" aircraft steel wire in half
Unwinding 7 turns to get ready for the Flemish eye termination
Re-winding the wire to form a loop (Flemish eye)
The finished Flemish eye
After adding the thimble and two cable clamps finish the end of the wire
Framing one of the club house walls
Another wall (side)
The front wall with the two windows (1st storey & 2nd storey)
Hauling the framed walls up to the platform
Assembling them together
After the sheathing was done
Some trigonometry to calculate the length of the diagonal cut on the roof joists (just for fun)
Framing one half of the roof
One roof section framed and sheathed
Adding the tar paper and the drip edge
Roofing the bottom few runs of shingles. Note to self: NEVER, EVER, EVER shingle a roof on the ground again. This sucker was so heavy, me and a 280 lbs army dude neighbor could barely lift them up onto the play house
Ladder to the upper storey
A view from the top. My eyes were about 15 feet off the ground
Taking a break to enjoy the view
My neighbor and I struggling to get the roof sections up; they must have weighed about 300-350lbs each!
Nate checking out the top level
And then doing a zip line run
Another view from our deck
After I built the back stairs
Th roof is up and getting ready for the railing
The house wrap is done and the railing as well
A view from the back after I put up the corner trims
The front after the corner trims and window jambs were installed
Close-up of the soffit and underlying construction
After the wood was painted with charcoal semi-transparent deck stain
Another view from the front
And a view from the rear
I think it looks pretty cool
I borrowed a friend's truck to drive about half an hour outside of Moncton (Havelock) to pick up some cedar slabs. This entire load only cost me $40 (plus $32 in gas for the truck!)

Starting to put up the siding. I wanted it to look like a swiss hunters cabin
After the front and side were done
After the rear was done
Another view from the front. I love it and I love seeing the kids enjoy it every day!

Hydraulic post hole auger (rental)
Chop saw
Table saw
Drill & drill bits
Angle grinder
MIG welder
Nail gun
Measuring tape
Chalk line
Drill press
Hole saw kit
Framing square
Jig saw
Circular saw
Roofing nailer
Tin snips
Ratchet straps
6' Ladder
Extension ladder
Hand stapler
HVLP spray gun
Chain saw
Wheel barrow
Crow bar
Shop vac
Oxy-Acetylene torch
Adjustable wrenches
Socket set
Saw horses
Extension chords

Too much lumber to list
11 sheets of OSB for sheathing
100' of 3/8" aircraft grade steel cable
A bunch of pulleys, shackles and a turnbuckle
Some chain
2 gal of stain,
House wrap left over from the Work Shop Project
Old tire (for zip line stop)
Some rope
Zip Line Trolley
Tar paper
4 packs of shingles
Soffit, facia, drip edge
Cedar slabs for siding


100-150hrs (I wasn't keeping track)

It has gotten SO much use out of it that it was and still is definitely worth it