Many of you reading this will likely have fond memories of building forts, treehouses, clubhouses, and the like when you were kids. My friends and I had a veracious appetite for such dwellings and built treehouses, underground forts, forts made from piles of firewood, and more. We once built an underground fort with a log roof that was deep enough to stand up in, was filled with regular living room furniture, and had electricity.
For a kid, building a fort is a perfect storm of (reasonably benign) mischievous behavior, a way of establishing your own space and identity away from your family, and an opportunity to flex some budding construction muscle. Of course, those were clandestine forts and structures in the woods that our parents didn’t know about. There are also the family-sanctioned backyard structures. Not as naughty as a rebel outpost you built with the friends, but having your parents in on it means a better build, a bigger budget, a safer structure, and it’s right there in your backyard. And such backyard playspaces aren’t just for kids. Who wouldn’t want a fancy treehouse to use as a writer’s retreat or other quiet time in a magical little space?
Here are some projects and ideas to think about if you have plans to build a playspace in your backyard this spring.
Five basic things to think about when planning on building a treehouse, fort, or other backyard space.
This is not an outdoor treehouse, but a magical indoor one, built by a doting dad for his young daughter.
Here’s more about Ethan Schlussler’s bicycle-powered treehouse elevator
I can’t imagine what it would be like to grow up with your own “working” spaceship in your backyard.
For Wendys and Peter Pans who never want to grow up, why not build a tiny house in the air constructed around a tree?
If you build a treehouse, you need a way of getting up to it, here’s a brief how-to on constructing rope and wood ladders.
In this roundup of 7 Awesome Backyard Builds, we present additional epic backyard projects, from a MechWarrior treehouse, to your own personal monorail, to, yes, a backyard pirate ship.