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Project Playroom– Building a Reading Loft / Fort / Indoor Treehouse: The Fun Begins!

Posted on: July 13, 2009

In an effort to turn our finished basement into usable family space instead of a pit of brightly colored plastic toys, we’ve decided to turn one corner into a playroom for the munchkin. The challenge is for the space to be not only a great adventure spot for kiddos, but for it to also “organize” (aka hide!) a bunch of toys and make the basement someplace we can hang out as a family.

It started out pretty innocently– I was looking at kid’s furniture catalogs and websites for toy boxes, cubbies, table and chairs, the normal stuff you might put in a playroom. I ran across some school supply catalogs that had these neat “reading lofts” — basically elevated platform type things that double the space and provide a neat hide-a-way for little ones. Or, in my case, provide a nice “toy closet” for all the plastic junk on the bottom and a cool hangout on the top! perfect-o! too bad the price tag on one of these suckers is over $3,000 and this is supposed to be a budget re-do of the basement.

So, being blessed with a hubby who likes projects and building stuff, and a garage full of miscellaneous wood from other projctes–I measured the space, sketched out a frame on the back of an envelope, and headed to Home Depot.

Our “treehouse” as the munchkin is calling it, is going to be a 5 foot by 5 foot space to fit into a basement corner. We’re trying to use up scrap wood that’s in our garage, including some pieces of a climbing wall I bought years ago from a gymnastics gym that was closing. So, at the Home Depot, we bought 6″ long 3/8 carriage bolts, washers, nuts and two boxes of playground timber “gloves”– basically a cover that wraps around playground beams to keep kdis from getting splinters. (You can find the “gloves” near the DIY swingset kits. Defenitely not a neccessity for this project, but since they were on clearance for $5 per box, and each box has 2, I figure they’ll add to my tree theme and cover up the fact that we used 2×4’s screwed together instead of 4×4 posts).

Next up– how to build an indoor treehouse for a little monkey and just a little money! I’ll include pictures throughout the process so you can do it too!


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