Cheerful Home

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Our particular treehouse / reading loft / fort is going in a corner of the basement, and being made from scrap wood that’s in our garage.  It will be a 5 feet by 5 feet square, except the front corner will be angled off, and hopefully have a slide there some day soon!  It’s part loft bed, part playground, totally fun!

Here’s the after-I-cleaned-out-the-toys but before we actually started building the loft picture:


playroom corner before loft

playroom corner before loft


Here’s how we built the basic structre:
We need 5 vertical “posts”– one for each corner, and two for the angled corner.  A website with plans for building a loft bed (  recommends using 4×4 posts, but since we don’t have those and are using up scrap wood from the garage, we just fastened two 2×4’s together with long drywall screws.
For the “beams” we used 2×6’s.  We cut two 5 foot pieces, and two 3 foot and 1/2 inch pieces.  We left the fifth piece until the others were attached and measured it exactly (this was the angled corner piece).  For the two 3 foot pieces and the angled piece, we cut mitred corners so they’d fit together and not leave rough edges sticking out.
We attached the beams to the posts using 6″ long 3/8ths carriage bolts, nuts, and washers.  Each carriage bolt/nut/washer set was about $2.50ish at Home Depot, and we are planning to use 14 of them.
carriage bolts

carriage bolts

  The bottom of the beams are 45.5″ from the floor (this made the hole we pre-drilled in the post right at 48″).  Since all of the posts will be attached to two beams, for each corner we did one bolt centered in the beam and post, and the other bolt was off-set of center.
bolting beam to post

bolting beam to post

This is how we did the first beam to each post– centered on the post, centered on the beam, pre-drilled a hole 48″ high on the post, and 1.75″ from the end of the beam vertically, 1.5″ in from the beam width-wise.

This is a mitred corner beam end, it will attach to the angled piece. 22 degree mitre cut.

Building the frame:

building basic frame



Basic top level frame:

basic top-level frame completed

basic top-level frame completed

I also took a wood file and filed down the mitred/angled corners so there wouldn’t be a rough edge sticking out.

Finally, because we couldn’t use a single sheet of plywood for the floor (due to our 5×5 dimesions), and to add extra support, we added a 2×4 as a cross beam.

adding a cross beam

adding a cross beam



We need to add the bottom-frame to make it more sturdy and the floor/deck to get the basic structure complete.  Then we can get on to the fun part of adding the climbing wall, plexi-glass panels, canopy, lights, guard rail, etc.  I can’t wait– this is going to be such a cool place for the monkey and his stuff!



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!

Welcome to Cheerful Home!  This blog is just my way of keeping up with what’s going on in our house and sharing our fun with family and friends. 

There’s always a project (or two or three!) going on in our house, and I hope that by chronicling them here, we’ll be more likely to finish the projects and maybe inspire others to tackle their own project monsters. 

I’m also trying to be more green around the house, learn to cook, and find ways to build up our savings in these uncertain economic times.   Add a toddler to the mix, and I now understand why being a stay-at-home-mom is a full time job!

Please join in our fun!  Feel free to comment and make suggestions on our projects– what we did wrong, what could be better, what you liked, and what we should tackle next.

Hello world,

Cheerful Mama