Whether you are fixing up your old childhood playhouse for your own kids, or simply sprucing it up for a bit more fun, there are a number of ways to renovate your old outdoor playhouse. The following are some ideas to get the ball rolling on building the perfect haven for your kids.
First and foremost, you need to perform certain checks (and if necessary, reparations) to ensure that the outdoor playhouse is still a safe place to play. Perhaps the most basic thing to check for is worn and weak wood, usually caused by fungus called dry rot. Support structures should be the first to be checked, and if they are especially bad, you may have to rule out renovations and simply build a new playhouse, salvaging what you can. However, wall sheathing, flooring, etc. should be fairly simple to replace if necessary.
Doors, Windows, and Roofs
Check for water damage in the roof, doors, and windows. Add shingles if you don’t have them on already, and replace old ones if needed. Use caulking to seal doors and windows properly after fixing any water damage there. Also, keep an eye out for damaging bugs, such as termites or some beetles, which eat wood. If this appears to be a problem, call an exterminator.
Lastly, be sure to give the wood a good once over with a sander, especially if you plan to paint or stain it.
Adding Functionality and Fun
There are many things that can be done to make the outdoor playhouse more practical and perhaps cut down on future maintenance. For starters, as mentioned above, adding shingles to the roof if not already there. Putting up siding also helps, especially if you want something easy to clean. If you don’t want siding, you can use paint, external varnish, or stains to protect the wood in the future.
Consider Water and Electricity
Adding running water or electricity is a big step in a playhouse renovation. Unless you have experience with plumbing or electrical you might want to bring in a professional to help you with this.
Many fun add-ons are available for the playhouse interior. For starters, building shelves or cupboards will help save on space inside. A fun alternative to shelves is attaching rain gutters as narrow shelves for odds and ends, or perhaps outside under the window so your child botanist can plant flowers. Instead of a boring wooden chair inside, why not consider a small swinging chair, or even a hammock?
Other Fun Additions
The add-ons don’t stop inside, either. From the roof of your outdoor playhouse, extend a few beams to act as monkey bars or a swing set. Adding working shudders to the windows not only is appealing to the eye, but can protect your playhouse windows when bad weather hits hard.
And if you’re feeling really ambitious, you can add a second story to the playhouse. Or, replace the shingled roof with a mini watch tower, maybe even with a slide down to the ground.