Clubhouse - Fort - Castle - No Adults Allowed!!

FeaturedContest Winner
Picture of Clubhouse - Fort - Castle - No Adults Allowed!!
Screen shot 2011-03-28 at 10.34.57 AM.jpg
Since I was a kid a long long time ago I always had a fascination with building fortes and club houses.  Whether it was out of pillows or cardboard i used whatever was at my disposal.  Now that I have more resources available than just pillows and blankets I decided it was an opportune moment in my life to build a real one for my kids.

I have never built a structure in my life but I started out with 4 4x4 by 16' redwood posts and several bags of quikrete and I was launched past the point of no return.  I scoured the internet and got my general ideas laid out in my head much of the design work I owe to Barbara Butler.  I was consumed for the next several months to building the club house of my dreams.  I have never been so happy in my life building this project.


Structure Base is 5' x 5'
Total Height 17' Appox
Wood - All Redwood
Tubular Slide
Stainless Steel Firepole
Rock Climbing Wall on the back of the structure
Tire Swing
2 Regular Swings
On secret escape door in the back.

Here are the pictures of my work. 
1-40 of 55Next »
a.miller0861 month ago

This is so awesome. I have been wanting to turn my step kids rickety old swing set into a clubhouse of some sort it would be perfect to turn it into something like this in the spring. Thanks for sharing.

ninjanathan9 months ago


Frankly I'm envious! My husband and I have been talking about building a playhouse for our kids, probably in the spring. I'd love to make something like this; I especially like the walkway over the swing set.
M.Hawse1 year ago
Holy Cow! That clubhouse is so awesome. Your photos are fantastic.
Thank you so much for sharing. In a month or so we will have the money to shamelessly copy your wonderful design. It looks awesome! Well done :D
airrob (author)  cherilewthwaite3 years ago
No problem. I shamelessly copied it from She is amazing. If you need any other picts or measurments please feel free to email me and I will send you them.
My boys are starting to get to the age were building one of these would be a good idea. I am looking around to get ideas at the moment. I find that I am also inspired by your great club house.

I am drawing up my plans now. So that I can make the holes for the base in the autumn.
I have some questions about the dimension of the wood that you used.

What size posts do you use.
What size of the beams that go around the post?
Also what is the size of the joists?
Do you find that the swing structure is firm enough? Do you have any other pictures of how that is connected on both ends?

airrob (author)  cherilewthwaite2 years ago
Let me know how your project is coming along.
you won't be the only one :-)
Big Ups to airrob perfectly crafted and technically illustrated.
sweeety3 years ago
For the love of pancakes, put some shoes on!!!!!
dombernard3 years ago
that is so amazing. i will build my son his own castle when he's old enough.. thank you for the inspiration..
airrob (author)  dombernard3 years ago
When you decide to build your castle let me know. I am more than happy to help with support questions. ;)
tlvodra4 years ago
This is AWESOME! A few year ago, I discovered B.Butler's forts and drew out a sketch of one I wanted to make for my daughter. You have just inspired me to dig those sketches out and take another look. You did an amazing job on this fort. I love the secret escape door and all the detail work.
airrob (author)  tlvodra3 years ago

Let me know when you start and I am more than happy to offer any support or tips. The key to this project is planting the four posts in the ground. Once you do that you are at the point of no return.
lesteryoder3 years ago
Congratulations on your winning entry. Very nice job. This is the kind of quality anyone could be proud of.
airrob (author)  lesteryoder3 years ago
Thank you! I am humbled. This is an awesome community with great feedback and support from members like you.
theshort3 years ago
Congratulations, very cool and thrilled for you.
airrob (author)  theshort3 years ago
Thank you! This is an amazing community. I am elated.
PentaSoul3 years ago
Very nice job! And Congratulations!
airrob (author)  PentaSoul3 years ago
Thank you!!! There were some amazing projects in the running. I am truly floored.
gtrachel3 years ago
I know everyone has already gone on and on about how flabbergastingly awesome this castle is, but I have to chime in anyway. From the cool old-school door with the iron details to the mandatory curly slide, just 100% glorious.
dalesql3 years ago
Most excellent. Looks like all the neighborhood kids have already made use of it. Only comment I'll make is that after five to ten years, the vertical posts that are in the ground are going to be rotting and start to get unstructural. Suggest going out a couple times per year and probe the base of each post with a nail. Big framing nail like a 16p. Push hard with finger pressure with the nail on all four sides of each post. If you can push it into the wood, then you have found rotten wood.

Then need to cut off the post an inch or so above ground level and install one of those sheet metal supports that are made to keep vertical posts out of contact with the ground and the moisture therein. Will also have to route out the buried wood and make a new solid concrete footing. These supports are not meant for large lateral strength, mainly for vertical strength, so may have to add some structure to the ones on the rope ladder side.
airrob (author)  dalesql3 years ago
Thanks for your information, where were you when I started this.. I will keep you "posted" on the rot issue. So far so good. I did put gravel underneath them and brushed roofing sealer on the ends. Also hopefully the California climate and the redwood posts will last until the kids are in college.
banks4123 years ago
Did you say this cost 8-9k? $8,000-$9,000 dollars? Really?
Looks like you could have a new day job... This thing is amazing! And don't forget my discount when I see your company on Shark Tank (plug).
This is amazing! You are a awesome Dad!
Doofus893 years ago
WOW!! That is amazing!! Wish I had a garden big enough to do this!!
Honus3 years ago
Beautiful! Now that is something to be proud of saying you built it yourself.
jimmy5444 years ago
This looks fantastic. Wish i could build something like that.
The colors are great! I love all the little details. :D
craftyv4 years ago
Absolutely Fabulous. Wow what any kid would want, I am so impressed.
Wow, it's rare that I take the time to leave a comment when i view something, but this is a truly wonderful job. based on your pictures I would have never guessed that was your first time building a clubhouse, your construction was very well accomplished. I'm also impressed with how well you documented the build, I always forget to take pictures and then wish I had; you have some very lucky kids and I hope they are having lots of fun in their castle fort.
airrob (author)  Matt2 Silver4 years ago
Thanks!! My wife took most of the pictures.
hjostrander4 years ago
AMAZING! i want this fort!
if only i had a back yard to put it in :P
Carleyy4 years ago
Beautiful! Just curious how long this took you to build?
airrob (author)  Carleyy4 years ago
Thanks! It took about 4 months of working on it after work and weekends. There were a few weeks in between that I didn't work on it at all, waiting for stain or other parts or just R & R.
canida4 years ago
That is gorgeous, and looks like an incredible amount of fun!
dmdsanchez4 years ago
Hi, beautiful work. How much was the final tab???
airrob (author)  dmdsanchez4 years ago
Thank you. The cost excluding all of the tools I bought as an excuse to make this was about 8-9k.

If I would do it again I would not all use clear redwood boards ($$$). Since I would be staining the wood which covers a lot of imperfections and more knots would add character to the structure anyways.
paganwonder4 years ago
Very Nicely Done! One of the requirements for our current house was a tree-house tree in the back yard- we lucked out and found most of the lumber at Habitat for Humanity ReStore for about a dime/dollar pricing- when I finished the railing it was a good day to be a dad!
1-40 of 55Next »