Intro: Fast and Easy, PVC Kids Fort (for Under $60)
Who doesn't love a good fort? Whether they are built indoors or out, forts of all kinds are pretty much awesome. Especially when you're a kid!
Recently, my 8 year old daughter asked me to build her a "Club House". A place outside, that she could go hang out, use for walking games, and maybe, just maybe, invite her little sister in for a game or two.
After discussing a few of her ideas, I came up with a simple design for a 6x5x8 structure that she liked and went to task.
Step 1: Lots of Pipe and a Few Tools...
For the build, I decided on using PVC pipe. It's light, easy to work with, and to be 100% honest...it's super cost effective. Plus we can move it around the yard and even disassemble it, if needed, in case of a bad storm.
Once the design was finalized, I heading to Lowe's to pick up the needed materials:
10 x 1" PSI 200 PVC Pipe (10 ft) $2.46 ea x 10 = $24.60 (there was a 10% discount on 10)
8 x 2" Pieces of Pipe
1 x 21" Piece of Pipe
4 x 24" Pieces of Pipe (2 ft)
1 x 48" Piece of Pipe (4 ft)
4 x 50" Pieces of Pipe
5 x 60" Pieces of Pipe (5 ft)
3 x 72" Pieces of Pipe (6 ft)
2 x 1" Schedule 40 PVC Pipe(10 ft) $3.90 ea x 2 = $7.80
4 x 48" Pieces of Pipe (4 ft)
2 x 1-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sch 40 Slip Elbow $.66 ea x 2 = $1.32
10 x 1-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sch 40 Tee $.86 ea x 10 = $8.60
4 x 1-in Dia 45-Degree PVC Sch 40 Slip Elbow $.97 ea x 4 = $3.88
6 x 1-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sch 40 Side Outlet Elbow $2.05 x 6 = $12.30
As for tools, I simply used a sharpie to mark the pipe, a hack saw to cut the pipe, the blunt side of a hatchet to tap the pipes together, and bit of nylon cord (not pictured) to tie down the roof. Oh, I also used a tape measure (not pictured)
Step 2: The Base...
First connect 1 x 72" (6 ft) piece of 1" PSI 200 PVC Pipe (to act as the back of the fort) to 2 x 60" (5 ft) pieces of 1" PSI 200 PVC Pipe (sides) using 4 x 1-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sch 40 Side Outlet Elbows (one on each corner).
Add 2 x 24" (2 ft) pieces of 1" PSI 200 PVC Pipe to the front 90-Degree elbows (one left and one right).
Then add 1 ea 1-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sch 40 Slip Elbow connectors to each 24" pipe, as an end cap.
*The goal is to have a basic room layout with 6 vertical facing outlets.
Step 3: The Walls and the Door Frame
Once you have your base down, add 1 x 48" (4 ft) pieces of 1" Schedule 40 PVC Pipe into the vertical outlets on each corner and cap them with a 1-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sch 40 Tee connector (facing vertically).
Add 1 x 48" (4 ft) pieces of 1" PSI 200 PVC Pipe into each of the vertical outlets attached to the 24" front sections and cap each with a 1-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sch 40 Tee connector (facing horizontally).
Place the 21" piece of 1" PSI 200 PVC Pipe between the horizontal tee connectors framing the door way.
Take 2 x 24" (2 ft) pieces of 1" PSI 200 PVC Pipe and connect 1 each between the horizontal and vertical tee connectors framing the front facing wall.
Now, this is where it gets fun and the fort really starts to take shape...(and the kids start to get excited)
On each corner, add the additional 2" pieces of 1" PSI 200 PVC Pipe to the top of each tee connector.
Finally, add 1 x 1-in Dia 45-Degree PVC Sch 40 Slip Elbow to the top of each.
Step 4: Raising the Roof...
With most of the basic structure for the fort done, all that's left is to attach the 5 pipes and 2 connectors, that make up the roof.
On a ladder (or a chair, your call), connect each of the pipes for the roof (front to front/back to back) via 1 x 1-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sch 40 Side Outlet Elbows. Then add the final 1 x 60" (5 ft) pieces of 1" PSI 200 PVC Pipe in between the 2 x elbow joints, thus completing the roof supports of the fort.
Step 5: It's Time to Play!!!
Once everything has been assemble and the fort is standing, add a roof of your choice. We used 1 twin top sheet, which I installed 6 eyelets in. Then using nylon cord, I secured it to the horizontal bar on the right side, draped it over the center support and secured it on the left side.
Finally, pick the perfect spot for the fort and move it into place.
All in all, it took about an hour and a half to measure everything, cut the pipes, and assemble it. It was well worth the time and money ($58.50 before tax), for the amount of fun my daughters are having with it.
I hope you enjoyed this Instructable...now go outside and play :-)
*Please note, this fort is only held together with pressure, so that it could be assembled and disassembled when needed. You can make the fort more permanent, by joining the pipes with pluming primer and cement. You could also drill small holes through the connection joints and insert pins (which I may do at a later date).
**You can also add more sheets, to decorate the walls and give your fort a little more privacy.