Nearly two years ago, for the birthday of our oldest, I made a playhouse.

I designed it using Sketchup, which allowed me to adjust the sizing and layout, while helping me keep track of the materials I’d need.

Thank you to Matisse for guiding me towards notched beams. This one extra step made the finished product many times stronger.

And it’s fun to do.

During the physical build, I took screengrabs of the Sketchup views, brought them into Photoshop, and labeled them to make instructional guides:

Following instructions made the work easy to do and even relaxing.

Thank you to several good people who posted their notching how-to’s on the Internet. It was especially fun to have to make a tool. (Like programming!)

I don’t remember how I came to building the roof with plastic sheeting but it was super easy to do and it has held up nicely.

Off-the-shelf pipe technology is amazing; so many possibilities.

I used a good electric drill to bore holes and then used bolts and nuts with washers to fasten the pieces.

I used outdoor lumber and the structure has held up very well despite being in some rainfall and lots of sun.

If anything, the structure may even have improved as the wood settled into place. Only one beam has started to split a bit.

In conclusion, Libya is a land of contrasts and building a fort is alot like doing anything worthwhile: if you design, plan, and then execute, you will be blessed with a lasting reward.

Here is the final Sketchup model.