Having completed the deck–the largest (and first major) building project of my life–last summer, I thought it would be a while since I picked up a hammer again. But I was wrong. When Chris said to me one evening, “Should we have something in the yard for Aidan to play with–like a playhouse or something,” I knew I was in for another project. Don’t get me wrong, Chris (and Aidan too) would have certainly been happy with a couple sheets of plywood leaned up against each other–or one of those large cardboard appliance boxes. But that would be far too easy for me.

After browsing the book aisle at the home improvement store, I found an idea for a “Norwegian Cabin Playhouse.” It was in one of those books that are more ideas than building plans, if you know what I mean. Sure, there were a few photos on how to make the thing, but it certainly assumed a decent amount of building knowledge, as the plans were not very detailed. Perfect! I have very little knowledge but always enjoy a project far more challenging than it needs to be. (What’s wrong with me?)

I set to work, buying materials, thinking things through–all the while Chris and Aidan looking at me like I was a little crazy. (Remember, I’m a bookish English teacher type turned amateur builder. Could I pull it off?) As I began, it seemed that it actually wasn’t too difficult. I think after digging nearly forty 42-inch deep holes by myself for the deck last year, nothing seems too difficult by comparison. In the end, the project may have been a little time-consuming because I work kind of slow, but it really wasn’t that tough–again, not like the deck where there were some days I was nearly praying for death or just wanting to abandon the whole thing and move.

The little cabin actually turned out pretty well. It’s got an interior dimension of 6×8 plus a little 2×6 deck, has a green roof which is very cool, three large screened windows, a screened door, and a secret “jump-through window” for Aidan to escape out the back of the house if need be ;-) Aidan loves it. In fact, I like hanging out inside. It’s big enough for an adult and is the perfect retreat for all. I wonder what I’ll build next year. (There’s not much room left in the yard, though.) We’ll see. Check out the photos above.