A sod-covered found-wood playhouse in a woody British backyard

January 9 | Guest post by J0_M0

Come along with me and experience the tale of the time J0_M0 decided to build his kids a log playhouse in the English countryside, using only found wood and purchasing only a bag of nails. -Cat

Log House 2009
This is the finished product, but it took some time to get here.

All the logs come from the surrounding trees and the sawn timber is old pallets and scrap from neighbours. The only money I spent was on a couple of bags of nails.

house 2007
July 2007: I thought, 'Wouldn't it be great to have a log cabin down there? I could finish that by the end of the summer.'

house 2007
August 2007: Starting to look like something. A pile of logs?

house 2007

house 2007
This is what happens when you pull a log from the bottom of the pile.
house 2007
September 2007
house 2007
The stairs are made from an old door.

house 2007

house 2007
October 2007: I started filling in the frame of the front wall with split logs. Horizontal on the inside and vertical on the outside.
house 2007
Mid-October and the roof is nowhere near finished.
house 2007
The days were getting short and I'd run out of timber. It would have been nice to have the roof on.
Log House 2008
February 2008 brings a really heavy frost. -4 degrees Celsius.
Log House
May. I finished off the back wall leaving a gap for a door to the right. Got to build some steps round the back at some point.
Log House
Need to let some light in when the roof is on, so added two sticky-out, pointy skylights.
Log House
June. Summer arrives and I get the first bits of the roof on. This is going to take a lot of pallets to cover.
Log House
That floor panelling on the skylight looks a bit ugly, but it won't be seen when there is grass growing up there.
Log House
Starting to look like a house now.
Log House
Those planks on the roof went on pretty quick. It took me a lot longer to break them apart from the palette.
Log House
I threw that plastic sheet up there to keep the rain off while I carried on chopping and sawing inside.
Log House
This is the view from the back in August 2008.
Log House
A couple of blue tarpaulins on the roof came from Poundland, the rest are skip finds and fertilizer sacks. It will look fine once it's covered in grass. Still not worked that out yet.
Log House
Compost thrown over the plastic sheeting makes a huge difference. The odd clump of grass shoved in at random. I guess it will take until next year for grass to take hold.
Log House
Grass growing on the roof. It's only taken me a year to get to this!
Log House
Side wall just about finished.
Log House 2009
February 2009.

Log House 2009

Log House 2009
April, and the grass is looking fine.
Log House 2009
I started looking for wood to make a door. What a weird shape it will have to be.
Log House 2009
August. I cut the grass on the roof two weeks ago and it's grown back quick.
Log House 2009
Somehow the shape of the doorway looks even stranger from the inside.
Log House 2010
December 2010. Winter has come early to the Shire.
Log House 2010
50cm of snow and the roof is still holding up.

I thought I'd spend a few weeks building a log house for the kids to play in. If only I'd thought about it a bit harder — this took over two years!

  1. This is…. AWESOME! It looks like a wee hobbit house! :D I want one!!

    4 agree
  2. this is absolutely brilliant. i particularly love the process photos – thanks for including so many of them so we can really get a look at how it came together. truly amazing.

    4 agree
  3. So lovely. I wonder, do your kids play in it a lot? I imagine they already did when it was still a work in progress. I'd like to play in it myself!

    1 agrees
  4. This is very sweet looking. I like it a lot. I am sure I would have loved it as a child. It seems a bit dark inside, but my real question is HOW did the grass get cut exactly?

    5 agree
  5. This is amazing, and your kids will definitely remember this and probably want to do the same thing for their children :)

    1 agrees
  6. This is quite possible my most favorite thing EVER. I want a grown-up-sized one for me :)

    1 agrees
  7. I'm curious, did you have concrete plans for the materials and layout? or is this fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants?

    1 agrees
  8. Thank you for posting the process in addition to the final product. It makes me think we might be able to accomplish something like this in our own back yard.

    2 agree
  9. I think i'd be very happy living in this beautiful little hibbit house, the simple life for me!

    1 agrees
  10. gorgeous! I am terribly envious of your kids, wld like to live there myself!

    1 agrees

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