How to Build a Fort

In the past, building a fort meant protection against impending attack. Today it means a structure for kids to play in. Here is a guide to making one yourself.

Required Tools and Materials

Several pieces of plywood
Screws or bolts
Nails
Saw
Curtains
Tape measure (optional)
Wiring and lights (for electricity)
Drill
Extension chords

Choose a Site

You can make one in the backyard or on top of a tree. You also need to decide if you’re going to create it in an open field or around a preexisting edifice. Making it around a preexisting edifice means more support. An open area lets you have more control over the shape and structure.

When you’ve made your choices, dig around the site. Make sure when you’re building a fort that the extension chord can supply the power later on.

Create the Flooring

Get some 2 x 4s and place them at the foundation of fort. Make certain that the surface is level. If necessary firm the ground first. Since this is the supporting structure it needs to be very flat. Use a tape measure to get the height right.

Once the measurements are right, make the support. Use a 1 x 4 as brace. Stomp on the supports. This is to ensure that the foundation can withstand the weight of children on them. Hammer in as many nails as necessary.

Make sure that it is very sturdy, especially if there will be a lot of kids. When building a fort, safety is of paramount importance. To be sure, the supports should be at least 12 inches in the ground.

Setting up the Crossbeams

Grab four wood poles. Have someone hold the pole while you set the points where they should be drilled. After the post is drilled, repeat the process for the other three corners. Hold the crossbeam in position and have your assistant nail it into place. Repeat the process for the three sides except the front.

Take two wood boards and put on the front and back. Put the pole at the top of the already made crossbeam. Repeat the steps you did for the corner and sides.

Finishing Touches

Cut a piece of wood. Get your child involved in building a fort by having him / her suggest the name. Now add the shower curtain rings. Put on the curtains. You can add some vines and plants around the site. You can also add some tree branches around the place to hide it.

Tips and Warnings

If you’re going to supply it with electricity, make sure that it’s properly tested first. Try any of the electrical powered appliances or devices before letting the kids play there.

Don’t forget to clean the place first. After the project is finished there’ll be plenty of debris and scattered materials. Clean everything first. If small kids will be playing there, make sure that the power chords are hidden so they don’t tamper with it.

The only limitations when building a fort is your imagination. Don’t forget to ask the kids, so they’ll be part of the construction process too.

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