I Am a 36 year old construction worker who has probably built more celebrity homes than anyone else... the only catch is that it’s been playhouses for their kids. AMA.
Here’s proof I am who I say I am.
Anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months!
On the topic of how long it takes, do people who purchase a playhouse from you ever get obnoxious and rude when they learn how long it’ll take?
E: should’ve worded this differently.
Do some of your clients act obnoxiously or rude when they learn of the wait time?
For the most part no,..
What sort of features do these houses have? Are we talking plumbing? I assume some sort of electricity for lightning....any temp control besides insulation?
Plumbing, power, fireplaces, AC, chandeliers, water cannons. You name it!
Water canons! I want that for my house! No more solicitors for me!
A great deterrent and you can even have your kids man it for you!
What permits are required for these playhouses?
It ranges from county to county. It really is an area that each building inspector doesn’t know how to classify
Around 300k, which I understand it a lot, but they got way more for their money than a lot of playgrounds get for the same price.
What is the best reaction a kid has had to seeing their new playhouse? Do you find celebrity kids to be desensitized to extravagant things like this, or do they get just as excited as any kid would?
Celebrity kids are just as excited. There really aren’t a ton of luxury products for kids. Kids of all income levels enjoy many of the same things but obviously our playhouses are on a whole different level. Their is a misconception that wealthy kids grow up to be bratty. I have seen absolutely no evidence of that. They have all been so sweet and gracious.
Edit- for typo
Cool work! so do your playhouses need permitting like a regular building? And what's it like having a camera crew hangin around all the time? If my construction crew had a camera following us around, we'd be banned from the air by the first episode, haha.
It really depends on each location, it’s a county by county basis.
Having a camera crew is cool and exhausting. Cool because they capture all the neat processes and lift the energy of the day, but frustrating because it slows work down like crazy.
We’ve had those days as well, but your crew usually has your back.
What has been the most ridiculous addition for a playhouse. Like a gold plated toilet seat or something???
I’d better stay away from this question, it could get me into trouble with my client 🤣😂
Fair enough. I didn't think of that. I bet sometimes you've looked at the brief and been like "what the actual fuck" haha
On the flip side, I love anything that is ridiculous because I think it is a great outlet for creative expression. My clients dream up things that I would never have thought of.
And then I imagine that sets of new ideas and just runs wild. Sweet gig mate, well done
Thank you! Are you from Australia?
Kiwi mate. Its like aussies better cousin
Nice bra! I lived in Australia for a few years and some of my buddies were from New Zealand.
You haven't done any gigs down here?
Nah, I wish I did though! Maybe someday!
What is your favorite feature that you’ve added to a playhouse?
A 200 ft zip line from the 3rd story of a Peter Pan themed playhouse was pretty awesome
from the 3rd story
Haha oh wtf
Check it out. 3 story playhouse
Well considering they were playhouses it probably maxed out at a full 4 ft ceilings.
We are usually minimum of 6ft walls.
Hey man that’s pretty dope. What’s the average square footage of these? I’m imaging you’re building like a club/pool house kinda building. I grew up in the burbs and I only remember kids having those terrible plastic huts.
Thanks for doing this post!
They are anywhere from 80ft2 to 400ft2 so far!
Pictures of your work please?
Check out my Instagram
Do you ever have to consult a structural engineer or other specialized expert for your designs? What was their reaction when they heard it was for a play house?
We do! It depends on where it’s going and how crazy the build is.
I’m a structural engineer and I would love to work on one of these. I’d absolutely bill hourly instead of by square footage though, haha
Where are you licensed? I’m always looking for good engineers.
I know a bunch of engineers in St. Louis! I work for an AV integrator that has branches throughout the US if you have any need for that line of work. Maybe a wave wall with LED tiles so they can watch movies? We can make it happen.
What, what is this? Tell me more (Dm me so I don’t miss it) 🙏🏻
How elaborate are the designs? I can imagine they're basically guest houses for kids
I’ve done some into the 300k range.. they are pretty legit.
Yeah, that's more than my house is worth
Custom work adds up quick. Most of our cost is in labour to create each playhouse.
Fellow Albertan here! First of all, I love your work! Why have you decided to continue to operate your business in Alberta when I assume somewhere like California would have a much better clientele?
Alberta is a great place to own a business with low corporate tax rates. We also have a ton of great talent here. Being so close to the US boarder allows us to capitalize on exchange rates and Albertas lower wages and cost to have a shop.
I'm actually stunned that you're not just posting some PR mumbo jumbo and actually answering some of these questions. Good work.
Hopefully I don’t say anything too stupid 😂
Great questions btw.
Was there ever a playhouse request that you had to turn down? And why?
Yes. I had a guy contact me about building him a playhouse, but I learned that he acquired his wealth unethically so I said no thank you.
How unethical ?
Enough that I turned down his 200k job.
🙌 this makes me so happy, thank you
It felt nice to tell him to take a hike.
Ha you got me! What about pet houses? Ever done those? If so what’s the craziest/coolest one you’ve built?
I have! The pet houses haven’t been too crazy but I did get to build one for Reza (Steph Curry’s boy 🐶)
Were there any playhouses with a theme straight out of Disney or any other big franchise where you had to do a ton of research to properly create? If so, what's the deepest dive you had to do?
We built a wizard house, but that dive was pretty easy with my family being aspiring sorcerers 😉. You start to notice all of the magic that is created for movies and other productions pretty quickly when it’s your job to create.
What are the disadvantages to this job?
It’s sooooo hard to quote crazy buildings. I’ve lost a lot of money on some builds because of that.
Are you saying you operate firm fixed price? I'd figured you'd be cost plus like most home builders for the scale/custom work
I am on a fixed firm price. I don’t like to give one price and surprise them with another. I’d rather take on the risk so I can learn how to be more efficient as a company. If I never had any risk there wouldn’t be any motivation to tighten the ship up.
Have you ever had a situation where the kid has just hated it and argued with their parents?
Do my kids count? They think they’ve been ripped off with the playhouse they have and they definitely argue with me on the daily 😅🤣
Ha ha! That would be horrible, but all the kids we dealt with were incredibly gracious to their parents and us.
That's awesome. I know I'd love a custom playhouse at 32 let alone as a little kid!
Never too old!
Is there any feature you’ve added that you’ve thought about putting into your own home?
Oh ya! Secret doors are a must! A slide to the outside, for quick access to the yard. I also want to rock my chimney and add rappelling hooks for a built in climbing wall. Not to mention the outside of my house will look like a storybook home.
I know it's a stretch- but do you ever take on interns?
I'm studying engineering but have done art as a hobby since 5th grade, I've always wished I could combine the two. I'm a Junior with a 3.6 GPA, interned with NASA last summer, and would be happy to do some sketches/mock-ups for you to see that I'm serious.
I’d love to look into doing that. DM me!
What's the most interesting/crazy playhouse you have built?
I built a castle that sit atop of a mountain in the Rockies. It was ledgit.
Have you ever done or thought about doing a charity playhouse for an hospital or something like that?
We do those all of the time! We work with Make-A-Wish multiple times a year.
Do you think these kids have a chance at a normal childhood? I feel bad for child stars, it seems like so many of their later in life issues are because of the constant exposure in their childhood :(
I think being a child star is significantly different than growing up affluent. All of the kids have been just like any other kid that I know. They are spunky, sweet and sometimes they don’t listen.
It’s not as much about what kids have that makes them adapt to the world as much as it is the lessons they are taught. Honestly both my clients and their kids have been amazing to work with so far.
Do you remember the guy who designed your logo?
... that's me! Hope it's serving you guys well!
Hey!! I do! DM me!
And the logo is serving us well!! Nice work!
What happens when the kid grows up or doesnt want it anymore. Is it repurposed or scrapped?
There really is only a few year gap when kids may not use it, then the grandkids start to come!
Which celebrity was it? Can you name a few.
Steph Curry, Jason Day, Alana De La Garza, Ali Landry, Ryan Zimmerman, among others (I have NDA’s with)
How do NDAs work? Their lawyers make you sign it after they accept your quote? Do you charge extra for that?
You sign a non discloser before you even get to know or work with the client. Then you discuss, design and price it out for them.
Edit- I don’t charge extra for that.
Are you hiring? I'm in LA and work for a photo booth building sets for celebrity parties.
That sounds cool! We are always hiring exceptional talent!
What color is your tooth brush?
Green and white
I love the thought of being able to create new constantly and love your ethics when it comes to it.
What is one feature that your client ask for that you thought was the most creative and unexpectedly awesome?
What standard features do you include in your pitch that are almost always used in the final plans?
A 200 ft zip line from a the 3rd story of a Peter-pan treehouse was pretty rad.
Did....did you ride it?
Oh ya I did! zip line!!!!!!!
Do you construct them at the clients home or build them at your storefront with maybe some final assembly at the clients site? I would think some would be just too big to transport.
Not OP, but he builds them at his shop for the majority. He links an Imgur album of the building process in his warehouse and then a crane dropping the pieces into place for final assembly!
You got it! Thanks for the help, I have a lot of questions rolling in 😂
I’ve seen you mention that you guys hook up power to the houses. How viable would solar panels be to make the playhouses self sufficient?
I’ve wanted to do solar but I haven’t had the chance yet. It appears to be fairly straight forward.
We're you the guy I remember from dragons den where one of the dragons bought a playhouse from you on the spot?
Ha! I was on there but I don’t remember them buying a playhouse on the spot 😅
Ever consider taking your talent to the masses and create prefab kits sold online so the kids in middle America can also enjoy your creations?
All of the time. Someday I will when I can afford the R&D required.
Could you build just a regular adult-sized house but with all the secret rooms and slides and fairy-tale styling?
I plan on doing that for my next home.
Sorry if this question has already been asked!
Do you do any commercial work? (Clinics, amusement centers, hospitals, etc?)
I run a teeny tiny therapy clinic for kiddos (speech, OT, literacy, feeding, etc) and am drooling at your insta. So much attention to detail and so so fun. Stuff like this makes therapy feel less scary and the kids actively want to come back. We did a sort of forest playground theme in our sensory gym but this beats the pants off of us! Beautiful work!!
Yes!!!! OT is going to be a big part of what we do. We have some crazy cool projects for clinics. Check this clinic out! Occupational Therapy
Are you hiring a multi trade and talented fabricator?
They are my favourite! Send us a resume!
How long do these playhouses take to construct?
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