The House Grandpa Built

My grandfather built this house for me when I was 8 years old. He came and lived with us for a short while, and during that time, he managed, with few power tools, to make this house for me, and a red barn for my brother. Somehow, through all the moves we made while my Dad was in the service, this is the only plaything of mine that survived. My Mom had it for a long time, and then my sister stored it at her home. She asked if I wanted it back a year ago, and I said YES. When I got it back home, I went to work on it right away.

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The original house Front of house Left side of house Back of house with bathroom Right side of house Interior with new flooring Interior with furniture

The rehab process:

Front Left side Corner with trim missing The roof was falling apart at the edges Interior A view of the dividing walls The end pieces that fit under the roof Clamps Primed structure Priming Shutters Roof Trim Front door Kitchen door Window panes Curtains
The original house

The original house, built over 60 years ago. The roof had to be removed to play with it from the top. I remember sitting on the floor and reaching into it, after the table disappeared in a move. I have not been able to find a pattern in any book, or a magazine that has the plans for it. I think my grandfather designed it himself.

Front of house

Current front of the house.

Left side of house

Left side of house with kitchen door.

Back of house with bathroom

Back of house with bathroom window in the middle.

Right side of house

Right side of house with the bedroom windows.

Interior with new flooring

Interior with new flooring.

Interior with furniture

Interior with furniture. For years, I have collected Renwal plastic furniture, which is like the original my Mom bought for the house when it was newly built.


Picture of original front of house before my renovation.

Left side

Left side.

Corner with trim missing

Corner with trim missing.

The roof was falling apart at the edges

The roof was falling apart at the edges.


The interior was a mess. I ripped up all the old flooring and carpeting before I took this picture.

A view of the dividing walls

A view of the dividing walls.

The end pieces that fit under the roof

The end panels that fit under the roof. I replaced the trim pieces with new fiberboard ones, like the originals.


I had to clamp the walls and glue them back into place.

Primed structure

I primed the whole structure. Since it was painted long ago with what I am sure was leaded enamel paint, I wanted to seal it with primer.


I started with two coats of enamel white paint after priming it.


I painted the shutters and trim turquoise like the original color.


On the replacement roof, I used the original John Deere green color of paint.


When I replaced the missing trim, I first painted it, and then glued and clamped it in place.

Front door

I made a new front door.

Kitchen door

A new Dutch door for the kitchen. I added brass doorknobs to it and the front door, and new hinges on both.

Window panes

Because this was meant to be played with, instead of glass I used Lexicon panes for the windows. The attic windows at both ends of the house were left bare, because they are used as handholds when removing the roof for access to the rooms.


New flooring was installed in all the rooms, and colorful curtains were made for all the windows.