Cubby House

on July 11, 2016

When I bought our house, my children asked for a cubby house, they wanted their own special place to hangout with their friends and make their own.

I built the first part of the cubby house in early 2016 without plans. Wood for construction comes in standard sizes, so I built the cubby house to fit those standard sizes. It worked out that a 2.4m x 1.8m rectangular box fit in the space that we had and also worked very well with standard wood sizing.

Materials used

  1. treated pine for the base and flooring
  2. standard 70x35 construction pine for the framing above the floor
  3. treated pine garden edging for the outside clasdding
  4. 12mm plywood (painted) for the roof
  5. standard 70x35 construction pine for the balcony railings

In hindsight, I should have used a more robust paint on the plywood because after a year it started rotting.

Below is the first iteration of the cubby house. You will notice the solar panel and battery, which I hadn’t initially planned to add but decided to when my children asked for internal and external lights in their cubby.

Below is the cubby house at night with the outdoor light (powered by the solar panel and battery) on

Several months later, I gave my son and daughter a Cruisin Co Electric Car and a few months after that I built them a trailer for the cars. I wanted to find a spot for them to be able to park their cars and decided to add a garage to their cubby house. I incorporated the solar panels into the roof of the garage.

I added a second 2.4m x 1.8m section to the cubby house to serve as a garage for their cars and to support the growing electrical needs of the family.

The electronics setup was as follows:

  1. 3 x 250w solar panels from house installations (used)
  2. Tracer 2215RN MPPT charge controller
  3. 12v, 105ah sealed lead acid battery (gel)

From this electronics setup I ran the following electronics:

  1. 12v LED lights controlled by light switches for interior and exterior of the cubby house. I used the timer function on the Tracer 2215RN to supply electricity only at night because the kids had a habit of turning on the lights but not turning them off.
  2. Arduino to run two RGB leds on either side of the front door. These were turned on at night automatically by the Tracer 22015RN.
  3. Charging stations for their Cruisin Co Electric Cars using buck/boost regulators with current control. These were connected directly to the solar panel so they only worked during the day.
  4. Pond pump which was directly connected to the battery and ran 247
  5. 7 x 12v LED lights for the garden. These were turned on at night automatically by the Tracer 22015RN.

The kids were very excited at the extension and loved that they had a place to park their cars. The addition of the electronics made it possible for them to use the cubby house at night and explore the garden without their imaginations running wild in the dark.