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Idea for Dollhouse


Manda S
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I would really like to build a dollhouse, as you would an actual house, like to scale with everything, studs, door framing, etc. I was thinking of making the floor of foamboard, and building the walls up from that, but I am trying to figure out a layout, as well as some more of the details. I need to figure out how I will electrify it, too. My main focus right now is to figure out a main layout idea, how many floors, wall height, places of walls, etc. any suggestions would be much appreciated. have any of you ever built a house like this?

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It really depends on what style of house you're going to build. Your ceilings should be no less then 8 inches high if building in the 1:12 scale. Victorian and Colonial homes generally have higher ceilings around 10 inches. As for a floor plan, welcome to my world :lol: . Ive been working on a house plan for a while and im still changing things! The problem is I want to replicate an actual home floor plan which is a bit of a challenge.

Do you want a house thats open in the back only, or on the sides too? Or do you want hinged walls? These are important questions you should ask yourself as each of these elements will make a big difference! I recomend you find a picture of a house you like and go from there. good luck :banana:

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oh man, as if i didn't already think i had a lot to think about on it, but hinged walls...lol. actually i really would like to build a house that is as much like a real house as i can get. that is to say that i would like to have it enclosed on all sides, but hinged also, so what would i use for walls then...hmmm...suggestions on that, and i am off to look at floorplans, mostly victorian....lol. i really think i need to just sit down with some graph paper and draw out a floorplan of my own. i have a lot of ideas in my head, i want it to have high ceilings, fancy woodwork, etc....loads of ideas..need to buy graph paper and start drawing i gues....

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I design my own houses. The Bungalow has side walls that come off, rather than an open back or opening front.

http://grazhina-thebungalow.blogspot.com/

Tall Chimneys is open on two sides in a right angle

http://tallchimneys.blogspot.com/

I've got partial plans drawn out for a Colonial row house that is open all along one side, which is another option. I recall seeing a couple of Dutch canal dollhouses that were set up this way too.

You need to decide what rooms you really want. Planning your own house gives you the opportunity to make larger rooms, so you can display things better, but on the other hand, larger rooms can lead to an absolutely enormous dollhouse, so you have to balance things out.

Quite a few people build houses in the real life manner, with framing and studs. You can get a book about real life building and go from there, copying everything in scale. In a way, it could even be an easier build, if you're the kind of person who really needs precise plans to follow. I know I've seen books about timberframing, which is the old fashioned way of framing they used in the 1700's, before modern balloon framing was invented. Those books often have very detailed drawings. If you built a timberframed house you don't need to feel that you have to make it Colonial or anything like that. There are people who built timberframe houses even today, because they like the look of exposed beams, etc.

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Hi and welcome !! :banana: Just an idea, but what if you make so the floors stack? If they are stick built they shouldn't be to heavy. As for wiring, round wire is probably your better bet.

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well, my dad is a contractor, so i can use him for information on building, as well as the internet. my three year old thinks she needs to help, which is fine, so it could be a fun adventure in the end...lol. I am headed to walfart today to get some graph paper and start drawing a layout, i really love the corner type houses, like the L shaped ones, but who knows. I like the idea of the floors lifting off. I kinda want it to be most of the way enclosed so that you have to look through the windows to truly see in, i love that idea....lol. I have looked at some house plans, but they are all so big......it would be like a 60" x 40" dollhouse, and i don't have that kind of space.....lol

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How about a "play from the top house?" The entire roof could be hinged like a door, with a piano hing perhaps, or just lift off completely. Then you could actually have all the rooms where you want them, withouth worrying about them overlapping and being behind walls, hidden from the back view. Best of luck with the build.

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I always thought a stick house would be cool. However, once you have the 'drywall' up, who is ever going to know? Plus the weight would really be prohibitive. Something to think about.

Have you seen the stick house from HBS? There is a picture of it on the cover of their new catalog with some construction guys. Adorable.

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Another wood framer!

I only build wood framed houses and I can't emphasize enough the importance of a strong foundation. If you do build a house this way, you should use a plywood sheet (preferably 1/2" or thicker) with a couple of 1" X 2" wood support beams underneath for support and to allow a space for reaching underneath to pick it up when you move your house. The other thing you will need is a jig for cutting the studs. I tried measuring and cutting each stud by hand, but at such a small scale the slightest variance in length will make framing impossible. I don't have a table saw, so I glued a small piece of wood to the plywood base of my B&B exactly 9 3/4" from the edge of the base. I then braced the board against the jig and cut the board with a hand saw along the edge of the base. I cover the plywood base with non-compressed styrofoam for the yard, which pressed right over the jig when I was finished. A layer of glue, scenic sand and static flock makes for a nice lawn.

As for wiring, I cut a small knotch out of every stud about 1.5 inces from the lower end for holding the wiring in place. wiring outlets and wall lights on both sides of the wall can be done, but it will be very difficult. For a wall with working outlets/lights, I panel the wall on one side with 1/16" wood sheets. Next run a duplex round wire through the knotches with the area to be soldered stripped. The studs hold the wire right at the eyelets perfectly. One other recommendation would be to use nothing softer than bass wood. Balsa will not hold up at all.

Hope this is useful.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Welcome to the little family, Amanda; you little girls are gorgeous! Mini years ago I had bookmarked a site showing a stick-built mini house. Dorie Krusz wrote a book using 1/4" square stock for the studa & framing and mattboard for the "drywall". Some of the Stickley bungalow plans would translate well into miniature. You're building a scale model,m rather than a dollhouse that an adult could play with.

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