Site last updated: Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Log In

Reset Password
MENU
Butler County's great daily newspaper

Dad builds clubhouse for sons

On Monday, June 10, Will Rattigan, 11, looks down from the attic of the clubhouse built by his father in the backyard of their home in Oakland Township. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Children eager to help with COVID-19-era project

OAKLAND TWP — Construction work slowed down for most general contractors during the COVID-19 pandemic, which gave Scott Rattigan some time and materials to work with on a clubhouse for his two sons.

Rattigan had worked as a contractor, so he had some wood and tools laying around his house. When he and his children — Ryan, now 15, and Will, now 11 — were staying home, they finally had time and extra resources to finish a project they had been talking about for years.

“While they did school, we worked some evenings,” Scott Rattigan said. “We had a bunch of pallet wood, so we were trying to maximize what we had, so it didn’t go to waste.”

The family started the project in March 2020, and finished it April, just a few weeks later. It has vinyl siding, a main floor, an attic, a deck and some solar-powered lights installed to illuminate it at night. Since then, the 100-some square-foot clubhouse has stood by the edge of the woods in the Rattigan’s side yard, where Ryan and Will sometimes go with friends.

Their mother, Sarah Rattigan, said her sons were excited to help out with the project, even though they were pretty young to be working with tools. Led by Scott Rattigan, the three cut down a few trees, measured the clearing, dug a hole to put foundation in, and then helped assemble the clubhouse and get it in place.

Scott Rattigan said they did most of the prefabrication work in their home’s basement, because it was still chilly outside, then moved the product to its spot outside.

Digging the hole was the most time-consuming part of the project, but Will said that since they weren’t going to school or playing sports, they had time for it. However, he said the later parts of the project were his favorite to help assemble.

“My favorite part was the deck,” Will said. “We just screwed in some of the wood.”

While Will is still hopeful to put some carpet into the clubhouse and make it into a game room, Scott Rattigan said the only work still remaining is ceiling work in the main floor and the attic. He added that the structure is built in a way that doesn’t require much upkeep, but a near miss from a tornado in 2022 could have negated his work.

“We built it so we didn't have to do anything to it,” Scott Rattigan said. “A tornado went through here, it went right between the houses, and right into the neighbor’s house. It withstood that, so we must have done it right.”

Ryan and Will occasionally use the clubhouse, but attempts to sleep in it overnight have been thwarted by hot temperatures.

Scott Rattigan said he doesn’t do much building in his free time, but he would like to build a garage on his home someday — a project he said Will would likely be up to help for.

“He likes to do whatever dad does,” Scott Rattigan said.

On Monday, June 10, Will Rattigan, 11, and his brother, Ryan, 15, sit inside the clubhouse built by their father in the backyard of their home in Oakland Township. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Will Rattigan, 11, looks out from the attic of the clubhouse built by his father in the backyard of their home in Oakland Township. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Scott Rattigan and his sons, Will, 11, and Ryan, 15, stand on the deck of the clubhouse they built in the backyard of their home in Oakland Township. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
The Rattigan family — from left, Scott, Sarah, Will, 11, and Ryan, 15 — stand on the deck of the clubhouse they built in the backyard of their home in Oakland Township. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Scott Rattigan works on the roof of the clubhouse outside his house in 2020. Submitted photo

More in Local News

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

* indicates required
TODAY'S PHOTOS