Having a children’s playhouse in the backyard is an age-old favorite for both boys and girls. Playhouses offer a happy solution to keep kids outside and off their video games while building lasting memories. If taken as a do-it-yourself job, building a children’s playhouse can turn into a fun parent-child project.
The first thing you will need is a decent set of playhouse plans, which itself will have a list of required tools. However, there are certain things you can always expect to need:
- Basic construction tools
- Galvanized nails
- Wood screws
- Door and windows
- Paint/exterior varnish/stain
Before You Begin
First and foremost, you need to check for any required local or county building permits. Most places won’t require them for a 10-by-10-foot outbuilding but better to be safe than sorry. Also, review any plans you have to be sure you have everything necessary; if you need something, most local home improvement stores (such as Home Depot) can help. Expect to take a full week, or several weekends, to complete the task.
Mark out the area for the children’s playhouse, making sure it’s level and clear of debris. When building the floor’s frame, be sure it sits level to provide maximum support. Cut and attach wooden planks for the floor.
Build your joist (beam support) on which the sides will be attached. Sides themselves are best built flat on the ground, to be sure they are kept even and level. Once all sides are up, attach 2 x 4s to the top around the outside of the wall as extra support to hold them in place. Frame out where the windows and door will be, and cover with wall sheathing.
Construct rafters, on top of which you’ll attach your roof (usually made of plywood). Remember, a sloping roof allows water run-off and promotes durability.
Insert your doors and windows, and either paint, stain or use exterior varnish on your children’s playhouse. Any of the three is fine, but each offers its own pros and cons, so the best choice depends on life expectancy of your playhouse and the overall look and feel you're trying to achieve.
Recommendations and Warnings
There are several things you can do to improve on functionality and cut down on future maintenance of your outdoor playhouse. For example, you can add roofing felt and shingles to your roof, or some type of siding to your outer walls. All windows and openings can be further secured against the weather with caulk.
Additionally, it is important to observe safety at all times. Basic tips include gloves, eye protection, and other proper attire when working with power tools. If you wish to have power in your outdoor playhouse, be sure to consult with an electrician.