How to build a wooden playhouse for kids

Written by kirk maltbee
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Kids love a space made just for them, and one way to deliver just that is to build a one-room playhouse. Building a kid-specific playhouse has been in practice among do-it-yourselfers for years, and building the house yourself saves you money because you don't have to hire a contractor. It also affords you some quality control that a ready-made house can't offer. With some know-how, you can build a playhouse sure to please even the most fickle little ones.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • 4 wooden stakes
  • Post-hole digger
  • 4 posts, 4-by-4 inches, 7 feet long
  • Carpenter's level
  • Shovel
  • 4 wooden boards, 2-by-6 inches, 5 feet long
  • Box of 4-inch galvanised nails
  • 2 plywood sheets, 5-by-5 feet, ½-inch thick
  • 4 wooden boards, 2-by-4 inches, 5 feet long
  • 108 wooden boards, 2-by-4 inches, 5 feet long
  • Brush
  • Wood stain or sealant

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  1. 1

    Measure an area in your yard or property that is 25 square feet. In other words, each side of a measured square should be 5 feet long. Mark the corner of the squared area by hammering wooden stakes into the "corners" to give you a visual guideline from which to work.

  2. 2

    Dig 2-foot deep holes into each stake location, or corner, with a posthole digger. Place one 4-by-4-inch post vertically into each hole, and lay a carpenter's level across the tops of the posts to ensure they're even and level with the bottom of the holes. Fill each hole with the soil you removed while digging, filling around the posts until the soil is level with the surface soil.

  3. 3

    Measure up from the ground on the posts about 6 inches, and mark the location. Hammer 2-by-6 boards flat to the exterior perimeter of the posts to make a square support system for flooring. Measure and mark a 4-by-4-inch square on each corner of one 5-by-5 plywood sheet, and cut the corners away. Slide the plywood between the posts, and lay it flat over the wooden 2-by-6 frame, lining up the corners of the posts flush to the cutouts on the plywood floor.

  4. 4

    Hammer the edges of the plywood floor to the frame. Hammer 2-by-4 boards along the perimeter on the outside of the posts, flush to the tops of the posts to make framework for the ceiling and walls. Lay another plywood sheet over the top of the wooden posts; do not cut away the corners. Hammer the plywood sheet into the post tops to make the roof.

  5. 5

    Hammer each 2-by-4 vertically onto the outside of the perimeter of the house, using the floor and ceiling frames as attachment points. Ensure the outside edging of the 2-by-4s are flush to one another. Hammer the boards onto three of the sides; that will take about 30 boards for each wall. Hammer 2-by-4s onto the "front" of the house, leaving about a 2-foot opening for a doorway. This wall will take about 18 boards.

  6. 6

    Brush on wood stain or sealant to prolong the life of the wooden house by protecting it from the elements.

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