How to Build an Outdoor Playhouse


Constructing an outdoor playhouse is a moderate building project that can take up to a week to complete. When completed, the playhouse can serve many purposes or whims. Start slowly with the idea of taking all of the necessary time and effort for a wonderful addition to any home.

Things You'll Need

  • Lumber treated for outdoor projects
  • Galvanized nails
  • Construction tools
  • Windows
  • Door
  • Caulk
  • Shingles
  • Roofing felt
  • Paint
  • Determine exactly where the outdoor playhouse will be located on the property. Place the playhouse in an area accessible to all that may use it.

  • Obtain any local or county permits required. Many municipalities do not require permits on outbuildings larger than a 10-foot cube.

  • Purchase lumber and hardware for this project at any home improvement store, such as Lowe's or Home Depot. Express to the staff what the project size is and desired end result for help in obtaining just the right material.

  • Grade the area level where the outdoor playhouse will rest permanently. Remove all loose rock and debris.

  • Build the bottom frame of the playhouse from 2x6 planks. The frame must sit square and level on property for adequate support.

  • Cut and affix the floorboards to the frame using ¾-inch plywood and wood screws.

  • Build walls flat on the ground using 2x4s. When completed, stand upright and nail to the frame with galvanized nails. Begin with rear wall and nail to the center rear rim joist for best results.

  • Tie all walls together with 2x4s across the top wall corners.

  • Frame out any windows needed for the outdoor playhouse. Frame out the front door as well.

  • Construct wall sheathing using ½-inch plywood or tongue and groove sheathing.

  • Use rafters and ½-inch plywood to build the roof. Apply shingles with felt backing.

  • Insert doors and windows. Secure windows and doors using caulk and galvanized nails.

  • Paint the outdoor playhouse.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consult with an electrician to bring power to the outdoor playhouse.
  • Bring a water supply to the playhouse for a plumbed project.
  • Consider buying a pre-assembled, recycled or reclaimed shed or outbuilding to save time and cost. Embellish as desired.
  • Do not begin project before obtaining any permits from local authorities.
  • Take all precautions when using power tools and equipment.

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