How to Build a Two-Story Playhouse


There is nothing a child loves more than his own playhouse. Although store-bought models that can be placed indoors or on the back deck are readily available, there’s something special about a homemade playhouse. Children eagerly watch in anticipation while the playhouse is constructed, and when the project is complete, it will provide a lifetime of memories for your child. The only thing better than a homemade playhouse is a two-story homemade playhouse. With the proper tools, you can build a two-story playhouse in your spare time.

Things You'll Need

  • Lumber
  • Construction tools
  • Building permit
  • Playhouse design plans
  • Plexiglas
  • Foundation (clay, gravel, rubber, etc.)
  • Plywood
  • Insulation
  • Roof tiles
  • Shingles
  • Siding
  • Wood sealer
  • Window treatments
  • Molding
  • Paint

Building Instructions

  • Contact your homeowners' association for HOA restrictions and regulations regarding playhouses. Check with your local town hall for regulations on outdoor structures. Acquire all necessary building permits.

  • Design the playhouse according to the size of the children. Keep dimensions on a child-friendly level while allowing for the growth of the child through the years. Develop a plan that accommodates preschool children through pre-teens.

  • Consider how the adult will gain access to the second floor of the playhouse in the event of an emergency. Design a playhouse that has more than one entrance from both levels. Design stairs or a ladder that can accommodate an adult who needs to gain access to the top level.

  • Keep the second story at a maximum height of six feet to decrease the possibility of injuries to small children. Avoid using glass for windows; install Plexiglas instead. Refrain from installing hazardous contraptions such as secret trap doors, ropes, large openings in the second story floor, etc.

  • Prepare the playhouse site by laying a temporary foundation. Remove grass and replace with gravel, masonry clay, manufactured rubber mixture designed for playgrounds or patio blocks.

  • Use two-by-four lumber to frame out the playhouse, following the same guidelines you would follow if it were a true home construction. Construct a wooden floor frame and attach side walls. Install proper roofing elements to allow for effective water drainage.

  • Apply ¾-inch plywood to cover all wood areas. Be sure the smooth side of the plywood is facing the inside of the playhouse.

  • Add all ladders and steps. Be sure they are permanently secure to avoid having them moved or knocked out of place by the children.

  • Apply insulation before adding siding, roof tiles and shingles.

  • Apply door and window treatments. Trim the exterior of the house with molding and seal floors inside to prevent splinters.

  • Paint both the inside and outside of the playhouse. Use neutral colors that match the colors of your home on the outside of the playhouse. Be more creative on the inside while sticking with a timeless, genderless theme.

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