Building our son a modern playhouse required planning and prep work. This post explains how I got started and includes the cut list I used for the deck and framing.
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When stay-at-home orders were put into place in our area, numerous travel and overall life plans were quickly crushed. Fortunately, as a toddler, E was oblivious to the changes. I, on the other hand, was feeling quite anxious and in need of control. My solution – build something!
In hopes of keeping E entertained at home, and out of trouble in the backyard, I poured my energy into finalizing some playhouse plans for him. I was always impressed by the AudoCad-like image used by Ana White and other DIY woodworkers. After a little bit of googling, and several YouTube tutorials – I finally figured out how to use the free version of SketchUp!
For someone like me, who likes to plan out every cut and joint of a project – SketchUp is perfect. It took a few hours over several days, but I created a scaled, digital model of the playhouse I planned to build. By planning the playhouse in SketchUp, I was able to avoid a lot of mistakes that otherwise wouldn’t have been realized until building (like accounting for the thickness of the siding).
DISCLAIMER: This post contains a description of our building process. I cannot make guarantees regarding the safety of this play structure. Before building, please consult with a professional regarding materials and weight limits.
Knowing what cuts would be needed, I spent a lunch break figuring out how to maximize common board lengths. After my shopping list was finalized, I called our local lumber supply and arranged for a delivery (which also included the needed lag bolts and construction screws).
It felt risky, but I opted to make all cuts before assembling the playhouse. I grouped the boards by size, measured, and marked where cuts needed to be made. To account for the kerf of the blade, I measured from the outsides inward whenever using a single board for multiple cuts (with an “X” indicating scrap pieces – which you can faintly see in the photo above).
After the cuts were made, we began building the deck and assembling the walls for our modern playhouse!
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Playhouse Made Modern – Deck & Framing
- Miter saw
- Combo Square
- Tape measurer
- Impact Drill
- Drill bit (for lag screw pilot holes)
- Kreg Jig
- 4 – 4×4 Pressure Treated 48"
- 18 – 2×6 @ 92 5/8" (stud length)
- 1 – 2×4 @ 92 5/8" (stud length)
- 5 – 2×6 @ 93"
- 8 – 2×4 @ 21" w/ 45° inward angles each end
- 3.5" Lag screws
- 2.5" Decking screws
- 2 – 50lb bag Concrete
- 13 – 2×4 @ 56"
- 4 – 2×4 @ 57"
- 4 – 2×4 @ 64"
- 3 – 2×4 @ 88.5"
- 2 – 2×4 @ 48"
- 1 – 2×4 @ 16"
- 1 – 2×4 @ 21"
- 2 – 2×4 @ 10"
- 2 – 2×4 @ 16"
- 1 – 2×4 @ 56.5"
- Approx. 200 – 2.5" Kreg Screws (Blue Kote)
- Approx. 30 – 2.5" Decking screws
- 4 – 2×4 @ 10'
- 8 – 2×2 @ 20"
- 4 – 2×2 @ 21"
- 24 – 2.5" Kreg Screws – Blue Kote
- Approx. 16 – 2.5" Decking screws
This is my first time writing up a full materials and cut list. Please don’t hesitate to comment below if you have any questions or find an error with the materials list!
This is amazing. I really appreciate all the detail you put into this. I may attempt something similar with my husband for a Christmas gift for our boys, but wanted it to be nice to look at when they outgrew it and we could use it to have date night in. Lol. Thanks again
Thank you! I’m not going to lie – when planning the dimensions I wanted it to be big enough for adults to hang out in it or enough room for slumber parties as our toddler gets older 😀 I hope it works out for you all!
I love this playhouse so much and am planning to build something similar for my two little girls this spring! Do you have a list of the actual materials you purchased? Like how many 2x4x8’s or 2x4x12 etc..
I haven’t written up my shopping list yet but I will definitely start working on it! I think (hope) I have my receipt from the lumber yard somewhere around here (fingers crossed!)