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!