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How to build a wooden playhouse for kids in the garden

Published on 7th October 2019 by Tessa Robinson

You already have a lovely house with a beautiful gardener lawn. You’re living the suburban dream, but now it’s time to treat your kids. Surprise your kids with a place where they can have fun and spend time outdoors. A playhouse will definitely be a great bonus to your garden.

Of course, there are many pre-made playhouses to choose from, but if you enjoy building and are willing to take on a DIY project, with a few tips and tricks you can make your own.

First, let’s look at the types of playhouses. There are plastic ones, fort-type, log cabin style and above-ground. Single-storey playhouses are safer for small children and have better accessibility, while tower-structure houses are suitable for older kids.

In this post, we’ll teach you to make one playhouse that will stand on the ground and one that is above ground (tower structure).

When it comes to materials, wood is 100% the way to go. Wood is a recyclable eco-friendly material that is known to have many health benefits like lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and stress levels, which will certainly have a great impact on your kid’s health. And, most importantly, it’s easy to assemble, so your DIY won’t take too long to finish. A wooden playhouse will be durable, long-lasting, and with the right insulation, it can withstand any weather conditions. You can also come up with a design that will fit your garden aesthetic. So, first things first, create a blueprint for the playhouse, so you know exactly how you want it to look. Before you move on to the construction phase, keep in mind that you are making this for your kids, and this means that safety is the priority. All rough or sharp edges should be sanded down and all parts of the house are to be secured.

Any type of construction work always begins with the base. If you’ve decided to build a single story house, you’ll need to make a base for the construction. A small playhouse will only need a heavy wooden floor to make it stable and weigh it down, but a large playhouse might require a concrete base. Make sure that the construction area is clean, rid of any roots and plants, and the ground is leveled. Mark the perimeter using rope, pegs and a builder’s level. All the sides must be aligned and have a 90° angle. Make a form out of wooden boards according to the perimeter of the playhouse. When working with concrete, there’s a lot that can go wrong, so it’s better to check what grade of cement you need and how to properly mix it.

Tools you will need

  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Screwdriver or drill

Now let’s move on to the walls. Check your blueprint to see how wide each wall is. A good tip is to order pre-cut wood because this can save you some money. Make cut-outs in the walls where the door and windows will be installed. Assembling the walls can be a bit of a hassle, as they are quite difficult to lift, so don’t hesitate to ask your friends or family to lend you a hand.


The best type of roof is by far the gable roof. Instead of having a flat ceiling, this type of roof gives you lots of extra space and makes the ceiling higher. Make a base for the roof out of wooden beams so that it fits the house perfectly. Attach wooden planks or thick sheets of plywood to the base. If you really want to weatherproof the roof, you can cover it with asphalt shingles (a standard and high-quality roofing material) or metal corrugated panels.

After you are done with construction, don’t forget to apply lacquer to the wood. Lacquer is strong, long-lasting and gives the wood a nice finish.

If you wish to build a tower structure playhouse, there are a few extra steps in the building process. Firstly, the base construction needs 4 concrete tiles to stand on. They need to be quite heavy and sturdy to support the playhouse. You’ll also need 4 long beams, 4 short ones for the base, and 4 beams to make the base of the floor. The long beams act as the support and stand on the ground, and the shorter beams are used to distribute the weight of the house evenly. Cut the floor beams to fit and connect them to the support beams, then cover them with planks to make the floor itself. Add a ladder, so your kids can climb right in and a slide, so they have fun on the way out.

Now you can do some final touch-ups, paint and decorate, and you’ve got yourself a garden playhouse and some very lucky kids!

Category: Outdoors

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