How to Build an Outdoor Loft Playhouse | Free Step-by-step Plan May 16, 2017 16:57
Before beginning, make sure to read over the entire plan to get a feel for the project and add up all the materials that will be needed. If you have any questions, feel free to send off an email. Don't forget to reference the below points before and during the build too. Happy play housing!
Before you swing that hammer:
- Many hardware stores offer a lumber delivery service and a bulk purchase discount, which we encourage you to take full advantage of to save time, money and hassle. Paint, hardware, roofing materials and other accessories can also be bought at this time.
- If the project will not be on ground posts, the structure should be built on a flat, level grade that is slightly larger than the footprint's dimensions. Regrading may be necessary to achieve level ground. This area should also be at least 6' from any other structure or obstacle.
- For the structure's foundation, 4x4s, concrete blocks or anchored ground posts with beams can be used to keep the project level and off the ground. Building the structure on an island deck of equal size is the most secure and the method we recommend.
- When building, make sure the framing is square. You can achieve this by cross measuring the corners, checking to see if they're equal, or the 3,4,5 rule can be used as well.
- For screwing or nailing the framing together, use two screws/nails to connect 2x4s together, three screws/nails for 2x6s, etc. When attaching 5/4” decking material, use two, 2” decking screws 3/4” away from the edges to attach them to framing. Use two ½” carriage bolts to attach any 4x4 posts to a joist. Toe screwing may also be needed to attach some joints together. Use our How to Framing page for a more detailed and comprehensive set of framing instructions.
- Be advised that if an exact 8', 10', 12' or 16' piece is required, you may still need to cut it as they can vary in length by up to an inch.
Cross bracing with wood or cable can be used to help stiffen up a platform and prevent it from wobbling.
- Make sure to paint or stain all the exterior lumber to keep it safe from the rain and other elements. All exterior framing and decking material should be pressure treated or intended for the outdoors.
- Spreading mulch and having distinguished walks can help reduce trip and fall injuries.
- Be sure to also read over the United States CPSC's Outdoor Home Playground Safety Handbook. This short publication goes over important safety factors when it comes to a variety of topics regarding backyard play structures.
- Don't forget to also look at the FAQ page.
Building the Free Loft Playhouse
Step 1: Building the Floor
From (4) 2x4x12s, cut and assemble the eight pieces as depicted in the below illustration.
Step 2: Cover the Floor
From (2) sheets of plywood, cut and install the two pieces to the top of the joists as depicted in the below illustration.
Step 3: Walls
From (8) 2x4x12s and (1) 2x4x8, build two of the wall shown in the below illustration.
From (3) 2x4x12s and (1) 2x4x10, build the wall shown in the below illustration.
From (3) 2x4x12s, build the wall shown in the below illustration.
Install these four walls to the platform as depicted below. From (2) 2x4x12s, cut and install the four top plate pieces as shown.
Step 4: Siding Pt 1
From (3) sheets of plywood, cut and install the four pieces to the left and right walls as shown in the below illustration. Cut the window openings out after with a hand saw or reciprocating saw.
Step 5: Framing the Loft
From (1) 2x4x12, (1) 2x4x10 and (1) 2x4x8, cut and build the unit shown in the below illustration. From (1) sheet of plywood, cover this unit.
Step 6: Loft Rail
From (1) 2x4x412, cut and assemble the four pieces as depicted in the below illustration. Install this unit as shown in the 2nd below illustration.
Step 7: Loft Ladder
From (1) 2x4x10, cut two of the piece shown in the below illustration. From (1) 2x4x10, cut six 1' 6" pieces. Assemble these eight total pieces into the unit shown in the 2nd below illustration. Install this ladder as shown in the 3rd below illustration. Install the entire loft assembly inside the playhouse as shown in the 4th below illustration.
Step 8: Rafters
From (6) 2x4x12s, cut twelve of the piece shown in the below illustration. From (1) 2x6x8, cut a 6' piece. Install all of these pieces to the top of the playhouse as shown in the 2nd below illustration.
Step 9: Framing the Gable Window
From (2) 2x4x10s, build two of the unit shown in the below illustration. Install these two units inside of the gables as depicted in the 2nd below illustration.
Step 10: Siding Pt 2
From (3) sheets of plywood, cover the front and back walls as depicted in the below illustration. Cut the door and window openings out after.
Step 11: Roof Sheeting
From (3) sheets of plywood, cover the roof as depicted below.
Step 12: Front Door
From (2) 1x4x8s, (1) 2x4x12, excess plywood and door hardware, build and install the door and trim work as depicted in the below illustrations.
Step 13: Windows
(3) 18" x 27" shed windows and (2) 14" octagonal windows will be required. Use (4) 1x4x10s to trim out the windows. See the below illustrations for details.
If you do decide to build the Free Loft Playhouse, don't forget to shoot us a finished picture, and make sure to check out our accessory page to furnish your new project!