FAQ · Paul's Playhouses
Frequently asked policy, plan and construction questions
𝙌: What do your plans look like?
𝘼: Our plans are designed to be used on 8½ x 11 (letter size) paper, and follow a step-by-step, piece-by-piece construction sequence to simplify the build process. Our plans are not engineered or technically drafted. See our free Toddler Playhouse Plan as an example of what our plans look like.
𝙌: Do you build these designs, supply lumber or offer kits?
𝘼: No, we just sell the digital & paper plans. However, these plans are designed to be as easy to follow and understand as possible.
You can also use our Hiring a Handyman guide to find a qualified local professional and have them construct your playhouse cheaper than we would be able to offer.
𝘼: All the plans come in feet and inches only, but converting the measurements isn't difficult. Just remember that:
1 inch = 2.54cm
1 foot = 30.48cm
There also are several on-line converters that can easily change feet and inches to centimeters, such as rapidtables.com.
𝙌: When will I receive my digital or physical plan after I purchase it?
𝘼: With the digital option, you will receive it right away. It will come in PDF format, and you will be prompted with a download link where you can save the plan on your device.
If you pick the physical & digital option, you will still get the PDF plan right away, with the paper plan arriving in a few business days. Our paper plans are professionally printed and come in a 3-ring binder for easy usability.
*If you don't receive an email, make sure you spelled your address correctly.*
𝙌: What do your playhouses cost to build?
𝘼: The smaller plans will cost between $1000 - $3000, with the larger plans costing between $3000 - $7000 dollars in materials to fully construct. Many hardware stores will give you some type of discount if you order lumber in large quantities. Remember that this is only about a third of the labor costs if you were to hire a company to come out and build it for you.
*For an exact price, all the plans on this website have a full lumber list that you can check against the latest prices at your local lumberyard.*
𝘼: No, these plans are not engineered and do not have any technical specification or follow an exact building code standard. They are designed for residential use and it is up to the client to make sure they follow their local building code guidelines.
𝘼: Playhouses that don't have some kind of full roof enclosure should all be made out of pressure treated wood. It simply lasts much longer than the normal pine or Douglas fir. If there is a roof covering the playhouse, normal non-pressure treated pine will work just fine. Cedar, red wood and other more weather resilient materials can also be used in the exposed elements. Painting, staining or oiling is always a good idea to make your project last longer. For more information, check out our recommend construction materials page.
𝙌: Is there a way to add a swing-set to a playhouse plan?
A. See our "How to add a swing-set to your playhouse" blog post for exactly how to do this.
𝙌: How do I screw, nail and bolt the pieces together?
𝘼: See our "How to Attach Rough Framing Together with Screws and Nails" article. The article goes over how to attach everything that you'll encounter when building your playhouse.
𝘼: Because returning a digital product unfortunately isn't possible, we do offer a 50% refund of the total, original purchase costs within 60 days of the purchase date. Custom designs and plans are not eligible for refunds.
𝙌: Can I build more than one playhouse / play-set with a plan?
𝘼: No, only one individual structure can be built per single plan purchase. The only exception to this rule are the free plans. If you are planning on building many of the same structure, we do offer a volume discount for larger orders.
𝘼: We've already put together an assortment of popular play accessories and have listed the most common playhouse hardware you'll need to build your project. Slides are sold by deck height, which can be found in the plans and product pages.
𝘼: Yes we do. We offer either a full step by step plan, or just the finished CAD design. Depending on whether they are a slight to significant modification of an existing design or a totally new design, they can range in price from $250 to $850. Check out our Custom Playhouse Plan page for more information.
𝙌: What kind of foundation do I need for my playhouse?
𝘼: Typically, there are nine different types for residential, backyard structure foundations. For most yards, cinder blocks or gravel is sufficient for proper leveling and structural support. A dedicated platform for your playhouse is usually not necessary. All the plans use some type of 2x material for floor joists, and they should be pressure treated. I do recommend that they be built on a relatively level grade with some mulch spread around to cushion any trips and falls that may happen.
𝙌: How do I anchor my playhouse to prevent it from blowing over?
A. For high wind areas, we recommend using shed ground anchors at each of the structure's corners. Use these in conjunction with surface anchors mounted to the playhouse joists.
𝙌: How do I reduce rocking and swaying movement?
A. In a pinch, cross bracing is the best strategy for dealing with this adverse movement. Check out our article that discusses about the different methods you can use to reduce unwanted motion.
𝙌: How long will it take for me to build my playhouse?
A. That depends on a number of things. For the average weekend carpenter, the free designs can be built in less than 2 days, the mid size can take 4-5 days and the larger designs could take 2 weeks. If you are able to find help, that time could be cut in half or more. It is my experience that 7 year olds don't help much in the building department though.
𝘼: We do offer discounts for larger orders:
If you order over $200 of plans, you can use the promo code 10_OFF_200 to receive a 10% discount.
If you order over $500 of plans, you can use the promo code 25_OFF_500 to receive a 25% discount.
If you order over $1000 of plans, you can use the promo code 35_OFF_1000 to receive a 35% discount.
𝙌: Is it possible to scale down the size of a plan?
𝘼: Yes, it certainly can be done, on the condition you'll just need to think a few things through before just going at it. While the angles and material lengths can evenly scale, the thickness of the lumber can't, resulting in some pieces needing to be moved or excluded altogether. If you have a little carpentry experience, it shouldn't be a major problem.
𝙌: Do you offer the CAD files of the plans?
𝘼: It is our policy not to release the raw CAD files of the plans. The only exception of this is if a custom design has been requested and created for this purpose.
𝙌: How do I cut angles over 45 degrees?
A. Check out our article that deals directly with cutting lumber over 45 degrees.
𝙌: How do I know what size slide / flag pole to purchase?
𝘼: All of the plans have a dimensional, isometric view of the structure. The deck height(s) would be displayed in this illustration. Because slides are sold by the required deck height, the proper sized slide can be derived from the dimensional view right on the product page.