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Swingset/Playhouse with Elevated Platform Question?

2090 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  mjtedrow
Green Plant Outdoor furniture Shade Grass

I recently built a swingset with a 8×8x5ft high platform. I just added a 5-1/2×8x7ft high playhouse to it and Im starting to question if it is properly supported. The platform is built out of 2×6's with joists at 19" on center. All the joists have joist hangers and they run left to right in the picture. Two of the four 4×4 posts are in the ground below frost grade. The platform is supported by the outer 2×6's to the 4×4 posts. The upper front and back 2×6's each have two 1/2" lagbolts, and the the other two have single 1/2" lag bolts with 2 lag screws like what is shown on the bottom 2×6's.

Two reasons of concern are because I do get some side to side movement of the platform as well as there is a ever so slight bow in the outer two front and back 2×6's. The other outer 2×6's that the joists are attached to seem fine.

I am considering adding upper 2×6's to the front and back to essentially sandwich the 4×4's post between two 2×6's with lag bolts. I was also going to add 2×6's down the outer side of the 4×4 posts between the upper and lower 2×6 horizontal runs to add more support.

Let me know what you guys think and thanks for the assistance. I look forward to building a pre-engineered deck in the near future.


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So the platform deck is 8×8 and all the 2×6's are spanning 8'. That's probably ok for 2×6's. Why did you do 19" spacing instead of 16? Typically anything that another joist hangs from needs to be doubled, at,least in building houses. Now we are talking about a playhouse with mostly kids in it and no furniture or other heavy loads. When arranging joists, you want to place them with the crown up, so that any sag makes them straighter instead of bowing them more. You may have oriented it the other way, which is the sag you are seeing. Maybe consider an additional post on each side where the beam supports the joists. That would cut your span in half and be more than adequate.
As far as side to side motion, either more plywood walls or some angled bracing somewhere above the floor level.
Looks fun for the kids. I built a big tree house for the kids that they rarely play on. Must have been more for me to play on. This summer I intend to build another in a nearby tree and connect them with a bridge. I've been watching too much of treehouse masters on tv.
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Thanks for the reply Bill. I went 19" on center because I followed some plans I found which wasnt very smart now that I think about it. I wanted to build the playhouse/swingset so adults could play along with their children on it. All the units you see at stores seem so cheap unless you spend multi thousands of dollars.

Tree houses are so cool. I'd love to see pics!

Thanks again for the reply.
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