LumberJocks

help planning a kids playhouse

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by RinnyTin posted 04-16-2020 06:41 PM 325 views 1 time favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View RinnyTin's profile

RinnyTin

46 posts in 3444 days


04-16-2020 06:41 PM

Hello Lumberjocks,
Have not been around here much lately but now that we are quarantined I’m trying to get some projects going around the house. My 10 year old daughter is very interested in having her own space so we are planning a playhouse in the back yard. This is what I am thinking and would love any and all advice on a) increasing safety, b) reducing costs, c) general advice.

thinking about a smaller version of this:

https://hgtvhome.sndimg.com/content/dam/images/hgtv/fullset/2016/7/28/1/Original_Debbie-Wolfe-DIY_Playhouse_Beauty1.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.960.suffix/1469755686926.jpeg

concrete blocks in the soil for leveling
6’x6’ base made of treated 2’x6’, floor joists 16” on center, joist hangers
3/4” treated plywood floor
6’ walls constructed of 2’x4’

questions I have:
1) does this sound right so far (or is it overkill)
2) can I use 1/4” plywood for walls? it’s going to be painted and I don’t see the need for added cost or weight of heavier sheathing
3) I’m thinking the lighter the roof the better, can I frame with 2×2 and attach a sheet metal roof?

Thanks in advance.


12 replies so far

View northy185's profile

northy185

13 posts in 685 days


#1 posted 04-16-2020 08:05 PM

IMHO, 2×6 floor joists is awfully heavy duty at 16” OC for a playhouse. If you maintain that spacing, 2×4’s should be plenty, or if you need the height, consider 24” OC with those 2×6’s.

Keep the blocks above ground if possible; ground contact, even on a treated board is killer.

24” spacing on a 2×4 wall should also be plenty for the playhouse; I’d recommend 3/8” plywood for your sheathing. If your kids are anything like mine, they will run into the walls from time to time, so having that extra little bit to prevent racking is probably a good idea.

Count me in the pro column for the 2×2 with sheet metal roof

Don’t forget to caulk your trim pieces to prevent water intrusion and future rot.

I’m no expert on the matter, but I’ve watched a lot of youtube videos prepping to build a shed this spring. Good luck, post pics!

View JCamp's profile

JCamp

1229 posts in 1435 days


#2 posted 04-16-2020 08:11 PM

If your leveling with concrete blocks any way y not just have that be the floor?
Also I’d do everything 2 foot on center.
Roof might do better with it being light but the best plan would b try to put it in a shaded area and mayb had a outlet in it so she can plug in a fan for a breeze
Pretty much anything u do will b over kill because if she’s like the rest of us we played with cardboard boxes

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

1722 posts in 1473 days


#3 posted 04-16-2020 08:18 PM

Concrete block will make it a “permanent” structure and if you live in a city the Code Board may require a permit, inspections, zoning variances, etc., etc., etc. (Your tax dollar at work.)

Keep it floating and avoid all the agita.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View RinnyTin's profile

RinnyTin

46 posts in 3444 days


#4 posted 04-16-2020 08:21 PM

@northy185 thanks for the reply, yes was planning to stack a few of these:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/4-in-x-8-in-x-16-in-Solid-Concrete-Block-30168621/100350217

to be sure I had ground clearance. I was already thinking about 24” spacing so that makes sense it’s probably plenty considering it’s only 6’x6’ and the roof will be lightweight. I think I will stick with 2×6 for the floor joists, it’s only a few dollars more and keeps the floor a bit higher off the ground.

3/8 ply sounds like a good compromise. Will probably go with sanded over sheathing for a few dollars more just to make painting easer.

the sheet metal roofing will probably be the most expensive thing but that’s what you’ll see from the house so want to keep the wife happy.

if I can actually get anything delivered will try post pics as we go.

View RinnyTin's profile

RinnyTin

46 posts in 3444 days


#5 posted 04-16-2020 08:24 PM

sorry maybe wasn’t clear, not a foundation, just corner blocks on which to float the floor kind of like this:


Concrete block will make it a “permanent” structure and if you live in a city the Code Board may require a permit, inspections, zoning variances, etc., etc., etc. (Your tax dollar at work.)

Keep it floating and avoid all the agita.

- Madmark2


View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

1297 posts in 486 days


#6 posted 04-16-2020 08:26 PM

I would go look at some of the shed delivery places. They may have something that can be delivered and setup for you reasonably. If you are more of a “I want to do it myself kind of guy” you can learn a lot that type of construction. Most are built on two runners and set on four to six blocks. Doing it this way allows you to move to a different spot later or sell it and load it on a flatbed.

View RinnyTin's profile

RinnyTin

46 posts in 3444 days


#7 posted 04-16-2020 08:27 PM

yeah I think I wasn’t clear, not pouring a foundation, was going to use corner blocks so the floor can sit on them. When the kids lose interest hopefully someone will come take it away! I do have a shady nook picked out but was not planning electric, she’s more the headlamp and sleeping bag type so that should be fine.


If your leveling with concrete blocks any way y not just have that be the floor?
Also I’d do everything 2 foot on center.
Roof might do better with it being light but the best plan would b try to put it in a shaded area and mayb had a outlet in it so she can plug in a fan for a breeze
Pretty much anything u do will b over kill because if she’s like the rest of us we played with cardboard boxes

- JCamp


View RinnyTin's profile

RinnyTin

46 posts in 3444 days


#8 posted 04-16-2020 08:31 PM

I have looked at that and the costs were pretty high and they are generally bigger than what the CEO has approved.

I am a DIY guy and love building stuff, also my daughter is interested in helping so have to capitalize while she’s still acknowledging my existence. There’s plenty of shed building stuff on YouTube I’ve been checking out a ton of videos. Just looking for more input.


I would go look at some of the shed delivery places. They may have something that can be delivered and setup for you reasonably. If you are more of a “I want to do it myself kind of guy” you can learn a lot that type of construction. Most are built on two runners and set on four to six blocks. Doing it this way allows you to move to a different spot later or sell it and load it on a flatbed.

- controlfreak


View Anthon11's profile

Anthon11

2 posts in 197 days


#9 posted 05-04-2020 07:28 PM

Hi RinnyTin,

I was also thinking of starting some similar project, how is it going?
By the way, did you buy some plans for your project or how you’re going to proceed?
I’m thinking of taking one from Shedplans.org I’m not very experienced but these plans look clear enough for me :)

View RinnyTin's profile

RinnyTin

46 posts in 3444 days


#10 posted 05-04-2020 07:37 PM

Still trying to get approval from the Chief Revenue Officer :) I think I can do it for $500 but still need to figure out a roofing solution.


Hi RinnyTin,

I was also thinking of starting some similar project, how is it going?
By the way, did you buy some plans for your project or how you re going to proceed?
I m thinking of taking one from Shedplans.org I m not very experienced but these plans look clear enough for me :)

- Anthon11


View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

3728 posts in 2379 days


#11 posted 05-05-2020 02:30 AM

Have built a couple of kid houses in past for my kid and family. My suggestions:

- Plan for a bug removal method, and avoid creating pockets where bugs can hide on inside. Kids don’t like bug houses. When house is ignored for month or two, all manner of bugs will move into a nice shaded dry building. While exposed interior studs are easiest construction, had to cover interior walls with 1/4 ply and sealed the floor joints with caulk to make it harder for spiders to get inside and hide.

- Good idea if all surfaces are sealed with paint or poly. My wife is kind that wants to use hose long distance to wash out spilled food messes, and/or bugs when Dad is not home to terminate them. Without sealing, the house takes couple hours to dry out.

- Hard to keep floors dry in a shed with windows/doors that don’t always get closed by kids. Wife used large bathroom throw rugs with rubber backing as flooring. They clean in washer, and don’t care if they get wet as long you remember to dry them before they get moldy. Kids used different colors to delineate ‘rooms’.

- Kids out grow out of play houses quickly. If your plan is not small and disposable, then make it large/solid; so it can be converted to being your garden shed after about 5-6 years. Last play house I built, pressure treated studs where exposed on outside, with smooth walls on inside for kids, and colorful pattern painted on studs as decoration. The walls bolted to each other, and roof bolted on top; to make it portable for a move to a different back yard in 5 years. Sister sold it three years later.

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View RinnyTin's profile

RinnyTin

46 posts in 3444 days


#12 posted 05-05-2020 05:39 PM

@CaptainKlutz thanks for this, some good food for thought. Was already assuming they would get bored of it in a year or two and I’ll convert it to a garden shed or get someone to take it away.


Have built a couple of kid houses in past for my kid and family. My suggestions:

- Plan for a bug removal method, and avoid creating pockets where bugs can hide on inside. Kids don t like bug houses. When house is ignored for month or two, all manner of bugs will move into a nice shaded dry building. While exposed interior studs are easiest construction, had to cover interior walls with 1/4 ply and sealed the floor joints with caulk to make it harder for spiders to get inside and hide.

- Good idea if all surfaces are sealed with paint or poly. My wife is kind that wants to use hose long distance to wash out spilled food messes, and/or bugs when Dad is not home to terminate them. Without sealing, the house takes couple hours to dry out.

- Hard to keep floors dry in a shed with windows/doors that don t always get closed by kids. Wife used large bathroom throw rugs with rubber backing as flooring. They clean in washer, and don t care if they get wet as long you remember to dry them before they get moldy. Kids used different colors to delineate rooms .

- Kids out grow out of play houses quickly. If your plan is not small and disposable, then make it large/solid; so it can be converted to being your garden shed after about 5-6 years. Last play house I built, pressure treated studs where exposed on outside, with smooth walls on inside for kids, and colorful pattern painted on studs as decoration. The walls bolted to each other, and roof bolted on top; to make it portable for a move to a different back yard in 5 years. Sister sold it three years later.

Best Luck.

- CaptainKlutz


Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com