Build a Simple Playhouse Deck

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 05/20/2019 - 20:42
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This playhouse deck uses standard 2x6 boards and minimizes scraps. Four feet off the ground, there is just enough clearance underneath to store toys under! Build a playhouse on top.

diy playhouse deck
diy playhouse deck plans
Overall Dimensions for the basic platform is shown above. To make the swingset arm, you will need to review the dimensions from the first drawing. Composition is wood boards, painted and sealed for outdoor use. If you are not using the base unit for a sandbox (would make great toy storage!) then I recommend using treated lumber for the 4×4 posts and what would have been the sandbox sides. I was just talking with my husband’s uncle about using wood composite decking instead as it would last much longer, but is much more expensive. One of the factors is to consider the number of years the playhouse will be used, and then choose your lumber accordingly. Paint on boards properly maintained in a dry location could last your kids into college.


Shopping List
  • 2 – 4×4 Posts 8′ Long (3 if you are using the swingset option)
  • 29 – 2×6 Boards, 8′ Long (8 of these can be stud length 92 5/8″ if stud length is cheaper)
  • 4 - 2x4 @ 8 feet long (use for cross bracing)
  • 2-1/2″ Exterior Self Tapping Deck Screws
  • 2″ Exterior Self Tapping Deck Screws
  • Outdoor Paint or Stain
Cut List
  • 4 – 4×4 Posts @ 47″ (OR 2 @ 47″ and 2 @ 96″ for the swingset option)
  • 8 – 2×6 @ 92 1/2″ (Shorter Sides)
  • 4 – 2×6 @ 96″ (Longer Sides)
  • 8 – 2×6 @ 12″ (Diagonal Supports, both ends mitered down 45 degrees)
  • 16 – 2×6 @ 96″ (Deck Boards)
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Power Sander
General Instructions

Build at your own risk. Work on a clean level surface. Choose a location that is level and dry to avoid water damage. Check for level after each step. Check for square after each step. Predrill all screw holes. Use necessary safety equipment and precautions.


Step 1

Sides { Part 1 } Lay the 4×4 posts flat and attach the posts as shown above to the sides. Use 3″ screws. Also note that if you are building the swing arm, ONE of each of the posts on each side will be 96″ long.

Step 2

Sides { Part 2 } Now attach the remaining sides to the posts and sides as shown above. Use 3″ screws. Level the frame and adjust for square. Trust me, it will be a miracle if it’s square without adjustment.

Step 3

Diagonal Supports With the box nice and square and level, fasten the diagonal supports to each corner as shown above. This should stiffen up the corners considerably.

Step 4

Joists Mark out all of your joists on the sides, (the long sides) as shown above. Then screw the joists to the sides as shown above. Use 3″ screws.

Step 5

Step 6

Cross brace the base with 2x4s as shown in diagram, attaching with at screws into the framing.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Prime and paint with an exterior appropriate paint or stain with sealant.


Aubergine (not verified)

Sun, 05/09/2010 - 21:14

I hear ya on the diy/ddiy conundrum. In the past 10 years I had did it myself all most anything. I made soap (the real stuff you need lye for), sewed a hill of diapers, even delivered my baby all by myself. I just wanted to say ditto that and thank you.

Dturp (not verified)

Sun, 05/09/2010 - 22:46

I like this one. We just bought a new house with a bigger back yard and with a 2 year old little girl these plans will come in handy very soon!

satakieli (not verified)

Mon, 05/10/2010 - 01:14

This is going to be great! Can't wait until we move into a house with our own yard so I can build it!

I totally agree on the DIY thing. I try my hardest to do everything myself, people always think I'm a little odd because of that but it was the way I was raised - Build, re-use, recycle.

Brandan (not verified)

Mon, 05/10/2010 - 02:23

Decided to go the DIY route for my new studio floor. I needed a sprung floor and found out that it was going to cost me $13k from a flooring company!!!! I don't have that money, so husband and I are building it ourselves for under $2k. It is truly back breaking work, and I can see why people don't DIY, they can't be bothered or take the time. And my body really hurts. But it feels so good to have built it myself and saved so much money.

Their Mommy His Wife (not verified)

Mon, 05/10/2010 - 02:38

thank you so much for drawing this up. I agree with you on the DIY. Our issue has been that my husband has had 2 back surgeries in 3 years so it limits what large projects we can tackle, and my issue has been not having the right tools to do things. But craigslist is becoming our friend in the tool department!
Our little girl will LOVE this playset.

Keyes (not verified)

Mon, 05/10/2010 - 03:09

I literally spent hours looking for a plan like this just Saturday and I was starting to wonder how hard it would be to do myself. So THANK YOU!! We're moving to Las Vegas in June and I'm guessing it will be a little hot for outdoor project for a while (I currently live in North Dakota and we're lucky if it's not snowing in May) but come fall I'm definitely building this playhouse!!!!

Bonnie (not verified)

Mon, 05/10/2010 - 03:10

I had to tell you that I am a new follower and think your blog is the greatest. Thank you for all the hard work you put into these plans for us! I have many things book marked for the hubby to build when he gets time!!!

Kate Bailey (not verified)

Mon, 05/10/2010 - 03:13

I love this! I recently made up plans of my own to build an outdoor playhouse/swingset, but I opted out of it because it was still going to cost me like $600 if I made it from cedar or redwood. We opted to buy a small metal swingset in the meantime, but when we decide we have the money to invest in a project like this, I will definitely be building it!

Foote Family (not verified)

Mon, 05/10/2010 - 03:40

This is great! My husband is in the process of building a huge playset in the backyard. He's never built anything before and we've been having a great time doing it together. We may try to incorporate this in our current design.

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