Now that my oldest is in elementary school, having her friends come over to play is a new trend. The problem is our backyard had nothing all that fun to play with. So my wife said build a Playhouse! Oh and make sure there’s room enough for friends. And don’t forget swings! So I designed and built this DIY Playhouse With Swing Set with a little help from my friends from Handy Products.
This build and post is sponsored by the newly updated Handy Product line. You’ll recognize them from the Handy Paint Pail that comes with the nifty magnet that keeps your brush from falling into your paint!
When designing this playhouse what we really wanted was a space our daughter could have a little independence to call her own. Seeing as we have two kids, my original design actually had two towers with a swing bridging between. The problem was the inside space was pretty small. So we upgraded…
With the actual playhouse redesigned to be 6×6 “so there’s enough room for friends” the next hurdle came in the form of swings. We opted to use pre-fab swing brackets because they were the most durable for assembly. The issue is because they use 4×4’s and a 4×6, the set height is a little under 8 feet tall. That makes for a fairly tall structure to tie into. So rather than building a traditional looking house, I tied the support beam into a railing, which is where the observation deck idea came from. Enough gabbing though… on to the build!
Watch The Build Video
Playhouse and Swing Set Materials
Estimated Build Cost: $1,000-$1,500 including accessories. Affiliate links to follow. Playhouse Dimensions are roughly: 6’x6’x10′ with an additional 12’x 8′ for the swing set. Total footprint: 8’x20.
- Pressure Treated 2x4x8: 12
- Pressure Treated 2x4x10: 2
- Pressure Treated 2x6x8: 9
- Pressure Treated 2x6x12: 10
- Pressure Treated 2x2x42” Baluster: 34
- Pressure Treated 5/4”x6x12 Decking Board: 12
- Pressure Treated 5/4”x6x16 Decking Board: 2
- Pressure Treated 6x6x10: 4
- Pressure Treated 4x6x8: 1
- Pressure Treated 4x6x12: 1
- Pressure Treated 4x4x8
- 23/32” x4x8 Pressure Treated Plywood: 8
- ¾” x7-1/4×8 PVC Board: 1
- ¾” x2-1/2×8 PVC Board: 8
Supplies & Materials:
- Simpson Strong Tie Galvanized Standoff 6×6 Post Bases (4)
- Simpson Strong Tie 5/8” Wedge Anchor (4)
- Simpson Strong Tie 2×4 12 Gauge ZMax Medium L Angle (2)
- #10x 2-1/2” Exterior Screws
- Exterior ½” x 4-1/2” lag screws (3 packs of 25)
- Exterior ½” x 6 Carriage Bolt (2)
- ½” hex nuts (1 pack of 50)
- ½” washers (50 pack)
- ½” x 12” Eye Bolt With Nut (1)
- Creative Cedar Designs Climbing Rocks (2 packs)
- Swing N Slide- EZ A-Frame Bracket (1)
- Gorilla Play Sets 16” Metal Safety Handles (1 set)
- BETOOLL Heavy Duty Swing Hangers (2 sets)
- Eastern Jungle Gym Heavy Duty Trapeze Bar
- Eastern Jungle Gym Easy 1-2-3 A-Frame Swing Bracket
- Eastern Jungle Gym Swing
- HugglePod Outdoor Hammock Chair
- Handy Paint Pail 1 Qt
- Handy 1 Qt Liner
- Handy 1 Gal Paint Tray
- Handy 1 Gal Tray Liner
Partnering With Handy Products
As mentioned above, we partnered with Handy products on this build. One thing I knew we wanted to do with this build was match the color of our house with the final design. The color is a retired Sherwin Williams entry called Navy Seawall, that you can still get custom made. Given the amount of paint plywood soaks up, it was an easy fit to use the newly updated Handy product line.
The 1 quart Handy Paint Pail was the perfect size for my daughter to use to help out with this project. I grew up with a family that would flip houses, so learning to paint as a kid was a skill I developed early on. Having her help painting was a great way to get her involved with this project and it was also fun to give her some tips.
Playhouse Build Tips
The foundation is by far the most import step in the build. If the ground you’re building on isn’t level, the entire build can be throw off. If you pour concrete footers or use anchor blocks, but aren’t quite level, use 12 foot 6×6’s instead for the support beams. When building the initial frame, make sure the supports are level and everything from there will even out. Just cut off the excess at the top to complete the build.
When attaching lag screws or carriage bolts to the beams, make sure the placement is staggered diagonal and not vertically. When attaching the support frames to the 6×6’s, if you stagger you won’t hit the bolts coming in from the other side.
Have a helper! I hauled all the lumber and built the entire project by myself. It could have gone twice as fast with an extra set of hands. Pressure treated material gets heavy quickly, so bring a friend! If you want to download the full build plans, visit my plan sale site here!