DIY Playset Paradise

By: Danny Lipford
Pirate-theme playset with storage space below.

New pirate-theme playset with storage space below.

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Beth and Chad Kirtland love their house, but the wooden playset in their backyard had deteriorated over time and become a safety hazard.

We replaced it with a two-story, pirate themed playset, which has a 6’x6’ playhouse on the top floor and a storage shed for lawn equipment below.

Other features include:

  • Swings
  • Trapeze with rings
  • Climbing wall
  • Rope ladder

Playset Foundation

After the old playset had been removed, stakes were driven in the ground to mark the corners for the new playset. To ensure that the foundation was square, we measured diagonally from each corner and adjusted the stakes until the two diagonal measurements were the same.

The playset was built out of pressure treated lumber, which not only resists rot but carries the UL GREENGUARD Gold certification for low chemical emissions.

Danny and Allen installing playset posts.

Danny and Allen installing playset posts.

After holes had been dug, pressure treated 4″x4″ posts were positioned and plumbed. An 8″x8″ post was set in the ground to support the end of the 4″x6″ beam for the swing set.

The holes were filled with . Water was then added to the dry mix and the concrete allowed to set.

Playset Construction

Pressure treated 2x4s were used for the second-story band and floor joists. Tapered shims were tacked to the top of the joists to allow rainwater to run off the pressure treated plywood floor.

Using nail gun to install playhouse siding.

Installing playhouse siding.

The plywood floor was covered with inexpensive vinyl sheet flooring to make the floor watertight and prevent water from leaking into the storage shed below.

Treated wood fencing was used for the siding on the outside of the playhouse and storage shed.

After the 2×4 rafters had been cut to length, plywood gussets were glued and nailed to the sides to form trusses. The rafters were then set in place and the roof decked with treated plywood.

Asphalt roll roofing was installed over the plywood roof sheathing, then covered with treated fencing to give the playhouse a rustic look.

Lag bolts were used to reinforce the joints between the posts and swing set beam. A door for the storage shed was constructed using a 2×4 frame covered with treated fencing.

Playset Amenities

Children swinging on completed playset.

Completed DIY playset.

The rope ladder was made from treated 2x2s. Rope was threaded through holes drilled in the 2x2s, and knots were tied on both sides of each rung to hold them in place.

The climbing wall was made from three vertical 2x4s attached to the side of the playhouse then covered with treated fencing. Plastic climbing handholds were bolted to the face of the wall.

Two swings and a trapeze bar with rings from were attached to the swing set beam using eye bolts.

The project was completed in three days with about $1,000 spent on materials.

Check out our Playset Plans and How to Build a Wood Playset video to find out more.

Further Information

Other Tips from This Episode

Reciprocating saw with blades.

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Pruning with a Reciprocating Saw

In addition to being used for demolition work, a reciprocating saw can be equipped with a special pruning blade and used to remove tree branches and limbs. A battery powered cordless reciprocating saw is much easier to use outdoors. (Watch Video)

Arctic Cove Cordless Misting Fan

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Arctic Cove Cordless Misting Fan

The 18-volt, battery powered Arctic Cove Misting Fan has high and low speed settings and can use either a 5-gallon bucket or a garden hose for the water supply. The Arctic Cove Misting Fan is available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)

Nail between two decking boards for spacer.

Ask Danny Lipford:
Spacing Wood Decking

When building a wood deck from pressure treated wood that hasn’t been dried after treatment, butt the boards tightly together. When using wood that has been kiln dried after treatment, use an 8-penny nail as a spacer between the boards. (Watch Video)

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DIY Playset Paradise