Earthscape, natural play-makers in Toronto, Canada, have designed this playhouse from recycled doors as part of a small natural play setting in a daycare. And they’ve kindly provided DIY instructions so you can make your own (thanks Preston)! Delightful for the backyard, or any smaller public setting.
If you make one of these, be sure to send me a photo, and to add any feedback, helpful suggestions, etc. in the comment section of this post so we can all learn. More on other aspects of Earthscape’s nature play work tomorrow.
DIY Recycled Door Playhouse
The doors are the first item to be purchased or found. They should be solid wood doors, exterior grade is preferable. The size of the doors will determine the dimensions of the floor and the height of the structure. If you are finding used doors the opposing doors should be the same width. Door heights are fairly standard but pay attention to that as well especially if using used doors.
Once the position of the doors has been determined the size of the platform can be decided. We made the side approximately 10″ wider than the total width of the two doors to allow for the cumulative width of the three studs and extra on the outside corners.
1. Begin by setting four concrete pads level with each other and set so that the outer edge will be even with the outside of the floor framing. Plan for at least 1 1/2″ pressure treated shims on the pad. Pads for the step (s) can also be set.
2. Construct the cedar floor six feet wide and 10″ inches longer than your two doors measure. If two 34″ doors were used on the side the length would be 34 + 34 +10 = 78″.
3. The 2″ x 6″ cedar frame can be laid out so that the outside tip of the of the 2 x 6 is as wide as the floor. There is a 2 x 6 ridge beam under the the round ridge pole. Once the size and angles of the sides has been determined cut 2″ off the top tip so the framing will cradle the pole used for the ridge.
4. The doors are resting against 2″ x 2″s which are screwed to the inside of the walls studs. The strips were attached 2 1/2″ in from the edge so the framing would protrude above the door.
5. Assemble and brace the A frame pieces. Fasten the studs with screws into the floor and ridge piece.
6. The painted doors can then be laid into the spaces and screwed to the framework.
7. Attach the cedar post ridge pole. Let the ends protrude if you wish.
8. If needed the step can be made from 2 x 6″ cutoffs. This can be set on a pad and screwed to the floor joists. Build the frame slightly smaller than the 24″ x 11″ tread.
9. The four corners have a cedar log attached which finishes the corners and makes a usable seat. This is notched to fit over the corner of the deck. Fasten to the deck with timber screws.