I noticed that my 3 year old Son always gravitated toward the playhouses whenever we went to a big playground. So, I put Playhouse on my list of things to get for him.
Yeah well, after shopping around for a while I found that a Playhouse of any decent size was $1200 for a striped down, 4'x 6' box. Then there was the Log Cabin one that I thought was really cool but it was $3700, marked down from $4200 because it was a floor model!
Then came my inspiration, my Neighbors put in a Stockade fence this spring and were resting the panels against their garage until they used them. I walked outside, glanced over and thought... Dang, those look like the side to a log cabin! And so my planning began.
DISCLAIMER: This structure will be as durable as you make it. If you do a crappy job and it falls down on your kids head it's not my fault.
My Son has been using this playhouse almost every day, even when it's raining. When I pick him up from daycare all he wants to do is go into his playhouse, He has even eaten his dinner in there more than once. On several occasions I have had to carry him inside screaming in order to put him to bed.
1. My Son for some reason has been leaving the front door open and he runs into the playhouse and bounces off the back wall. As a precaution I decieded to pre-drill and screw the slats on the back wall to the stringers. He didn't knock any slats off but I figured just in case.
2. My dog has been digging on the side of the playhouse and sniffing through the floor of the playhouse. I looked under and didn't see any animals I would suggest that you apply some metal mesh around the foundation prior to putting on the walls.
3 Year Update
I noticed that it's been 3 years since I created this playhouse so I decided to take a picture of it in it's current state. It's had a lot of snow on the roof over these 3 years and a lot of abuse from my now 6 year old Son and my 2 year old daughter. Picture 2 shows it's current state taken exactly 3 years from the original. I think I need to stain the floor again, but the rest held up well.
The sunflowers were built from that same Neighbors old metal fence posts and the cut offs from the wall panels. The center is actually a piece of plywood covered with left over roofing material.
Step 1: Stuff Needed to Buy or Have
You will probably want at least two people to move the panels around and lift them in place. I am a pretty big guy so I just tipped them up the long way, leaned them against my back, grabbed the top of the 8' section, leaned forward a little, and carried them where I wanted them.
Time: This took me 4 weeknights (6:30pm - 8:30pm) to level the ground for the floor and one very long Saturday and Sunday to finish the build.
6 - 6' x 8' stockade fence with 2x3 supports
4 - 4 x 4 x 6' Treated timbers
2 - 2 x 4 x 8' Treated lumber
2 - 2 x 4 x 8' Lumber
1 - 2 x 3 x 8' lumber. (As straight as possible)
1 - 1 x 3 x 8' lumber
1 roll of Roll roofing
2 - 1lb Box of 1 1/4" Deck Screws
1lb Box of 3" Deck Screws
1lb Box of 7/8 roofing nails (left over from another project)
3 Gallon of Deck stain (2 light cedar, 1 dark green)
2 Packages of Cedar shims
Total Cost for me = $268.42
Terminology used in this instructable:
Slats = the part of the fence panels that look like the log
Stringers = the three 2x3x8' long boards on the fence panels that keep all of the slats together
Make all of your cuts with the circular saw from the inside of the panels to reduce splintering that can be seen from the outside. This can sometimes be difficult but take your time and it will look a lot better