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Our DIY Playhouse: The Slide & Climbing Wall

It’s time to add a slide and climbing wall to the small DIY playhouse!

It’s been a couple weeks since I had a playhouse update for you. Sorry, but we have been busy! Busy enjoying summer and trying to stay cool in the heat that is relentless right now.

I only have a few hours in the morning that I can work outside before the sun starts blasting me and it’s too hot to be building. But now the playhouse is so close to being all done. And today I am happy to be sharing the tutorial for the slide & climbing wall.

Our DIY playhouse is almost done! This week we are sharing all the details on how we installed the slide and climbing wall to make the playhouse into a kids dream play area. Includes the build plans and cost breakdown for the whole project. Housefulofhandmade.com | How to build a playhouse | DIY swing set | Kids Playhouse | Free Build plans | How to Install a slide

It was important for me to integrate some playground features in our new playhouse. Since we do not have space for a standard swing set, the playhouse is serving that purpose as well as the perfect place for imaginative play.

We filled the base with sand for the much anticipated sandbox area. And the kids are getting plenty of use out of it! I can prove it by the piles of sand just inside our sliding door.

Our DIY playhouse is almost done! This week we are sharing all the details on how we installed the slide and climbing wall to make the playhouse into a kids dream play area. Includes the build plans and cost breakdown for the whole project. Housefulofhandmade.com | How to build a playhouse | DIY swing set | Kids Playhouse | Free Build plans | How to Install a slide

The next most important feature was definitely a slide. What kids doesn’t love a slide?

I know my kids can spend hours at the playground going down and climbing up them. My daughter actually spends most of her time going up! And then when they are done sliding, they love to climb.

Our DIY playhouse is almost done! This week we are sharing all the details on how we installed the slide and climbing wall to make the playhouse into a kids dream play area. Includes the build plans and cost breakdown for the whole project. Housefulofhandmade.com | How to build a playhouse | DIY swing set | Kids Playhouse | Free Build plans | How to Install a slide

All the playgrounds around our house have climbing areas in them. Whether they are rope or classic rock climbing holds, my kids love to see how high they can get.

They started young too. My husband would always help the kids when they first started climbing them. He would egg them on and see how far he could get them to go without being scared. Then would let them jump off the top into his arms.

And to this day, they both love climbing and yelling “Look how high I am!”

Our DIY playhouse is almost done! This week we are sharing all the details on how we installed the slide and climbing wall to make the playhouse into a kids dream play area. Includes the build plans and cost breakdown for the whole project. Housefulofhandmade.com | How to build a playhouse | DIY swing set | Kids Playhouse | Free Build plans | How to Install a slide

I knew I could include a slide & climbing wall on our DIY playhouse without taking up too much room. I don’t want the playhouse area to totally take over our tiny yard.

I think we did a pretty good job of packing lots and lots of fun into a 5×7 foot space! I know my kids approve.

And don’t miss the rest of the posts in the series. Click the links below for the rest of the playhouse build (we will update the links as we finish the playhouse).

THE DECK || THE WALLS || THE RAILING || THE ROOF

Our DIY playhouse is almost done! This week we are sharing all the details on how we installed the slide and climbing wall to make the playhouse into a kids dream play area. Includes the build plans and cost breakdown for the whole project. Housefulofhandmade.com | How to build a playhouse | DIY swing set | Kids Playhouse | Free Build plans | How to Install a slide

How to Install the Slide & Climbing Wall

Tools:

Supplies:

Printable PDF Plans

Get all 5 posts in one easy to follow PDF! Includes complete supplies and tools for entire playhouse build.

Button to purchase printable PDF plans for the DIY playhouse.

Installing the Slide

The slide (I purchased this one) was a little flimsier than I would have preferred. I knew that going into it because I read a LOT of reviews. So I was already planning on reinforcing the slide with 2x4s to give added strength.

Figuring out the angles of the slide reinforcement was a bit challenging and a lot of trial & error. Our yard has a bit of a slope to it, but I will share what angles worked for us so it might at least give you a starting point depending on if you are installing on a slope or not.

For the slide, I used the pressure treated 2×4 boards since they would be sitting on our grass and would get wet every time we watered the lawn.

I cut 2 pieces for the bottom at 7″ long with a 25 degree angle cut on one end. Then I cut 2 79″ pieces with a 38 degree angle on the top and a 25 degree angle on the bottom. I also cut a couple inches off the top of piece so it would not stick up from the deck too much (but a little bit was needed).

Our DIY playhouse is almost done! This week we are sharing all the details on how we installed the slide and climbing wall to make the playhouse into a kids dream play area. Includes the build plans and cost breakdown for the whole project. Housefulofhandmade.com | How to build a playhouse | DIY swing set | Kids Playhouse | Free Build plans | How to Install a slide

Using my Kreg Jig, I attached the bottom piece to the top piece and then attached the entire thing to the playhouse deck. They were 13″ apart (I measured the groove in the slide for this measurement). Then I set the slide on top of the 2x4s and was amazed that it actually fit!

Our DIY playhouse is almost done! This week we are sharing all the details on how we installed the slide and climbing wall to make the playhouse into a kids dream play area. Includes the build plans and cost breakdown for the whole project. Housefulofhandmade.com | How to build a playhouse | DIY swing set | Kids Playhouse | Free Build plans | How to Install a slide

Drill holes in the top of the slide to secure it to the deck and then secure the slide to the deck with the screws provided.

Now it’s time for fun! While the slide is narrow on my hips, it can handle the weight of an adult now that it is reinforced. And you better believe the kids do not go down (or up) just one at a time! The reinforcement was definitely needed.

Our DIY playhouse is almost done! This week we are sharing all the details on how we installed the slide and climbing wall to make the playhouse into a kids dream play area. Includes the build plans and cost breakdown for the whole project. Housefulofhandmade.com | How to build a playhouse | DIY swing set | Kids Playhouse | Free Build plans | How to Install a slide

Installing the Climbing Wall

We started by cutting the 1×6 boards to the width of the upper wall (34 1/2″). We needed 9 boards to cover the entire wall. We sanded and painted the back/sides of these boards white with our paint sprayer.

Once they are dry, we secured them to the wall with the 1 1/2″ gold screws and wood glue. We used 2 screws into each stud on each board.

Our DIY playhouse is almost done! This week we are sharing all the details on how we installed the slide and climbing wall to make the playhouse into a kids dream play area. Includes the build plans and cost breakdown for the whole project. Housefulofhandmade.com | How to build a playhouse | DIY swing set | Kids Playhouse | Free Build plans | How to Install a slide

Keep going all the way to the top of the wall. It actually ended about 3/4″ below the top, but is not noticeable at all.

Our DIY playhouse is almost done! This week we are sharing all the details on how we installed the slide and climbing wall to make the playhouse into a kids dream play area. Includes the build plans and cost breakdown for the whole project. Housefulofhandmade.com | How to build a playhouse | DIY swing set | Kids Playhouse | Free Build plans | How to Install a slide

I decided to paint the turquoise on the outside after installation. It was super quick and easy to tape off the deck area and roll the color on with a small roller.

Our DIY playhouse is almost done! This week we are sharing all the details on how we installed the slide and climbing wall to make the playhouse into a kids dream play area. Includes the build plans and cost breakdown for the whole project. Housefulofhandmade.com | How to build a playhouse | DIY swing set | Kids Playhouse | Free Build plans | How to Install a slide

Then I decided to fill in the screw holes with caulk to hide and protect them. So I grabbed some left over caulk and quickly filled in all the holes. After a second coat of paint, they were nearly invisible.

Our DIY playhouse is almost done! This week we are sharing all the details on how we installed the slide and climbing wall to make the playhouse into a kids dream play area. Includes the build plans and cost breakdown for the whole project. Housefulofhandmade.com | How to build a playhouse | DIY swing set | Kids Playhouse | Free Build plans | How to Install a slide

For the lower part of the climbing wall, I cut the 2×6 boards to 5′ long. Then sanded and stained them all.

I also added a coat of the spar urethane sealer to the back and sides of all the boards before installing so that I knew the sides of each board would have a good coat of sealer. It can be really hard to seal between them when you only have  1/4″ gap.

Our DIY playhouse is almost done! This week we are sharing all the details on how we installed the slide and climbing wall to make the playhouse into a kids dream play area. Includes the build plans and cost breakdown for the whole project. Housefulofhandmade.com | How to build a playhouse | DIY swing set | Kids Playhouse | Free Build plans | How to Install a slide

I attached these boards to the sides of the deck with the 2 1/2″ TimberLOK wood screws. You could probably also use deck screws, but I bought a box of 50 and still had plenty. And I like that they are super sturdy.

Our DIY playhouse is almost done! This week we are sharing all the details on how we installed the slide and climbing wall to make the playhouse into a kids dream play area. Includes the build plans and cost breakdown for the whole project. Housefulofhandmade.com | How to build a playhouse | DIY swing set | Kids Playhouse | Free Build plans | How to Install a slide

Once I installed all the boards, I added a coat of sealer to the front of the boards. Then after it was dry a second coat was added to the front, back and sides of everything.

Our DIY playhouse is almost done! This week we are sharing all the details on how we installed the slide and climbing wall to make the playhouse into a kids dream play area. Includes the build plans and cost breakdown for the whole project. Housefulofhandmade.com | How to build a playhouse | DIY swing set | Kids Playhouse | Free Build plans | How to Install a slide

Now it was time to add the rock climbing handles. I added 4 of the 10 handles to the top part of the wall. This makes it easier for the kids to climb up to the opening. To install these, I held them up where I wanted them and marked where the holes were. I drilled 1/4″ hole all the way through the wood.

Our DIY playhouse is almost done! This week we are sharing all the details on how we installed the slide and climbing wall to make the playhouse into a kids dream play area. Includes the build plans and cost breakdown for the whole project. Housefulofhandmade.com | How to build a playhouse | DIY swing set | Kids Playhouse | Free Build plans | How to Install a slide

I hammered the tee nut into the back of the wood over the 1/4″ hole. I found the tee nut was hard to hold while trying to hammer it in, but using a screw driver worked to hold it and hammer it.

Our DIY playhouse is almost done! This week we are sharing all the details on how we installed the slide and climbing wall to make the playhouse into a kids dream play area. Includes the build plans and cost breakdown for the whole project. Housefulofhandmade.com | How to build a playhouse | DIY swing set | Kids Playhouse | Free Build plans | How to Install a slide

All that is left is to secure the handles with the bolts using the provided allen wrench.

Our DIY playhouse is almost done! This week we are sharing all the details on how we installed the slide and climbing wall to make the playhouse into a kids dream play area. Includes the build plans and cost breakdown for the whole project. Housefulofhandmade.com | How to build a playhouse | DIY swing set | Kids Playhouse | Free Build plans | How to Install a slide

For the bottom part of the climbing wall, I learned that the bolts that came with the handles were only long enough for 1″ thick wood. I tried to find longer screws at my local Home Depot, but had no success. But I came up with an easy solution.

After drilling the 1/4″ holes where I wanted, I ended up using a 3/4″ drill bit and drilling a 1/2″ deep hole in the back of the wood. This made my wood only 1″ thick so I could attach the handles easily.

Our DIY playhouse is almost done! This week we are sharing all the details on how we installed the slide and climbing wall to make the playhouse into a kids dream play area. Includes the build plans and cost breakdown for the whole project. Housefulofhandmade.com | How to build a playhouse | DIY swing set | Kids Playhouse | Free Build plans | How to Install a slide

My kids also asked for a ladder. I didn’t want to make stairs that took up space so I created a simple rope ladder. I used about 15′ of 1/4″ rope and a 1″ dowel. Now they can have wars to see who can get into the playhouse faster: on the ladder or the climbing wall.

Our DIY playhouse is almost done! This week we are sharing all the details on how we installed the slide and climbing wall to make the playhouse into a kids dream play area. Includes the build plans and cost breakdown for the whole project. Housefulofhandmade.com | How to build a playhouse | DIY swing set | Kids Playhouse | Free Build plans | How to Install a slide

And now for the $$$. Here is what we have spent so far:

  • The deck = $196.96
  • The walls = $189.71
  • The railings = $17.76

For the slide & climbing wall:

  • Slide = $99.99
  • Rock climbing handles = $20.00
  • (2) 2×4 8′ pressure treated boards = $11.24
  • (5) 1×6 6′ boards = $21.30
  • (3) 2×6 10′ boards = $22.50
  • (8) 2 1/2″ blue-kote pocket hole screws (left over from the railing build)
  • (20) 2 1/2″ TimberLOK wood screws = $18.47 for a box of 50
  • 1 1/2″ gold screws (left over from the wall build)
  • Wood stain (left over from the deck build)
  • Outdoor wood sealer (left over from deck build)
  • Exterior paint (left over from wall build)

Total for slide & climbing wall: $193.50

Total so far: $597.93

Not too bad, and all that is left is the roof (which you can see a sneak peek of in the below picture)!

I’m pretty excited we are still way below the cost of buying a swing set and still having to put it together. And truly, our DIY playhouse is way better than anything we could have bought.

Our DIY playhouse is almost done! This week we are sharing all the details on how we installed the slide and climbing wall to make the playhouse into a kids dream play area. Includes the build plans and cost breakdown for the whole project. Housefulofhandmade.com | How to build a playhouse | DIY swing set | Kids Playhouse | Free Build plans | How to Install a slide

Yeah for almost having this big project done!

-Kati with picture of blog author Kati
Our DIY playhouse is almost done! This week we are sharing all the details on how we installed the slide and climbing wall to make the playhouse into a kids dream play area. Includes the build plans and cost breakdown for the whole project. Housefulofhandmade.com | How to build a playhouse | DIY swing set | Kids Playhouse | Free Build plans | How to Install a slide
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Jantzen O'Neal

Monday 21st of September 2020

Thanks for the detailed plans on this build! I was able to modify it slightly to add a ladder to one side and a slide in the front - as well as a swing set on the side with the rock wall. With nearly three days of constant work on this build I was able to complete it. Would love to share some pictures with you to see what you think!

Kati

Friday 2nd of October 2020

I am so happy to hear it! Getting the build done in 3 days is amazing. Great job. I would love to see pictures, you can always email them to me (kati (at) housefulofhandmade.com) or tag me on social media @housefulofhandmade.

Michael

Monday 13th of January 2020

Are you worried about the weight of the playhouse shearing off the load bearing bolts since the frame is not on top of the post?

Kati

Tuesday 4th of February 2020

The walls are set back about 1 1/2" so they are in fact over the posts. I made sure to set it up that way ;)

Chris

Saturday 1st of December 2018

Do you have downloadable (e.g. pdf) plans that you can share? I.e., something that I can easily print off?

Kati

Monday 3rd of December 2018

Sorry Chris, I don't have downloadable PDF of these plans. It is on my list, but with the craziness of Q4 it probably will not happen until January.

G Beilfuss

Wednesday 7th of February 2018

Hi! I have a couple quick questions. We are wanting to build something similar, and I want to make sure the slide fits the deck height. Do you know the height of your deck? And what are the dimensions on the slide? Also, I am wondering where you purchased your slide and rock wall pieces. Thank you for a wonderful tutorial and extra info!!

Kati

Thursday 15th of February 2018

I added links to the exact slide and rock wall pieces I purchased in the tutorial supplies list (I am sorry I forgot that before). Our deck is 49 1/2" tall and the slide said it mounts to a 48"-52" deck. I don't know the exact dimensions of the slide. It works great for my kids that are 8 and 6 right now.

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