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DIY Elevated Play fort -- plan and support questions

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Forum topic by mishmish posted 719 days ago 15276 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mishmish

1 post in 719 days


719 days ago

Hi everyone,
I found your site while googling my problem (there was a helpful thread responding to Dylan in Half Moon Bay).
My issue is similar, but i want to make sure I fully understand my options. (I have built some furniture—but never anything of this scale and safety implications)

I am planning on building an elevated play fort for my two sons, 5 & 2. The fort will be based on a combo of these two plans: http://ana-white.com/2010/05/furnture-plans-playhouse-deck.html and http://www.thehandmadehome.net/2012/06/a-handmade-hideaway/

However I’m not entirely comfortable with the stability of these plans and have questions about how to make it rock solid. The play house will be 4 feet high off the ground, probably 10×10. Would it be better to A) have a 4×4 not only at the 4 corners but also halfway between each, so at every 5 feet; or B) dig holes for the 4 corner posts and put them in concrete, say around 18” down. (we’re in florida so there’s no frostline per se)

Also, if I were to use cedar instead of pt wood, would that affect the stability any?

Thanks so much, I appreciate your help! I will start this once the intense humidity + mosquitoes die down in the next few weeks.


3 replies so far

View mnguy's profile

mnguy

161 posts in 2030 days


#1 posted 719 days ago

A play fort – awesome!

I do not believe you need intermediate supports on a 10’x10’ deck, but you can find many resources for span tables for various framing lumber dimensions. You are essentially building a stand-alone deck. You may have options between using larger joists and 4 posts, or smaller joists and 8 posts. The span ratings for cedar joists may not be the same as those for PT pine, so be aware of that.

As for footing depth, check you local building code for decks, and follow it. You can’t go wrong.

View whitebeast88's profile

whitebeast88

3470 posts in 822 days


#2 posted 719 days ago

when i built my daughters two story club house which is around 12’ if memory serves i used 6-4×4’s concreted 24” in the ground.i put cross braces at each corner and doubled the floor joists.it doesn’t sway any and me and a friend was on the top floor building rails which we both are fairly large and we couldn’t get it to sway and held us just fine.the way i look at it it’s for my daughter and if its overkill to add 2 more post i’m fine with it.hope this helps.welcome to lumberjocks.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1601 days


#3 posted 717 days ago

This job has never moved. The outside corners are PT 2×4’s butted together to make an L shape, then all the bracing/rails/floor joists are bolted or screwed to the inside of the L
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/54598

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