DIY Network

How to Build the Frame and Stairs for a Playground

Create a fun backyard with an elaborate playground that you can build using a kit.

More in Outdoors

Step 1: Determine the Location

Determine the location for the playground set and be sure that it's at least six feet from any obstructions, such as a garage or fence, and it must be fairly level. Gather tools and materials.

determine location for playground set

Step 2: Adjust the Level

Put the base of the deck out and adjust the level with dirt.

Step 3: Lay Down the Fabric

Remove the base and lay down the landscape fabric. This will prevent weeds from growing under the deck.

lay down landscape fabric

Step 4: Place the Top and Bottom Decks

Place the bottom of the deck back into position. Top the deck assembly, and put the top deck over the bottom deck.

place top and bottom decks

Step 5: Attach the Posts Loosely

Raise the corner posts, using 1/2" x 4" galvanized bolts and washers to hold the corner posts to the lower deck joist. Bolt the posts loosely just so they stay up. After all the bolts are in, use the impact wrench to tighten them.

attach the posts loosely

Step 6: Install the Top Deck

Lift the top deck into position then bolt it in place. Bolt one side and then the other and tighten them up once they are all in. Angle the corner brackets for support, and plumb the columns.

install top deck

Step 7: Secure the Support Beam

Bolt the angle brackets in place, attaching the top of all four brackets, then plumb the posts, using 3/8" x 5" lag screws to attach the bottom of the brackets. Secure the support beam for the monkey bars and the fences.

secure support beam

Step 8: Attach the Posts to the Upper Deck

Attach the 20" high fences around three sides of the lower deck, where the 3" lag screws will hold them in place. Bolt the four shorter 4 x 4 posts to the upper deck.

Note: To use the upper deck or level, you'll need to install stairs. The important thing here is to make sure the steps are level, which may take a little adjustment once the steps are in place. And make sure the stairs are on right side up. Note that with most kits the steps have a non-skid feature that helps to prevent slipping.

attach posts to upper deck

Step 9: Attach the Railings

Attach the lag screw stairs into the support posts on either side of the steps. Attach the railing to the upper deck, and put the decorative railings in place with four lag screws.

attach railings

Step 10: Attach the Side Walls

Raise the rear wall (comes pre-assembled from the factory) so it sits snugly between the two support posts. Once the wall is in place and flush with the posts, drive 3" deck screws through the studs into the posts. Screw in the side walls.

Step 11: Install the Stair Rails

Install the rails for the steps.

Safety Alert: Steps without rails can be a health hazard for young children.

install rails for steps