When building a kids playhouse, a solid foundation is critical to the safety, sturdiness and appeal of your playhouse. To ensure that the foundation is property prepared, the following step-by-step method is provided so that the resulting playhouse will give your child years of playing enjoyment.
Select a level well drained area for the location of the playhouse. Stake out the perimeter (footprint) of the playhouse using mason’s line or some other string and cut in the grass or dirt using a garden spade. Remove all grass and vegetation from the area that will be covered by the playhouse foundation. Construct a form for the concrete foundation using either 1 x 4 or 2 x 4 pieces of lumber. The form will be held in place using stakes every two to three feet will define the perimeter as well as the thickness of the concrete slab. The form needs to be level at the top edges so the boards you use for this should not be warped or twisted. In addition to the wood form you will need steel reinforced mesh, crushed stone aggregate or sharp-sided gravel, sand and cement. Additionally, you will need to rent or borrow a vibrating plate soil compactor.
Once you have dug out the area for the foundation fill the area with about 3 inch deep layer of grade 5 crushed stone and pack it down using the compactor. Cover the layer of crushed, compacted aggregate with 3-4 inches of sand and tamp it down with the compactor. The layer of sand is critical for the curing of the concrete to maximize the strength of the slab. The sand layer will also help prevent the cracking of the concrete while the concrete expands or contracts during changing cold or hot weather conditions.
Place the wooden form on the prepared area and using wooden stakes on the outside of the form, secure the form in place so that it will not shift or move when adding the cement. Again, the form must be level so take the time to make adjustments to assure that the form is level at this point.
Lay the steel reinforced mesh over the form and cut the mesh to fit inside the form. At the time of pouring the cement, you will pull the mesh upwards to the middle of the cement. Smooth the excess concrete off the top of the form so it is even and level. Allow the concrete to cure and remove the form and securing stakes.
You now have a solid foundation that is level, sturdy and safe for building that dream kids playhouse for your child.