How to build a playhouse for the kids

Build a playhouse

We show you how to build a playhouse for the kids to have fun in. What tools and materials you’ll need to build a playhouse.

Tools Required

Hammer                    Tape Measure                   Pencil                    Set Square                    Spade                         Spirit Level                         Saw                        String Line                Sliding Bevel            Drill & Bits                           Tin Snips

Materials needed

Timber for flooring and framing and cladding.

Roofing tin

Concrete

first step

The first step when planning to build a playhouse, is to decide what type of playhouse you want and where to put it.

Do you want a playhouse on ground level or a multi level playhouse. Will the playhouse be for adventure or playing house, below are a couple of examples.

Decide on a site that is slightly shady as this will keep the temperature down during the summer months.

Second step

Draw up a plan or buy a plan for the type of cubby house you decide to build for the kids. There are many websites you can get free plans for cubby houses, some of these are the major hardware stores DIY sections an example is here  http://builditsupplies.com.au/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/46-Build-a-Cubby-House.pdf

Many of the DIY cubby house plans from the major hardware stores include a cutting list and a list of tools required for the project.

Once you have your plans the next step is to start your building.

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third step

Start building your cubby house. The foundation and floor should be the first to be built.

Set out the playhouse using profiles (profiles are timber pegs to attached your string line to) and a string line. Measure from corner to corner to check that the foundation and floor are square.

Without proper foundations, your playhouse may not be stable and you don’t want to have any safety issues when your children are playing in the playhouse.

Once your foundations are set, build your cubby house floor because this will give you a flat, level area to work. You can use either floor boards or floor sheeting for the flooring, generally sheet is the more economical way to go.

Watch this video for one of the best methods for building a cubby house I have seen.

I would like to thank Bill for allowing me to show his great video in this post.

fourth step

You can build all your wall frames on your floor for the cubby house as you would have seen in the video above.

Cut all your timber for your wall frames and assemble it on the cubby house floor with hammer and nails.

Mark your top and bottom plate where the studs are to go as this will make it easier to nail together.

Add extra timber to the frames where you are going to put the windows and doors.

Remember measure twice, cut once! Materials are expensive, check measurements before cutting any timber.

Fifth step

When you have all your wall frames completed, you have to stand them up. Start with the back wall and brace it once you have it up. Then stand the side walls and finish with the front wall.

Screw the wall frames to the floor as you stand them up and nail each frame to the other frames.

sixth step

The roofing structure is the next step which will stabilize the wall frames and give you somewhere to screw the roofing to.

Attach battens to your cubby house rafters to support the roofing material.

Your roofing material can be either nail or screwed down, depending on the material you are using.

seventh step

It is time to put the cladding onto your cubby house. Cladding may be made of many different materials.

You could use weatherboards or vinyl siding or sheeting. You can paint the cladding or leave it in its natural state depending on your preference.

If you have a multi level playhouse you can now add the ladder, slide and climbing wall or whatever else you want to have on the cubby house.

The final steps are putting the doors and widows into the cubby house and having a cubby house warming party.

Once again I would like to thank Billshowto for allowing me to link his video to this post.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have enjoy this post.

Tips for buying a cordless drill

Makita Cordless Drill

Here are my tips for buying a cordless drill.

Tips for buying a Cordless Drill

Cordless drill/drivers are the most used power tool in the handyman’s workshop. The cordless drill/driver is a very handy tool that can be used just about anywhere.

Today I will explain the features of a cordless drill/driver and what features you will need to consider.

Check out our top 3 cordless drills for the handyman review HERE

types of Cordless drills

There are 3 types of cordless drills/drivers, drill/driver, hammer drill/driver and impact driver.

Drill/drivers are for light weight work, occasional drilling and driving into lighter weight materials. Features of a drill/driver are variable speed, clutch or torque settings, forward and reverse motion, keyless chuck and some have small light that shines when drilling or driving.

Cordless drill clutch and functionHammer drill/drivers are for heavier work and can be used for most drilling and driving jobs you’ll need to do. These heavier hammer drill/drivers have the same features as the drill/driver, but also have the hammer feature that helps when drilling into masonry.

Impact drivers are for driving screws and bolts into materials with less force required from the operator.  If you have lots of screws to drive in, an impact driver is the best option for you. A impact driver is better suited for driving screws or bolts as it takes less effort from you and is easier to control how far you drive the screws in.

Check out our top 3 cordless drills for the handyman review HERE

cordless drill batteries

Cordless drill batteryThere are 2 types of batteries used for cordless drills these days,  lithium ion and nickel–cadmium battery (NiCd). Lithium ion batteries are the norm these days with NiCd batteries usually in older models.

Lithium ion batteries offer better power and run time as well as being lighter than the NiCd battery. They are also better for the environment with less harmful chemicals. Cordless drills with lithium ion batteries have a charge gauge allowing you to figure out when you need to recharge you battery.Cordless drill battery level

NiCd batteries are larger and heavier than lithium ion batteries. Another issue with NiCd batteries is they often run out of charge when not used. This can be annoying when you go to use your cordless drill and find it needs to be recharged.

Batteries for cordless drills come in different voltages and Ah (amphere hour). The common voltages available are 12V, 14V and 18V. Voltage is the power rating of the cordless drill. Ah is usually 2Ah or 4Ah and measures how long between recharges,  4Ah will run for more time than 2Ah will.

A cordless drill may say it is a 20V max battery, these are actually 18V drills. The 18V is the average voltage the cordless drill has, but they are 20v maximum voltage.

Check out our top 3 cordless drills for the handyman review HERE

brushless motor or bush motors

The brushless motor cordless drill/drivers are the latest models available. With a brushless motor your drill will be more powerful and last longer than a conventional bush motor. However the cost of a brushless motor will be more expensive and may not be required if you are using it for the occasional project.

speed control

Cordless drill speed controlMost cordless drills have a couple of speed controls. One on top of the drill, a button with 1 and 2 on it. The 1 position is for driving screws in and 2 is for drilling. Another speed control is the trigger, the tighter the trigger is pulled the faster the drill goes.

Cordless drill forward and reverse buttonForward and reverse motion is controlled by a button above the grip that is pushed either to the left or right. When the button is pushed to the right, the drill will unscrew and when pushed to the left drives screws into material.

Check out our top 3 cordless drills for the handyman review HERE

Conclusion

Which cordless drill would suit you?

If you are only doing the occasional job or project a Drill/driver is all you need. These are lighter and easier to handle, and will last for many years.

For the weekend warrior a hammer drill/driver is your weapon of choice. These are able to handle most jobs and are very robust.

If your projects require lots of screws or bolts to be driven in, a impact driver is the best choice.

A handy tip is to buy both a drill/driver and a impact driver, this way you don’t have to swap and change bits all the time.

Thanks for reading my tips for buying a cordless drill, if you have any other questions about cordless drills, please let me know. I will try and answer all your questions.

3 Tips for buying a Circular Saw

Circular saw

 

Skil circular sawA circular saw is one of the most useful tools a handyman can have. Your circular saw will allow you to complete many different DIY projects.

This post will discuss everything you need to know when buying a circular saw.

  • Blade Size

Circular saws are usually categorized by the blade size. The most common size is 7 and ¼ inch blade that can cut up to 3 inch thick materials. These saws have a great variety of blades, which enable handymen to cut all sorts of materials. General purpose blades used for construction work have around 24 teeth. For finer cuts saw blades require more teeth, usually 40.

TYPES OF BLADES

High-speed steel blades are harder than steel blades and stay sharper longer.

Carbide-tipped blades have carbide tips attached to their teeth. They are more expensive than other blades, but they stay sharp much longer than steel or high-speed steel.

Tile-cutting blades are specially designed for cutting ceramic tile. Better tile-cutting blades have diamond-tipped blades.

Masonry blades are made of abrasive material for cutting concrete, brick, cinder block and other masonry materials

 

  • Choosing Corded or Cordless?

These days you can get corded or cordless circular saws. The choice between corded or cordless depends on the jobs you’ll be working on. Corded circular saws are good for reliable delivery of power and cutting. Cordless circular saws are great for convenience as you can use them anywhere even if there is no power on site or extension leads are difficult to use. When cutting tough materials a cordless circular saw will drain your battery quickly. If your projects involve hardwood of any thickness, a corded circular saw is going to be the best option. For small cuts and softwood cutting a cordless circular saw will be the go to tool.

  • Ergonomics

Circular saws look alike, but not all circular saws feel good in your hand. Before buying your circular saw, try it out to see if it feels good in your hands. Controls need to be easy to reach and the saw should feel balanced in your hand.

How I set up my small workshop

How to set up a Workshop

How I set up my small workshop, for over 30 years, I did not have a workshop for my handyman projects. I used garages and sheds, or even just outdoors as my work space.

A couple of years ago I finally had the money and time to build a workshop. I will tell you how I set up my small workshop and what tools I have bought for the workshop.

Check out our top 3 cordless drills for the handyman review HERE

Find some space

The first thing to do when planning a workshop, is to find somewhere to put your workshop. Many different places are used for workshops, from a stand alone shed to a basement or garage, or even just a spare room.

I choose to build a stand alone shed that measures 20 foot x 10 foot out of Colourbond sheeting. A garage will give you a fair bit of space for a workshop, and basements vary in size but have been utilized as a workshop. Your space will need power also for the many workshop tools you will use.

Why do you need a workshop

Workshops are great for handymen or women, who want to build projects which may take a period of time to complete. Having a workshop enables you to work whenever you want to. Not having to worry about the weather or messing up a clean space or room.

Your own workshop lets you have an area where you can leave a project until you can get back to it, without having to pack it and your tools away each time.

How I set up my small workshopAnother benefit of a workshop is the tools you can have that aren’t portable, for example a drill press, bench grinder, joiners and planers. These tools allow you to build just about anything you can imagine.

This is how I set up my small workshop.

How I setup my small workshop

Layout

The layout of your workshop will depend on the space you have available and the type of projects you will be building.

In my workshop, I have a large mobile work bench in the center that hold a table saw, compound sliding mitre saw and a small router table, it measures 8 x 4 foot  and has castors to wheel it around when required.

Around the walls of my workshop, I have a bench grinder, drill press, disk/belt sander and storage for portable tools and materials. There is also a wood lathe, but I have to take this outside to use as the workshop is to small to accommodate working at the lathe.

How I set up my small workshopA shop vac is used for dust collection, its not ideal but it is better than nothing.

Your layout should follow your building stages, your table saw is usually the center of the work process. A mitre saw is situated along a wall. Drill press and bandsaws require room to move around so allow space around these.

Tools not used often like planers and joiners can be put in areas that are out of the way. But these also need space around them when being operated.

tools for your workshop

There are many tools you may want for your workshop. Such as planer, joiner,drill press bandsaw, table saw, bench grinder, sanding station. If you have a large workshop you will be able to fit these all in, however if your workshop is small, you need to prioritize what is the most useful.

How I set up my small workshopAs previously mentioned I have a table saw, mitre saw, drill press, bench grinder and disk/belt sander. These allow me to complete all the projects I have carried out.

All these tools were not bought as soon as I built my workshop. But over time I have been able to acquire them as needed. The bench grinder and the saws were tools I have had since I built the workshop.

The size of my workshop does not allow space for a planer or joiner, so I improvise where needed.

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Conclusion

Setting up your small workshop will depend on your projects and what tools you will need to complete them.

The size of your workshop will determine what tools you can fit in and the sought of projects you can do.

Start with basic tools like a table saw, bench grinder and mitre saw plus your portable power tools such as hand planer, circular saw and cordless drills.

Check out our top 3 cordless drills for the handyman review HERE

Add to your tools as you require them and buy the best quality that you can afford.

How to fix a leaky tap

Leaky tap

How to fix a leaky tap. It usually only takes 20 minutes to replace a faulty washer. Below are the tools you’ll need for the job and the steps to follow to complete the job.

Tools Needed
  1. Screw Driver
  2. Spanners – Adjustable and tube spanners to fit your tap
  3. Thread tape
  4. Washers

    Parts of a tap
    Parts of a tap

Basic tools all handymen should have can be found in my post HERE

Step 1

Turn off the water main, these may be out the front of the property, or if you live in an apartment the mains may be turned off elsewhere. Determine where your water main is and turn it off to before repairing the leaky tap.

Step 2

Once you have turn the water main off, turn the leaky tap on to let any water remaining in the pipe to drain out. When the water stops running, you are ready to start repairing the leaky tap.

Step 3

Remove the cap from the top or front of the tap with a screw driver or small spanner depending on your tap. This should reveal a small nut on the end of the tap. Take the small nut off to remove the tap handle. When the tap handle is remove, take the tap body cover off.

With the tap body removed, you’ll now see the actual tap body.

Step 4

Now with a adjustable or tube spanner, you turn the tap body counter clock wise and unwind until the tap body comes apart. The washer that needs replacing can now be accessed.

Replace the faulty washer, it may be broken or worn.

Step 5

When you have replaced the faulty washer, wrap the thread of the tap body with thread tape to stop any leaks. Turn the tap body in a clock wise direction until finger tight.

Now use your spanner to tighten the tap completely.

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Step 6

Replace the tap body cover and the tap handle, tighten the small nut on the end of the tap and replace the tap cap. Leave the tap open until you turn the water main back on, this lets any air in the plumbing to escape and reduce any air hammering that may have occurred.

The final steps for how to fixing your leaky tap is to turn on the water mains and make sure the tap doesn’t leak anymore.

Generally it takes around 20 minutes to replace a washer, so it’s an easy DIY job for anyone.

If your tap is still leaking, you can be fairly certain it needs re seating. A re seating tool can be bought at your local hardware store.

How to fix a leaky tap is a basic skill for all handymen.

My Shed Plans Review

MyShedPlans Review

My shed plans review

My Shed Plans review is a complete guide that explains how you can build a beautiful shed from scratch. Ryan Henderson the writer of the book has given detailed blueprints and step by step instructions     that even a beginner can follow. Shed builders can choose from 12,000 shed plans and woodworking patterns.

My shed plans review

What’s included in My Shed plans

Once you sign up you will receive the entire package instantly in the Members’ Area via downloads. There are easy to follow instructions provided in the members’ area just in case you have never downloaded anything from the internet before. After making the purchase you will get all the shed plans and woodworking blueprints within 5 minutes. This means that you get the product for a lower price as there are no shipping costs. However, if you prefer buying the CD then you can buy that and it will be sent to you via mail.

Checkout my post on basic tools a handyman needs HERE

My shed plans review

Woodworking can be time consuming but making the right plans takes even longer. My Shed Plans Elite provide you a wide range of design to choose from and once you have the design you will be able to construct your shed nicely and it will take less amount of time to build it. It keeps all things simple. The aim of My Shed Plans is to make woodworking a fun activity for you. Once you follow Ryan Henderson’s instructions making shed will be a less time consuming and more fun thing to do.

Some of the plans include a Garden bench, How to Build a Fence, Dog Kennel, Making an Easy Arbor,”, Swing Pet, Nursery Wagon, Doghouse Plans, Outdoor Fireplaces, Feed Cart, Storage Shed for Pesticide and a lot more.

Want your own website, use Siteground HERE

My shed plans review

My shed plans elite

My Shed Plans Elite provides plans for garages and outbuildings too. You can learn to build Large Garage, Elevated Sawdust Bin, Lawn Tool Storage Cabinet, Garden Windmill, etc. It’s a book that enables you become an expert woodworker and complete projects in far less time than you used to.

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The book also teaches you how you can build shed that costs less. You will be able to build a good shed much cheaper than the overpriced ready-made sheds that you see. If you have the resources you can build a decent shed for nothing at all.

My Shed Plans review Elite will explain everything in detail and you don’t have to worry about running out of ideas anymore. My Shed Plans Elite package comes with 2 bonuses. The first one is about foundation, roofing and the second one is about woodworking secrets and contains tips and tricks that may prove very useful. The Total price of My Shed Plans Elite is $47 and there is a money back guarantee in case you feel like returning the book. What’s more, you keep the bonus books that you get with it.

Basic Lawn Care

Lawn Mowing

5 Tips for a Great Lawn

Basic lawn care for handymen, how to mow your lawn.

Mow Dry Grass

For the best lawn, you should mow your lawn when it is dry. A dry lawn will stand up straighter and won’t clump as it does when your lawn is damp. This is a basic lawn care tip.

Mowing a damp lawn won’t hurt it, but it does make it harder to mow as the wet grass will cling to your mower and bog down the mower it the lawn is long.

By mowing your lawn when it’s dry also helps if your are not using a catcher to catch the clippings. As you mow, discharge the clippings over the areas of the lawn that you have already mowed and let the clippings mulch into the lawn.

Worx Lawn Mower

Mowing HEIGHT

The height you should mow your lawn depends on the type of grass you have. Heights vary from 1/2″ to an 1″ or 2″ depending on what sort of grass in your lawn.

A general rule for mowing height is 1/3 of the length of the grass blades, leaving 2/3 of the length. This helps with suppressing weeds and delivers a healthier lawn. If your lawn is overdue for mowing and has become fairly long, gradually lower the height of your mowing blades a 1/3 of the length per pass.

In shaded areas, allow the height of the grass to be a bit longer than sunny areas, as this will help your grass with its photosynthesis and is the secret to a great lawn in shady areas.

Need a shed, get my free shed plan HERE.

mower blades

Keep your mower blades sharp, dull blades make for ragged cuts and doesn’t cut as efficiently as sharp blades.

If you are not catching the clippings, you may be better off putting mulching blades on as these cut your grass into small clippings enabling better mulching of your lawn.

Ensure your blades are balance as this helps reduce the vibrations from your mower.

best times to mow

The best time to mow your lawn is when you only have to remove 1/3 of the length of the blade. Another basic lawn care tip.

Never mow your lawn during the heat of the day, as this produces unnecessary stress on your lawn and on yourself. If you are able to mow when your lawn is shaded, you will have a healthier lawn.

Mowing your lawn on a regular basis will help keep your lawn in good condition and the grass will never get to long.

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new lawns

If you are just starting a new lawn, allow your grass to grow for 3-4 weeks before mowing it the first time. When you do mow your new lawn the first time, cut it to about a 1″ above the recommended height for the type of grass you have.

What basic tools does a handyman need?

Basic tools for a handyman

 

Hammer 

A hammer is one of the most basic tools a handyman needs. With a hammer you can drive in nails and remove bent nails from your work.

There are many styles of hammers for different applications, but a claw hammer is generally the best for a Handyman. Hammers come with different handles, wooden, steel and synthetic. From experience a synthetic handle will last a every long time and won’t break easily or need fixing, I’ve had my synthetic handle hammer for over 30 years.

Other styles of hammers can be bought when you require them for special jobs, but when beginning a basic tool kit, a claw hammer is the best buy.

Power Drill

A power drill will make your handyman life so much easier. These days a cordless power drill is a handyman’s best friend. Check out our buying tips for a cordless drill.

 

Cordless power drill

You can use a power drill for drilling into wood, steel and concrete. But you can also use it to drive in screws and tighten bolts with the correct adapters.

Your power drill can also be used to grind, sand and polish with the right attachments.

Your basic tool kit will not be complete without a cordless power drill.

Check out our top 3 cordless drills for the handyman review HERE

Screw Driver set

A set of screw drivers will come in very handy for many jobs you will carry out. Screw driver sets have both Flathead and Philips head drivers, of various sizes.

Using the correct size screw driver makes a handyman’s job so much easier. Besides screwing and unscrewing, screw drivers can be used for prying things apart and are a necessity for the basic handyman’s tool kit.

Measuring Tape

Almost every job a handyman does requires some sought of measurement and a tape measure is needed. To cover most jobs you’ll do, a 25ft or 8m measuring tape is the best option.

Measuring Tape

There’s nothing worse than going to measure a job and your measuring tape is not long enough. With a 25ft measuring tape you’ll be able to cover most jobs.

Pliers

Pliers come in handy for many times when your trying to grasp something in an awkward place of that are difficult to grip with your fingers.

Set of Pliers

You should get a normal pair of pliers, and a pair of needle nose pliers when starting out. 

As your build your tool box or kit, you can add vise grips and adjustable jaws pliers.

Level

Levels come in handy for so many jobs that a handyman will carry out, from hanging picture frames to leveling concrete jobs.

4ft Level

You can get many different sizes of levels, but a 4 ft level is the most useful and be used all around your home.

Utility Knife

There are hundreds of utility knives on the market, which one you use will come down to your preference.

Utility Knife

You’ll be amazed how many times you will use your utility knife, from cutting rope or cardboard to using it around your workshop.

Adjustable Spanner

You’ll need a adjustable spanner for all the nuts and bolts you have to loosen and tighten. Used with pliers you can get most nuts and bolts tightened or undone.

Adjustable spanners

I have a small and medium size adjustable spanners, you probably best off getting the medium size to start your basic tool kit. 

Tool Kit 

Another option is to buy a ready made tool kit. These may have more tools than have been discussed so far, but do contain all the basic tools a handyman will need for most jobs.

There are many tool kits to choose from, from different brands names to different requirements.

Always buy the best tools you can afford, as they will be with you for a long time if they are quality made.

Maybe you have a tool you think should be included in a basic tool kit, let us know and we can include it to future tool kit posts.