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Project Playroom– Building a Reading Loft / Fort / Indoor Treehouse: The Building Begins

Posted on: July 13, 2009

Our particular treehouse / reading loft / fort is going in a corner of the basement, and being made from scrap wood that’s in our garage.  It will be a 5 feet by 5 feet square, except the front corner will be angled off, and hopefully have a slide there some day soon!  It’s part loft bed, part playground, totally fun!

Here’s the after-I-cleaned-out-the-toys but before we actually started building the loft picture:


playroom corner before loft

playroom corner before loft


Here’s how we built the basic structre:
We need 5 vertical “posts”– one for each corner, and two for the angled corner.  A website with plans for building a loft bed (  recommends using 4×4 posts, but since we don’t have those and are using up scrap wood from the garage, we just fastened two 2×4’s together with long drywall screws.
For the “beams” we used 2×6’s.  We cut two 5 foot pieces, and two 3 foot and 1/2 inch pieces.  We left the fifth piece until the others were attached and measured it exactly (this was the angled corner piece).  For the two 3 foot pieces and the angled piece, we cut mitred corners so they’d fit together and not leave rough edges sticking out.
We attached the beams to the posts using 6″ long 3/8ths carriage bolts, nuts, and washers.  Each carriage bolt/nut/washer set was about $2.50ish at Home Depot, and we are planning to use 14 of them.
carriage bolts

carriage bolts

  The bottom of the beams are 45.5″ from the floor (this made the hole we pre-drilled in the post right at 48″).  Since all of the posts will be attached to two beams, for each corner we did one bolt centered in the beam and post, and the other bolt was off-set of center.
bolting beam to post

bolting beam to post

This is how we did the first beam to each post– centered on the post, centered on the beam, pre-drilled a hole 48″ high on the post, and 1.75″ from the end of the beam vertically, 1.5″ in from the beam width-wise.

This is a mitred corner beam end, it will attach to the angled piece. 22 degree mitre cut.

Building the frame:

building basic frame



Basic top level frame:

basic top-level frame completed

basic top-level frame completed

I also took a wood file and filed down the mitred/angled corners so there wouldn’t be a rough edge sticking out.

Finally, because we couldn’t use a single sheet of plywood for the floor (due to our 5×5 dimesions), and to add extra support, we added a 2×4 as a cross beam.

adding a cross beam

adding a cross beam



We need to add the bottom-frame to make it more sturdy and the floor/deck to get the basic structure complete.  Then we can get on to the fun part of adding the climbing wall, plexi-glass panels, canopy, lights, guard rail, etc.  I can’t wait– this is going to be such a cool place for the monkey and his stuff!



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