How to Convert a Metal Shed Into a Playhouse

With commercial plastic and wooden playhouses costing hundreds of dollars, many parents are looking for durable, weatherproof alternatives for their children's backyard forts and homes. If you already have a metal shed you're not using or you've been gifted with a neighbor's or family member's used metal shed, you can easily convert it into the playhouse of your child's dreams, usually in just one afternoon. The shed is free, sturdy, and since it's already made, you avoid every father's least favorite phrase: "Some assembly required."

Remove the doors. The interior of a metal shed can become dangerously hot in the summer. For safety's sake, remove the shed doors and throw them away so the children cannot get trapped inside their playhouse.

Check for other safety hazards. Wasp nests, exposed rusting screw ends, spilled garden or pool chemicals all need to be removed, filed down or cleaned up before the shed can be used for play.

Make a window. No playhouse is complete without a window. Inspect the interior of the shed carefully before cutting a window— cutting through a wall or ceiling support strut is a bad idea. If the area between support struts is narrow, make two windows, one on each side of the house-to-be. Use a hacksaw or other metal-specific saw to cut away a square or rectangular opening. File the opening with a grinder so the sharp metal edges don't cut the children.

Add a floor. If your shed doesn't already have a floor, lay down some plywood sheets. Even a plywood floor will keep the interior of the new playhouse from getting too muddy and makes the structure more "houselike."

Paint the playhouse inside and out. Most metal sheds are tan, grey or white, which are boring colors for a playhouse. With metal-specific paint, use brown and black to create a log cabin design, pink for a princess cottage, or metallic silver for a space station. Your kids will have strong ideas about what they want their playhouse to look like. Paint the interior to match the exterior, including a control panel for the space station, pictures and furniture for the princess cottage, and more logs for the cabin interior.

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