If you are looking for a way to get your children to spend more time playing outside, build a wooden slide for them. Children can have hours of fun playing under the deck, climbing the stairs and sliding down. Purchase a kit for easy slide assembly or build one from wood and basic tools. Some basic construction experience is helpful but not required. Building the slide should take less than two days.
Use a post-hole digger to make holes that are 2 feet deep and three times the diameter of your posts. Fill the bottom 6 inches with gravel to allow draining. Put an 8-foot post into the hole and check that it is level. Fill the hole with concrete mix to 4 inches below ground level. Check again to make sure it is level and then pour 1 gallon of water into the hole. Brace the post until the concrete sets. Once it is dry, fill the hole with dirt. Make a hole for each of the 4 posts, measuring 45 inches from outside corners for a 48-inch platform. Allow at least 4 hours for the concrete to harden before continuing.
Measure and plan deck construction based on the height of the slide. The height at the top of the deck should match the top of the slide. Fasten 2-by-6 floor joists around the base of each post and secure with lag bolts.
Attach 1-by-4 deck boards every 1/2 inch with galvanized fasteners. The boards should be flush over joists. Cut the corner pieces to fit flush to corner posts. Children should be kept clear to avoid injury as they may be tempted to climb on the structure at this point.
Use plywood to make walls or build rails. To make rails, install 2-by-4s around support posts at the desired height. Corners should be square and level. Use a circular saw to cut posts at the level of the frame.
Frame the openings at the front and back with 3-by-4 posts. Attach them with hammer and nails underneath the deck.
Complete walls by attaching 1-by-4 pickets inside the frame. Space them less than 1 inch apart to prevent hands and feet fitting through them.
Use 2-by-4s to build stairs. Fasten the top stair to the front of the joist at the rear entrance and mount it with a 45-degree metal hanger. Space them 14 inches apart and use a tread height of 4 to 6 inches for child-size steps.
Install plastic slide using hardware that comes with it. Drill mounting holes and attach with bolts and washers.
Things You Will Need
- 4 3-by-4 posts
- 2-by-6 floor joists
- 1-by-4 deck boards
- 1-by-4 pickets
- Plywood or 2-by-4 boards
- Plastic slide with hardware
- Lag bolts
- Galvanized fasteners
- Measuring tape
- Post-hole digger
- Circular saw
- Power drill
Add a sandbox to the bottom of the slide if desired. You can also attach swings or monkey bars. Raise the slide by putting cinder blocks or wooden blocks under its base.
Check building codes for your area to make sure your project is allowed and meets regulations.