Build an Epic Backyard Playhouse

One dad wanted his kids to have a playhouse they would remember forever. So he rolled up his sleeves and got to work.

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The following was produced in partnership with BuyPower Card. When you use your BuyPower Card on your next outdoor project, you can earn towards a new GM vehicle.

Michigan-based builder, electrical engineer, and YouTuber Tyler is a dad who has no problem spending time — lots of time — making constructed visions come to life for his kids. In his case, those visions come in the form of backyard DIY projects — designing and building everything from large-scale swing sets to obstacle courses for his 4-year-old daughter Seraphina. “We all cringe when we need to pull out our wallets to pay for work, and it breaks our heart when the work is not quite up to par,” he prefaces on his YouTube channel. “I DIY because I have found the results to be better, less expensive and more satisfying.” Tyler may be more handy than most of us, but the way he tackles a project is something even somewhat handy dads can learn from. Here’s how to follow in his footsteps.

1. Have a Vision

The vision for the project doesn’t have to be complicated or particularly epic to be appreciated. For his latest build, Tyler went for a relatively simple playhouse restaurant to be added to their existing playhouse (which he also built). The idea was for his kids to be able to host picnics in their yard from their own little backyard restaurant. For this, he planned a miniature kitchen, picnic table breakfast bar, mini door, and farmhouse style windows with shutters — all made to scale for a kid.

2. Execute That Vision

From laying out blueprint plans to picking up supplies at the hardware store to seeing Seraphina serve her first “homemade meal” from the kitchen, Tyler’s hands guided the project to a final product. But not everyone is so self-sufficient. For parts that are impossible, shop around, recruit handy neighbors (preferably fellow dads who can bring the kids over to play while you work), or ask for help at the hardware store. The idea is to do as much yourself as possible — not to end up with a project that never gets off the ground and kids that are disappointed with dad’s lack of skills.

3. Appreciate the Time

DIYers are a guarantee that the days will be long, but that in itself shows off the kind of work ethic a kid will look up to and remember for long after they’ve played in their new space. And remember that these years are going to be short — the last thing you should be worried about is sacrificing your time and money on something so clearly worthwhile. A DIY project — whether it’s a playhouse or a homemade birdhouse — should be about memories and shared experiences. Think of it as your return on investment.

4. Use the Right Card for Your Purchases

Use your BuyPower Card* to buy the materials for all your DIY projects, and you’ll be earning towards a new GM vehicle.

*The BuyPower Card is issued by Capital One, N.A. pursuant to a license by Mastercard International Incorporated. General Motors is responsible for the operation and administration of the Earnings Program.

BuyPower Card Earnings may not be used with fleet vehicle incentive programs or with some other offers and discounted sale programs, such as the GM Employee Discount Program, GM Company-Owned Vehicle Discount and GM Supplier Discount Program. Other exclusions may apply. Read full Rates & Disclosures.

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