How to build a cubby house

Project Overview

It’s fun building something with the kids and a cubby house is the perfect project.


It’s important to always wear safety glasses or goggles whenever hand and power tools are in use. Ear protectors are needed when using noisy power tools. Also, be sure you check council regulations as sometimes approval might be needed before you start.


  • Timber posts
  • Galvanised nails
  • Flat head clout roof nails
  • 20 x bugle baton screws
  • 1 x concrete
  • 6 Lm 90 x 90mm H4 treated pine posts
  • 15 Lm 150 x 50mm hardwood beams
  • 6 sheets 2400 x 1200mm exterior bb board 12mm ply
  • 50 Lm 70 x 45mm hardwood timber
  • 15 x 1200mm treated pine pickets
  • 35 x 2100mm treated pine fence palings
  • 90Lm 42 x 10mm treated pine lattice batons


  • Shovel
  • Saw
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • Electric drill
  • String line

Step by Step Instructions

1 Selecting the site
2 Footings
3 Floor
4 Walls
5 Roof frame
6 Veranda and roof
7 Windows
  • Step 1. Selecting the site

    Choose a level area that will get shade during summer, has some privacy and plenty of play area around the cubby house.
  • Step 2. Footings

    Start by marking out an area of 2300 x 1800mm on the site. These are posts outside dimensions and mark out the perimeter of the frame. You may choose to use a string line. Dig post holes to a minimum depth of 600mm. They should be dug in each corner and two should be placed 700mm back from the front edge, which is where the veranda will join. If the posts seem to be sinking in uneven ground make sure there is plenty of the post sticking out so any extra can be cut off later. Secure the posts using set concrete, follow the instructions on the concrete bag.

    Attach the beams to the outside of the posts to form the perimeter frame. Ensure these are level and provide a step up of no more than 300mm from the ground to the top of the beam. Connect two 150 x 50mm cross members, one behind the veranda posts at 700mm and the other at 1800mm from the front bearer. Nail these into the end grain from outside the beams.

  • Step 3. Floor

    To support the join of the two floor sheets measure 675mm across from a front corner and put down a 150 x 50mm beam so that the edge of the two floor sheets will fall over half of the beam. Now trim the posts off level with the beams. Lay out a sheet of ply 2400mm x 1200 flush with the corners of the frame, remembering that the inside length should fall over half of the beam and a second sheet cut to 2400 x 700mm to finish the floor off.
  • Step 4. Walls

    To build the four wall frames use the 70 x 45mm timber. Do the two side walls first. Cut out the top and bottom plates at 1700mm lengths, lay them next to each other and mark out the studs at approximately 500mm spacings, giving you four studs. This space allows for the windows to be added later. The height of the wall frames is 1200mm, to suit the sheet size, so accounting for the width of the plates, the internal stud size is 1110mm. Each frame should be built separately and each stud should be cut and measured separately. Now stand the frames stand nail them down through the floor and through the corner studs.

    You only put in one beam and that is the sill plate for the windows. To do this nail a piece of timber between the two centre studs of either wall 600mm up from the floor. The top plate will act as the top of the window. Follow the same procedure for the front and back walls.

    Cut your top and bottom plates to fit between the side walls, they should be about 1760mm. Now, to allow for a door and window in the front wall, measure out the spacing between the first and second studs to about 500mm and then about a 600mm spacing for the remaining two studs. Attach the studs and another sill plate for the front wall. The back wall will have spacings at about 530mm. Slide the front and back walls in and nail off everything, including the corners. Cut and attach one sheet of 1200 x 1700mm ply to each side wall. Cut and attach a 1200 x 1900mm sheet to the back wall. Drop the side wall and back wall sheets 25mm down each frame. This will cover the joins at the floor and leaves a part of the top plate to attach a gable sheet under the roof. Cut and attach a 1200 x 1400mm sheet for the front wall. This will act as the front door.
  • Step 5. Roof frame

    Four roof rafters are required. Although a pitched roof looks good they can be hard so a skillion roof is an easier option. On the top plate of the frame at the back wall, nail a second top plate (45mm length at the vertical). Using 70 x 45mm timber, with the 70mm length at the vertical, nail four skillion rafters to the back wall top-plate at about 470mm spacings. These will run from the back wall to the veranda and also sit on the top plate of the front wall. Let the rafters run about 100mm past the front of the veranda to allow for the width of the veranda posts and veranda bearer.
  • Step 6. Veranda and roof

    Attach two veranda posts to the two outside rafters. Measure the length down from the two outside rafters to the bottom of the floor frame and cut two lengths of 70 x 45mm timber to suit. Nail the veranda posts in place at each front corner and to the outside rafters (the 70mm length facing towards the front). 

    Attach a 1900mm (70 x 45mm) veranda beam at the top of and to the front of the veranda posts and under the four rafters. The extra top plate on the back frame will give the fall required for rain to run off. (Remember that this Cubby isn't waterproof). 

    Attach a cross beam to the veranda posts 600mm from the floor to support the veranda pickets. Ensure the pickets are spaced no more than 80mm. You can use a picket to get the spacings right. Nail them to the floor frame at the bottom and the cross beam at the top.

    With 2100mm pieces of treated pine, start at the lower end of the roof and attach the first pailing. Continue overlapping each pailing 20mm, nailing to the previous pailing and rafters. Proceed with this until you have covered the entire roof. To neaten the roof up, nail a pailing at each end as fascia boards.

    To create the side gables measure out and cut to size two triangular panels (1700mm long, 140mm high and the back and 95mm high at the front). These are put in place to cover the gap left by the skillion roof on either side of the cubby house. Nail to the exposed top plate and end rafters. Cut the back gable to 1900mm long and 140mm high and attach.
  • Step 7. Windows

    When cutting the windows out, mark out a square with the bottom holes directly above each sill plate and the top holes below the top plate. Drill a hole in each corner of the square and then cut out the window.

    For further expert advice talk to the qualified Team Members at your local Bunnings Warehouse.


Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions which came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings team member.

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