The Best Free Plans for DIY Outdoor Projects

Designs for Every Skill Level

The best place to try your hand at a do-it-yourself project is outdoors: it's more casual, forgiving, and if you succeed -- the rewards are immediate. We've researched plans and projects that take anywhere from a weekend to a couple months or more, depending on your level of expertise, the number of people working on the project, and the amount of time per day in which you invest. Projects include outdoor benches, children's playhouses and treehouses and wood decks.

  • 01 of 03

    Playhouse Plans and Designs

    little girl with playhouse
    Mother and daughter playing in a playhouse. Johner Images/Getty Images

    Bask in the glory of being the hero or heroine of your household when you follow through with one of these plans for a backyard playhouse. Designs are for a range of skills -- from beginning to advanced -- and include a Disneyland-inspired jungle cruise playhouse (OK, the person for this is now charging $, but it gets rave reviews), a British Wendy house, a Colonial, and a historic gingerbread from the Library of Congress.

  • 02 of 03

    Deck Plans

    Hopefully, this collection of free deck plans will help you to define the type of deck you want to build, along with many of its potential design elements. Plans include a freestanding dek from the California Redwood Association,  a deck for an above-ground pool from Popular Mechanics and a deck to construct over an existing patio or slab of concrete.

  • 03 of 03

    Garden Bench Plans

    A bench is a good project for a beginner -- it is simple, easy and doesn't take much time to accomplish. These free deck plans include a Restoration Hardware-inspired dining bench, a modern planter bench and an easy-does-it bench from

    Wood Magazine.