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Choosing your Wooden Playhouse

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What Matters

When it comes to choosing your wooden playhouse there are a number of things you need to keep in mind.  These include the size of your garden and the playhouse space available, the type of base you will need, the age and size of the child or children who will use the playhouse,  the style  of playhouse which will best suit your needs,  how long you will need the playhouse for and whether you need to leave room for growth (either of the children or the family!),  whether  you intend to assemble and decorate the playhouse yourself and, of course, the available budget.

Sometimes, in the excitement of finding your ideal wooden playhouse it can be easy to overlook some of these issues.  To help you, we take a look at each in turn below.


Size and Space

As you browse the wide selection of wooden playhouses available you will realise that they come in a vast array of sizes and shapes.  The first thing you should do is to identify the area of your garden where the playhouse is to be located and check its measurements carefully with the measurements of the playhouse you are interested in.  Remember to leave enough space around the playhouse for children to play in and to allow access for painting and maintenance and the like and to take account of any roof overhang which the playhouse may have.

As a minimum, you should find base and height measurements for every playhouse featured in the Wooden Playhouse Guide.  Most sellers will also provide measurements as part of their own descriptions.  Remember, if you are in doubt as to any size or measurement contact the seller before ordering.  You will find sellers more than happy to answer your queries and provide the information you need, usually more or less by return.  After all, it is in their interests too to make sure that you purchase a wooden playhouse which properly fits the available space and to have a satisfied customer.


A Base for your Wooden Playhouse

A small wooden playhouse will stand quite happily on an area of grass or, and better, a concrete or slabbed area.  If the playhouse is to be a permanent feature it is probably better not to place it directly on grass or earth as you may well have a problem with weeds as time passes.

For the larger wooden playhouses it is advisable to provide a proper base to ensure stability.  You can either prepare this yourself with cement slabs or concrete or purchase one of the ready made shed bases you will find on the market.  Some suppliers will offer a pre formed base suitable for your playhouse as an option.  You can find all the information you need on wooden playhouse bases in our feature; A Base For Your New Wooden Playhouse.


Child Size and Age

Most playhouses are recommended as suitable for ages 3 and upwards - you should find that the seller specifies a suitable age.  As far as safety is concerned, the European E71 standard applies to wooden playhouses and should ensure that any concerns are taken care of - see our article on Wooden Playhouse Safety Regulation Explained for more details.

Remember that child age is always subjective and bear in mind whether your child is large or small for age.  Carefully check the playhouse size against your child's size to make sure it will be suitable.  Often you may be wanting a playhouse to last for years.  If so, remember to make sure its dimensions allow for child growth before ordering.

Many of the larger wooden playhouses are on more than one level internally.  Before buying one of these you should satisfy yourself that your child is of an age and stage of development to be able to cope with this without mishap.


Wooden Playhouse Styles

One thing that can be said for sure is that the range of wooden playhouse styles available online in the UK today is greater than ever before.  You will be able to choose from the traditional "Wendy House" design, box shape with a peaked roof, through traditional "summerhouse" styles with and without verandahs, dutch barns, two story townhouses and military style command posts to large two storey "mansions", stockades and buildings built on towers, platforms and incorporated into play centres with swings slides and all the trimmings.

Style is of course a matter of personal preference.  When choosing however please remember to bear in mind the space available and whether the playhouse will suit the age of the child.  You may of course just leave it to your child or children to make the choice!


DIY

The vast majority of the  wooden playhouses  available  online will be delivered for home assembly by the purchaser.   As a rule this shouldn't be an issue.  The playhouse will be delivered  flat packed with all the necessary instructions and fittings to enable it to be assembled.  Usually assembly will be easier to carry out if two people are involved and it shouldn't take more than a  few hours.  Of course, the larger wooden playhouses  and those with more than one storey will  be  more complicated  to put together and take longer to build  but all  should be well within the  capabilities of the average handyman/woman. 

Usually  a wooden playhouse  can be put together using  everyday tools which you will probably already have e.g a hammer, screwdriver and possibly a measuring tape, drill and spirit level.   Some sellers offer assembly tool kits  containing all the tools you need for assembly (and sometimes more!) as an option when buying  a playhouse.  Before you order one of these  check what is included against what you already have  and compare the cost of buying  the  additional items from  a  DIY store  such as B&Q, Wickes, or  Homebase.

If  DIY assembly is an issue for you keep an eye out for sellers offering an installation option.  Usually this will be at an additional charge and may not always be available throughout the UK so make sure to check this.  We try to highlight when an installation service may be available in the options section of our wooden playhouse descriptions.


Decoration

Most wooden playhouses will be supplied pre treated with a water based preservative dip.  This type of dip is really only intended to protect the wood until such time as the playhouse is delivered.  Usually it is necessary to add a further preservative treatment and/or decorative finish to the playhouse and to maintain this on a regular basis.  Choosing a colour scheme can be fun and it is a way to stamp your child's individuality on the playhouse.  Some sellers may offer a protective/decorative treatment as an option, usually for DIY application.  For more details see our article on Decorating and Protecting your Wooden Playhouse.

Usually this final treatment and decoration will be the responsibility of the buyer but on occasion you may find a seller offering a decoration option.  Generally, however, this will significantly increase the price of the playhouse.


Price

Wooden Playhouses are not necessarily chosen purely according to price but it's likely that the available budget will have some bearing on the matter.  The prices you will find in the Wooden Playhouse Guide vary from just under a hundred pounds to well over a thousand so there is something to suit every pocket.

We provide regularly updated information as to the best prices available from leading UK online wooden playhouse suppliers to help you find the best deal.  When comparing  prices bear in mind potential delivery charges and surcharges, especially to remoter areas and the costs of any options you are choosing.  You'll find full details on the sellers' websites.


And Finally...

Choosing a wooden playhouse online, building and decorating it can be great fun, especially with the children involved.  Here at the Wooden Playhouse Guide we try to give you all the help and information you need to get this done at a price you can afford.  Now you know what to look for, please go ahead and use our Wooden Playhouse Guide to find the ideal playhouse for your family.

Happy hunting
The Wooden Playhouse Guide
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