Style and Design
A popular and widely available 6' x 5'6'' wooden playhouse, the Cubby features a traditional design with twin opening windows, apex roof, a single door with diamond window, an integral verandah, decorative fascia and sizeable internal play area with built in floor- everything you need really - and all at a very affordable price.
The playhouse is manufactured in 12mm planed whitewood pine tongue and groove cladding mounted on a 35 x 35mm frame with a matching 12mm tongue and groove floor. The roof is solid sheet with a mineral felt covering. The styrene glazed windows and door are safe for young children while the door is secured by a non locking magnetic catch. Hinges and door handle are in an attractive black style.
Externally the building measures 6' x 5'6'', 1'6'' of which comprises the verandah and canopy. The eaves height is 4'1'' rising to a ridge height of 5'6''. Overall height is approximately 6' and the door width an accommodating 2'1''.
The Cubby wooden playhouse is finished in a water based factory dip treatment and will require a final decorative finish to be applied at the time of construction. Some suppliers may offer a decorative finish at additional cost.
Options for the Cubby vary and include; window boxes and the application of a protective finish.
The playhouse is delivered with full instructions ready for assembly by two people in approximately 3 to 5 hours. You can catch a preview of the assembly instructions here (link opens in a new window).
See the details of sellers and prices given above.
The Cubby is one of a few budget playhouses around of a comparable size and in our view it stands up well to the competition. It's been around for a while now and is well established on the wooden playhouse market. As a result you'll find it available in a fair range of prices which can vary up to as much as 30%. With this in mind it's important to check our price guide to make sure you get the best price you can on the day.
The playhouse itself is constructed in good quality materials. You get 12mm interlocking tongue and groove shiplap cladding mounted on a 34 x 34mm frame - a slightly higher specification than some competitors. There's a real wood tongue and groove floor too which we prefer to the osb solid sheet often found on some budget models. While solid sheet will generally do the job adequately, real wood tends to be more durable and less susceptible to damage by damp and the elements and is to be preferred if you can get it. The roof is solid sheet however but this shouldn't be too much of an issue as long as you take care to correctly apply the roofing felt to ensure a water resistant finish.
There are some nice stylistic touches in the roof finials, the diamond feature door window, antiqued door furniture, scalloped fascia board and the attractive verandah to the front. There are a couple of nicely framed windows as well to round everything off. Safety too has been thought of in the shape of the virtually unbreakable styrene glazing, the full length piano door hinge and the finger gaps around the door frame.
We wouldn't expect you to have too much trouble with putting your Cubby together. It arrives in largely pre-formed panels which are assembled in a fairly straightforward manner. Note though that some drilling will be required so it's desirable that you have a drill to hand - electric is best - along with the following additional tools: 6mm and 4mm drill bits, a screwdriver with posidrive bits (an electric model will make the job much easier), a chisel, a saw, a tape measure, a hammer, a pencil and ruler, a step ladder, a cutting knife (for the roofing felt) and some sandpaper. Although that might all sound a little intimidating it's all equipment which you'd expect the average diy'er to have in their toolbox and although assembly will be a little time consuming there's nothing too complicated involved. You can see the comprehensive assembly instructions for the Cubby here (link opens in new tab). These explain the whole process clearly so you know exactly what's involved before you buy.
A word about finishing off the timber which is applicable not only to the Cubby but to the vast majority of the wooden playhouses on the market. Wood is a natural material and as such is susceptible to knotholes, small splits and rough edges which may appear no matter how thorough the manufacturing process. This isn't really a great issue but you should be prepared to encounter these and to smooth them off if they appear. In particular, any splinters should be removed from a safety point of view.
The timber of the Cubby is treated with a preservative dip prior to delivery. You need to be aware that this is designed to protect the wood only up to the delivery date and it is essential that you apply a further preservative/decorative finish as soon as possible thereafter. We'd recommend you do this before you put the playhouse together. Granted you may be under a little pressure to get the building up and running once it's delivered but if you apply the final finish before it's assembled you should be able to make sure that nothing is missed and, in addition, you can thoroughly treat the areas like the underside of the floor that it would be difficult or impossible to get at later. With interlocking shiplap cladding there can be a little natural movement over time and this can expose untreated areas. We'd suggest you turn the pre-formed panels upside down during treatment/decoration to make sure the finish you're using flows all the way into the joins. You should also carefully inspect the timbers before applying the treatment and smooth off any rough edges at that stage.
So what about the competition? Well, we think the Cubby's direct competitors are the Pixie and the Honeysuckle. The Woodbury 6x4, Shire Hobby and Stork are also of a similar design though of slightly different size. We don't see much to choose between the Cubby and the Pixie. Both are of comparable size with a verandah to the front, wooden floor, felt covered solid sheet roof and scalloped fascia although the Pixie has larger windows to the front and in the door. As far as these two are concerned it will probably come down to personal preference and perhaps the price you have to pay on the day. The design of the Honeysuckle is much the same too although with its solid sheet floor and 28 x 28mm framing the specification isn't so high. At the time of reviewing it was a more expensive option too.
Customer feedback for the Cubby is generally very positive and all in all we think it's good value for money and should give you great service over the years as long as you take the time to prepare and finish the wood properly at the time of assembly. Ideally we'd have liked to have seen a wooden rather than a solid sheet roof but that's probably unrealistic in a budget model like this. We've awarded the Cubby 4.5 wooden playhouse stars - a good buy!