Style and Design
The popular 6' x 6' Dutch Barn is a large and spacious wooden playhouse with plenty of internal play area. In all there are five windows to ensure a bright interior, two of which are fitted with attractive mock shutters. The doors feature antique style hinges and overall the playhouse sports a traditional dutch barn appearance which is ideal for imaginative garden play.
The 6' x 6' Dutch Barn is constructed in 12mm FSC approved shiplap tongue and groove pine cladding on a 27 x 45mm frame. The floor and roof are 10mm and 8mm OSB solid sheet respectively, the roof being covered in mineral felt which is supplied pre shaped and secured with self sealing roofing nails. For safety reasons the windows are glazed in styrene.
Overall the playhouse's footprint is 6' x 6' (1.83 x 1.82m). The roof height is 3'11'' (1.2m) at the eaves rising to 6'2'' (1.88m) at the ridge, leaving plenty of room for a growing child. The door opening is 3'9'' (1.15m) by 1'11'' (0.6m).
The Dutch Barn is finished in a pre-delivery factory dip and will require to have a final decorative/protective coat applied at the time of assembly and at regular intervals thereafter. The illustrated model has been finished in an attractive deep blue and white.
Options for the 6' x 6' Dutch Barn will vary from supplier to supplier by expect to find a home assembly/installation option service, pre-formed wooden playhouse base and a choice of decorative/protective finishes.
Unless an installation option is purchased the playhouse will be delivered ready for assembly by two people. You should note that some installation options may require you to purchase a pre-formed base or to have a suitable base prepared prior to delivery. Have a look at our feature on wooden playhouse bases if you need more information here.
See the details of sellers and prices given above.
We think this Dutch Barn style is a great way of maximising the space inside a playhouse while also providing some great external visual interest. There aren't too many playhouses of a similar design around but the popular 6' x 6' Dutch barn is widely available at - it must be said - some widely varying prices. So make sure you check our price guide above before you buy. There's good headroom at the ridge of the roof meaning that children won't outgrow the playhouse quickly and it's also well provided for when it comes to windows, five in all, so you can easily and unobtrusively check what's going on inside. It means the interior will be nice and bright as well although we do notice that the windows are all fixed so they can't be opened for ventilation on a hot day. The mock shuttered side windows and antique style hinges are nice touches which add external interest.
The price is affordable with the Dutch Barn firmly within the economy playhouse category - and this is reflected in the build. The cladding is 12mm tongue and groove shiplap mounted on a wooden frame which, at 27 x 45mm is more substantial than the 28 x 28mm framing sometimes found on budget models. We're not surprised to find solid sheet flooring and roofing rather than real wood which tends to be stronger and less susceptible to damage by the elements but this isn't necessarily a great issue. Just make sure that the playhouse is sited in an area in which water doesn't lie after a spell of rain and that you correctly apply the sand felt supplied so as to cover the whole roof. That way the risk of damage to the roof and floor from moisture is minimised. A solid sheet floor of this size, particularly one specified at only 8mm, can be prone to distortion, particularly as this playhouse may end up being used by older children. If you do find it unduly flexible you can always add some extra floor bearers at the time of installation.
Because it's a larger playhouse with a dutch barn style roof you can expect assembly to take a little longer than it might with a smaller model. We've seen 3 to 5 hours estimated and think that depending on your skill and experience the top end of that figure is probably the more accurate for full assembly by two people. There are some important points you'll need to pay attention to when it comes to putting the playhouse together. The first of these is the treatment/decoration of the playhouse. The wood is treated with a water based dip designed to protect it only up to the time of delivery and you'll need to apply a final preservative and, if desired, decorative finish at the time of construction. We'd suggest you take the time to do this before you put the playhouse together. That way you'll be able to reach all the parts of the building, including those which it might be difficult to get at once it's been installed. Pay particular attention to treatment of the floor bearers and the underside of the floor as these are likely to be the areas most liable to attack by moisture. It's a useful tip to place the wall and gable panels upside down while applying the finish to make sure it reaches right into the tongue and groove joints. The Dutch Barn does come with a 10 year manufacturer's guarantee but to benefit from this you'll need to make sure the playhouse is properly treated and the finish maintained.
You'll also need a few tools to enable you to put the playhouse together including a Phillips screwdriver, a Stanley knife, a saw, a ladder or steps and a drill with 2mm bit. Remember to pre-drill the screw holes to minimise the risk of cracks in the wood and note that there's no catch to the door so you might wish to think about installing a child friendly catch - magnetic perhaps - to prevent it swinging open. You can see a preview of the instructions here (opens in a new window) so you can see exactly what's involved before you buy.
Safety is well addressed. The Dutch Barn complies with the relevant standards and in particular, the timbers are planed smooth and rounded, the windows glazed in virtually unshatterable styrene and finger spaces provided around the door, all to minimise the risk of injury. Take care to remember to leave the finger gaps when hanging the door as specified in the instructions.
We think that the Dutch Barn offers good value for money and will give you plenty of playhouse at a decent price. Yes, there are one or two issues such as the low spec floor and roofing and lack of a door catch but these can be quite easily addressed. The playhouse is a popular buy and customer satisfaction is high reflecting the positive attributes of the Dutch Barn; style, space and value. On that basis we've awarded it 4 wooden playhouse stars.
There aren't many other wooden playhouses around in this style but by all means check out the A1 Doodle and 7'x7' Dutch Barn. Both will set you back substantially more than the 6'x6' Dutch Barn but the A1 Doodle offers a higher spec build and the larger 7'x7' Dutch Barn an upper level play area.