Style and Design
A super outdoor base for children, robustly constructed with plenty of features and great views of the surrounding garden, the Rowlinson Lookout is one of the leading platform/tower playhouses available online today. There's a split level, stable style door opening onto a balcony with a safety balustrade to the front. The playhouse itself has an attractive traditional design with a covered verandah for shade and shelter. There's aside window with wooden shutters and a window box too - all as standard. The playhouse is accessed by a set of easy climb wooden steps and everything is finished off in good quality materials.
The playhouse is finished in 12mm tongue and groove cladding with a 19mm non-slip floor. There's a styrene glazed window to the front and an unglazed window to the side with shutters. The door is secured by child friendly magnetic catches. The roof's finished off in mineral felt while the playhouse timbers are all pressure treated to increase resistance to rot and insects.
The overall dimensions including the step ladder are 6'7'' x 6'2'' (2.00 x 1.89m). The width excluding the ladder is 5' (1.54m). The height of the complete structure is 8' (2.43m).
The playhouse receives a pressure treatment prior to delivery which will protect the timbers from attack by wet rot and insects. The manufacturer recommends the application of a further decorative finish to preserve the appearance of the building.
The Lookout is delivered with full instructions and all necessary fittings ready for DIY home assembly.
See the details of sellers and prices given above.
Rowlinson's Lookout is the larger of two tower style playhouses from Rowlinson - its smaller sibling being the Rowlinson Cosy Cottage. Both share a number of similar features, but the Lookout has a higher platform to give a wider vista of the surrounding area (hence the name 'Lookout' we presume) together with a covered balcony to the front which gives a little more shade and shelter and, we think, a more striking appearance overall than the Cosy Cottage.
One of the principal features of the Lookout is the pressure treated timber, something you don't often find in a wooden playhouse, which should ensure the longevity of the building and remove the need to apply a preservative finish immediately following delivery. Notwithstanding this however, we'd still recommend you decorate the structure to preserve the appearance of the wood as the pressure treatment won't stop it quite quickly developing a rather weathered and worn appearance when exposed to the elements. We see this is one of the manufacturer's recommendations too - and it's good advice. You should think about applying this finish before you put the playhouse together. That way you can make sure to reach those parts that might be tricky to get to following assembly and you can also turn the tongue and groove panels upside down to make sure the finish penetrates completely into the joins.
Apart from the pressure treatment, the Lookout features a robust construction of 12mm cladding coupled with a 19mm non slip floor - ideal for a platform playhouse. The tongue and groove construction should ensure good weatherproofing, boosted by the mineral felt finish to the roof. With the playhouse being sited on a platform you shouldn't have too much problem with water ingress from below either. Be aware though that there might be some limited moisture penetration via the unglazed shuttered side window and around the edges of the stable style door. This should be minimal in the door area given the sheltered nature of the balcony and if you find it an issue with the side window it wouldn't be too much of a job to add, say, your own perspex glazing to eliminate this.
We certainly can't fault the appearance of the Lookout - it's rugged and attractive and suggests both practicality and longevity. We like the shuttered window and stable door style, both of which add interest, and the window box can be used for potted plants to introduce youngsters to the responsibilities of gardening. There's good safety with the non slip floor and magnetic door catches and the access steps are easily climbed and shouldn't cause difficulty.
Although you'll need some basic DIY tools, assembly of the Lookout shouldn't pose too many problems and with a little time and effort you'll soon have this great looking playhouse up and running. Remember though to think about what we've said above in relation to decoration prior to erection. Given the pricing of the Lookout at the time of review we see it as just about the best value for money you'll find for a playhouse in this price range and style. If you find the Lookout a little too elevated, the Cosy Cottage is a good alternative - and you could also have a look at the platform version of the Stork. It's a good solid model but lacks the pressure treatment of both the Lookout and the Cosy Cottage.
At the time of review the Lookout is a relatively new model and customer feedback is in short supply. We don't see any difficulties - but if you do choose the Lookout please let us have a review using our Wooden Playhouse Review Form. On the basis of what we see we've awarded the Rowlinson Lookout the full five wooden playhouse stars. A robust, great looking model which should give you years of service.