Style and Design
A delightful, compact little wooden playhouse designed in a traditional style with apex roof, single door, fixed window and verandah. Plenty of character in the finish with wooden framed windows and a round door knob. The playhouse is ideal for smaller children and will provide hours of imaginative play.
The TP Forest Cabin is constructed throughout in untreated Grade 1 FSC timber.
Overall the playhouse measures 4' wide by 4'3'' deep (118 x 131cm). Excluding the verandah the play area is 4' wide by 3' deep (118 x 90cm). The height at the ridge is 4'10'' (1.46m).
The playhouse is finished in untreated timber. It is essential that a preservative/decorative treatment is applied at the time of construction.
The playhouse is delivered ready to treat and put together. You can download a full set of instructions here so you know exactly what's involved before you order.
See the details of sellers and prices given above.
A classic example of TP's smaller playhouse range, the Forest Cabin gives you just a little more building than its slightly smaller sibling the Meadow Cottage. The overall design is attractive and pleasing to the eye, with the traditionally styled verandah to the front one of the more outstanding features. There's a nice large window too and a glazed door so you can see just what's going on inside at all times. It means the inside won't get too dark either - even if the sun isn't shining.
The construction throughout is FSC approved European spruce or pine which, properly looked after, should give you a long lasting and durable structure. In particular, the timber floor and roof are preferable to the solid sheet osb often found in budget models which is more susceptible to attack and deterioration due to moisture. The key words are 'properly looked after'. The playhouse is supplied untreated and undecorated which is fine if you wish to keep it indoors - and it's just about compact enough for this. However if you intend to keep your Forest Cabin in the garden, you'll have to make sure that you apply a suitable preservative/decorative finish first to protect the timbers from rot and attack by the elements. This finish should be applied before the playhouse is put together - this helps to make sure that nothing's missed and both sides of the wooden panels which comprise the structure should be treated. Pay particular attention to the underside of the floor and the roof and remember to maintain the finish on a regular basis as necessary.
You should also note that while treating the wood will protect the structure, the playhouse as supplied won't be fully watertight and you might want to give some consideration to applying a felt covering to the roof to help keep the wind and rain out. Although it will add a few pounds to the cost we think it's worth thinking about this if you're keeping the cabin outdoors. You can check felt out at Wickes or B&Q or you might be able to pick some off cuts up on Gumtree in your area. Note though that the playhouse comes with a standard one year guarantee and adding roof felt will probably invalidate this.
Although applying the necessary treatment will extend the assembly process slightly, you shouldn't have any great difficulty putting your Forest Cabin together. It arrives flat packed in pre-formed panels and can be assembled without using much more than a screwdriver - although you will of course need a brush to apply the treatment for outdoor use and a pair of scissors to cut the ridge strip for the roof. A drill might also be handy in case any of the screw holes haven't been properly pre-drilled although we'd hope you wouldn't find this necessary. One point to note is that a power screwdriver shouldn't be used during assembly as this can lead to over tightening and splitting or deformity of the wood. You can download a copy of the full instructions here so you can see exactly what you'll need to do before you order your playhouse.
We don't really have any safety concerns about the Forest Cabin. There look to be finger gaps around the door, there's a piano hinge to reduce the risk of fingers getting nipped and virtually unbreakable perspex windows. Overall the building complies with the relevant Toy safety standards. One point we'd mention is that with wood being a natural material, you might find a few rough edges that need to be smoothed off before you put the playhouse together. Be sure to check the panels over before you apply the treatment and attend to any of these and, in particular, remove any splinters you find before you put the cabin together. For this you might want to add sandpaper to the short list of tools recommended by the manufacturer.
Overall we think this is an attractive little playhouse which you should be able to buy at an attractive price. It's safe, easy to put together and will be ideal for children aged from about 18 months to 6 years. Points to bear in mind are that you'll need to apply a decorative/preservative finish if the playhouse is to be kept outside and that, as supplied, the Forest Cabin won't be watertight. In addition, the construction looks just a little lightweight to us when compared against models of a similar size and price such as BillyOh's Bunny and Bunny Max, both of which come supplied with a felt covered roof. Having said that, customer satisfaction with the similarly constructed Meadow Cottage is generally high and children will undeniably love the Forest Cabin. If the styling appeals and the other issues aren't a concern we don't think it's a bad buy. Our three stars reflect the lightweight nature of the construction and the lack of a felt roof which tends not to be an issue with other comparable models.