Style and Design
A great value wooden playhouse from TP Toys, the Hideaway House features a nice uncomplicated design with an attractive outward appearance. The windows to the front admit plenty of light to the interior and the playhouse's compact nature will not take up too much room where space is at a premium. Equally at home either indoors or out, the TP Hideaway House is an ideal budget playhouse for the 3 to 5 year old.
The Hideaway House is finished in quality FSC approved European pine or spruce with windows glazed in perspex for safety. Both roof and floor are solid wood
The playhouse measures 4' x 3' (118 x 90 cm) with a maximum roof height of 4'9'' (146 cm).
The Hideaway House is delivered untreated. If the house is to be used outdoors a suitable preservative/decorative finish should be applied at the time of erection and maintained on a regular basis.
You may find some sellers offer the playhouse with a "Mud Kitchen" option where the house is fitted with a play kitchen featuring a sturdy plastic splash bowl, water butt and working tap.
The playhouse is delivered in prefabricated panels for easy assembly by the purchaser. You can view the assembly instructions here.
See the details of sellers and prices given above.
A neat little playhouse with a reasonable amount of space inside, the TP Hideaway House will be ideal for the smaller child - age 3 to 6 is generally recommended. The design is simple with a traditional playhouse concept rounded off nicely by the overhanging roof to the front. The windows will ensure plenty of light inside and mean that you can quickly and easily supervise what's going on inside. You may find a mud kitchen option which opens new possibilities - especially when it comes to play with water!
We're pleased to see the playhouse is constructed of wood throughout, including the floor and roof, albeit the cladding looks fairly lightweight. But everything should screw nicely together to produce a reasonably strong structure although you should note that the roof won't be completely watertight unless you apply a felt covering. This isn't supplied but you should be able to obtain shed felt and galvanised felt tacks easily enough from B&Q, Wickes or most other good diy stores. We should point out that the application of a roof covering will probably invalidate the manufacturer's guarantee so if you plan to follow this course of action you should thoroughly check all components to make sure they don't give rise to any warranty claim before you start to attach the felt covering.
The wood used in the construction of the playhouse is supplied untreated so you will need to apply a preservative/decorative finish at the time of construction. We'd certainly recommend that you do this before you assemble your Hideaway House so it's easier to reach all the parts properly, especially those such as the underside of the floor that you won't be able to get at once the building is up. You'll also find that if you turn the wall panels upside down it's easier to make sure that the joints between the cladding are treated/decorated properly. There's no catch to secure the door so you might wish to consider installing your own child friendly magnetic catch - but note our comments above as to the warranty if you intend to do this.
Overall, assembly of the Hideaway House should be quite straightforward. The panels are supplied pre-formed and the manufacturer estimates that the process should take two people around an hour. We think this might be a little optimistic but it shouldn't take too much longer, although you'll probably need to add an extra day or so to allow for application of the final finish before you begin. There's a link to the instructions here (opens in a new window) so you can see what's involved before you buy.
TP produce a nice range of cheap and generally cheerful wooden playhouses for the smaller child and the Hideaway House is no exception. It's not particularly heavy duty and you will have to apply roofing felt for a truly watertight roof but it will give you a nice little playhouse for a younger child at a decent price. Customer satisfaction with the Hideaway House is good but we would suggest that if you have the space, you take a look at some of the slightly larger 4' x 4' budget playhouses around such as the Woodbury, Bunny or Little Lodge. These three will give you a nice robust and weatherproof structure in much the same price range without having to go the bother of buying additional roof covering. We've awarded the TP Hideaway House three stars - its a good enough buy, but you might be able to find better.