Style and Design
TP's Wooden Tower playhouse is the successor to their popular Chalet model, unavailable for some time prior to the time of review. It features all its predecessor's facilities with the exception of the fireman's pole, meaning you get an easily climbed wooden play tower, wavy slide and a shaded sandpit area below. It's ideal for younger children and their friends (age 3 to 8 is recommended by the manufacturer) and the perfect summer addition to the garden.
The wooden elements of the Tower are FSC certified European spruce or pine.
With the slide the overall dimensions are 3'9'' x 9'2'' ( 116 x 283cm). The tower element, including the wooden ladder measures 3'9'' x 4'7'' (116 x 139cm) and the structure has an overall height of 7'10'' (240cm).
Unlike its Chalet predecessor, the timbers of the playhouse are untreated prior to delivery. A preservative/decorative finish will require to be applied at the time of construction and maintained on a regular basis.
The playhouse is delivered flat packed with full instructions ready for assembly by the purchaser. The estimated assembly time is 2 hours for 2 adults. You can preview the assembly instructions here and there's a useful assembly video which refers to the Wooden Tower's Chalet predecessor - but the procedure is largely the same.
See the details of sellers and prices given above.
Like its predecessor, the Chalet, we think TP's Wooden Tower is well worth looking for if you're in the market for a tower or platform playhouse. The attractive green wavy slide will prove attractive to youngsters and the robust steps mean the platform is easily accessible. The sheltered sandpit below is an added bonus which will help to maintain interest and encourage children in outdoor play.
The timbers are untreated which is largely in line with the budget price at the time of review. This means that for the playhouse to last, you'll have to take the time to apply a preservative/decorative finish as soon as it's received. We'd recommend you do this prior to assembly. This means that you'll easily be able to reach all the parts of the structure, including those that might be awkward to get at once it's up. It will be a little fiddly to do as there are quite a lot of individual wooden parts but making the effort will be worthwhile in the long run.
Assembly isn't overly complicated although there are no pre-formed panels so it will take you a little time and there are a fair number of screws involved. A good electric screwdriver is a must although the screw holes are all pre-drilled to make the job a little easier. The assembly video for the Chalet model will give you a good idea of what's involved and of course you can also download the instructions in advance here. We'd recommend you be sure to check all the components have been delivered before assembly begins. There's nothing worse than discovering a vital part is missing halfway through the process. And you'll need an assistant at some points too otherwise the exercise might become a little frustrating. There looks to be decent build quality with robust supporting timbers and ground anchors supplied. Do be sure to check the fastenings on a regular basis though as these can sometimes work loose, especially if the playhouse is used by older children. All timber is FSC approved - though it must be said we'd expect this these days. A couple of additional points. The manufacturer's assembly estimate is 2 hours for 2 adults, but we think that's a little on the optimistic side - and you'll need to factor in the time taken to apply the decorative/preservative finish. In addition, there are ground anchors supplied with the tower which need to be set in concrete for stablity. This in itself isn't a difficult operation - but it will take extra time and you should note that the cement isn't supplied. It can however be easily sourced from a good DIY store such as B&Q or Wickes.
The only other point we'd mention in relation to assembly is that with the Tower being a wooden structure you might find a few small splinters or rough edges that need to be smoothed off before you put it together. We don't see this as an issue - it's quite normal with a natural wooden construction like this. Just make sure you have some sandpaper and perhaps a craft knife handy to remove any small blemishes you may come across.
Overall customer satisfaction with the Wooden Tower is looking good with any negative points relating mainly to the number of parts to assemble. We don't really see this as a great issue though as long as you know what's involved and have the correct tools. There's no excuse not to as you can see the procedure from the assembly video we've referred to above.
All in all we see the TP Wooden Tower as great value for money and plenty of fun if you're looking for an open structured platform playhouse. We think it has enough features to keep children interested summer after summer and it's design makes it perfect for use outwith the warm months as well. Just be sure to check out the assembly video before you buy, make sure you have the correct tools and check all the components are there on delivery and set time aside to apply the preservative finish. The TP Chalet came with pressure treated wood and a five year manufacturer's guarantee - but it tended to cost a deal more and we think the saving compensates well for having to add the preservative yourself. We've awarded the Wooden Tower 4.5 wooden playhouse stars.