Style and Design
An eye catching wooden cottage playhouse of quirky design with an asymmetrical roof, the Whacky Ranch certainly brings something new to the world of playhouses. The compact design means the building is suitable for the smaller garden and the delightful appearance of this unusual playhouse is sure to captivate children. If you're looking for something with a little more pink, check out the Crooked Cottage wooden playhouse - same design, different colour.
The Whacky Ranch is constructed in 8mm heat treated fir wood on a 45 x 27mm frame. The windows are glazed in perspex.
The measurements of this wooden playhouse are 3' x 4' (0.91 x 1.22m) with a height of 5' (1.52m).
The building normally comes pre finished as illustrated although we would recommend the application of a further decorative/protective coat at the time of assembly to prolong the playhouse's life. If you want to retain the original colours a clear protective coat can be applied.
Options include a clear protective coat (which we'd recommend) and ecobase shed base. Please note that a floor does not always come as standard with the Whacky Ranch. If a floor is important to you we would recommend checking this point with the seller prior to ordering if is is not clear whether a floor is included.
The Whacky Ranch is delivered pre formed ready for simple home assembly.
See the details of sellers and prices given above.
The Whacky Ranch and the Crooked Cottage are essentially the same playhouse but finished in different colour schemes - so if you're choosing between them it will be down to personal taste, and maybe whether you're buying for a boy or girl (although we don't really go for colour stereotypes!). Be sure to check the price as well since prices can vary between the two even though the colour scheme is the only real difference.
Both buildings follow the same attractive offbeat, asymmetrical style which we think gives you a lovely and unusual style of playhouse for the younger child. The colours are bright and eyecatching and to preserve them we'd recommend that you apply a clear protective finish at the time the playhouse is put together. The heat treated fir wood used in the construction will afford a degree of natural protection against attack by rot, mould and other pests but the stain is water based only and unless further protection is applied the colouring won't last and the wood will take on a worn, weathered look. If you don't want to apply a clear coat you should consider renewing the stain on an annual basis to prolong the life of the playhouse.
You shouldn't experience too much difficulty in putting the playhouse together. It comes in pre-formed panels which fit together easily and although there's a little work involved in assembling the porthole window and decorative chimney it's nothing too serious. You can get a preview of the assembly instructions here. Do note that the playhouse isn't generally supplied with a fitted floor. Some sellers will provide a floor as an optional extra and if this isn't clear from the website you should e-mail or use the seller's contact form to check the flooring arrangements. Expect sellers to answer any queries promptly. Depending on cost you might consider adding a floor yourself which shouldn't be too big a job for an average diy'er. On balance we prefer a playhouse with a fitted floor as we feel this aids strength and stability, avoids problems with grass and weed growth and makes the playhouse easier to keep bug free.
The perspex windows will allow light to enter the playhouse and are ideal from a safety point of view as perspex is virtually unbreakable - even at the hands of very young children! We like the opening windows which will allow ventilation on a hot day and overall the Whacky Ranch/Crooked Cottage looks like a well designed attractive playhouse.
The only real criticism we'd make (and it's potentially quite a major one) is that the 8mm cladding is rather lightweight and we doubt whether the playhouse and particularly the roof will be truly waterproof. If your Whacky Ranch/Crooked Cottage is to be used and kept permanently outdoors we'd recommend you consider adding a shed felt covering to the roof - indeed some retailers recommend this. Have a look at the Axi Alice for a similarly offbeat appearance coupled with higher quality construction. Naturally however you're likely to have to pay substantially more for this.
We've awarded the Whacky Ranch 3.5 stars to take account of the lightweight construction and doubts over weatherproofing. We'd prefer to see a floor as standard as well.
Oh - and one more thing. Both the Whacky Ranch and Crooked Cottage are also available as the Whacky Tower and the Crooked Tower. These are platform versions with steps and a slide. They add an extra dimension to play and resolve any flooring issues . You can check them out here;- Whacky Tower Crooked Tower