What size playhouse should I get?
We recommend that you go for the largest playhouse possible based on your budget and space available in your garden. This will allow the playhouse to facilitate your little ones as they grow, making sure they continue to have enough space to play. Look out for 'internal area' or 'floor area' within the descriptions for the playhouses, as this will tell you how much space is inside the playhouse, so you can make sure your little one will have enough room.
Where should I put my playhouse?
It's recommended to place your playhouse in a position that allows at least 18" (46cm) on all sides, avoiding any obstructions where possible. This will help to provide easier access when installing and maintaining your playhouse, as well as making sure the little ones aren't obstructed while they're playing. It's advisable to also allow a little extra space for roof overhang. It may also be necessary to trim back any shrubs and trees close by that may obstruct the house.
Should I lay a base for my playhouse?
All wooden playhouses will need level ground at least, but you may want to lay a base to ensure a nice level surface. Any tower playhouses that are raised on stilts should either be placed on a level surface - simply adding a slab under each post will keep it nice and level. For ground level playhouses, a flat paved or solid area of ground is required to ensure the stability of your playhouse.
If you are planning on placing your playhouse directly onto grass, this is absolutely fine, however it's advisable to treat the bottom of each playhouse panel with waterproof wood preserver to prevent the moisture from the grass seeping into the wood. Simply placing a wooden base onto the grass before placing the playhouse on top will prevent this further.
Will I be able to build the playhouse myself?
All of our playhouses can be assembled with the use of basic tools and can be taken on by anyone. The tools you are likely to require when installing a wooden playhouse include a hammer, screwdriver, drill, spirit level and stepladder. Do not attempt to lift any heavy or large sections without the help of another person. All panels feature predrilled holes so you can see exactly where the screws need to go, making assembly very quick and easy.
What kind of maintenance does my playhouse require?
All of our children's wooden playhouses will require regular treatment to protect them against the elements. We recommend that the external and internal wood should be treated with a good quality wood treatment/preserver once a year (or as directed on the tin) and as soon as possible after assembly. We also recommend that you keep the door and window hinges well oiled to prevent them from seizing up.
Can I decorate my playhouse?
Decorating playhouses can be great fun and will allow your children to express themselves creatively. You can paint the inside and outside of your playhouse, but please ensure that you use a suitable paint designed for outdoor wooden products that will last throughout the seasons.
It is not recommended to carpet or upholster playhouses as this can encourage damp by trapping moisture, preventing the natural wood from breathing. Playhouses are not designed to be completely water-tight and therefore a small amount of water may enter the playhouse during wet weather, however this will quickly dry out with no harm to the wood, provided the recommended treatment has been applied.
What is tongue & groove?
The tongue and groove joint is mainly used with wood, in flooring, panelling, and similar constructions. A tongue and groove wooden joint comprises of a piece of wood with a deep groove and another piece of wood with a protruding lip; this lip then slots inside the groove to create a strong and secure seal between both wooden pieces. Playhouses often use this join to connect the wooden slats on each panel, making each panel very strong, rigid and robust.
Will my children be safe in their playhouse?
All of our playhouses face a thorough testing procedure to ensure they provide a safe environment for children to play in. It's advisable to position the playhouse in a place that's visible from the home, so you can keep an eye on the little ones while they're playing.
Will I require any planning permission to put up my children's playhouse?
A child's playhouse does not require an application for planning permission, provided certain conditions are met. This also applies to garden sheds, greenhouses and other garden buildings. However, make sure you have looked into the conditions as different rules do apply when living in a conservation area or if you have listed buildings.
Planning permission is required for any garden building that exceeds 50% of the total area of land around your original house. The term 'original house' refers to your house as it stood on 1st July 1948 if appropriate. If you have any further questions please contact your local planning department for further advice.
Do I need to cement my playhouse into the ground?
No, you don't. Cementing the playhouse into the ground will shorten the height of the playhouse slightly, which will then affect the position of the slide and ladder. The slide and ladder will not sit properly as the distance between the ground and platform of the playhouse will change.
As an alternative to concreting the playhouse into the ground, you can use ground anchors to add stability. This is particularly useful if the playhouse is positioned in a space that's vulnerable to extreme wind, such as an open piece of land without obstructions to reduce the force of the wind. A ground anchor screws into the playhouse leg and simultaneously screws into the ground; they are very easy to use and will add extra stability against extreme winds. Our playhouses are very stable and secure, however, and therefore ground anchors are not a necessity outside of these exposed areas.