Shed Type and Roof Size
The first thing we noticed about this large and varied playhouse is just how attractive it is. It features a traditional and very elegant timber design as demonstrated by the high quality verandah at the front of the tower playhouse itself. Put simply, adults will enjoy looking at this just as much as children will. It’s very large, with the playhouse itself having a ridge height of 2.53m and an eaves height of 2.09m. This means that the eaves is nearly seven feet off the floor. The overall width is 3.96m and the overall depth is 3.53m, although you need to allow for a base size of 4.03 X 3.71m.
We were impressed with just how big the playhouse is, and there is lots of play space running off from the building as well. What the kids will be impressed by, however, is the sheer number of features. The playhouse tower can be a fairytale castle, a rocket, or a pirate ship; the only limit is your kids’ imaginations. Running off from the verandah area is a blue coloured plastic slide. Unfortunately we couldn’t quite fit in it to test it, but it looks lots of fun and it’s safely secured. There’s also a child size swing seat attached to a sturdy timber swing arm, so get your pushing muscles ready.
Cladding, Frame and Floor
We were pleased to find that shiplap tongue and groove cladding has been used for the walls. It’s tightly interlocking, so keeps the rain out and anyone or anything inside dry. At 12mm thick, it’s as tough as the cladding that we often find on large wooden sheds or workshops. The frame of 28 X 28mm could be a little thicker, but once assembled it feels solid and stable.
The floor and the rain repelling apex roof are both made of solid sheet material, at 10 and 8mm thick respectively. This is a cheaper option than using tongue and groove cladding throughout but is still tough enough for everyday use.
Treatment Requirements and Warranty
Perhaps the only area that we feel this playhouse could do significantly better in is its pre-treatment and warranty. A basic dip treatment is used, and for this reason the owner will need to retreat it themselves every year to keep the threat of rot away. With such a large and complex structure, this can take some work. The lack of an effective preservative treatment also means that a basic one year warranty is provided, which is substantially less than many that we see.
Doors and Windows
Once the kids have walked up the four wooden stairs, or more likely run up the stairs, onto the tower’s verandah, they’ll have no problems getting through the single hinged wooden door. It has a width of 0.59m and a height of 1.06m, so whilst this is perfect for the little people in your life, you’ll have to be careful when going through the door yourself.
We liked the three fixed windows, as they are attractively made and let lots of light stream in, which we feel is essential for a playhouse. Most importantly of all, they contain styrene glazing. This means that they’re very tough, and impact and shatter resistant.
Security and Privacy
You may want to install some brightly coloured curtains to add a little more privacy to the playhouse, and if you’re storing valuable play equipment inside you may want to add a padlock as well. No padlock is included as standard, but this in itself can be reassuring as we realise that many parents won’t like the idea that their children could accidentally lock themselves inside.
Customisation Options and Extras
We were pleased to see a good selection of optional extras available, and one that we’d especially recommend is a set of DIY woodstains. Staining the wood ensures that it won’t fade or go silver in the sun, and you can also involve your children or grandchildren in the painting process.
Another optional extra that we like is the boules kit. It’s a fun game for all ages where silver balls are thrown underarm towards a target. It can be played on the space under the tower and it encourages coordination, while being exciting to play.
This is a very well constructed and complex playhouse, although we would have liked to see a thicker frame and roof.
Longevity of Materials 8/10
The tongue and groove cladding is good at keeping water out, but there’s a lot of emphasis on the customer to keep up with the treatment schedule.
There’s lots of room here for children to enjoy, not only in the play tower itself, but also on the adjacent slide or swing.
Ease of Installation 8/10
This isn’t as hard to install as you may think from looking at it, although the manufacturer’s estimation that two people should take around five hours may be a little optimistic. Alternatively, a professional installation service is available as an optional extra for £319.99.
There are much cheaper playhouses than this, but not that offer such a generous play area or that facilitate such a wealth of fun activities.
Final Thoughts: As with all play areas that involve a raised area, children should be supervised at all times when using this playhouse tower, but we don’t think that’s going to be a chore. There’s so much for youngsters to do and enjoy here, that adults are going to have almost as much fun just watching them. We were impressed with many aspects of this playhouse, from its sheer size to its attractive design incorporating a slatted verandah, and its use of shiplap tongue and groove cladding for the walls. This is among the very best of the playhouses we review.
Prices around: £659.99
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