Shed Type and Roof Size
We’ve reviewed a lot of playhouses from Windsor, and this Honeysuckle model is in the middle of their range when it comes to size. The overall width is 1.91m and the overall depth is 1.69m but both of these measures include the overhang. The canopy itself is one of the deepest we’ve seen on a playhouse, at 18 inches, and leads to an attractive slatted verandah. The playhouse as a whole we found very attractive, and once painted in bold and bright colours it’s sure to catch the eye and the imagination of your children and grandchildren. The apex roof isn’t the thickest we’ve seen, made of 8mm solid sheet material, but it does a good job of repelling rainwater, and it creates a height that is more generous than we often see. The ridge height is 1.70m and the eaves height is 1.15m, so even tall children will find lots of headroom inside.
Thanks to the extending canopy there are really two distinct play areas for children. The first is the roomy interior where they can play with their favourite boardgames or handheld consoles, or simply allow their imaginations to run wild. They can also play out on the verandah that will be formed by the grass or concrete under the verandah. This is an ideal place to play skittles, a version of which can be bought as an optional extra.
Cladding, Frame and Floor
Playhouses can take a lot of wear and tear, so it’s important that they have cladding that’s tough enough to endure it. That’s why we were pleased to find that shiplap tongue and groove cladding had been used for the walls, and that its thickness of 12mm matched up to most other similarly sized playhouses that we’ve reviewed. With a strong frame supporting it, it feels reliable and rigid once assembled.
The floor too is similar to many others that we see, in that it’s made from 10mm solid sheet material. This feels rather thin and light during assembly, but when in place it’s strong and resilient enough for everyday use.
Treatment Requirements and Warranty
There were a lot of features that we liked about this playhouse, but unfortunately we feel that the warranty is one area where it could have performed better. Windsor have only supplied a one year warranty, which is the bare minimum statutory requirement. One possible reason they haven’t felt able to offer more than this is that the timbers have only had a basic preservative dip treatment rather than a longer lasting pressure treatment. This also means that there’s an emphasis on the customer to apply a high quality wood preserver treatment every year to keep the threat of rot away.
Doors and Windows
Your children or grandchildren will like the decorative flower effect round window in the centre of the door, especially if the petals around it are painted to form a contrast with the surroundings. What we liked most about it was the above average width of 0.59m which when combined with its height of 1.06m makes it easy to manoeuvre items such as kid’s furniture inside.
As well as the small window in the door, there are two full sized windows on either side of it, complete with a criss cross design. These let a lot of light into the playhouse, and they’ll be especially enjoyed by children who like to look out at birds and butterflies in the garden.
Security and Privacy
We were pleased to find that safety styrene had been used for the glazing, as with a thickness of 1.5mm it’s tough to break and also shatter resistant. This makes it both a security and a safety feature, and the effectiveness of this is shown by the EN71 safety rating that the playhouse has achieved. There’s no lock attached to the door, so if you want to keep the contents safe at night we would advise fitting a hasp and padlock.
Customisation Options and Extras
As well as the preservative treatment which will need to be added to the playhouse, we would also advise applying a paint or stain as this stops the wood fading under the influence of UV from the sun, and can also prevent the wood from warping and cracking. Whilst we feel that bright primary colours are perfect for a playhouse, a DIY treatment in four natural wood shades is available as an optional extra. There’s also a professional installation service, but as this costs £219.99 and therefore nearly doubles the initial cost, we feel most people would be better off installing it themselves with a friend’s help.
The use of tongue and groove cladding for the walls is just one example of the high quality components used in this playhouse, although the roof could have been a little thicker.
Longevity of Materials
It was a pity to see that the timbers weren’t protected by a long lasting preservative treatment, as otherwise it could be a very long lasting building.
The front verandah area offers a useful extra play area, and there’s enough room to occupy two children inside.
Ease of Installation
Two people should be able to complete the installation of this playhouse in approximately three hours, so self-assembly makes sense on this occasion rather than paying for the costly installation service.
Even though this is a good looking playhouse, we have reviewed cheaper ones of similar sizes that also come with extended warranties.
Final Thoughts: We like to see playhouses with an added verandah, as it not only provides a shaded area that can come in very handy on summer days, it adds an extra element that can be incorporated into the imaginative play of your children or grandchildren. We feel that this is a very good example of a one storey playhouse with a canopy, as it’s well built and it also looks good. That’s important for you, as it means that you’ll have another attractive feature in your garden, but it’s important to the little ones as well as they’re sure to appreciate it’s attractive and fun design.
Prices around: £349.99
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