The 8 x 7 Rowlinson Playaway Swiss Cottage is one very charming and adorable playhouse that is going to give your children years and years of enjoyment. This multi level playhouse does not just have a good amount of floor space, it also has an upper level which offers even more space for them to play. It has a very homely look to it thanks to the gorgeous design of the door and the three styrene windows that are on the front of the playhouse. It makes this a playhouse that you are going to really like having as part of your garden, especially when you see the kids having fun as they enjoy it.
While this is a playhouse that has a very attractive design to it, it has also been made to last. The walls are not just easy on the eyes, they are made with thick tongue and groove shiplap cladding which will keep the water out. Plus as it is backed up by a thick frame, this helps make the playhouse a very solid structure. Tongue and groove boarding has also been used for the floor so it can take a lot of weight and a lot of wild jumping around as well. This is a very well made playhouse that is going to be still standing strong long after the kids are too big to fit inside.
What we rate
Price is actually very fair
Good sized upper level
Tongue and groove shiplap cladding
Not too large
Fun ladder inside the playhouse
What we slate
Windows are all on one side of the playhouse
May take two weeks to be delivered
You will need another person to help you install it
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How We Rate It
Longevity Of Materials9/10
Ease Of Installation8/10
Value For Money8.5/10
Let's Take a Closer Look...
Playhouse Type And Roof Size
The 8 x 7 Rowlinson Playaway Swiss Cottage is a lovely mid sized playhouse that may not have a ton of floor space, but its upper level greatly helps it out in that regard. While we say this is not a large playhouse, we feel that it still offers more than enough room for most kids. The width is 8 feet 2 inches and the depth is 7 feet 1 inch. This is a good size and this is accompanied by an upper level which can be reached via a ladder. Here they can put a little mattress and have their own little sleeping area which they are sure to find very fun. As there is an upper level to the playhouse it stands at over 7 feet high at its highest point. In all we just love the design of this playhouse and are sure you will smile every time you see the kids play in it.
The roof is fantastic and made with 8 mm thick solid board sheeting and then covered with some strong roofing felt. This is a good mix and makes the roof strong and resistant to whatever the weather throws its way. From a design point of view the roof really does stand out. It is an apex roof with one side being more slanted than the other to accommodate the upper level inside. But this along with the lovely bit of decoration along the front of it really does make the roof stand out in a good way.
Cladding, Frame And Floor
The tongue and groove shiplap cladding is some of the smoothest looking cladding we have seen on a playhouse. We really have to give Rowlinson two thumbs up for how good this cladding looks. Of course good looks aren’t everything, but we are pleased to tell you that this cladding is very thick and the way it interlocks together makes it impossible for any rain to get inside.
Inside the 8 x 7 Rowlinson Playaway Swiss Cottage is a 28 mm x 28 mm frame that is going to really make sure the whole playhouse has a very robust feel to it. We love this frame as it is strong and thick, but not so thick that it is going to be getting in the kids way while they are trying to play inside. A frame is not something the kids are going to care about at all, but you will be pleased with the knowledge that this frame will ensure the playhouses stays solid for many, many years.
We will admit that we fully expected the floor to be made with the same solid sheet boarding that was used for the roof. But we were pleasantly surprised to see that they have used tongue and groove boarding that is 12 mm thick. This is very impressive and will mean that your kids can jump around all crazy and not damage the floor at all.
Treatment Requirement And Warranty
A basic dip treatment is applied to all the wood and this will make it so the wood is safe from the elements while it is transported and installed. But you will need to give it a good going over with some wood treatment shortly after you have installed it. To really keep the rot away, you will need to give it a fresh coating once a year.
While the 8 x 7 Rowlinson Playaway Swiss Cottage does come with a generous ten year warranty, this is dependent on you making sure you have treated the wood properly and on a regular basis.
Doors And Windows
The door is very charming as it has this lovely little diamond window near the top of it which is a great way for the kids to look and see if you are coming to drag them in for their tea. The door is 1 foot 11 inches wide and 4 feet 1 inch high which is quite an impressive size for a playhouse. Going along with that window is the door handle which has a very old timey kind of look which we feel compliments the rest of the playhouse very well.
On the front of the playhouse there are three windows which have a very smart looking cross frame design. These are all made with styrene so there is no danger of broken glass. We really like these windows, especially how they have made sure one of them is on the upper level, but we do wish that they had put at least one on the highest side of the playhouse as this part does look a little bare. This may seem a bit of a harsh criticism, but it is only because of how good the rest of the playhouse looks, you notice how bare this section is.
Security And Privacy
You could add a padlock or just a pad bolt of some kind of the door which may sound good at first, but remember that you will be the one who has to go out and lock and unlock it all the time. In general even without a locking mechanism on the door, the 8 x 7 Rowlinson Playaway Swiss Cottage is still a secure structure and just as secure as the other playhouses we have seen.
Even with the multiple windows this is still a playhouse that offers some privacy. Because of the way the windows are placed, we would actually go as far to say that this playhouses offers a bit more privacy than many of the others we have seen.
Customisation Options And Extras
Rowlinson do not offer any customisation options with this playhouse, but as you need to treat the wood anyway, we suggest that you have a think about using a coloured treatment instead of a standard clear or brown that many people use.
No extras are offered here which you may think is something that would bother us, but actually it is not as it means there is less things to tempt you which means more money in your pocket. Well more money in your pocket until your kids con it out of you to furnish their new playhouse of course.
So, How Does It All Stack Up?
Tongue and groove walls and flooring make this one very impressive playhouse. We feel that for the price this is one very high quality playhouse.
Longevity Of Materials9/10
We can see your kids getting a lot of use out of this playhouse. There is nothing about it that makes us worried it will become weak or flimsy. This has been built to last for a very long time and we are sure it will.
This is not one of the largest playhouses we have seen, but the added room you get with the upper level will give the kids that extra bit of space to use.
Ease Of Installation8/10
This is quite a tall playhouse so be sure to have at least one person there to help you install it and another to get the snacks and drinks in. You are looking at about 6-8 hours if you are not all that skilled at DIY. A DIY enthusiast will probably be able to shave a couple of hours off that.
Value For Money8.5/10
We feel that at a little over £600, considering the size, quality and design, this is a playhouse that is actually offering very good value for money.
Final Thoughts: The 8 x 7 Rowlinson Playaway Swiss Cottage is a great playhouse and one that the more we looked at, just kept impressing us more. We love how solid the design of this is so you not only have a very good looking playhouse, you have a playhouse that the kids are going to be able to use for many years and it is also going to be able to take a fair bit of abuse off them. We are very impressed with this playhouse and if you want a playhouse that is made with great materials, but is not so huge that it will take over your whole garden, then this is one that has to be on your list.