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After we had researched wendy houses I had decided that I didn't want a plastic one as they don't seem to weather very well, so we opted for a wooden one instead. I had absolutely no intention of buying one on stilts but once I had it in my sights, that was it!
We did plenty of research and eventually managed to get one for just over £300 which sounds a lot but really is worth it. Once it had arrived and been assembled I was over the moon. Assembly was quite tricky and I would definately recommend getting a few men involved after me and my husband nearly divorced by the end of building it!
Not one to be the same as everyone else (although I don't know anyone who has got one to be honest!), I decided to paint the house a pale cream colour and the window frames a pale pink. I cannot tell you how much this changes the house and if it was big enough I would seriously move into it - if ever we move, this thing is certainly coming with us!
As you can see from the picture above it has ladders which lead up to a small balcony. After my youngest daughter learnt to walk I was petrified of an accident on either the steps or the balcony but I can honestly say after 3 summers not one accident has occured (yet!). Inside the house is just as fun as the outside, as it is full of cookers, ironing boards, washing machines and even a babies cot - all plastic , I haven't branched out to expoliting children don't worry! We also got a small piece of carpet for the floor and hung a few pictures inside. Honestly, kids of today eh!
The house measures 5' x 7' and is 1 metre high at the balcony. The windows are made from perspex and don't need to be of any concern towards safety. Underneath the house is perfect for making dens and once the summer months are definately here, each year I attach a kind of home made fabric edging made from cute flowery material. This means when it's really hot they can get away from the heat, but it also means they can get away with alll sorts as mum can't see - to be honest they spend more time under here than they do in the house! In the winter months, we tend to keep all the outdoor toys under here away from the rain and snow and this has helped to prolong the life of some of the toys.
This house is absolutely fab and although it cost a lot initially, the value we have got with it, after the amount of hours they have spent in here has meant it's been worth every single penny.
For the last few years we have had a rather small plastic playhouse in our garden but with two growing girls there was rapidly becoming no room to swing a cat in it! So we decided to splash out on a bigger and better one which would provide more space to play in and hopefully last my daughters for a few years to come! A few of my friends had bought wooden playhouses from Waltons so I decided to have a look at their website - http://www.waltons.co.uk
Now there are two things to bear in mind if you are considering buying a Waltons playhouse - you need a fair amount of space and also they are not particularly cheap (although they are not outrageously expensive for what they are!). However there is a fantastic range and all are very cute and cottage like so I knew my girls would absolutely adore them! My elder daughter actually looked at the website with me and we both decided that the tower playhouse was our absolute favourite!
As you can see from the picture it looks very exciting as it is built on stilts and has a small ladder to climb in order to get in. It also has a small balcony which I knew my girls would love looking over. Also, as a little extra, because it is built on stilts, it means that there is an extra space underneath which children can use as a sort of den! Now as I said, you do need a fair bit of space to put one of these up so it is definitely best to take a few measurements before you go ahead and order. The actual measurements are 1.5m width by 2.03m depth. It reaches to a height of 8.7m so I think you have to be quite careful that you are not overlooking your neighbours! Also, the other thing I have already alluded to is the price! On the Waltons website it is currently selling for £319 (and that is apparently with a £60 discount which means its usual selling price would be £379! - I told you it wasn't cheap!) However, you can shop around at places like shedstore and John Lewis. We actually bought ours from John Lewis for £299, and by going through a cashback site managed to save an extra 10%! (I don't think I'm advocating this though as we had quite a saga with JL over the delivery but that's another story!)
One of the good things about ordering from the John Lewis website was the fact that we were able to download the instructions in advance (I don't think you can do this on the Waltons site) which meant we had a good idea how difficult it would be to erect, and also how to lay the base. As my husband wasn't too put off by these we went ahead and ordered.
When the playhouse arrived it was in a number of different panels (these are all pre-treated with a water based timber treatment for protection against the elements) with all the screws, nails, etc you would need! Once you start building anything like this there is a moment when you hold your breath and pray that everything is there but there were no problems with this at all - in fact we had some screws left over. We arranged for a couple of friends to come and help my husband build it and this was absolutely necessary. I don't think there is any way one person could put this together on their own.
Anyway, the instructions were relatively simple to follow and all the pieces went together as specified! I think the hardest part was probably the first thing you had to do which was to build the platform with the stilts. You definitely need some precision measuring and a good spirit level because if you get this bit wrong you are in danger of having a very wonky play house! Anyway, after this first bit it all went up pretty easily in the space of about four hours which we didn't think was too bad!
Once erected the playhouse really looks great and is very solid. My little girls absolutely love it and as the inside space is big enough to put one of those children's kitchens plus a table and chairs there is plenty of opportunity for some reall imaginative play for them. They love climbing the ladder to the balcony and enjoy waving to Mummy from there! I guess that with the additional height there are some health and safety worries and I do tend to keep an eye on themwhile they are playing up there, although I have to say that there have been no problems (so Far!)
I have to say that although it did seem quite expensive, it does look absolutely fantastic in our garden. We have it on four slabs which are surrounded by bark - just in case we need any soft landings! And as it was so straightforward to put up, I would thoroughly recommend it! (It's just unfortunate that it hardly seems to have stopped raining since we put it up!)
Tongue and groove cladding. Timber sheet roof and floor. Supplied with verandah. 3 windows with fixed styrene glazing. Side window can be located on either side. 1 Metre high platform. The 5'x7' Tower playhouse the ideal adventure playhouse for boys and girls over 3 years of age. They'll absolutely love climbing the ladder up to the high level platform (approx. 3' high), and the space left underneath is ideal for storing toys, installing a sandpit, or for turning into an adventure camp.