The Complete Guide to Choosing A Playhouse: The Finale

Hello and welcome back to the final post in our The Complete Guide to Choosing your Playhouse! That’s right, this is the very last post in the series – but don’t look so glum! Before we round out, we’ll be running back through everything we’ve covered so far.

In our previous posts, we’ve covered everything from measuring out the place where your outdoor playhouse will sit, to what the kids will be using it for, all way to exploring playhouse styles that match your garden furniture.

Here we’ll be summing it all for you in one nice, digestible package – but don’t worry, if you want extra information on any of the topics you can find it in the individual posts themselves (we’ll provide links throughout!).

At the same time, we’ll be running you through a fictional example to help you out with the process of choosing your perfect playhouse. If you’re stuck on any part of the process, just follow along with our example and you’ll find the answers you’re looking for!

Right – ready to get started? Then let’s go!

BillyOh Junior Log Cabin Playhouse
BillyOh Junior Log Cabin Playhouse

Choosing A Playhouse

Before we jump into choosing, let me introduce you to someone who’s going to be pretty important in this post: it’s Kevin. If you can’t see Kevin, then don’t worry – he’s fictional. Kevin is going to be our example today, and we’re going to guide him (and you) through the process of choosing the perfect playhouse.

Below is a picture of Kevin’s garden (it’s not actually his garden). It’s not small, but it’s not massive, and there’s a few obstructions in the way that he needs to watch out for.

Small and neat grass garden
Image Credit

Kevin is a bit of an avid gardener who wants to pass along his love of the outdoors to his two young children by buying them a garden playhouse. Let’s make his (fictional) dream come true!

Space

We’ll start where we started in our very first post – by picking out the space where Kevin’s or your playhouse is going to go!

Picking out a spot can determine many things about your kids playhouse: what kind of base it needs, how tall and wide it can or can’t be, along with which accompanying features it can have.

When choosing a spot you’re looking for four crucial things: the ground is flat and firm, it does not flood easily, it’s away from large trees and bushes, and there’s easy access on all sides. Remember if you want more information about anything, you can always visit the post for each individual section to learn more.

For Kevin, his ideal spot seems to be in the furthest corner of his garden. There, it’s away from the telephone wire that runs overhead (a potential safety hazard) and can easily be accessed on all sides. It’s also next to his flower beds which will act as drainage when it rains. However, he should try to keep it away from the larger bushes he is growing.

With a spot picked out -and a quick check to make sure he won’t need planning permission – Kevin (or you) can now measure up the area and find what the largest dimensions of his kids playhouse can be. Once that’s done, the search can commence!

Your Criteria

BillyOh Bunny Max Tower Playhouse
BillyOh Bunny Max Tower Playhouse

Now that we know how big our playhouse space is, it’s time to narrow down our pool of playhouse candidates. 

We’ll do this through some research and note-taking. We’re going to identify how big you want your playhouse to be, what you want it to look like, and what kind of features you want it to have. Let’s call these things your Playhouse Criteria – effectively, what you want your wooden playhouse to have.

Make a list and note down all the criteria for your playhouse as you go along. Try to be sensible with the list – don’t just write down everything that looks nice, think about what will and won’t be used. As we go through we’ll be making a list for Kevin’s playhouse too!

Size

BillyOh Peardrop Junior Playhouse
BillyOh Peardrop Junior Playhouse

The first thing we’re going to decide upon is the size of your kids playhouse. Now, this doesn’t just have to do with how big the space is. No, Kevin, we don’t have to buy the biggest playhouse possible. Instead, the size of your playhouse primarily depends on how it will be used.

Pick a playhouse size that is both a fit for you and a fit for the kids.

Making it a fit for the kids depends on how old the children are – and how big they are! If they’re just learning to walk, they don’t need anything massive. But if they’re a bit older and love active play, something larger will accommodate them nicely.

When it comes to you, just ensure that you’re not buying anything that is too difficult to clean or build.

Kevin is generally active but doesn’t have superb woodworking skills or lots of time to spend assembling something massive. His kids are also still quite young and, although they play a lot, won’t need a ton of space inside the playhouse. However, he will need to buy something they can grow into and make use of for years to come. 

With that, we now have our first item for the list:

  • Size should not be huge, but big enough that Kevin’s children can grow into it and use it with ease as they get older.

If you need more help, we covered this in loads more detail in Part 1: Size and Shape

Features

BillyOh Annex Log Cabin Wooden Playhouse
BillyOh Annex Log Cabin Wooden Playhouse

Next in our criteria list comes playhouse features – what your playhouse will have inside and out. We won’t be going through all the features that are available, but you can find a full list and lots of helpful tips in Part 2: Features and Flair.

Kevin’s kids absolutely love sleepovers. So the first thing he’s going to note down in his wooden playhouse features criteria is:

  • Needs to have a bunk bed inside.

Kevin knows that his oldest child also quite enjoy using slides, and knows that they’d like to have a playhouse with slide attached. But their younger sibling isn’t yet ready to use them, so he knows it’s not essential. He adds it to the list anyway.

  • Could have a slide attached.

His children already have lots of storage space for the toys they have. They won’t need to store them inside the playhouse, so he doesn’t add this to the list.

Again, try to think about what you don’t need as much as you do need – there’s no need to buy something for a purpose it just won’t get used for!

Flair and Appearance

Blue Painted Wood
Image Credit

Features are chalked off, so let’s move on to getting the look of your playhouse right. If you don’t care about keeping it in style with your garden, then consider decorating your playhouse in a style the children will love!

Kevin is a garden aesthete – meaning he wants to make it fit in with what he already has. Since the playhouse is going next to his grey garage, which has modern fittings, Kevin wants it to be painted in a colour that doesn’t clash with it. However, he does want to add some floral decorations so his young children enjoy it even more.

He adds both of these to his criteria:

  • Shouldn’t clash with the colour of the garage.
  • Should have space for floral decorations.

Okay, perfect – Kevin’s list is complete! He now has all the criteria he needs to start searching.

Don’t worry if your list isn’t finished yet, you can always find extra help for these past sections at Part 2: Features and Flair.

Getting the Best Price

British money
Image Credit

Now that we know everything about the wooden playhouse we want, it’s time to get out there and get it! But wait – first, we need to make sure we’re paying the right price and getting the best value for money.

There are two ways to do this – and you’ve already done the first by making a list of the features you need! The second is shopping in the right place with great value. Where’s the right place, Kevin? Well, it’s Garden Buildings Direct of course! Find out why in Part 3: Budget and Value.

So with great value already achieved, we can move straight to choosing a playhouse that fits our budget. Kevin has an average budget of around £900 and a list of criteria to fill:

  • Size should not be huge, but big enough that Kevin’s children can grow into it and use it with ease as they get older.
  • Needs to have a bunk bed inside.
  • Could have a slide attached.
  • Shouldn’t clash with the colour of the garage.
  • Should have space for floral decorations.

He sets himself a soft cap of £800 and starts searching!

Because his kids’ playhouse needs a bunk bed, Kevin concentrates his search around two-storey playhouses that can fit bunk beds in. He finds a few options that look right for him and researches their prices, sizes, and features.

Eventually, he comes up with two options:

The BillyOh Peardrop Junior Playhouse with Bunk Bed. The Peardrop Junior playhouse is well within budget at £661 and, crucially, it has a bunk bed. However, Kevin is worried that it will not have enough space for his children when they get older.

OR

The BillyOh Gingerbread Max Playhouse with Bunk Bed. The Gingerbread Max has more than enough space for his children without being too big. It also has a bunk bed – but it is slightly over the soft cap at a price of £874.

Both of these traditional playhouses have space for floral decorations and can be painted a cream colour so it does not clash with the playhouse.

So, Kevin faces a choice that many of us may face when picking out a playhouse. Does he save money and pick the cheaper playhouse, or invest for the future and buy bigger? You’ll have to scroll down to find out…

The Perfect Playhouse

Throughout this four-part series, we’ve tried to guide you to choosing the perfect wooden playhouse for you.

However, you might end up in a situation like Kevin, where you’re picking between saving or spending for a feature you’re not 100% sure if you need. Although we’ve given you as much advice as we can, this kind of situation is totally up to you – after all, only you know what’s best for you.

But we won’t leave you without an answer…and you deserve to know that the (fictional) Kevin decided to spend money, invest in his active children’s enjoyment, and buy the bigger Gingerbread Max Playhouse. 

BillyOh Gingerbread Max Playhouse
BillyOh Gingerbread Max Playhouse

If you’re in the same situation, remember that you don’t have to do the same – after all, Kevin doesn’t really exist (although we’ll definitely miss him after this)!

You can find links to all the other parts of our Choosing A Playhouse Series below. But, if you want to do some real (not fictional) playhouse choosing, then click the button below to browse our wide range of childrens playhouses!

If you’ve got any playhouse questions, or simply want to know more about them, visit our Playhouse FAQ Centre for all information you’ll ever need.

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The Complete Guide to Choosing A Playhouse: Part 1 – Size and Space

The Complete Guide to Choosing A Playhouse: Part 2 – Features and Flair

The Complete Guide to Choosing A Playhouse: Part 3 – Budget and Value