The Complete Guide to Outdoor Playhouse Kits December 29, 2016 17:28


Why a Playhouse Kit?

There's many DIY minded people who can work a screw driver and hammer, but the idea of building a complete outdoor playhouse from a pile of lumber and box of screws from the local hardware store seems a little too intimidating. While Paulsplayhouses.com offers many differing types of kid's play plans to pick from for those with the knowledge and frankly, the time, there are also a great variety of professionally prebuilt clubhouse kits you can purchase and be delivered right to the end of your drive way.

Playhouse kits usually offer more particulars and choices than a scratch project can reasonably afford. Almost all of the below kits are produced in a warehouse or assembly line where tight tolerances are kept, giving the structures a quality and state of precision most people wouldn't be able to achieve. Despite children's playhouse kits being a bit of a niche, there's no denying luxury and economical market for artisan child's clubhouses.  Don't forget to add some cool accessories to your new outdoor abode too!

Preemptive Questions

Before beginning the order process of anyone of the units listed, it's important to keep a few questions in mind so that you'll know what you're getting yourself into. Some are more obvious and other's less so, but all should be considered before buying.

    • What will the shipping cost and delivery time be?
    • Are there any hidden fees?
    • Will I need some help in removing the kit off the delivery truck?
    • What is the return policy like? Is there a restocking fee?
    • What tools and additional materials will I actually need to complete the project?
    • Do I honestly have enough room in my yard for this sized playhouse?
    • What are the township codes and regulations like?
    • How will the neighbor's react?
    • Does my home insurance need to be informed of the new structure?
    • How watertight is the building?
    • How many man hours will it take to complete the playhouse assembly?
    • Am I getting the best playhouse for the age and number of my children?
    • How do other people speak about or rate this kit?

      As can be expected, playhouse kits can vary wildly in terms of size, target age group, difficulty in assembly and especially price. Many of the structures below come with a great number of add-ons and options that can more than double the total cost. Categorizing by brand, we'll cover all these vacillating situations so that you can make the best decision for you.

      Helpful Tips

      Unless you opt for a fully constructed design, there will be some assembly required. Depending on which of the many models chosen, some will require more work than others to complete. Before you give them your credit card info, make sure to have these principles in mind.

      1. If the playhouse is made of wood, check to see if it's been treated in anyway. Cedar and pressure treated lumber doesn't necessarily need to coated, but it will weather and turn a silver color after a year or so. Applying a stain or outdoor grade paint will increase the lifetime of the structure by many years. Some stains may need to be applied every few years.

      2. If you would still like to try your hand at building something for the kiddos in addition to the kit, the free swing-set plans make for an excellent choice for an additional accessory!

      3. If you don't have any flat grade on your property, you may need to build an island deck for the playhouse to rest on. This will require digging holes, pouring concrete or using blocks and framing joists, much like an attached house deck.

      4. When choosing the size of the playhouse, make sure not to get something the kids will outgrow quickly, but also not something so large that it'll loose the child scale intimacy they'll need to desire playing in it. Placing stakes and string on the ground to simulate the walls is a great way to see if your children like the size they'll be receiving.

      5. If you're looking to maximize the use of your child's new 2nd home, also consider hiring a electrician to wire up power. This opens up the option for keeping the lights on when the sun goes down and powering a space heater in the colder winter months. Maybe even providing a spot to charge their ipad if they've been good.

      6. Just because you're buying a kit doesn't mean that the kids can't help adding their own creativity too it. Usually the interiors have not been painted, resulting in loads of free space for them to help color and decorate. All the empty interior space will need to be filled too. There are many on-line and brink & mortar stores that offer child sized furniture I'm sure they'll love to help pick out.

      7. The area around the playhouse shouldn't be ignored. The immediate landscaping around the structure can add a lot of personality to an otherwise plain edifice. A flag stone path, white picket fence and well placed plants and foliage go a long way.

       

        Luxury Playhouse Kits (Over $5000)

        *Note that many of the brands listed below offer more kits than what is shown, but for space reasons we can't show them all.

         

        Lilliput Play Homes

        Grand Victorian
        When you purchase a playhouse from Lilliput, you know you're getting the best. This beautiful mini-mansion is the pinnacle of picturesque youth living, and the Grand Victorian spares no details, inside and out. Features exquisite trim work throughout, skylight, strained glass windows and a working door bell.

        • 150 ft² in interior play space
        • 17' Wide, 9' Deep, 9' 4" High
        • 13 windows
        • For ages 3-7

        Sassafras Castle
        Short of hiring a professional to build you a custom citadel, the Sassafras Castle is the cream of the crop when it comes to children's play castles. You know that when you're buying from Lilliput, the details don't come short. Containing several secret areas, rock wall, superb front entrance door. Plus a fireplace mantel. So cool.

        • 60 ft² in interior play space
        • 8' Wide, 6' Deep, 8' High
        • 3 windows
        • For ages 3-7

        Victorian Mansion
        If you were to take a shrink ray and a time machine back to a residential Victorian neighborhood, you very well may end up with Lilliput's Victorian Manson. The front tower and mansard roof really make the playhouse look like it's right from the 1880s. Plenty of sunlight is allowed to come though with the many windows and front door.

        • 48 ft² in interior play space
        • 8' Wide, 6' Deep, 8' High
        • 7 windows
        • For ages 3-7

        Cotton Candy Manor
        Modern suburban living shouldn't be left just for the adults, now the kids can get in the action to. The delightfully named Cotton Candy Manor has everything a tasteful kid could want. 2nd level balcony, roof dormers and front door knocker and just some of the wonderful details you'll partake of when you choose this abode. And yes, it does have a working doorbell too!

        • 80 ft² in interior play space
        • 15' Wide, 6' Deep, 120' High
        • 7 windows
        • For ages 3-7

         

        Daniels Wood Land

        The Original
        As far as I'm concerned, anything the brothers at Daniels Wood Land touch is gold. They've created props for movies, built commercial playgrounds and shoot galleries, have their own show, and it all stared with the Original. Using a real log for the base and topped with a wonderfully whimsical treehouse, you can't get more story book than this awesome clubhouse.

        • 20 ft² in interior play space
        • 8.5' Wide, 7' Deep, 15' High
        • 6 windows
        • For ages 3-7

        Monkey Mansion
        A much more involved version of the Original, the Monkey Mansion has all kinds of ways for kids to run, jump and swing around to nearly no end. Monkey bars, climbing net, climbing wall, fireman's pole,swing and slide are just some of the ways your child can interact with this crazy creation. You can even opt for a deluxe upgrade and bumps up the size of the clubhouse and log size.

        • 20 ft² in interior play space, 280 ft² in total exterior space
        • 27' Wide, 10.5' Deep, 15' High
        • 6 windows
        • For ages 3-7

        Scallywag Sloop
        My personal favorite of the DWL treehouse kits, the Scallyway Sloop has been littering the internet with it's envious photos for some time now, and for good reason, this thing is just cool. Practically Disney grade quality, this ship clubhouse kit is the ultimate backyard accessory for the sea minded child. Great attention to detail would be an understatement. If I had to pick my favorite part, it would have to be the skeleton figurehead. Also if you have more kids than you know what to do with, consider opting for the deluxe version!

        • 30 ft² in interior play space, 280 ft² in total exterior space
        • 19' Wide, 9.5' Deep, 23' High
        • Jolly roger, crows nest, main mast, swing and fireman's pole
        • For ages 3-8

         

        Little Cottage Company

        Grand Portico Mansion
        At first glance, this looks like a typical suburban mansion, until you realize it's for those shorter than 4 feet tall and not so up in th years. Complete with a 2 story look and plenty of windows to spare. Built by the Pennsylvania Amish, this delightful artisan playhouse kit will charm and rapture your little ones for years.

        • 160 ft² in interior play space
        • 16' Wide, 10' Deep, 8' High
        • For ages 3-6
        • 2,950 Lbs

        Sara Victorian Mansion
        Basically a smaller version of Lilliput's Grand Victorian, the Sara Victorian Mansion has a lot of fun and magic to offer. Lavish details like a hip roof, front torrent with loads of windows and front door overhang really add a lot to the overall whimsical aura. This playhouse kit will make for a great gift to that special little one.

        • 160 ft² in interior play space
        • 16' Wide, 10' Deep, 10' High
        • For ages 3-6
        • 2,400 Lbs

         

        Standard Playhouse Kits ($500-$5000)



        Little Cottage Company

        The Victorian
        Whenever you buy a playhouse kit from the Little Cottage Company, you know that you're buying into quality. The Victorian features a delightful hip roof design with front porch, chimney and pink wavy trim. The perfect spot to have a lovely tea party with all your closest stuffed animals friends.

        • 96 ft² in interior play space
        • 8' Wide, 12' Deep, 8' High
        • For ages 3-6
        • 1, 079 Lbs

        The Gingerbread
        I love this one and it offers a lot of interior play space for the buck. Comes in three different sizes and many different colors so you can get what is best for you. Ornate trim, chimney and a heart shaped window add a lot of character too.  A fine outdoor kit for that little girl in your life!

        • 96 ft² in interior play space
        • 8' Wide, 12' Deep, 8' High
        • For ages 3-6
        • 1, 015 Lbs

         

        Kids Crooked House

        The Origional
        All hand crafted in the state of Maine, the folks at Kid's Crooked House know how to capture the wonderment of being a child with their uniquely created structures. The Original allows you to get your foot in the door without spending too much to get there. Really, the only thing straight forward on this playhouse is the value it'll bring to you and your kids.

        • 24 ft² in interior play space
        • 4' Wide, 6' Deep, 6.5' High
        • For ages 3-6
        • 3 windows
        • Gable Roof

        The Deluxe
        The Deluxe is the next tier up from the Original and offers even more space for the kids to play in. Right from the pages of an absorbing children's book, the Deluxe exudes fun all over. Add in more windows and a dormer, you'll find yourself with the best selling crooked house.

        • 24 ft² in interior play space
        • 4' Wide, 8' Deep, 6.5' High
        • For ages 3-6
        • 7 windows
        • Gable Roof

        WoodManor.net

        The Cottage
        Having been in business for four decades, the people behind the craftsmanship at Wood Manor know what they're doing. Because of the general more hands on experience and additional building materials needing to be bought separately, all the kits provided by Wood Manor are more for the DIY minded weekend warrior. The Cottage kit features two levels for the kids to interact with in a very realistic country home.

        • 80 ft² in interior play space
        • 12' Wide, 8' Deep, 12' High
        • For ages 3-8
        • 9 windows
        • Cross & stepped gable roof

        Kid's Castle
        This is a fun one and a real treat for whoever has it come their way. With two levels, two front turrets for that fortress look and a 2nd floor balcony complete this engrossing play castle. Keep in mind that a lot of work will be needed to get this thing %100, but that should be half the fun!

        • 100 ft² in interior play space
        • 14' Wide, 8' Deep, 12' High
        • For ages 3-8
        • 19 windows
        • Gable & hip roof

        Country Gal
        If you still like the idea of a more hands on playhouse kit, but the above two seem a bit intimidating, fear not, for the Country Gal is here. Simpler in design, Wood Manor claims you can easily complete this over the weekend. Don't let the easier construction fool you though, this kit still features lots of space for playing and games, plus a front porch and balcony. Cool!

        • 96 ft² in interior play space
        • 8' Wide, 12' Deep, 12' High
        • For ages 3-8
        • 8 windows
        • Cross gable roof

        Queen Anne
        Wow, this thing is epic. If I were still a kid, I would be beside myself for days if I got this mini-mansion. If you're looking for the ultimate DIY playhouse kit, please look no further than the Queen Anne. Parading about 350 square feet, chuck full of cool accessories and enamoring details. Higher walls also allow for older children to comfortably use this playhouse as well. Best of the best.

        • 350 ft² in interior play space
        • 23' Wide, 13' Deep, 14' High
        • For ages 3-10
        • 14 windows
        • Cross gable & hip roof

         

        Suncast

        Backyard Cottage
        Fine engineering and quality Amish made go into every one of these cute little dwellings. The Backyard Cottage will look great tucked away in any backyard and it's the small things that really make it stand out. Features two dormers and petite front porch make the Backyard so inviting and winsome.

        • 72 ft² in interior play space
        • 8' Wide, 9' Deep, 8' High
        • For ages 3-10
        • 4 windows
        • Gable roof

        English Manor
        Looking for something a little different? This old world style manor is sure to delight. Comes with a arched child sized front door and an adult sized in the back, hinged and gable windows.

        • 72 ft² in interior play space
        • 8' Wide, 12' Deep, 8' High
        • For ages 3-10
        • 4 windows
        • Stepped gable roof

         

        Axi

        Alice
        Crooked houses seem to be all the rage these days. Being a younger child is certainly a magical time, and playhouses like the Alice can greatly aid in feeding that active imagination. Specially imported Asian cedar wood, Cunninghemia lanceolata, is used to construct all the structure kits for Axi. With five windows and 10 square feet of interior space, your child will feel a cozy sense of home with the Alice.

        • 10 ft² in interior play space
        • 3' 1" Wide, 3' 5" Deep, 4' 8" High
        • 5 windows
        • For ages 3-6

        Lisa
        The next size up from the Alice, the Lisa sports the same crooked design, but with a total of 20 square feet of play space. The 3-6 rage is still the sweet spot for the idea child's age. You also get a front porch too!

        • 20 ft² in interior play space
        • 5' 9" Wide, 5' 9" Deep, 5' 7" High
        • 7 windows
        • For ages 3-6

         

        Outdoor Living Today

        Laurens Cottage Playhouse
        I like this one a lot! It's all red cedar construction does an amazing job of adding so much character and warmth. The fetching front Dutch door, shuttered gable windows and two level design make for quite an engrossing clubhouse kit. Rustic in design and easy to assemble. This one is a real looker.

        • 100 ft² in interior play space
        • 9' Wide, 9' Deep, 8' High
        • For ages 3-8

        Little Cedar 6 x 6 Playhouse
        If you're looking for a mix between a playhouse and a playset, this one is the ticket. Elevated about 4' in the air, allowing for a sand box underneath and a front slide. Add in the premium all cedar construction and you have yourself the perfect outdoor getaway.

        • 36 ft² in interior play space
        • 6' Wide, 6' Deep, 9' High
        • For ages 3-8

        The Sunflower
        Another great kit option for those looking for high quality. The Sunflower has all cedar construction including cedar roof shakes. Three opening windows and a front porch with a roof overhang allow more ways to interact and play with this kit. Just looking at it makes me want to go pick out a nice cherry red stain and go to town.

        • 54 ft² in interior play space
        • 6' Wide, 9' Deep, 6' High
        • For ages 3-8

         

        Backyard Discovery

        Scenic Heights Playhouse
        Compact in design but still a blast, the Scenic Heights packs a whallop in a small working footprint. Lots of ways for the kiddies to go up and down, there's also room to put a sandbox underneath.

        • 54 ft² in interior play space
        • 6' 4" Wide, 6' 4" Deep, 7' High
        • For ages 3-6
        • Gable roof

        Windsor Castle
        Castles are a ton of fun and do a supreme job of helping the imagination take you to far off places. The facade mimics real stone walls and battlements and the rock wall to the 2nd level tower is the icing on the cake. Bound to be popular where ever kids are.

        • 40 ft² in interior play space
        • 8' 4" Wide, 4' Deep, 6' High
        • For ages 3-6

         

        Lancaster Country Barns

        Boy's Playhouse
        By now you've seen a few companies based out of Lancaster Amish country, and for good reason. The quality these humble people produce is top notch. That is no different for Lancaster County Barns. The "Boy's" playhouse offers a classic gable design with a loft over the front porch. Add in some windows, paint and Voilà, a comfortable kid dwelling is born!

        • 40 ft² in interior play space
        • 8' Wide, 10' Deep, 7' High
        • For ages 3-7

        Victorian Dollhouse
        This one is so cute and if you have a little girl, I don't see how they could feel differently. The perfect size for when they're just starting to feel independent, the applicably named Victorian Dollhouse can't help but catch a 2nd look.

        • 24 ft² in interior play space
        • 6' Wide, 4' Deep, 6' High
        • For ages 3-6

         

        Oregon Timber Werks

        The Classic
        If you're more of a mountain man type or just going for a more rustic look, the Classic Cottage defiantly qualifies for a fine election. Beautiful, oiled lap siding and mock rough saw lumber construction makes this kit right at home in any heavily wood area. Also comes with working window shutters and Dutch door!

        • 24 ft² in interior play space
        • 6' Wide, 6' Deep, 7' High
        • 3 windows
        • For ages 3-8
        • Gable roof

         

        EZ - Fit Sheds

        A-Frame 6' x 8'
        For a great complete package, you can't go wrong with EZ-fit Sheds. The A-Frame comes with outstanding construction and everything you'll need to build the ultimate child's dream escape. Plus it has a lock and key to keep rouge neighbors out.

        • 32 ft² in interior play space
        • 6' Wide, 8' Deep, 7' High
        • 2 windows
        • For ages 3-8
        • Gable roof

         

        Other Great Standard Kits

         

        Playhouse Kits

        Little Alexandra Cottage

        Little Cedar Cottage

        Hobbit Hole Store

        Big Merry Hobbit Hole

        Dutch Crafters

        Tree house Loft Backyard Play Set

        Imagine that playhouses

        The Sweetheart

         


        Economical Playhouse Kits (Under $500)



        Waltons

        Honeypot Snug
        For a real whimsical playhouse experience for a great value, check out the designs at Waltons. This UK based company offers all kinds of colorful and magical clubhouses. The Honeypot Snug presents itself as a cozy little wonderment all under one small roof. Did I mention it's a great deal?

        • 12 ft² in interior play space
        • 4' Wide, 4' Deep, 5' High
        • For ages 3-6
        • Gable roof

         

        Honeypot Poppy Tower
        For a simply delightful provincial backyard retreat, the Poppy Tower is a delight. Elevated to allow for a slide, this rustic wooden kid habitat comes with shatterproof windows, double framed corners and untreated cedar lumber so you can add your won creativity to it's walls.

        • 12 ft² in interior play space
        • 5' Wide, 5' Deep, 7' High
        • For ages 3-7
        • Gable roof

         

        Lancaster Country Barns

        Toy Cabin - Starter Kit
        When they way starter Kit, they aren't kidding. This little cabin is literally put together like a Lincoln log set. Build it from scratch without need to do any cutting and tear it all back down because you can. You and your child will love assembling and disassembling this thing together!

        • 12 ft² in interior play space
        • 3' Wide, 4' Deep, 3' 4" High
        • For ages 3-5 1/2
        • Gable roof

         

        Bosmere

        Little Lodge
        A nicely formulated clubhouse for one or two little guys. Produced by an English company from 1926, the splendid all wood framework and reasonable price make this a classy choice indeed.

        • 20 ft² in interior play space
        • 5' Wide, 4' Deep, 4' High
        • For ages 3-6
        • Gable roof

         

        E-Z Frames

        6x6 Kit
        For something a bit different, try the EZ frame playhouse kit. For a very reasonable price, this kit only includes the framing of a 6x6 structure, and you add the rest, whether it be plywood or bed sheets. Great for indoor child's clubhouses.

         

        Other Great Standard Kits

         

        Backyard Discovery

        Timberlake

        Scenic

        Gramercy Home

        Brown Modern

        Outward Play

        Badger Cubby

        KidKraft

        Outdoor Playhouse

        Big Backyard

        Bayberry