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Buying Guide - Playhouses

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Buying Guide - Playhouses

Playhouses provide children with a dedicated space where they can unleash their imagination and enjoy the great outdoors. With so many design choices available, it can be difficult to decide which playhouse is perfect for your child. In this comprehensive buying guide, we will explore various playhouse choices and offer valuable advice on factors such as size, shape, and ideal placement within your garden.

1. Benefits of a playhouse

Playhouses offer children a fantastic environment to foster their creativity and allow their imaginations to flourish. They provide children with a dedicated space that they can call their own, encouraging a sense of independence and ownership. By engaging in imaginative play, kids can explore different roles, scenarios, and stories, enhancing their cognitive and emotional development. Additionally, being outdoors in the fresh air promotes their physical well-being and encourages active play, benefitting both their physical and mental health.

Furthermore, Mercia playhouses prioritise safety and provide parents with peace of mind. All our playhouses are EN71 certified, guaranteeing a secure and protected play environment for children. Our commitment to safety is reflected in the rigorous testing and certification process that each playhouse undergoes, ensuring compliance with industry standards.


2. Why choose a wooden playhouse

When considering outdoor playhouses, durability is a crucial factor for long-lasting enjoyment. These structures must be able to withstand various weather conditions and maintain their quality over time. The two main material options for playhouses are wood and plastic, each with its own advantages.

Wooden playhouses boast a timeless charm and sturdy construction. Crafted from high-quality wood, these structures offer superior resilience to weather conditions. They blend seamlessly into garden landscapes and can be customized with paint or stains for added protection and visual appeal. With proper maintenance, wooden playhouses can last for many years.

On the other hand, plastic playhouses are renowned for their lightweight and low-maintenance features. Constructed from durable plastic materials, these playhouses are resistant to rotting and rusting, making them ideal for long-term use. They are particularly well-suited for areas with high humidity or frequent rain. However, plastic playhouses often fade over time when exposed to prolonged sun and customisation options may be limited compared to wooden playhouses.

 
3. Size and shape

At Mercia, we offer a diverse range of playhouses in various shapes and sizes. When selecting the size of your playhouse it is generally recommended to opt for a larger size to ensure longevity and accommodate your growing children. Choosing a spacious playhouse allows for years of enjoyment and unrestricted play.

In terms of shape, it’s important to consider how the playhouse will complement your garden. Whether you prefer a traditional or contemporary style, selecting a shape that harmonises with your outdoor space creates a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing environment. Our playhouses come in a variety of designs to suit different preferences and garden layouts.

 
4. Additional equipment

At Mercia, we offer a variety of playhouses that can be enhanced with additional structures like towers, slides and activity sets. Designed with safety in mind, these additional features provide an expansive and exciting play area for your children to explore and enjoy.

Tower

Elevating the playhouse to new heights, this raised platform encourages your children’s imagination to flourish. Maximising space underneath the structure and with the added platform space, the tower’s versatility allows for a more efficient use of the playhouse area, ensuring that every inch is utilised to its full potential.

 

 

Slide

The addition of a playhouse slide opens up a world of endless fun and excitement for children. It offers numerous opportunities for thrilling adventures and imaginative play. Promoting physical activity, coordination and balance, the addition of the playhouse slide also encourages social interaction and cooperative play.

 

 

Activity Set

Further amplifying the efficiency of the playhouse, the addition of an activity set creates a fully immersive and exciting play environment for children. Including exciting elements such as a swing, ladder, tower and slide, the activity set promotes physical activity, strength and balance while keeping children engaged and entertained.

 

 


5. Location

Before purchasing your new playhouse, it is crucial to consider the space required for installation. It is recommended to have at least a 3ft gap around the playhouse to ensure ease of assembly and maintenance. Avoid placing the playhouse under trees as falling debris may cause damage.

It is vital to install your playhouse on a solid, level base to avoid subsidence. This also raises the playhouse from the floor, protecting it from a build-up of water which would lead to rot and degradation of the timber. If you have a slide or activity set with your playhouse, we highly recommend that these are installed over a softer floor material such as grass to reduce the risk of injury.


6. Safety Features

All Mercia playhouses are rigorously tested to high safety standards and meet EN71 safety testing standards. Designed with safety as a priority, every playhouse includes the following safety features as standard:

  • 12mm gap around doors to prevent trapped fingers
  • Ventilation holes for air circulation
  • Rounded timber to prevent splinters
  • Shatterproof styrene glazed windows, a safer alternative to glass
  • Ladder treads to reduce risk of slipping (applicable to double-storey and tower playhouses)


7. Maintenance

Regular maintenance is essential to ensure your playhouse remains functional and in good condition. Mercia playhouses are dip treated which means they are supplied with a 10 year anti-rot guarantee, providing it is treated with a wood preservative and waterproofing topcoat after installation and annually thereafter. To maintain your playhouse between treatments, it is recommended to regularly clear any debris away from the building and check for damp or mould. Efficient maintenance of your playhouse will ensure its longevity and functionality, so it can be enjoyed and treasured for years to come!

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