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A playhouse can be a simple, inexpensive way to keep a toddler occupied for a few hours in a pop-up structure in the living room - or a sturdy, wooden structure that might last long enough to give your children and later your grandchildren years of happy memories. From pirates to princesses, kitchens to caves, the adventures provided by playhouses are only limited by one's imagination.
Your first consideration when buying a playhouse is where it will be used. Obviously you won't want to buy a cardboard design for use outdoors, but it could be exactly the thing for a rainy day inside. If it's going to be set up outside, you'll want to choose a playhouse that can withstand the elements where you live, from snow to sunshine, and that fits the space you have in mind.
Thursday, February 9th
Wayfair should be the first place you shop for a playhouse. You'll find over 300 models to choose from, ranging from polyester pop-up tents to ornate mini-houses complete with window boxes. Shipping is free on orders of $35+ (which includes all but one model here), and you'll have a 30-day return window if your playhouse doesn't meet your expectations. Wayfair continues to earn our highest recommendation for playhouses.
CedarWorks sells high-end, uniquely-constructed cedar Playhouses. Although their website makes it harder than most to find pricing and options, the company's reputation for quality and service should give you reason to be persistent in your hunt for the perfect wooden Playhouse from this retailer.
Backyard Discovery is a brand of all-wood playhouses that you can trust. Don't be fooled by the lower-than-you'd-expect price tag: these structures are sturdy and come with fun features on some of the higher-end models (like rock walls and picnic tables). The return policy is pretty strict here, so it's worth considering making your purchase of a Backyard Discovery product through a third-party seller that won't charge restocking fees. However, wherever you find them, Backyard Discovery's playhouses are built for long-lasting fun.
Whole Wood Playhouses is a terrific store if you like working with small businesses, aren't in a hurry, and want a lot of attention to detail and customization in your playhouse. Inside and out, these sets are fun, functional, and furnished: most models come with extras like a table and chairs. Be prepared to spend at least $3,000 for a playhouse here, but it'll be worth the investment.
Walmart has an impressive inventory of more than 500 playhouses, from $25 plastic tents to $10,000+ cottages. Much of what's on offer here is sold by third-party businesses, and that can complicate matters when it comes to shipping and refunds. Walmart isn't a bad place to get playhouses in the $1,000-and-under range, but we'd recommend using a different store for higher-end models - because they'll be more likely to prioritize your satisfaction than this mass merchandiser.
Home Depot is likely a go-to when you've got a leak to fix or a wall to paint, but you won't find an endless supply of playhouse options in their inventory: just 20 or so, depending on what's in stock. We love the 90-day return policy, and that alone might make it a good place to buy some of the other playhouse brands in our review. But, overall, most of the other retailers we evaluated will have more to offer than Home Depot.
Paint, power tools... and playhouses? Yes, you can indeed find all of that and more at Lowe's. The selection of playhouses here isn't overly impressive - anywhere from 20-35, depending on what's available at the time you shop there - but you'll get the same generous 90-day return period as any other product. We like Lowe's in general, but you'll see far more options for playhouses when you shop elsewhere.
KidKraft's wooden playhouses are a familiar sight across retailers, and when you buy direct from the brand store you'll get free shipping and about 18 different models to choose from. Another plus of shopping directly with KidKraft is accessing plenty of customer reviews and Q&As that can help you figure out which one you'd like the most. However, the product descriptions need to go a little deeper, to include any warranty coverage and care instructions, so that buyers can help their KidKraft playhouses last as long as possible.
Little Cottage Company uses Amish craftsmanship to build their elaborate wooden playhouses. You'll need to live close to their Ohio location for a premade house to be affordable, but DIY kits are available if you've got some skill with tools (or can hire someone who does). The prices here start at over $3,000 even on the do-it-yourself assembly playhouses, and it can take months for your order to be delivered. These playhouses are well-made and beautiful, but might be out of range of the budget and skill set of a lot of prospective buyers.
Canadian-based Cedarshed uses Western Red Cedar in all of their playhouses, sheds and pergolas. You won't pay less than $5,400 here, whether you choose a bunkhouse or playhouse kit, and some models also require you to buy and install shingles or metal roofing. This shop isn't the most intuitive online store we've ever visited, and we're less-than-impressed with Cedarshed's limited one-year warranty and "all sales final" policy. You'll find high-quality playhouses here, but we prefer the options offered by Cedarshed's rivals.
The next factor in your decision is the age range of the kids who will be using the playhouse. A huge climber with rock walls, rope swings and a lookout tower will be the envy of the big kids in your neighborhood, but if the child(ren) in your life can't quite walk yet, it's not going to be the right fit.
Finally, are you looking for a playhouse that's permanently installed or something that can be moved - around the yard or across the country? The most long-lasting, packed-with-features playhouses usually require you to set them up with the expectation that that's where they'll stay.
There are so many places you can buy a playhouse online, from your trusted home improvement store's website to family-owned companies that have been making sturdy wood playhouses (complete with window boxes and porches) for decades. Where should you start? Follow this list to help guide your decision:
To help you add the most fun to your basement or backyard, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked today's most popular retailers of playhouses. We're sure this information will make it easy to get the cutest cabin or climber for the children in your life!
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