What Are the Different Types of Backyard Playhouses?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 06 January 2020
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Backyard playhouses are where secret clubs are formed, tea is served, and plots to take over the neighborhood are masterminded. There are many different types of backyard playhouses that can suit nearly any budget and style specifications. Some of the most popular types of playhouses include prefabricated houses, playhouse kits, and tree houses. Themes for playhouses can run the gamut from storybook to the Old West, depending on preferences.

Prefabricated backyard playhouses require the least work on the part of the buyer. These sets come ready-made, and may require little or no assembly. Plastic and resin playhouses for very small children are often available at large toy stores, and often contain a basic enclosed room and small features, such as a table and chairs, or window boxes for planting flowers. On the luxury end, prefabricated backyard playhouses can grow truly stupendous, and may feature custom paint, multiple stories, and extreme features such as slides, moats, and secret rooms.


For the family that wishes to put a little work into creating their playhouse, the answer may be a playhouse kit. These kits are available from some toy or building supply stores, and can also be ordered online from many different suppliers. Kits usually contain pre-cut pieces and all of the fixtures necessary to build the structure. Unlike prefab houses, it will be up to the buyer to fully assemble the structure. Using a kit may be preferable over building from scratch, since all the necessary items, plus instructions, are included.

Tree houses can be wonderful backyard playhouses for older or more adventurous children. In order to ensure a safe playhouse, some experts recommend that trees be analyzed for strength by a professional arborist or tree house construction company. While some prefabricated tree houses exist, it may be more efficient to purchase blueprints or a kit that can be easily adapted to suit the shape and size of a particular tree. Some construction firms may also be able to design and build a tree house to meet client specifications. Fun accessories for tree houses include ladders, fireman poles, and even ziplines.

In addition to choosing a type of backyard playhouse, families may want to think about what type of theme would be appropriate. Fairytale castles, storybook cottages, and Victorian bungalows are all perennial favorites. Some playhouses may be themed to look like restaurants or farms instead of traditional homes. For adventure-oriented playhouses, jungle, Old West, and traditional clubhouse styles are often popular interpretations.


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