Is My Backyard Suitable for a Playhouse? Five Things to Consider Before Getting Your Outdoor Playhouse
An outdoor playhouse will definitely be a perfect addition to any backyard. Primarily, it is a guarantee that your kids will spend more time outdoors, set their imagination free decorating their own space, and get a chance to host epic sleepovers and parties.
Also, you can change between different variations of wooden playhouses with endless customization and personalization options. Eventually, a kids playhouse can fit any backyard, becoming an original decoration for your property.
However, people often wonder whether their backyards are suitable for an outdoor playhouse. Indeed, just like a summer kitchen, a shed, a deck, or a swimming pool, a kids playhouse is technically an outdoor construction.
To make sure that your kids will enjoy their hours (or even years) of fun in their outdoor playhouse, it is essential that you consider all safety measures, installation requirements, as well as the local legislation and planning permissions.
In this article, we shall explain how to make sure that your backyard is suitable for an outdoor playhouse and provide a comprehensive preparation guide with five main things you need to consider before getting a kids playhouse for your property.
A Perfect Place for an Outdoor Playhouse
Just like with any other outdoor construction, it is essential to find a perfect site on your property for a kids playhouse. This step will determine how the playhouse will fit your property landscape, how safe and comfortable it will be for your kids to use their wooden playhouse, and, of course, whether you will get the planning permission at all (in the areas where it is required).
A perfect site for an outdoor playhouse is:
- accessible from any point of the backyard for easy maintenance;
- perfectly leveled and has a firm base;
- located away from trees, poles, and other constructions that risk to fall and cause damage in case of strong wind, flooding, etc.;
- perfectly visible from most points at the backyard or from inside your house so you could keep an eye on kids while they play independently;
- not obtrusive to your neighbors' views.
It is also essential to consider the local climate and place a wooden playhouse in the area, where it won't get under direct sunlight or won't get flooded regularly. You may have to clear fallen leaves and debris from the playhouse's roof to prevent rotting and damage to the structure, protect the wood from excessive moisture, extreme temperatures, etc.
All those parameters are essential if you have a large backyard will several options to place the outdoor playhouse. In case your property is not that sufficient, the points mentioned above will instantly help you understand whether your backyard is suitable for a wooden playhouse and which preparations should be made before you get one.
Do I Need Planning Permission to Build an Outdoor Playhouse in My Backyard?
Naturally, it is better to consider all possible legal regulations and requirements regarding any outdoor construction before you start investing any money, time, and effort into it.
Technically, most outbuildings are considered as developments of your property. That is why in many cases, they do not require any special permissions.
However, the necessity of a planning permit for an outdoor playhouse in your property may depend on many factors such as:
- local legislation;
- size of the outdoor playhouse;
- size of the backyard.
To avoid possible legal complications and loss of time and money, it is always better to make a request to the local city planning department beforehand.
“I grew up playing music and enjoying good food, friends and family in my own backyard.”
How to Prepare a Backyard for an Outdoor Playhouse?
Although most of us see kids playhouses as toys, a wooden playhouse is a fully-fledged outdoor construction. Moreover, it is a place where your kids will spend a great deal of their time. Therefore you definitely want to make sure that your outdoor playhouse is safe, stable and will serve you and your kids for many years.
Therefore, once you have determined the perfect placement of your future playhouse, it is essential to make sure that the ground there is able to sustain this pretty heavy construction.
Here are several options you may consider to create a perfectly stable and safe foundation for your future outdoor playhouse:
- Concrete – it is a preferable variant for most outdoor constructions, including sheds, summer kitchens, etc. Indeed, a concrete base is stable, durable, and easy to maintain. You may need some expert to advise or professional assistance for proper concrete layering, but most homeowners claim that it is the most straightforward and reliable option for an outdoor playhouse;
- A deck – building a deck for your outdoor playhouse has several obvious benefits. First of all, it will definitely fit the aesthetics of a wooden playhouse. Decks can be easily adjusted and customized to become an integral part of the whole structure while being a reliable and durable foundation for it. You can choose between natural wood, mixed materials, or entirely artificial PVC for maximum durability and protection from flooding and its consequences like mold, fungus, etc. Choosing a deck base for your outdoor playhouse may mean that you will have to put some extra effort into the annual maintenance, staining, painting, etc. However, it will entirely depend on the local climate and decking materials you choose;
- Paving – it is another popular variant for an outdoor playhouse base. Today you can find lots of variants. Paving slabs come in various shapes, colors, and textures, creating a pattern that may fit any garden's aesthetics.
Choosing the base for your wooden playhouse for outdoors depends always where you live, the climate and changes that can occur in temperature throughout the year. There is no better man for giving you the advice regarding your outdoor playhouse than your local contractor, building professional or hardware store consultant. They know the area and have experience to share. A kids playhouse is not very different from any other outdoor construction and therefore has the same requirements for the foundation as well as maintenance.
Five Things That Make Your Backyard Suitable for an Outdoor Playhouse
After we discussed the essential requirements and possible planning permissions, let's go over the five essential things that make your backyard perfect for a wooden playhouse.
#1 – Safety
Safety always comes first. Especially when we talk about constructions for kids. To make sure that your backyard is a safe place for an outdoor playhouse:
- Place it away from other unstable and potentially dangerous constructions, trees with branches that risk falling, and other objects that can become bomblets in case of a hurricane, flood, or any other extreme weather conditions;
- Make sure to follow the instructions precisely or address qualified professional assistance creating the base or building the playhouse itself;
- Try to put the kids playhouse in the area where you can easily see or at least hear your children playing to be able to supervise their play without direct interference.
#2 – Maintenance
Fallen leaves and other debris may start rotting and cause damage to the wooden playhouse. Make sure to cover the wooden construction with protective wood-staining or paint and clear the debris regularly to prevent its built-up on time.
#3 – Flooding
Choosing a place for your wooden playhouse, make sure to avoid waterlogged areas and consider building an elevated decking or drainage system that will drive water away from the wooden construction.
#4 – Aesthetics
Although your wooden playhouse is mainly meant for your kids, this construction can become a perfect addition to the backyard landscape. In most cases, it will even boost up the market value of your property.
By choosing a wooden playhouse, you get endless customization options. Together with your kids, you can personalize their playhouse, make it fit the overall aesthetics of your garden, and get a trendy yet functional decoration for your backyard.
#5 – Versatility
Many people think that outdoor playhouses are meant for small children only. However, with a proper approach, your outdoor playhouse can be suitable for your kids throughout their whole childhood and even teenage years.
While planning a playhouse placement in your backyard, consider possible modifications you may want or have to make in the future, leave some extra space around for a swing set or a sandbox, consider additional lighting options so kids could invite their friends for sleepovers when they are older, etc.
Getting your kids an outdoor playhouse can become a great project for the whole family. However, it is essential to consider all the safety and maintenance features and sometimes make some additional preparations before investing in the playhouse itself.
Today you can choose between lots of variants and models suitable for all ages and types of properties. And using our guide, you can make sure that your backyard is perfectly suitable and safe for a kids playhouse.
“Restore balance. Most kids have technology, school and extracurricular activities covered. It’s time to add a pinch of adventure, a sprinkle of sunshine and a big handful of outdoor play.”
- Penny Whitehouse
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Written by WholeWoodPlayhouses