Swiss playhouses add a bit of European charm to your backyard and a fun place for your children to play that they will remember and cherish for the rest of their lives.
What are Swiss Playhouses?
A Swiss playhouse is much like any other playhouse, but with a Swiss feel. This means that the playhouse will be built of wood rather than plastic and will look more like a person-sized dollhouse than those little plastic ones do.
Like other wooden playhouses, Swiss playhouses usually consist of one large room and have several windows and a door. The thing that distinguished the playhouses of the Swiss style from other wooden playhouses is that they usually have a dormer. They may also have a front porch, and there are often Swiss influenced details that make the playhouse look more like a mountain chalet in the Swiss alps than a kids' toy made to stay in the yard.
Sometimes the Swiss style playhouses also have a second floor loft type area to make the house even more like a rustic lodge.
Buying a Swiss Playhouse
The most popular and widely available of the playhouses that are marketed as Swiss is the Treetops brand. This company, based in the UK, offers a 10-foot by 8-foot Swiss cottage and a 10-foot by 10-foot playhouse. These are two-story structures with a built-on porch and a bunk area for sleeping.
They can generally be purchased painted or unpainted and are available for a variety of retailers in Britain, including:
While this particular brand of playhouse is not available in the United States, shoppers can find similar products (though they might not be labeled as Swiss) at the following websites:
- Playhouses.com: check out the Victorian and country themed playhouses.
- Lilliput Play Homes: a similar selection to Playhouses.com; try the Victorian styles or the Princess Cottage.
- Wood Manor: this site has an amazing country cottage playhouse complete with two stories, a wraparound porch and a fireplace. Also check out their Swiss Miss Playhouse.
Building Your Own Playhouse
If you are very handy with the tools and can follow instructions, you can also purchase a kit to make a playhouse. All of the options available for purchase at the Wood Manor site listed above are also available in kit form, meaning that you get all the walls, doors, rafters, widows, stairs, floors, studs, plywood, shingles and other essentials to make the house yourself, as well as the instructions.
If you really want to go it alone and have access to some of the supplies you will need without having to buy them, you can also simply purchase the plan for the playhouse and build it out from scratch from materials you have purchased separately.
This may turn out to be the more economical choice because you won't have to pay for shipping such a large amount of materials to your home, and you can also buy products incrementally as you need them when you are working on the house.
Other places you can buy Swiss playhouse plans include:
Deciding to build your own playhouse is not something to do if you're not experienced at carpentry. Even with a kit, putting one of these elaborate homes together is quite an undertaking that will require a lot of time, power tools, skills and patience.
Many people find that they would be much better off spending the extra money to have their playhouse constructed off site rather than try to build it themselves when they don't have the necessary experience.
But if you do have the proper skills for building a Swiss playhouse, there is nothing better than being able to surprise your child with the gift of a perfect playhouse that you actually built them yourself.