Perfect Playhouses - The best playhouses for any budget
All the neighborhood kids will want to gather on the bridge of this custom playscape, similar to the one installed by the McNamee family of Loudonville.
What would summer be without playhouses and forts where kids can hide or gaze out at fireflies? Perhaps your summer memories include longing for your own place to curl up, read a book and gaze at the world below. Maybe you were lucky enough to spend hours with friends in the tree fort in your backyard, harboring secret messages and keeping a watchful eye for pirates. Either way, playhouses, with their pint-sized doors and windows, will have the power to evoke wonder and awe in adults. They remind us of our childhood dreams, and for many of us, deliver to us new dreams for our children.
However, the playhouses of today go far beyond the ubiquitous plastic boxes scattered in suburban backyards. If you are reminiscing about the refrigerator box you and your siblings converted into a playhouse, then you’ll be amazed at the many options today. Whether you’re working with a limitless budget or are interested in constructing a house yourself, there are plenty of possibilities that will enchant both you and your children.
The Sky’s the Limit! Go Custom!
Kathleen McNamee of Loudonville still remembers the summer day in 2003 when the custom play structure she and her family had selected, designed, and constructed in their backyard, was completed. As the builder made the finishing touches, Kathleen remembers, “Our children waited with friends and cousins on one side of our fence, hands gripping the rails and their little faces pushing through, eyes wide with anticipation. Imagine being a little kid and seeing this multi-colored fantasyland beckoning to you! How would you feel?” A fantasyland it was indeed, complete with a tower with peaked roof, jail with bars on the window and escape hatch, a 9 ft. bridge, climbing tower, rock wall, fire pole climbing net, swings, climbing bars, slide and flagpole.
When McNamee and her husband, George, finished renovating their home several years ago, they began focusing on their property. McNamee came across a magazine article about Barbara Butler. California-based artist and builder who has been building and designing custom play structures and tree houses for over 20 years. She was immediately drawn to the colorful, unique designs. Because she has a large extended family, McNamee was looking for a play structure that would stimulate children’s imaginations and appeal to different age groups. The family participated in the planning process, which involved looking through brochures and deciding what features appealed to them, receiving a coloring book image of their design, and ultimately selecting their colors. Once their $25,000 custom design was finalized, the structure was erected on their property over a three-day period. “Barbara didn’t just fulfill their fantasy. She fulfilled my husband’s and mine, as well. We became Superdad and Supermom!” says McNamee.