Many people prefer wooden wendy houses over new technologies like fibre cement, plastic etc. There are obviously advantages and disadvantages to each. Wooden Wendy houses are the norm in South Africa and by far have the most charm and character.
When buying or building a wooden wendy house, there are a few things that you should be aware of. One advantage of using wood to build a wendy house is that it is easier to modify wooden structures (i.e., than metal sheds) by adding windows, doors, shelving etc because wood can be cut and drilled using commonly available tools. Some homeowners may prefer wooden wendy houses because wood is a renewable resource.
It’s important to note what wood is being used as certain types of wood are more naturally resistant to water damage than others.
Wendy house owners can customize wooden wendy houses to match the features (e.g., paint colour, trim, etc.) of the main house. A number of decorative options can be added to wendy houses, such as shutters, flowerboxes and weathervanes. Various other, practical options can be added such as benches, ramps, ventilation systems (e.g., in cases where a swimming pool heater is installed in a wendy house), and even electric lighting which is very useful if you’re using your Wendy house as a guard house or for a similar purpose. Wendy houses designed for gardening or those used as potting sheds, sometimes feature windows or skylights to let the light in, vents for ventilation and may include extra features such as a bench which can be used for mixing soil and potting plants.
Wooden wendy houses have a natural look that can blend in well with garden environments.
Despite the strength of wood, over time, if left untreated and neglected wood can rot, split, warp or become susceptible to mold and mildew, so wooden wendy houses should always be treated for protection. Wooden wendy houses need regular maintenance. One can do this by preventing foliage and general rubbish from piling up against the walls and on the roof, and now and again, one should actually rot-proof the Wendy house with a decent wood preservative. Other threats to Wendy houses are fire and termites. Wendy’s are sometimes also re-stained or varnished at times for aesthetic reasons.
Staining and preserving fo wooden wendy houses.
Stains and preservatives can be applied to wooden Wendy houses to prevent damage to the wood caused by exposure to rain, damp ground, UV light, harsh climatic conditions, fungal attack and wood-boring insects. If a coloured preservative oil or stain is used, a wooden wendy house can either be made to stand out as a feature within a garden, or to blend in with its surroundings. It’s all up to you.
Using a product like Waxsol is normally fine. Linseed oil is also suitable although it is time consuming to apply and relatively expensive. If you are looking for an alternative, any wood varnish could work, however you need to be careful as it may stain the wood, giving it a darker finish. If the wendy house is constructed using shiplap, then varnish is more suitable as you don’t have to rub it on and it can just be applied using a paintbrush. If it is constructed out of tongue and groove, then you can look at painting it or varnishing it, although there is a chance that painting the panels will lead to sealing between the joints and limiting natural movement, causing the paint to crack.
Wendy houses can be stained or painted to not only protect the wood but to keep your wendy house looking great. Wood staining is perfect for those of us who just want to enjoy mucking about in our Wendy house, without having to spend heaps of our time maintaining the way it looks outside. Staining is generally easy to apply and can be brought as an additional purchase from most wendy house suppliers or building supply stores. You can simply stain it yourself after you install your wendy. An alternative is to purchase a wendy house with a natural finish and let it fade as time goes buy. Many people really enjoy that look, whilst for others staining their wendy house is the most practical option and will guarantee that your wendy house will look great for years to come.
Building regulations for Wendy houses.
Depending on what purpose your Wendy is being used for, it may be important to comply with South African building codes. Wendyhouses.co.za had a chat to leading industry expert, Peter Bissett of “Cottage concepts’ who actually specialises in Timber frame houses as opposed to Wendy houses and we thought his advice could come in handy for our readers. Essentially what he advised us is that there are many pitfalls in building a wendy house if it is your intention to use it to live in.
“Wendy houses do not comply with any of the building regulations or the code of practise for timber structures, SANS 10082.
Some of the town councils are now getting strict and are insisting on an engineers certificate before they will issue a rates clearance certificate should the owner want to sell the property. Insurance companies are also insisting on an inspection by the Institute of Timber Frame Builders before insuring the main dwelling because of the risk imposed by the wendy house, to the main house, due to fire or damage caused by the wendy house blowing apart in a heavy gust of wind similar to the tornado which struck Link Hills in KZN recently.
Banks are now also insisting on an inspection by the Institute when someone wants to bond a property. This can severly restrict persons wishing to purchase a property on which a wendy house is erected even if it is the 2nd dwelling.”
This advice is obviously important for our readers to take heed of and your decision on what to buy or build should take this information into account. We’ll endeavour to keep this article up to date should we get more info on the topic of building regulations and anything else we can find to help you with whatever you need to know about wooden wendyhouses.