Frequently Asked Questions

How difficult are the doll houses to assemble?
What paints should we use and what preparation is required?
What colour choices are available?
What else do we need to provide to complete assembly?

What parts of a doll house kit are pre-assembled?
What assembly tips can you give?
What is the delivery time?
Is there an Order Form?
Is it possible to insert wooden components (windows, door, balustrades) in your doll houses?
How are the doll house kits/readybuilts packed and what guarantees do you give?

 

How difficult are the DOLL houses to assemble?

This depends on the ability of the assembler(s). We have recently rephotographed and reworded the assembly of all our houses - we receive very few queries about these instructions. Generally the construction of the house 'shell' is quite straightforward, particularly if you familiarise yourself by initially just taping the assembly together. Some of the staircases can be fiddly and patience is certainly required to insert the perspex into each window pane and to 'fuse' the windows together. We believe all houses are capable of being assembled by all family members.

 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A KIT AND A READYBUILT ?

The dollhouses are available as ready builds (assembled & painted) . The ready builts are first undercoated and sanded throughout, then finished in a top quality enamel paint, selected from a range of colours. They can be packed and freighted.

The dollhouse kits (unassembled & unpainted) are supplied with illustrated instructions, as well as nails and screws. The kit builder will need to supply wood adhesive, some solvent to “glue” the polystyrene windows and, where applicable, some contact cement to attach the corrugated iron roof.

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What paints should we use and what preparation is required?

One of the advantages of MDF is that it is a high density product with a smooth surface that can be painted, stained or veneered.
It is recommended that, for reasons of safety and to prevent any flaking of the paint when a house is moved, all exposed edges and corners of the house are first (i.e. prior to painting) lightly sanded with a coarse grade paper of around 150 grit.

A wood filler is also recommended as it is preferable to cover all nail holes which should then be lightly sanded, prior to undercoating, to obtain a smooth finish.

For the undercoat, a water based acrylic paint is recommended which, on drying, should be subsequently sanded (with a fine grade of 280 grit and higher) to obtain a smooth finish.

The top coat(s) can be either an acrylic or oil based (enamel) paint depending on the type of finish required. If applying more than one topcoat, lightly sand in between as for the undercoat. Spray or brush application is possible.

Houses with corrugated iron will need to be etch-primed before topcoating.

Verandah floors can also be stained and/or polished with a (dark tan) shoe polish.

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What colour choices are available?

Kit purchasers can select from the following window and shutter colours: white, brunswick green, burgundy, cream and blue. We are able to mix window and shutter colours. Balustrading is available in white, brunswick green and cream.

Readybuilt purchasers can also select from the following roof and wall colours: apricot, blue, brunswick green, burgundy, cream, dusty pink, lemon, sage green, slate blue, slate grey, spring pink, terracotta and woolshed grey. It is also possible to specify painted door(s) - door, panels (if applicable) and architraves. The standard 'readybuilt' door is stained.

All window/shutter and roof/wall colours will be illustrated in our next update.

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What else do we need to provide to complete assembly?

Three basic glues are needed: (i) wood glue, (ii) a polystyrene glue and (iii) some contact adhesive.

(i) Since MDF is a wood based product it possess many of the qualities of natural timber. General-purpose wood adhesives (PVA) are therefore suitable although it is possible, and preferable, to use specially formulated and commercially available MDF glues.

(ii) Our windows, shutters and balustrading are made from high-grade polystyrene that is 'fused' together with polystyrene glue that is available in model shops and hardware stores. This is also used to glue the 1.5mm. acrylic windows into the panes; a dispenser that discharges drops or a fine thread of glue is recommended.


(iii) Contact adhesive is recommended to glue the shutters to the walls - this also helps fix the window(s) firmly in position. For houses with corrugated iron roofing, contact adhesive is also necessary.

'Hot melt' glue is an option for some applications (e.g. to glue the shutters to the wall) - please refer to the instructions sheets supplied with each kit.

The following implements are required: tack hammer; Phillips screwdriver; a 1/16th. drill bit; masking/adhesive tapes. A drawing square is recommended.

All screws, nails and front/side wall eye-and-hook(s) and/or magnet(s)/magnetic latch(es) are included with each kit.

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What parts of a DOLL HOUSE kit are pre-assembled?

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What assembly tips can you give?

It is recommended that all houses are first pre-assembled using masking tape to familiarise yourself with the instructions.

All kits are variously supplied with 4 gauge 1/2 inch and 3/8 inch countersunk Phillips-head screws - mostly for screwing wall and roof hinges in position respectively. Pre-drilling for the 1/2 inch (wall hinge) screws is recommended - to marginally longer than the length of the screw and about 80% of its core diameter. For the smaller (roof hinge) screws, apply minimal pre-drilling only. Do not over tighten.

It is the glue that holds the house together and you do not need to use too many nails; it is helpful to use tape to help adhesion.

Painting before assembly is not recommended because nail holes will be difficult to fill and if (as is likely) you get paint in the grooves it will make the house extremely difficult to assemble.

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What is the delivery time?

We seek to meet retailer's orders within three weeks for a kit and six weeks for a readybuilt but this is variable depending on the time of year. This time frame is likely to be considerably extended prior to Christmas.

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Is there an Order Form?

We do not provide an Order Form but, to assist with ordering, retailers are supplied with coded house and components details from which it is possible to identify all options and requirements.

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Is it possible to insert wooden components (windows, doors, balustrades) in your DOLL houses?

Generally this is an available option and we would cut apertures as measured and positioned by the customer. Unless there is a particularly difficult modification to be made, no extra charge is applied by us as the cost is absorbed by the non-provision of our own polystyrene components. One area of difficulty can apply to the fitting of custom dormer windows.

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How are the kits/readybuilts packed and what guarantees do you give?

Kits are packed in specially designed flat boxes with double packing along each side.

Readybuilts that are freighted to country Victoria and interstate are packed in triple-corrugated cardboard boxes lined with 3cm. thick polystyrene right-angled panels. This incurs an extra packing charge.

We have few occurrences of missing/incorrect parts in our kits or of damaged parts to both kits and readybuilts - but where this occurs and can be held to be attributable to Craft Works (Australia) Pty Ltd, or our carrier, we will repair and/or replace as required free of charge.

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