I bought a dollhouse kit....now what?
What do I do After I've Selected My Dollhouse?
Choose a Good Work Space
I hope that you have selected a good place to work on your dollhouse (kit or assembled shell). You will better enjoy your project and are more likely to complete your dollhouse if you have a designated organized workspace with good lighting. A large table with room for the shell and your tools is the best arrangement. I have found that a table that is basically twice the size of the base of the dollhouse works best. A couple boxes can be arranged beneath the table to house the kit parts, supplies, and your tools.
Identify Kit Components
The next step depends entirely on whether you chose a kit or an assembled house. If you chose a kit, the VERY first thing you should do is take an inventory of the components included in the kit.
Check each piece against the part list. You might even take it one step further and identify each piece with the description provided by the manufacturer. Look over each piece to identify any damage or potential problems. We've had one or two incidents where pieces weren't cut according to the specifications. That said, it wouldn't be a bad idea to measure the pieces to be certain that they match the dimensions provided.
If you find that pieces are missing, damaged, or not the size as described, you should immediately contact the manufacturer. We would certainly be happy to help you get the replacement part, but you can save time and avoid potential problems if you speak directly to the manufacturer. Ocassionally, they require additional information relative to the part (aside from the description) such as dimensions.
We have had a few instances where folks purchased a DuraCraft dollhouse several years ago and for whatever reason are just getting to building them now. Unfortunately, that particular manufacturer is no longer in business and it is difficult to get the missing or damaged parts. Had they identified and contacted the manufacturer when they originally purchased the dollhouse kit, they would have been able to acquire the replacement parts. As it is now, we are working with individuals to create alternative replacement pieces. Readers are cautioned about purchasing DuraCraft dollhouses from the Internet since if they do have parts issues there is no one to help resolve them.
Collect all Necessary Tools and Equipment
Study the list of required tools and equipment. It is much better to have everything at hand to avoid searching for them while you are building. Generally, you will only require typical household tools, but it is better to have them handy rather than stored in the basement or garage when you're working elsewhere in the house.
(originally published Wednesday, February 20, 2008)