I have mixed feelings about the Greenleaf Westville, and Greenleaf kits, generally. For anyone unfamiliar with Greenleaf, the kits come with multiple sheets of numbered wood. You punch out the part(s) you’re working on and leave the rest semi-attached to the sheet. There is an accompanying schematic that delineates part names, but I still found the process confusing and more than a little annoying. The splinters in my fingers didn’t help.
On the positive side, the designs are great, with loads of detail, and interesting interior/exterior designs. The finished Westville was a lighter weight than my Real Good Toys Beachside Bungalow, so it was easy to move around for displaying and photographing. Greenleaf manufactures in the United States, which is important to me. The price point is good.
On the negative side, the house body and parts are ridiculously thin, I think one-eighth of an inch. I had to buy the special extra small eyelets to do the electrical, and the eyelets didn’t install or sit well in the “crunchy” wood. The kit was also a little less precise than I’d hoped. I had trouble fitting the house body together without reshaping the tabs, the slots, or both. The third floor was warped, and it broke in two when I pressed it a little too hard. The parts required skilled sanding–achieving the balance between “enough” for smoothness, and “too much” where you lost detail. I found the only way to make them look halfway decent was to lather the edges with wood filler. By the end, I was tossing out pretty much all of the kit’s trim pieces and replacing them with my own strip wood. I left off the gingerbread from the eaves and balcony railings; it just looked too rough. I remade the front porch; and I added apex trim, and a screen door.
So, there you have it, the Westville exterior. In a later post, I’ll discuss the pros and cons of the house’s interior.