Happy New Year! I am eagerly waiting for the Garfield Kit to arrive anytime now. I sent out a message on Smallstuff Digest, asking for tips on building this giant of a dollhouse. A few kind souls answered my plea for help and sent me some wonderful photos and pointers. These photos were sent to me by Beth, In A Miniature Manor.
I built the Garfield back in the early 90s. It's a great house with a lot of possibilities. I'm attaching some pictures of mine, taken before I changed the exterior colors to purple with rose trim.
I highly recommend changing some things to better quality miniatures. These include the front door, the french doors, and the porch railings and trim. I wish I had changed out the inside stair railings too. You can get working windows but it's not cheap so I kept the ones that came with it. The only working windows for the Garfield are made by Timberbrook. Check with a shop if you have one near to see if they still make them.
I was unable to change the very narrow side door that goes into the kitchen, but put a Houseworks double door with Palladian window over in the front. I had to adjust the opening, but it was worth it. Houseworks French doors fit pretty well as I remember.
My Garfield is on a landscaped base. I covered the foundation with mortar and stones (aquarium rocks) and built a slate terrace off the living room.
For the porch I bought posts, rails and balusters separately and designed my own. I advise painting before assembling!
Are you planning to wire your house? I did, making slits in the raw floors to run the tapewire between stories. The system starts from the kitchen.
If you have any questions I'll be happy to try to help you.
Good luck, and have fun!
Beth, In A Miniature Manor