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vbharrington

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While I have always been a lover of miniatures, I am new to building dollhouses.  In fact, my first build, The Orchid is only in the "priming" stage.  However, I have the opportunity to purchase a Duracraft San Franciscan (open box, but the seller assures me all pieces are there) for $100.  I honestly don't know if this is a good deal or not.  I have seen this same house selling on ebay for twice as much, but I'm not familiar with the Duracraft brand to know if this would be worth the investment.  I have my eye on a Real Good Toys house for my second build, but this one is significantly less expensive.  Can someone tell me 1 - is this kit worth the money, 2 - are Duracraft houses much harder to build than RGT?  Thank you in advance!

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Duracraft has been out of business for quite some time so if you have a problem with missing or broken parts then you may have a bit of a problem. ALL sellers assure that ALL the parts are there but the truth often lies somewhere else. Not saying they are deliberately lying but unless you break it down and compare all parts with the schematics you really can't be sure. I have made a Duracraft house before and it is a bit more complicated that the Orchid. As you are pretty new to this I would personally recommend a new kit as that way you are assured of having all the parts and if not for some reason you can get them quite easily. If you have a masochist side and want to try something new then by all means go for it! You pays your money and you takes your chances!

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I have a Duracraft Sweetheart and Alexandria built and another Sweetheart still in a box and have loved mine. The SW is much smaller of course but the Alexandria is huge!  I liked their products. 

Several here have built the SF and they are beautiful when completed. 

All that said, remember it's buyer beware when you purchase an open box kit. If the seller isn't familiar with miniatures, they may not even recognize if the parts are there or not. 

Since DC isn't in business anymore you'll need to search the Internet for parts or manufacture the missing parts or find someone to help you. 

Good luck.

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I'd go for it if I were you, life isn't about taking the safe route ...if its missing a piece you get to ask for some money back and if its all there you get one hell of a bargain...plus its not hard to cut wood...ya gotta learn sometime right might as well be now . I got mine for 50 bones from a very nice person who sells primatives...did I check it...heck no..if something is missing I'll deal with it...I'm not ready to build mine yet ( and I need to get started cause the kid I'm building it for was born three weeks ago)go get your house 

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I agree with Marisa. Go for it. There are parts available from Manchester Dollhouse Woodworks, and what they can't provide, you could make yourself or get a different brand (eg Houseworks). If you take your time, anything is acheivable.

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I got started down the primrose path of building little houses with the Dura-Craft SF555, the middle version of this kit, back when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth and Dura-Craft was still in business and Hobby Builders Supply sold the kit for USD$99.  Two things I'd hold the sellers feet to the fire for are that the schematics booklet and the Magik Brik powder are included in the kit.  I didn't get a whole lot of help from the VHS tape that came with it except not to be afraid to go ahead and whittle openings to adjust for size.  Making the double hung working windows was an "interesting" experience.  It is a gorgeous house and will definitely cure you of any perfectionistic tendencies.  Spackling compound is your very bet friend.  Of course go for it!

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Oh I would TOTALLY go for it!  :D   $100 isn't a bad price - I got mine for $75.  I like Dura-Craft houses, but yes, those SF windows will make you wanna hurt someone...but it is such a cool house and worth the effort!  As Holly suggested- make sure that the instructions are included, along with the Magic-Bric.  If there are pieces missing, you can cut your own (I had to cut window frames and a roof piece) or check ebay or even here on GL- someone may have parts they are willing to sell.

Good luck!

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I think you should let ME have the $100 kit!!

I swoon over that SF 555, but have talked myself out of it. A nice laser cut Tennyson in it's place. Laser cut...current company...similar house...easy to get parts and do-dads.

Blah, blah...if I came across a SF 555 with a strong assurance that it was complete for $100, I'd snatch it up without blinking and be giddy for days.

 

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I love the San Fran, I've built two of them, and they are gorgeous! Don't let it get away at that price. Like someone said, Manchester has wood for them  in case there is some missing.

About the windows, they are horrible to build, but when it is completed, it is well worth it. The San Fran is my favorite dollhouse.

 

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