For the experienced carpenter who needs a side project to do over the summer or if the kids need a new playset, pull out a step-by-step guide to building a tree house. Keep yourself busy and end up with something that’ll keep the children entertained and outdoors.
Find the Right Tree
You’re going to need a sturdy tree that can support a treehouse’s weight. Something thick and strong, such as oak, hickory, or maple. Make sure the tree has deep roots. A weak tree will collapse, and a tree that’s too high could pose a risk to the children who’ll use it.
Plan It Out
Obviously, have a plan of action before you erect a single support beam. Once you’ve chosen your tree, build your treehouse around it. Examine the dimensions of the tree and incorporate them into your design. Take its structural integrity into consideration when planning support and total weight.
Install the Platform
With 2x6 cuts of lumber, space out the joists and add the deck supports perpendicular to the joist section. The joists must be attached to the tree for proper support. Make sure the platform is level during construction and tightly secured to the tree trunk.
You can either add support posts if the tree house is low enough to the ground, or add bracers anchored to the tree itself. The number of support posts or bracers will vary depending on the size and shape of the tree.
Lay the Deck
Once the platform is safe and secure, lay down the lumber for the treehouse’s flooring. Screw the deck into the platform and cut around the tree trunk when necessary. Record the size and shape of the trunk accurately to avoid wasting wood.
Lower the risks of falling hazards by making sure the guard railing is secure enough to handle weight pressed against it. Construct them so no child runs the risk of slipping in between them and falling through.
Erect the Roof
There are two ways you can handle the roof. First, you can run a bungee cord across the top and drape a plastic tarp over it, nailing it down to posts of wood to keep it from blowing away. Or, you can construct it out of wood for a more permanent and sturdy design. This gives it more protection from the elements.
Odds and Ends
An important additional feature is insulation. If the climate is typically cold, with the use of a slap stapler you can install insulation into the top and bottom of the tree house. This will keep the inside from getting too cold and keep it usable in winter.
With a guide to building a treehouse in hand, you can build your kids’ dream treehouse.