How to Design Your Own Treehouse
Designing Your Own Tree House
Whether they have seen it on TV, a magazine, or a friend’s house every child wants a tree house. It is a fortress of solitude, a royal palace, a secret military base, a dream house, and any number of childhood imaginings. Involving your children, friends and family in the construction of a tree house is a great bonding activity.
Locate the Right Place
The first thing that you will need to do is find a suitable tree to build your tree house in. Take pictures of the tree. Decide where the strongest parts of the tree are. Once that is done take measurements so you know exactly how large you will be able to build your family’s newest hangout. Once you have done all this take even more pictures of the tree.
Time to Construct
Now it is time to plan construction. Decide how many people or children will be able to fit inside. Using the pictures you took try and design the structure so that it will be supported by multiple limbs, adding reinforced stability. Then you will need to create a blueprint on paper. This does not need to be of professional drafting quality, but good enough so that you can clearly visualize the building. Once you have your blue print add the measurements you made and compare it to the photographs.
What Type of Access Do You Want
Allow your children to decide where they would like the ladder or rope to be positioned for entering the tree house. After all this will be their fort and they will feel as if they had a larger part in the design. Give careful thought to the placement of doors and windows. After you have the design completed make a material list, detailing all the components required for construction.
4 Tips to Keep in Mind
1. Just like any structure the most important part is the foundation. It should be strong, secure, and as close to the trunk as possible. Be sure to include diagonal bracing for increased strength.
2. Once the platform is complete it is time to attach the flooring and roof. Exterior grade plywood sheets and tongue-and-groove floorboards are wise options.
3. Include a deck with railing around the perimeter of the tree house. Just like a real home there is something relaxing about stepping out on the deck and enjoying the nature around you. Especially in the middle of a tree!
4. When constructing the entrance take into account the height being ascended to. If it is not far off the ground a wooden or rope ladder will suffice, but higher tree houses should have accesses equipped with handrails for safety.
After all of you and your family’s hard work is finished come up with a regular maintenance schedule. You don’t want the tree house to come crashing down. Check things such as flooring, decks, railings, and the roof for any signs of weakness or wood destroying organisms, such as molds, rot, or wood burrowing insects.
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