For children, a treehouse is a fun place where they can let their imaginations run wild. It can be a fort for play or a hideaway for those things they love. And even though it can be an enjoyable project for an adult, building a treehouse requires some planning and attention to detail during construction. With proper preparedness your treehouse will become a favorite spot for years to come. Here's how to build a treehouse: what to prepare before hand and some treehouse plan samples for your reference.
What to Do Before Building a Treehouse?
Make Necessary Calls Beforehand
Before you begin making treehouse plans, there are a few calls you need to make so you have the right information. You should make a call to your insurance agent to make sure your treehouse is covered by your policy. If the homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover any damage caused by your treehouse, then it may not be a good idea to build one. You should also call your city’s local planning department to make sure a treehouse is allowed and if there are any permits you need before building one on your property or if there are restrictions to size or height. Finally, talk to your neighbors. If you let them know what you are planning and get their input, it can avoid any headaches that may come up later.
Choose a Great Tree
The type of tree you use is very important to the construction and stability of your treehouse. The tree should be sturdy with a well-established root system, and should be free of any signs of parasites or disease. You should also look for a tree with at least a twelve inch diameter trunk to help support the weight of the treehouse. The tree needs to be strong enough to hold your treehouse safely.
Have a Concrete Design
It is important to make sure that you have a solid design for your treehouse. Be sure to take accurate measurements of the tree and how large the house will be. In some cases, a cardboard model of your treehouse can help make sure it fits with the tree you are building it in. You should also plan ahead for potential tree growth. Find out what type of tree it is and do your research. This will allow you to plan ahead and design your treehouse around the tree. Planning the support for treehouse is necessary to ensure that it is secure in its location and that the supports won’t fail as the tree grows. And finally, you must also plan how your treehouse will be accessed in a safe yet convenient manner.
Samples of Treehouse Plans
There are many free treehouses plans available online and even your local home store may be able to help. Many designs range from a simple one-room design to more deluxe and elaborate plans. Most of these plans will come with step-by-step instructions as well as a list of the supplies needed. Do your homework and find a plan that fits your budget, any restrictions imposed by your city, and that will fit with the tree you may be working with. The following two videos offer the actual process of building a tree house as well as tips so that you can have more inspiration:
Website where you can find more treehouse plans:
Building a Treehouse: Steps and Considerations
Build Your Platform
This is an important part of your treehouse and should be built securely around the trunk of your tree. You will need to use some diagonal braces to help support the treehouse and the number will depend on how many branches your platform will rest on. Use galvanized nails and screws to ensure that there is no rusting, although securing your platform with rope is preferable as long as you know the proper knots to use. Once your platform is secure, add the exterior plywood floor or a tongue-and-groove floor.
Access to Your Treehouse
You should have already considered how the treehouse would be accessed once done. If building a ladder either separate or attached to the tree is not feasible, a strong rope ladder will do nicely. Adding a rope pulley to get things up to the treehouse is also a great addition.
Doors and Windows
Since you probably won’t actually be installing doors and windows and instead cutting out openings, you can get a little creative. Just be sure that the openings are in the correct proportions to the rest of the house.
Railings and Decks
If your treehouse can accommodate it and the plans allow for it, a deck can be a nice addition to the treehouse. You can make it part of the platform or add it later on as an extension. A deck is nice in the warm weather when the treehouse itself may be too hot on the inside to enjoy. Be sure to add secure railings to prevent any unwanted accidents.
Maintaining and Repairing Your Treehouse
Over the life of your treehouse you will want to check regularly for rot or any kind of structural weakness that can cause damage. Check the tree for any growth that needs to be accounted for and inspect any access points for damage and make repairs right away to keep the treehouse safe.