Build Your Own Treehouse
A treehouse is a place where children can go and have their own clubhouse, hideout, or place for sleepovers. Kids of all ages can let their imaginations run wild as they pretend to be the owners of their own home, castle, or secret hideaway. If a treehouse is not a safe option for your child due to age, immaturity, or it just scares mom, a playhouse on the ground could be the best solution.
When choosing a tree in which to build a treehouse, use a hardwood tree such as oak or maple that is at least fifteen inches in diameter. One way to be sure that your treehouse is safe and sturdy is to use four by four posts cemented into the ground to hold up one side of the treehouse platform. The other side will be attached to the tree with rust-proof lag bolts. The height of the treehouse will depend on the length of posts purchased. Remember to subtract about two feet to allow for setting the posts into the ground.
In order to build a safe treehouse that will not decay and become unsafe, you will want to use only salt treated lumber. Build a square frame with boards no less than 2X6 inches. The boards should be between 8-10 feet long, depending on the frame size of the planned treehouse. Secure the center of one side of the frame to the tree with 3-4 bolts. The opposite side of the frame should have two posts mounted to the bottom and holes dug for each post about two feet deep, and secured into the ground. Ready mix concrete should be poured around each post. Allow the concrete to dry at least 24-48 hours before moving on to the next step.
After the posts and platform frame are set, flooring will be the next step. Plywood or regular tongue and groove floor joists are the top flooring choices. The same method commonly used building walls in regular houses will be used to build the treehouse walls. The frame should have studs placed about two feet apart.
Once the wall frame is built it can be hoisted up and secured to the treehouse. Stand the wall frame upright and secure it with bolts. A temporary brace will need to be used to hold up the wall. The wall that is attached to the tree should have studs nailed to each side of the tree. Cover the walls with exterior plywood and paint according to preference.
Choose what type of roofing material to use, shingles, metal, or tin left over from another roofing job may be enough to use on the framed out roof. A router can be used to cut out any door or window openings, and plexiglass makes good window coverings. A wooden ladder can be built for getting in and out, or a rope ladder could be used for safer, older children if they prefer.
A treehouse can be a simple weekend project or an all out elaborate undertaking. Treehouse plans range from very simple to condo style , depending on the skill of the builder. Plans, as well as most of the materials needed for this project, can be found at your local Lowe's or Home Depot.
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