Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we all had a tree in our garden such as the one in the image? Any child’s dreams would come true if they were able to play in their own treehouse and they would be the envy of all their friends. Such a massive tree is not necessarily needed, however, for your children to own a tree house. Most tree houses are only partially supported by the tree itself. There are often posts holding part of it up, or sometimes the house is not attached to the tree at all; it is simply levitated and made to give the impression that it is attached. Let’s take a look at ways you can build a treehouse for your children.
Timber should never be attached directly to the tree. There are heavy duty steel brackets available that fix to the tree with non rusting bolts. The house supporting timbers can then be attached to the bracket. You may decide that your house be supported by more than one tree. It is essential that brackets be used that allow the timber to slide in them as the trees sway. Failure to use the correct brackets will result in your tree house, or the tree, being destroyed.
Once the brackets are attached to the trees, the framework for the base of your house can be constructed. Timber supplies can be found on the internet or at your local merchant. Use at least 8×2 inch pressure treated timbers if your house is to last for years to come. Use metal brackets to fix the timbers together as well as direct fixings. Try to get the frame as level as you can and fix floorboards into place. You now have a working platform.
The Walls and Roof
Once the floor is complete, build the walls and roof at ground level. Using the same principle as assembling a shed, the pieces can then be lifted into place and fixed. This method is far easier and safer that building a house in situ.
The little tykes are going to need a way in and out of the house. Rope ladders are not very safe for young children and can be painful to climb up and down repeatedly.
A good strong ladder with wide treads such as the one in the image is recommended. Adding a handrail will also improve safety and give peace of mind. Ideally, a long ramp would be constructed so that the child could access the house without climbing at all. Your landscape will go a long way to determining if this is possible.
There are obvious safety concerns with any tree house. Suitable handrails should be installed along any balcony or platform. The only opening should be for access. Children should be trained in the correct use of the ladder and be supervised at all times if they are very young. A layer of wood chippings three inches or more thick should be placed under the ladder area. The house itself should be built with safety in mind and, therefore, not be dangerously high in the tree.
Remember that building the treehouse will not be the end of your project. Regular inspections will identify any structural problems that may be developing and also any adjustments that may need carrying out. This is just a part of owning a tree house and you should not be put off by it. Soon enough you will find yourself adding accessories to the house and customising it further. The beauty of a tree house lies in the fact that nothing has to be exact. You will soon have your own little work of art in your trees where memories will be made. Well done.