Top of the Treehouse: Ideas for Designing Your Backyard Club
Every kid dreams of having a getaway built into that big shade tree in the backyard. If you don’t have the budget to have one professionally built, then carefully plan out the design of your child’s new treehouse as a family, to make it truly yours.?You don’t have to be a master craftsman to get your clubhouse going.
Initial Things to Consider
Before you go hammering boards into your tree, take note of the type of tree you’ll be building onto. Firs, oaks, and hemlocks are some of the better suited trees because of their thick and wide branches that can hold quite a bit of weight without compromising safety. As a general rule of thumb, all loadbearing branches should be at least 8 inches in diameter. Also, your treehouse doesn’t have to be 10 feet off the ground. If your tree is shaped properly, you can easily construct it fairly close to the ground so long as it’s not low enough to give someone a concussion as they walk underneath it. Remember that putting a treehouse high in a tree with act like a sail on windy days, and winds that are high enough, can actually cause irreparable damage to the tree itself.
Distribute Weight Evenly
The worst thing you can do in treehouse construction is to not put the weight of the structure evenly on the tree. You’ll want to build the platform as close as possible to the trunk and if it’s not even, you’ll need to provide bracing for extra support. Experts say the best way to add extra bracing is putting it diagonally against the trunk. This helps ensure the entire load is spread over the entire base of the tree.
Don’t Restrict the Tree’s Growth
Your tree shouldn’t suffer, just so you can have some fun. One of the main considerations of your construction efforts should be ensuring you aren’t impeding the tree’s growth. Remember that a tree never stops growing, and stopping its growth can make it ill, or even kill it, destabilizing your place with it. Allow gaps around any trunks or branches penetrating the treehouse so they can continue to grow. Don’t constrict branches with ropes, wires, or straps. Put spacers between the beams and the tree so the tree can move unrestricted.
Have Some Fun
You put all of that effort into a floating house, so why not make it completely awesome? Add some things like water cannons, trap doors, a clothesline pulley between the treehouse and the kitchen, and solar powered lights for summer sleepovers. Hire a professional from a company like ContractorSelect, LLC to put in a fireman’s pole and line the base with a concrete repair job, or even just a sand box for extra thrills.
Building a treehouse can be a great bonding experience for you and your kids, and provide them endless hours of fun for years to come. Try to keep damage to the tree to a minimum, while ensuring your project is structurally sound and you’ll have something that will last for decades.