By this point in our treehouse building blog series, you should feel pretty darn prepared to build a treehouse that will be safe, sturdy, and protect the health of your tree. You’ve gathered materials, made a plan, and had your tree checked by Whatcom Tree Service in Bellingham. Your yard has been tidied and necessary tree felling and maintenance were taken care of. It’s finally time to begin building!
A Solid Base
Building your treehouse should start with a solid base. This is the most important layer of your treehouse because this is where all the support and stability will come from. However, this is also the layer of your treehouse that has the potential to do the most damage to your tree. When securing the supports under the floor, use a few long bolts screwed into the tree rather than dozens of nails or small screws. This will secure your boards more sturdily and be better for your tree. As you build, be sure you’re leveling the support beams. It will make the floor’s installation easier and more secure. Visit your local hardware store for rafter ties and other hardware that will make your base sturdier without adding holes to your tree.
As you attach the floor and underside supports, be sure to leave room for your tree to continue growing. Angle the boards providing support and leave a few inches of space between the trunk/branches of your tree and the floorboards. This way, your tree will be able to continue growing naturally and be able to grow around the few places you’ve created holes in the trunk for bolts.
Prepare for Weather
Because your treehouse won’t be able to come in from the rain and snow, take a few measures against the elements as you build:
- Leave a bit of space between the boards making up the floor – this will allow water to drain rather than collect and rot away the wood
- Give your roof a slant – it may be easier to make a roof that’s flat across the top, but an angled roof will allow rain and snow to roll off rather than collect and weaken the wood.
- Think about windows or shutters – depending on how much effort and money you’re putting into your treehouse, windows can be an extra protective element. If that’s too much for your treehouse, think about some simple hinged shutters to protect the inside of your structure.
Once your treehouse is built, your kids will want to get inside and play immediately. Of course, like any good planner, you’ve thought of a way to get them up and down safely, right? The beauty and fun of a treehouse is the variety of different ways you can give your kids access to their new play structure. You can go with the more traditional options: a stairway or a board and rope ladder. Or, for a bit of fun, add a zip line from the treehouse down to the yard. If your kids are older, give them a bit of a challenge by adding a knotted rope to climb up and down. For fun and function, add a pulley system – you can haul up tools and material whilst building and your kids will love the help pulling books, blankets, snacks, and other goodies up to their treehouse.
For all you novice builders out there, don’t let that stop you! With careful planning, you can build a strong structure for your family. Be sure to have your tree checked and any necessary tree felling handled before you begin. Call Whatcom Tree Service today to schedule service today!