Outdoor Tree House – 5 Tips to Build One

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There are several things to consider when building your outdoor treehouse.

Location, support, design and security are crucial factors that you have to consider. Also, you’ll need to know what you want your tree house to be. Is it to be a house or a fort for your children’s to have fun for hours, a place for you to rest and spent some excellent time, or just a place to watch the nature? Building a treehouse is a lot like almost other wooden building project, with one key difference, instead of a foundation, a treehouse rests on a platform.

Selecting the correct tree location is always the secret. A strong, sturdy tree, similar to beech, chestnut or oak is always a excellent option. But while there might be almost as many types of treehouses as there are sorts of trees, some general principles do apply.

FIRST OF ALL

First, you have to pick a tree and decide on a place within it for your treehouse. Think about what you want from your treehouse: Will it be an adult resting place or children’s play area? If you are considering a treehouse for children, hold it close to the ground: 5 feet (1.5 meters) is okay, and seems much higher when you are up there.

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Consider whether you want your treehouse to be unseen or visible, and make sure it will not perturb other persons.

Prefer a mature, healthy tree with no special protection orders on it that may influence pruning. When choosing a tree it is best to consult a qualified arborist, and if any pruning is necessary have this done professionally. Decide how you want to access your treehouse and what equipment you want to use. What you decide, it’s best to start small and simple.

Every tree is different, so let the tree be your guide. Follow the form of the tree, allow for growth and movement, and keep the structure lightweight. Keep the various positions of the sun in mind when planning small decks as well. It you don’t have one tree that appears right, then several closely spaced, smaller trees will be adequate; these may be achieved with one or more posts sunk in the ground. Allow for a deck if you want one, and do not construct the treehouse too big for the tree.

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OUTDOOR TREEHOUSE

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1 – MAKING THE TREEHOUSE PLATFORM

The platform, as long as a secure basis for the rest of the construction, is the secret element of almost any wooden treehouse. It should be built near to the trunk, with diagonal bracing for more strength, if it is not supported through branches or posts. Make certain the platform is level, and keep it balanced centrally around the tree to sustain uneven loads and reduce swaying. When securing the platform, do everything you can to limit damage to the tree. Rope lashing is preferable to nails, but make certain you know the right knots. Otherwise, prefer solid galvanized or stainless steel coach screws, as ungalvanized nails will corrode and encourage disease and rot. Do not cut the bark all the way round, or compress it too tightly with rope or wire – this can rapidly kill the tree.

2 – FLOORS AND ROOFS treehouse8.jpeg

Once the platform is fixed, you need to attach the floor. For this you might use exterior plywood sheets or proper tongue-and-groove floorboards. The walls can also be built in situ in the tree or prefabricated on the floor and then hoisted up into position (for larger treehouses the last is a lot easier and safer).

To minimize the amount of work done while perched up in the tree, you can even add external wall finishes on the ground and prefix doors and windows. The roof may also be pre-assembled, but if branches are to enter it, or if it is an asymmetrical shape, it is generally best to build it in situ. When in place the roof can be covered by external plywood and completed with roofing felt (tar paper). You can use battens and then finish with local materials such as recycled shingles, thatch or palm leaves.

Perspex glass is typically used to make house windows. The reason for it is to avoid unexpected breakages common with usual glass windows. Certain people just leave a simple doorway and windows. When you desire to spend a night in your tree house, you can consider making good doors and windows.

3 – DECK AND RAILINGS

Nothing is like the feel of sitting outside a treehouse, right among the leaves and branches, on an outside deck, balcony or veranda. A deck might be a piece of the backyard treehouse structure, or it can be in a separate place nearby, perhaps at a distinct level and reached through a rope bridge or wooden walkway. Whichever you decide, the deck needs to be surrounded with safe railings. You can create a hammock by attaching a strong rope net to the deck. Add some pillows and cushions and it will make a great place to relax.

plantreehouse.jpeg4 – TREEHOUSE ENTRANCE

Now that you’ve built your treehouse, how will you get up there? A simple wooden or rope ladder is good if the treehouse is not distant from the ground, but steps (with handrails) are better for higher treehouses. Spiral steps winding around the trunk are always enjoyable and seem to be more natural than a straight flight. Whatever you decide to make, be sure it is correctly designed, is secure and safe and able to cope easily with the weight of those who would be looking to gain access. It’s also advisable to build a sand pit or install some safety matting or additional form of cushioning material below the access so that injuries are kept to a minimum, should anybody fall out of the tree house or slip off a ladder or climbing rope on their way in and out of it.

5 – TREEHOUSE MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS

After all the effort involved in designing and building a treehouse, the last thing you want is for it to fall down, particularly if you happen to be inside at the time. Remember to verify the floors, decks and railings regularly for rot or weakness. Check any steps, ladders and walkways, and repair damage immediately. Check the tree annually for growth and movement, and correct or refix attachments to the tree as needed.

To conserve and decorate your treehouse, use nontoxic, eco-friendly stains, varnishes and paints. If you want to occupy your treehouse in relative comfort throughout the year, you will need to insulate the floor, walls and roof; draught-proof the doors and windows, and if, possible double-glaze the windows to conserve energy.

If you are looking for step by step outdoor playhouse plans, then I highly recommend you to check out this Playhouse Plans – here you have over 12,000 outdoor playhouse plans that you can choose from and they’re all of the highest quality. Check out that website, that will really help you out.

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OUTDOOR TREEHOUSE

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