We share a few basic tips for treehouse construction.
To have a treehouse is a dream shared by children and grown-ups alike because it evokes freedom, authentic happiness, and allows genuine contract with nature. Simply, it is like abandoning the chaos of everyday life and feeling like a child again.
Similar to dreams, treehouses can seem far from reality, almost part of a fantasy world. Yet the construction process of a treehouse is as difficult and demanding as that of any other “down to earth” building. It is not kids’ stuff at all; instead it requires a great deal of attention and planning.
Here we share some guidelines on how to build a beautiful yet safe tree house.
1. Pick The Right Tree.
When building a tree house, it is crucial to choose the right tree, and this shouldn’t come as a surprise. That tree will be the heart and foundation of your house. Therefore it must have strong trunk and branches, along with well-established roots. Ideal trees are oak, maple, fir and apple, obviously as long as they are both healthy and mature. (You may decide for the tree not to bear any load of the actual treehouse, supporting your construction with stilts instead. Even then, you want a strong, healthy tree to make the centrepiece of your dwelling).
2. Keep Safety In Mind.
Since building a treehouse means climbing up and down of a tree, it is possible to fall out. Safety should always be a first priority, especially if you are dealing with children. We strongly advise you put cushions around your tree, construct a safe railing,and avoid building too high. One thing is certain: being a treehouse builder is a fun job, but can easily become dangerous.
3. Get Planning Permission For Your Treehouse.
Before you build your tree house, check all local regulations and ordinances that might be relevant to your project. More often than one would expect, treehouses need full planning permission. So the sensible thing to do is to contact your local planning department before you start hauling timber over to your yard.
4. Decide Your Access Method.
For some reason, first-time treehouse builders often overlook the method of access for their tree house. Avoid this mistake by first deciding how you want to access your tree house. The most common and safest methods include standard ladders, rope ladders and small staircases. Whatever you pick, make sure you can enter your tree house without bumping your head!
5. Avoid Damaging The Tree.
Because trees are living organisms, it is impossible not to harm them with your construction. However, the good news is that you can minimize damage to a great extent: drill into the tree as little as possible, don’t “strangle” it but rather follow its form, and use top quality, eco-friendly materials. Also, don’t forget to check the tree annually for growth and movement.
6. Waterproof Your Treehouse.
When you build a treehouse, the use of waterproofing material is another important element to take into account. If the water soaks into the floor and walls, mould quickly grows. Thus, always try to keep water off your treehouse by carefully covering the wood with waterproof material.
There is far more to building a treehouse than just these few points, but we felt they’re a good start. Over the next few weeks we’ll be looking at some of these points a bit more detail.
And don’t forget, that if you’re yearning for a treetop escape, but aren’t up for constructing it yourself, you can always give us a call to help you build that luxury treehouse of your dreams.