Want to Build a Tree House? Take These 6 Steps
Whether you’ve recently purchased a new home or have lived in your abode for years, one thing remains true: you want your yard to look appealing and provide your family with opportunities to make memories. If your yard has several trees in it, you may consider adding a tree house to your landscape.
Tree houses can transform a drab yard into a landscape of adventure and excitement. But if you’ve never had a tree house on your property before, you might not know how to prepare your yard, get the tree ready for the tree house, or even which materials to use for the structure.
Below, we list a few tips to help you get started. Read on to learn what you can do to build a tree house that will boost your home’s curb appeal and that your kids will love.
1. Make Sure You Have the Right Kind of Tree
Before you begin constructing your tree house, you need to make sure that you have the proper tree. You’ll want a thicker, sturdier tree to provide the tree house with secure support. Florida is home to several species of trees. Ideally, you’ll want to look for a tree with the following features:
Deep, sturdy roots
Strong branches and trunk
Thick, “v”-shaped branches
You’ll also want to find a tree free of disease and parasite damage. Healthy trees provide more structural support for the tree house, ensuring the structure is safer for children to play in.
2. Pick the Right Spot on the Tree for the House to Sit
As previously mentioned, you’ll want to find a tree that has thick, “v”-shaped branches. If you plan to build a traditional 8-foot by 8-foot tree house, you’ll also want to find a part of the trunk that is at least 12 inches in diameter. These features provide extra structural support for the tree house, making it much safer for your little ones as they play inside it.
If you want the house to sit higher up in the tree, the “v”-shaped branches can brace the sides of the tree house while the trunk can support the base of the house. If you prefer the tree house to hang a little lower to the ground, you’ll want a thicker section of the trunk to support the additional weight of the tree house.
3. Prune the Tree and Prepare It for the Tree House
After you’ve chosen the right kind of tree to use as the headquarters for your tree house and where you want the tree house to sit, you’ll want to prepare it for the structure.
If you notice any dead or hanging branches on the tree, trim them. Prune back any other branches that may get in the way of the tree house. Or, if you want some branches to run through the tree house, simply factor those features into the structure’s design. For example, you can cut a hole in the floor and roof to allow a branch to run through the middle of the structure.
4. Use Sturdy Materials
To make the tree house even more secure, you’ll want to use sturdy materials as you build the tree house. Use a durable, steady wood for the frame, walls, roof and floor. Purchase lag screws and similar mounts to further support the tree house and mount it to the tree. Also purchase rafter ties, joist hangers, and thick nails to ensure the tree house is securely bolted in place.
If you need additional advice on which materials to buy, talk to your local hardware store. Staff members can help you find the right items and also recommend how much of each item you should buy so you can properly build your tree house.
5. Build the Tree House
Once you’ve chosen everything and purchased all the materials, you can build your tree house. If you don’t have a design in mind, talk to a contractor or builder to see which designs work best for your tree and needs.
When you have a design in mind, you can get to work. Just remember to have someone assist you as you build so you can ensure your safety during the process.
6. Add Accessories
Finally, you’ll want to add unique accessories to the interior of the tree house. Buy a couple of stools or bean bag chairs so your kids have somewhere to sit inside the tree house. You can even add a chalk board, small desk, pillows, blankets, books, pictures, and a toy chest to make the space feel more kid-friendly. No matter what you choose, just remember to select items your kids love.
Ready to build the perfect tree house for your home? Use the steps above as you plan the design, prepare the yard and tree, and begin construction on the tree house.
If you need help preparing your yard and tree, remember to get in touch with a tree trimming expert. These professionals can also help you decide which trees to plant to better support the tree house once you decide to build it.