If you’re thinking about putting up a treehouse for the family, there’s more to it than nailing building materials to any old oak. You want something fun for the kids, but you also need to consider safety and practical solutions. Here are some fundamental tips to get you started on your project and wow your family.
What to Keep in Mind When Planning a Family Treehouse
1. Location Matters
Building a treehouse may seem like a simple task, but without proper planning, this backyard sanctuary may not last long. It’s important to pick a tree or group of trees whose trunks are healthy and at least 1 foot in diameter. Building on thin, sickly, or steeply slanted trees can be a serious safety hazard.
Find a hardwood that has dense wood fibers to safely hold nails and screws, such as redwood, cedar, or cypress. You also want a larger tree on which you can use fewer, thicker anchors—this will help you avoid harming the tree with too many bored holes. Finally, if you plan on building between two or more trees, consider the effects their growth will have on your structure over time.
2. Build to Last
Quality building materials are essential for longevity, but how you attach them to the tree is just as important. Never bolt wood, especially untreated lumber, directly against the tree. This will often be a weak point that will rot first.
Using plastic or metal spacers—or specialty treehouse attachment bolts—you can keep the lumber of the treehouse separated from the tree itself. This lowers the risk of your framework rotting and prevents rot from penetrating the tree itself.
It’s also wise to think ahead to when the kids get bigger. If you’re going to have a treehouse in the backyard, you want it to look good, add property value, and be big enough for teenagers to enjoy, too.
3. Be Creative
No matter the scope of your treehouse, enjoyment is always the primary purpose. Use your imagination and get the kids’ input on what they’d love to have. Have fun with unique ideas like a rope ladder, a slide, a secret entrance, and a hand-painted sign. Making it a family project—including letting the kids perform minor tasks during construction—will give you a wonderful bonding experience leading to many cherished memories.
If you need quality building materials to get you started on your treehouse, check out Huber Lumber Co in Cincinnati, OH. Locally owned and operated, this building supply business has been committed to excellent service and quality materials for more than 100 years. Call them today at (513) 731-4035 to talk about your project or visit them online for more information on their products.