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Tips for Building a Treehouse
If you are ready to finally start that big treehouse project, here’s what you need to know.
The Right Trees
Not every tree is great for a treehouse. Sure, the tree needs to be large enough and have enough branches and girth for a sizable tree fort, but there are other considerations as well. The tree shouldn’t have any diseases or problems with rot. It needs to be a hardwood, such as maple, oak, hemlock, beech or, in some situations, fir.
The Right Materials
Building a treehouse isn’t just about picking out whatever wood beams come cheap and working with them. There are two considerations for a tree house – the wood needs to be long-lasting and resistant to weather damage, but it also needs to be as lightweight as possible, factors often at odds with each other. Treated yellow pine or oak may be a solid choice, but try to stay away from green woods that may still warp in the elements.
Support, Support, Support
When designed, put the load – the primary weight – of the tree house right over the base of the tree, and build as low to the ground as possible to avoid wind damage. Of course, circumstances aren’t always ideal, so there are plenty of tricks for adding extra support. Beams going directly into the ground are one solution. Another is using construction grade cable and wire to provide extra stability. You may even be able to move the construction to multiple trees if necessary. Consult with a tree service company in Atlanta if you need to cut away major branches or make big changes.
Level it Out
Create the floor platform first, and put a lot of work into making sure that it’s level. If the floor is completely level, the rest of the treehouse will go up in no time. An uneven floor, on the other hand, is just asking for trouble later on. Another tip on a related note – if you’re making a complex tree house, measure and then build the pieces on the ground before lifting them and attaching them to your supports. It’s much easier this way.
Remember that Trees Grow
The tree you are using will NOT stay the same forever. The trunks and branches will continue to grow, and you have to remember that. Your supports, especially cables and beams, could become compromised if you have not prepared for tree growth ahead of time. This is another reason that choosing a mature hardwood tree is important, because at least here the growth will be minimized.