Tree House Styles
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Tree house A tree house can be a magical hideaway, fort, or play destination for almost any child, as well as a fun project for any adult. Building a tree house takes careful planning and construction, but your hard work will pay off. If you give your dream tree house the care and attention that it deserves, then you can build a wooden sanctuary that you can enjoy for years.

Preparing to Build Your Tree house

1 Choose the right tree. The health of the tree you select is absolutely crucial for building a foundation for your tree house. If the tree is too old or too young, you won't have the support you need for your tree house and you will be putting yourself and anyone else who goes into the tree house in great danger. Your tree should be sturdy, healthy, mature, and living. Ideal trees for tree house include oak, maple, fir, and apple. It's a good idea to have an arborist inspect your tree before you start building.

An ideal tree has the following qualities: -A strong, sturdy trunk and branches -Roots that are deep and well-established -No evidence of disease or parasites that could weaken the tree

Making a Detailed Plan

1. Choose your tree. If you're building a tree house in your backyard, then you may only have so many trees to choose from. Once you chosen a healthy tree, you can start thinking about the design of the house that can go on it; or you can take the opposite route and think of the design first, and then make sure that you have a fitting tree. Here are some things you keep in mind as you choose the tree for your tree house: For a standard 8'x8' tree house, choose a tree with a trunk at least 12" in diameter. To calculate your tree's diameter, measure its circumference by wrapping a string or measuring tape around the trunk at the point where you want the tree house to sit. Divide that number by pi (3.14) to get the diameter.

2. Choose your design. It's important to have a firm idea of the design of your dream tree house before you hammer in the first nail. You can find tree house designs online, or if you're knowledgeable about building, you can create your own. You need to make accurate measurements to ensure that your design works with the tree you've selected. You may find it helpful to make a small cardboard model of your tree and tree house to identify any potential issue areas. In creating your design, don't forget to plan for tree growth. Allow ample space around the trunk of the tree for the tree to grow. It's worth doing some research on your specific tree species to determine its growth rate.

3. Decide on your support method. There are several ways to support your tree house. Whatever method you choose, it's important to remember that trees move with the wind. Sliding joists or brackets are essential to make sure your tree and tree house are not damaged by winds.

Here are the three main support methods for your tree:

-The post method. This method involves sinking support posts into the ground close to the tree, rather than attaching anything to the tree itself. It is the least damaging to the tree.

-The bolt method. Bolting the support beams or floor platform directly into the tree is the most traditional method of supporting a tree house. However, this method is the most damaging to the tree. You can minimize the damage by using proper materials.

-The suspension method. In this method, you would suspend the tree house from strong, high branches using cables, rope or chains. This method will not work for every design, and it is not ideal for tree houses that are meant to carry any significant weight.

4. Decide on your access method. Before you build your tree house, you'll need to decide on a method of access, such as a ladder, which easily allows a person to enter the tree house. Your method should be safe and sturdy, so this rules out the traditional tree house ladder, which is made up of boards nailed to a tree trunk. Here are some safer methods of access for a tree house:

The standard ladder. You can purchase or build an ordinary ladder for climbing into your tree house. A ladder made for bunk or loft beds can work as well.

The rope ladder. This is a ladder made of rope and short boards, which is hung from the tree house platform.

The staircase. A small staircase is the safest access method, if it's compatible with your vision of a tree house. If choose this method, make sure to build a railing for safety.

5. Figure out what you'll do with branches that interfere with your tree house. How will you build around pesky braches? Will you cut them off, or incorporate them into the plans of the tree house? If you decide to incorporate branches into the tree house, will you build around them or frame them in a window? Ask yourself these questions before you start building. That way, your treehouse will reflect the care and preparation of its builder when finished.

- Keep your structure as lightweight as possible. The heavier your tree house, the more support it will need, and the more potential damage it can cause to the tree. If you put furniture in your tree house, buy the lightest weight furniture that is reasonable.

- If you are bolting directly into your tree use fewer, bigger fasteners rather than a bunch of small ones. Otherwise, the tree will be more likely to treat the whole area of attachment as one wound and the entire area will decay.

- Most hardware stores will not carry lag bolts large enough for a tree house project. Source this hardware online from a custom tree house builder.

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