Treehouses are a perennial symbol of childhood and are a wonderful place for children to play, relax, and generally just be kids. Making a treehouse can also be a fun project for adults and kids to work on together. Here are some tips to keep in mind when embarking on this type of construction.
Tips for Building a Treehouse
The tree that will house the, well, house needs to be sturdy, healthy, and mature. Too old or young and it risks collapsing under the weight: maple, oak, fir, and apple trees are good candidates for this. When evaluating a candidate tree, it should have a sturdy trunk and strong branches, roots that are deep and well-established, and no evidence of diseases or parasites. If you want to be extra-certain, you can consult with an arborist and have them come over and give an expert opinion.
Get the Paperwork Out of the Way
Depending on where you live, there may be local ordinances that affect your ability to build a treehouse. Check with the city and make sure you know what height restrictions or permits might apply to your situation. If the treehouse may block the view from a neighbour’s house, it would be polite to talk to them about it beforehand as well.
Keep Weight and Stability in Mind
Build the treehouse platform as close to the main trunk as possible and use diagonal bracing for extra support of uneven loads. Keep weight either centred around the base of the tree or, if your treehouse is rather large, spread out over multiple trees.
Don’t Restrict the Tree
While it’s important to build close to the tree, don’t forget that your treehouse is going on top of a living organism. Allow for some gaps around any branches or trunk that go through the construction in order to give them room to grow. When selecting a treehouse design, you can also try and work with one that overlaps as little of the tree as possible.
Make the Floor Level
Laying beams across branches and shimming until they are level will create an even floor that can support weight successfully. You can also cantilever the beams and support them from above or below. Starting with an even floor makes the rest of the construction much easier and safer.
Use the Correct Fasteners
Running bolts through the tree can cause unnecessary and unwanted damage. Lag bolts are better and one large bolt should be used instead of multiple screws or nails when possible. Fasteners can also be used as perches instead of pinning beams directly to the tree. There are special fasteners available for treehouse construction that will keep things secure while minimizing damage to the tree itself.
When it comes to getting your ideal treehouse designs in Toronto, Garden Structures & Designs Inc. can help you achieve the perfect expression of outdoor style. Feel free to call us at (647) 877-9423 for more information on how we can assist with various aspects of treehouse construction and design.woo