Who didn’t dream about having their own treehouse as a kid? Make your kid’s dream come true by building a treehouse right in your very own backyard. If you have plenty of garden space – and more importantly, a huge tree – then you already have half the things you need. A treehouse will encourage the kids to come out and play, and enjoy the time outdoors.
Although simple in nature, building a treehouse will also require some planning before building. This ensures a safe structure that the kids can play on for years to come. Cost of building also varies; however, treehouses are possible to make on a range of budgets.
Ready to build a treehouse for the family? Check out all there is to know about treehouse living down below.
Cost of Building a Treehouse
Treehouses are possible to build on different budgets. The final cost of building one entirely depends on what materials, tools, and equipment you use. Have you got spare timber in your shed? If so, it might just cost you less to build a treehouse. Given that all you’ll need are the tools and additional materials, people have built one for around $9,000 to $250,000 dollars.
An average treehouse will generally cost between $8,000 and $15,000. On the other hand, more complex structures can cost somewhere between $25,000 and $60,000. Dreaming of living in one? That might just cost you around $75,000 to $500,000.
How To Build A Treehouse
Now that we’ve established the costs of building a treehouse, it’s time to get building. Below are some basic steps and tips to ensure that you’ll build a treehouse that will be envied by the neighborhood.
Pick the right trees
It’s an obvious step, but you can’t have a treehouse without a tree. Choosing the right tree is essential and the most important consideration when building a treehouse. While having multiple trees in your backyard would be perfect for a substantial construction, you don’t need many to build a treehouse. A single tree is suffice, as long as it has good-sized branches for support. Decent branches make for strong anchor points for the base of your treehouse.
In terms of tree types, healthy deciduous or coniferous trees will work best. These include oak, maple, ash, beech, or even apple and hemlock. Consider trees that grow large and can withstand different climates, as this will have a say in the longevity of your treehouse.
Don’t skip on the good tools
Your treehouse will not only depend on the quality of the tree, but also the tools and materials you use. The end result will be only as good as the skill and quality you put into it. In addition to the basic hand tools, such as hammer, saw, level, square, tape, measure, and wrench, you’ll also need a cordless drill and jigsaw. Miter saw, table saw, and router could prove to be useful, but are not essential.
Some construction materials you’ll need include timber or lumber, decking material, galvanized lag screws and washers, joist hangers, rafter ties, nails and screws. A ladder or stepladder would be helpful when you begin building upwards. Make sure to gather all the materials and tools before you start building to have a continuous and uninterrupted workflow!
Have a good support and essentials
A treehouse will not last without well-built supports. While the strength of your tree will make up the bulk of support, you’ll also need to ensure your supporting structure is strong. Spend a chunk of time working on this to get it right, as you wouldn’t want to start again from scratch when your structure is deemed unsafe. Once this is ready, you can start assembling the main platform of the treehouse, as well as the walls and roof.
For additional strength, you can install braces below the platform. The diagonal braces would be placed under the platform and leaning on the tree’s trunk. This minor addition makes all the difference to avoid wobbling or collapsing.
Add ladders & everything else
When the essentials are in place, it’s time to add access to the treehouse. A standard ladder is the go-to, but you can also add in a rope ladder for variety the kids can enjoy. In addition to ladders, you can begin adding railings for extra safety. You can use existing fencing or build one of your own.
Things to keep in mind
Got the basic steps down pat? Here are some more tips to keep in mind when building a treehouse.
Don’t Forget About Weight and Stability
With so many amazing treehouse designs, try not get carried away with crazy ideas. Depending on your tree structure, you may not be able to bring all the cool designs to life. Keep in mind certain structural things, such as spreading weight among trees or branches and having a wind-proof plan.
Let the Tree Grow
As it becomes the foundation of your treehouse, you can forget to remember that the tree is a living thing that will need looking after. Trees will continue to grow, so it’s important to design your treehouse around it. For instance, leave gaps around the tree and branches to accommodate for its growth. It’s also best not to constrict the branches with any rope, straps or wire, as this can strangle the tree.
All the foot traffic that the treehouse gets, it’s no surprise that treehouses have the ability to damage trees. From stepping on the roots to adding weight on its branches, it’s likely that your tree will encounter some stress. Remember this before you think about building on a treasured tree.
Permits and Regulations
Certain local laws require that you get a permit for building a treehouse. Of course, laws vary across different areas and municipalities, but it’s best to look into this before you build. This is especially important if your completed treehouse will be visible to your neighbors, which can cause complaints and infringement of privacy.