If the American dream for adults includes a house with a white picket fence, the kids’ version includes a tree house in the backyard. Tree houses can be a tremendous source of fun for your children. It can act as their hideout, their base-of-operations and their sanctuary when they’re upset.
Health experts also say there are plenty of benefits for kids playing outdoors, such as enhanced immunity, better physical heath and behavioral improvements. Building a tree house is also one of the fun parts of being a parent, especially for fathers. It can be a great father-child bonding experience.
And tree house building doesn’t have to be so complicated. Below is a quick and simple guide on how you can put up an awesome tree house for your kids.
Find a Good Tree
You can’t have a tree house without a tree. It will act as the foundation for the structure and support its weight. Therefor, the tree you should choose for this project has to be reasonably thick, perhaps two feet in diameter, with plenty of strong, low branches for additional support. It should also be a healthy tree, with no rotted hollows or splits. Ideal trees for tree house construction include ash trees, oak trees and other hardy species.
Design the Tree House
Once you’ve selected the frame for the tree, it’s time to settle on the design. The shape and size of the tree house dictates its cost. A small, square tree house made of affordable materials may cost $4,000 although the national average cost is approximately $7,000. You could consult with your kids on what they want their tree house to have. This can make them feel involved and you could be surprised with their ideas.
Gather the Materials
After you’ve finalized the design, it’s time to assemble the materials you’ll need. Choose sturdy building materials like hardwoods for the frame and floor. Meanwhile, you can use lighter softwoods for the walls to decrease the weight and make it less expensive. For an epic structure that could also turn into a family venue, reach out to suppliers of stainless steel sheet metal to create a sturdy treehouse. Don’t forget accoutrements, like varnish and paint if you want your tree house to have a polished appearance.
Build the Frame
The frame is the most essential part of the construction. It should support the weight of the house as well as its occupants and be durable enough to last wind and rain. There are several types of hardwoods that are naturally rot and water resistant. These kinds of wood are not as susceptible to warping and insect attack making them ideal for framework. The frame should be high enough from the ground to dissuade some animals but low enough that a fall isn’t hazardous. A height between seven and ten feet is ideal. Add additional support structures such as braces or posts as needed.
Put Up the Walls
Once the framework is secured and the floorboards attached, it’s time to put up the walls. Ideally, the walls should be strong enough to support the roof but light enough that it won’t stress the supports underneath. Plywood sheets supported by softwood frames are perfect for the job. Add insulation between the walls to provide some warmth and weather proofing.
Install the Roof
Your tree house’s roof has to be designed carefully to enhance its longevity. Because it’s situated right beneath the tree, it must be steep to prevent leaf clutter from building up. A steep roof will also prevent water from pooling and deteriorating it. Make sure the eaves overhang the tree house to avoid rainfall and leaf clutter from ending up inside.
Finally, help your kid personalize their new tree house. Have them pick out what color the walls should be, if they want to put wallpaper up on the inside and what kind of lamps will illuminate the interior. You can also include additional structural elements such as a tire swing, a slide or a knotted rope ladder. Help them haul up any furnishing they like in the tree house such as a comfy chair, a bookshelf or a table.
Tree houses are awesome and building them will make you an awesome parent. So find the perfect tree and start planning your kid’s new outdoor headquarters today.