Thursday, July 31, 2008

New design - I like it

Well, after perusing the old design, I realized some limitations.

It would take a lot of bolts and braces for each tree.
it would be more complicated to build
it would necessitate a smaller tree house

I decided to deal with the size issue with increasing the support. I Added two beams each with 4x4 posts holding up either end of each beam. Yuck. Real treehouses aren't supported from the ground at all. Plus, that added to the complication expense and time, something I (and my wife) wasn't happy about.

My solution was to go with a simpler design that put one beam between the two trees and added two 4x4 posts to hold up the other end of the platform. see attached. I gave up the idea of sole support from the tree but I think it will be better.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Old design (see I've already changed my mind!)

My first plan was to build a platform set on two knee -braced joists running perpendicular to the tree. Attached you can see a sketch of those plans

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Where to put the treehouse?

So, the next step is to find a tree(s). For most designs, you need a straight, healthy, hardwood tree with a minimum of a 60" circumference (19" diameter) for sole support of a treehouse. You should keep it away from the road, water, power lines, neighbors' sightlines, rocks to fall on and build it no more 6-8' high for small kids (like my 7 and 5 year olds). I asked permission of my neighbor nearest the eventual location, and he said "Sure!". I called up the building department in my town and they had no problem.

When you add all the qualifications up that leaves me with two oak trees (with 72" and 53" circumferences) about 10' apart. See my picture!

Monday, July 28, 2008

The beginning of the treehouse

I am going to build a treehouse for my two kids in the backyard this summer. i have already checked out numerous websites (see links), bought a book (Black and Deckers', How to Build a Treehouse) and rented one form the library (Treehouses and Playhouses by David and Jeanie Stiles). The kids are excited as am I. My wife is a little concerned about time and money. I'm throwing up a blog to keep track of the process.