How to Build a Tree House

What You'll Need
Galvanized screws
Flat boards
Plywood sheets
Nail Gun

Tree House construction is great fun, and quite simple too. The effort involved in the construction pays off once the children enjoy spending hours playing in it. Safety is very important, so after constructing it make sure you frequently check your tree house for any weaknesses or rot. 

Step 1:Finding the Right Tree

In order to start you tree house construction will need a good sturdy tree with branches that are capable of supporting plenty of weight, a thick trunk and roots growing deep into the ground. If your tree house is for children keep it close to the ground, at around 5 feet. Have a professional prune the tree if necessary, allowing for growth and movement. To construct a study tree house you will need a basic structure with four posts for the legs. Once you access the tree to see how much weight it can hold, you will be able to judge whether the tree itself will be the main post or a supporting leg.  

Step 2:Tree House Plan 

Once you have selected your tree you need to plan your tree house on paper, so you do not end up with a tree house that is bigger than your tree. You can find many tree house plans online or at local bookshops. Make sure these are practical and easy to follow. 

Step 3:Develop Your Foundation

The foundation being the key element of almost any tree house must be built close to the trunk, and supported with diagonal bracing for extra strength. In order to avoid swaying due to uneven distribution of weight, keep it centrally balanced around the tree. Pay careful attention towards limiting movement in the branches. The foundation can vary from something simple like a lightweight open-air model to something more elaborate. When securing the structure, rope leasing is a better option than nails since it causes less damage to the tree, provided you know the right knots. Otherwise galvanized screws are more preferable than ungalvanized nails, which rust easily.  

Step 4:Tree House Assembly

Once the basic structure is secure, you need to assemble the various parts of your tree house. You can start this by adding the floor. You can use simple flat boards for this purpose or exterior plywood sheets attached using either fixed or flexible supports. You can use the same boards to build the walls and roof of your tree house or these can be pre -abricated on the ground and hoisted up. It is better to go with the flow of the tree and include shapes and angles that make the tree house more appealing for children. Doors and windows should be made from Plexiglas instead of glass, and constructed in proportion to the size of the tree house.

You can also make a deck for your tree house, either attached to it or at a separate level nearby, surrounded by safe railings and accessible by a rope bridge.  

Step 5:Tree House Access

Once your tree house is complete, you need to come up with a way of accessing it. If your tree house is not too far from the ground a simple wooden or rope ladder is fine, but if it is higher up you can use spiral steps winding around the trunk. A rope pulley is a favorite with children for hoisting up provisions, so make sure you include that too.

Children can also make a sign for the tree house labeling it as their own.