Treehouse - Part 1

Every kid wants a tree house. It's one of those rites of childhood -- a place to house pirates, or witches, or woodland creatures; a place to perfect secret handshakes and clubhouse rules. We've been wanting to add a tree house for a while, and this year, big projects seem a little more manageable. The twins are old enough to be interested, and maybe even help a little.

Dave's plan (above) was developed after reading Kid's Places to Play, by Jeanne Huber. Dave's idea: keep it simple and base everything on 4' x 8' measurements, so cutting is minimized. The first task was to find the right location. We happened to have a little stand of locust trees that we thought might work well.

Our three trees meant that he needed to plant a post for the fourth leg. The kids helped dig a hole, and Dave used quick setting concrete to stabilize the post.

The tree house will rest on cross supports. We have two main concerns about the supports. The first, we want to allow for a little bit of movement from the trees. The second, we don't want to damage the trees and realistically, we know that may happen. To minimize the risk, Dave decided to drill through the trees and install lag bolts, instead of lashing the structure onto the trees. The more the bark remains intact, the better the trees will do.

Then, the deck was built.

The next step will be framing the basic structure. We will post an update on that soon, so check back!