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Arundel Federal Savings Bank
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Tips for Building a Tree House
Create a fun treetop getaway the whole family will enjoy by following these helpful steps

For many kids, having their very own tree house is the ultimate dream. These treetop structures offer children a fun escape, a chance for imaginative adventure, and an easy way to get close to nature. Although constructing the perfect tree house may seem like an impossible feat, it’s actually far easier than you may realize. With the right tools, a proper understanding of safety measures, and a little of that childlike imagination by your side, you can create a well-made tree house that your whole family will enjoy.

Find the perfect location

When it comes to building the perfect tree house, finding the ideal location is one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make. Although an elevated structure can be built just about anywhere, a true tree house needs a strong cluster of trees to support it. Make sure that the trees you select are healthy, older, and have branches at least eight inches in diameter. If the branches are thinner or the tree is unhealthy, it won’t be able to support the weight of the house or any human occupants. Among the best types of trees to use are oak, beech, maple, and fir.

Have a plan

With a project as fun as a tree house, it can be tempting to simply grab your tools and start hammering. However, it’s important to have a solid plan before you begin construction. You’ll need to have your tree house’s dimensions figured out, and this will allow you to acquire the right amount of material. You’ll also need to base your house’s size and shape on the limitations of the trees you’re building it on. Depending on the size and height of your house, knowing where to attach your load-bearing fasteners and platforms is crucial to safe construction. Heavier houses will need their weight distributed across the lower part of each tree’s trunk.

Build smart

Once you’ve done all of your planning and measuring, it will finally be time to begin construction. The first thing you’ll need to do is install your load-bearing structures. These can be anything from nails driven into the tree to heavy-duty fasteners bolted deep into the trunk. No matter which type you choose, be sure you’re attaching them to the tree in a way that won’t damage the tree or impede its ability to grow. Once you have a way to support the weight of the house in place, you can begin construction on the house itself. Assemble as much as you can on the ground, disassemble the finished sections, and then hoist the parts up via rope or cable to be reconstructed. If you’re building certain sections of the house around a tree trunk or branch, be sure to leave an extra two inches of growth room between your structure and the tree’s surface. Make sure your floor is level by using a store-bought level tool. Also keep in mind that tree houses will catch the wind in potentially damaging ways, so always engineer the structure to move with the trees it’s attached to. This will reduce the risk of the house becoming detached from its tree foundations during a storm.

With these helpful planning, construction, and safety tips at your disposal, you’re one step closer to satisfying your inner child and creating the ultimate treetop getaway.

Published by Arundel Federal Savings Bank
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