Every child dreams of having their own tree house. And every father dreams of fulfilling that wish. A tree house does not only give your child space to build wonderful and exciting memories, but it can also serve as your sanctuary away from the chaos of your home.
With that in mind, here are four easy-to-remember tips that can help you build the safest ultimate tree house that can serve generations of your bloodline.
Give the tree room for growth.
Much like your children, the tree where you’ll build their hideout around will also grow throughout the years. One of the most common mistakes people make when building a tree house is forgetting to consider this fact. If you construct the platforms in a way that would restrict the tree’s growth, the tree would eventually break your platforms cause unnecessary risks.
Make sure you leave gaps around the trunk and the branches, so they can move with the wind or grow bigger without damaging the wooden planks and beams you’ve attached to them. If possible, place your platform on top of fasteners instead of directly nailing them against the tree.
And most importantly, never forget the importance of monthly inspections and adjustments to ensure your children’s safety.
Be mindful of the damages the tree might have during construction.
Be extra careful with the way you move when building the tree house. Fungi and parasites can colonize scratches and holes in the tree. And their existence can cause the tree to get weaker.
You should also anticipate the possibility that your wooden planks and beams might rot when exposed to rainwater. To limit this, make sure you use carbon steel attachment bolts to create distance between your construction materials and the tree itself.
The use of flexible fasteners is also important since the combination of tree movement and nonadjustable bolts can cause fissures in the tree’s body. It’s also worth noting that the use of too many screws, bolts, and nails will cause more punctures and therefore cause more openings for possibly harmful foreign organisms to take over.
Make sure the weight is just right.
The construction of a tree house revolves around building support and the foundation. Don’t trust everything artsy you see online. No matter how aesthetically pleasing it may look, it should never even be considered if it endangers your family.
Even if it looks unappealing at first, fixing support beams and thick foundation columns should be your priority. Make sure you evenly spread the weight across the structure with the center load focused on the tree’s main trunk. And on that note, keep in mind that it’s vital to build the tree house on and around the trunk. Maximizing the space comes second to ensuring the stability and sturdiness of your project.
The key is to find the right tree. If possible, using multiple large trees close to each other would be ideal for distributing the weight of the tree house. But if you are planning on just using one tree, make sure to look for one that’s already mature and healthy. But don’t worry, you can always consult arborists if you’re unsure.
Limit possible injuries.
Children can play rough. They usually have more energy than they should have. And that could lead to injuries. Since you can’t keep an eye on them 24/7, limiting possible injury-causing elements would be the next best thing.
To ensure their safety, make sure that no nails, screws, or bolts are sticking out of the walls, branches, floors, or any other surface. Sanding or refinishing wood floors can also help lessen splinters. Building railings around all edges is, of course, a must. Keep in mind that the top rail should be 36 to 42 inches long. You should also avoid using climbing ropes since they are more accident-prone.
And most importantly, do not build the tree house at an unreasonable height. 6 to 12 feet would be safe enough. Additionally, it would be wiser to make sure that there are no sharp objects or pointy ends on the surface of the ground below and around the tree.
If it is possible to jump down from the tree house, you should know that at least one child would try it. You can use sand to make sure that the ground is safe from impact. However, bear in mind that sand can also cause the steps to be slippery.
Building a tree house can be the best gift you can give your kids. It can even be a family project that could help you get closer to them. But as exciting as it can be, ensuring your family’s safety should always be the priority. And that is what these four tips are four.