Tips for Building a Treehouse in Your Back Garden
Anyone who has an imagination loves a treehouse! Whether you’ve just moved into a new home with your family, or you’re looking for a way to add a little excitement for the grandchildren when they come to stay, a treehouse will become a magical oasis for any child and a fun DIY project for adults. Before you get your garden tools, saws and screwdrivers out of the garage, you need to find the tree that’s going to hold the treehouse. Once you’ve found your tree, you need to sit down with the kids and make a plan. After you’ve made this plan, you need to be ready to adapt the plan (life happens) and just enjoy the project! In this blog, we’ll give you some tips on building the treehouse of your dreams and highlight the best tools to help you.
Why Build a Treehouse?
Aside from the fact that treehouses are awesome, there are many reasons to build one in your garden. Here’s a few:
It’s part of human history
Climbing trees is part of human history, alongside building shelters in trees. From escaping floods, saber-toothed tigers and other predators, we’ve hidden in treehouses for centuries, so why stop now?
You can get the kids out of the house
A treehouse will act as an aerial retreat for your kids or grandkids, and peel them away from the big screen(s) indoors. A treehouse can offer a range of active play for children depending on the features you choose to install. It also gives you peace and quiet indoors forat least five minutes, and we know that’s a rarity for parents!
It’s a project everyone can get involved in
Everyone in your family can pitch in and get involved with this project, making it much easier. It’s also a great way to build memories and spend quality time with your loved ones. So, what are you waiting for? Grab that tool kit and start building!
Treehouse Toolkit Checklist
A drill and saw
A drill and saw are the staples of any toolkit, and essential for building a treehouse. Having a cordless drill and saw will make it much easier to work on your treehouse, and removes the tripping hazard that’s created by extension cords. Our 18v cordless drill/driver is perfect for drilling into wood and our 18v cordless circular saw will help you cut through thick, hard materials with ease.
You’ll want a drill that will be really fast and efficient, as building a treehouse requires a fair amount of drilling. Our cordless 18v impact driver is perfect for quick tightening (and removing) of fasteners.
A Torpedo Level will ensure everything is level - it’s an essential in any treehouse toolkit.
A planer will ensure your wood is smooth (reducing the risk of splinters) and level - it will make your treehouse project so much easier. Our 18v cordless belt sander will enable you to smooth and level the floor, walls and roof of your treehouse with ease.
Tips for Building a Treehouse
Choose a hardwood tree
First things first, you need to choose the tree you’re going to build your treehouse around. You want to go for a hardwood tree that’s going to give maximum support to the structure attached. For the best stability and support the load-bearing branches should be at least eight inches in diameter. If you’ve only got softwood trees in your garden, then make sure the load-bearing branches are wider than eight inches. The best trees to support a treehouse include (but are not limited to); beech, fir and oak.
Consider the height you’re building it at
Your treehouse doesn’t need to be right at the top of the tree - that will make for a lot of unnecessary hard work. It just needs to be high enough so that you (and other family members) don’t bump their head when walking underneath it. Somewhere between 6 - 12 feet is reasonable.
Think about the weight and stability
Make sure you add diagonal bracing for extra support (especially if you have uneven loads), and try to build the treehouse as close to the trunk as possible. If you want a large, heavy treehouse then you should try and spread the weight of it across many trees. If you’re in a high wind area, then you should build your treehouse nearer the lower third of the tree.
Don’t impede the growth of the tree
When you’re building your treehouse make sure to leave enough room and gaps around the trunk and branches so that there is room for growth. You should accommodate any branches that might go through the treehouse and leave gaps around them as well. Avoid putting wire and rope around the branches as they might strangle the tree. Make sure you’ve left enough space between beams to allow movement. Make sure you use the right fasteners and bolts to enable growth. This will enable you to mount woodwork on the ends of the bolts and gives the tree growing room.
Build sections of the treehouse on the ground
Not everyone has a backhoe so that they can hoist a fully build treehouse onto a tree, so you should build sections of the treehouse on the ground and then erect it bit by bit around the tree.
Make sure the floor is level
The floor is the foundation of the treehouse, so make sure that it is levelled. A planer will help you get your wood flattened and levelled, but you need to make sure it’s all level when it’s up in the tree. Why not try one of these methods?
- Lay beams across the branches and shim until level.
- Run the beams between trunks of different trees.
Have you built a treehouse before? What tips have you got? Don’t forget to share your photos and experiences in the comments below. Browse our power tools, garden tools and accessories and start building your treehouse today.