My seven-year-old son said, “Rory’s got a tree house. His dad built it.”
Things went down hill from there. He of course meant, “You’re rubbish and should hide yourself away if you can’t do something as simple as knock up a tree house.”
The sensible thing to do at this point would have been to pay someone to build one, perhaps Rory’s dad.
Failing that, the next most sensible thing would have been to design one, get some sort of a plan, measure things up and go from there.
However, where is the spontaneity and sense of adventure in that? Frankly doing a design is right up there with reading the instructions or asking for directions.
So I took a look at the trees in the garden, picked one that looked dangerously high and got stuck in.
With hindsight I clearly should have spent more time thinking about getting things level. The floor is level, which is great but the legs aren’t which is not so great. It may be a tiny bit over engineered too.
My son only weighs about 25 kilos but I think a safety factor of one thousand is fine. He may really fill out.
You can see in the picture (below) it’s very simple.
- Two 4”x4” stakes in the ground to support one end,
- The other end held up by the tree in branches either side of the trunk.
- Big 8” bolts to fix the stakes to the floor joists and then floor boards screwed on to the joists.
- The house bit on the end has a vertical beam on each corner bolted onto the floor joists and then plywood walls and roof screwed to them.
I did end up building the walls on the house twice. The plywood is fine, but not very attractive so I clad it. Now it looks quite good and, as an added bonus, I could now add cavity wall insulation.
The end result is quite pleasing. We have a tree house. I obviously feel very manly.
I have demonstrated to my son that I am not completely incompetent.
There is plenty of spare wood left over and the tree hasn’t died yet.
Not too bad for four days work and about £400.
Now he wants a zip wire. That sounds quite dangerous and the kind of thing a professional should do.
I’m all over it like a rash.