The Tree House

This is what happens when you wake up one sunny Saturday realizing you have power tools, access to building materials, big trees in your back yard & you never really grew up!

When constructing a tree house, there are certain rules which need to be followed:

1.  No part of the structure can touch the ground (no posts or legs).
2.  All materials must be either salvaged, donated or leftovers from other projects.
3.  Trees must be free to move naturally.
4.  Access must be via ladder, rope or other non-conventional means (your mother shouldn’t be able to climb up there!).
5.  All labor should be done by those who plan to use it or begged from others – NO PAID LABOR!

Once the plot was hatched, a materials list was compiled (by my son & daughter) and a plan was formulated (in my head) on how to go about this.  Potential work projects were always considered by what materials they could contribute and were weighted accordingly.  The platform went up in the fall of 2006 and was left for a winter to determine if the concept worked.  Two asymmetrical trusses were built & fastened to two 18″ white oak trees with 5/8″ threaded rod, the 12′ X 20′ platform was built on these, but was not attached to them – it was allowed to float with the trees moving independent of each other.  Spring of 2007 dawned with the realization the plan had worked and construction of the house began – an 8′ X 12′ house was constructed leaving a 4′ walkway on three sides.  Roofing & siding shingles, windows, the door, interior pine, carpeting and even some of the furniture was salvaged or donated – even our local cable company donated the cable we ran underground and made the connections at the house for no charge!

My two children were active participants – my son used his first skill saw 14′ off the ground and delivered most of the materials from the driveway to the tree.  My daughter installed most of the loft’s T&G cedar with with a pneumatic crown stapler – flipping the gun over and using the head like a hammer to knock the pieces tightly together – the guys on the job would be so proud!

Moving day came, the carpet on the main floor & in the loft was laid, a This-End-Up sofa from a tag sale and a $10 Ethan Allen coffee table from a consignment store were hoisted up, and a TV & lamp found their way in too – did I mention it has electric?  :-)