Whether it’s sleeping under the stars, telling ghost stories or simply enjoying the great outdoors, summer memories are best made in a treehouse.
Summer’s start is the perfect time to build your own backyard treehouse. But before you grab a hammer and nails, check out these eight tips from the pros at O2 Treehouse and Nelson Treehouse and Supply.
1. Find a good tree
Consider hiring an arborist to check the tree’s health and make sure it’s going to last. Find out which pests are associated with that type of tree.
2. Assess how much weight your tree can handle
Once you know, decide if you can suspend your structure or if you need additional supports.
3. Do your regulations homework
Make sure you’re within the square-footage limit outlined in your area’s building code. Sometimes the structure can’t exceed the height of the main residence.
4. Talk to your neighbors
If your treehouse is going to overlook your neighbors’ backyard, they’ll likely have something to say about it. It’s better to be open and communicative with your neighbors because often, that respect is all they want.
5. Consider buying a kit
You can make the construction phase easier by purchasing special treehouse hardware or even a prefab treehouse kit. They typically cost thousands less than a custom design.
6. Design the interior like a boat
Remember that your tree will move with the wind. So if you hang a picture on the wall or place items on shelves, make sure they’ll actually stay put.
7. Use flexible and multifunctional furniture
Furniture that you can carry up in pieces and assemble in the treehouse is ideal.
8. Play with different patterns and textures
Things that are flat and 2D can have a big impact in a tree, and they’re easy to transport.
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Originally published May 9, 2014.