Attach the Floor Frame
It’s time to attach the floor frame. Ask for help when raising the floor frame above the top of the posts.
At this point, your floor frame should be wrapped around the four posts. Tack the frame into place on each post temporarily using nails. Using a cordless drill, make two pilot holes at each post through the frame and into the post. Screw the lag bolts and washers into each pole. Now, you can remove the temporary nails you tacked in earlier.
Set the Joists
Measure twelve positions on the inside of the floor frame for the joist hangers. You should have six hangers on one side and six on the other. Keep hangers about sixteen inches apart. Nail the hangers into position using nails.
Build the Flooring
You’ll use two-by-tens as deck boards. Consider purchasing a hidden fastener deck system. Space boards about an eighth of an inch to a quarter-inch apart. When reaching the tree, cut the boards according to the appropriate length.
Install the Ladder and Railing
For the last step, install the ladder and railing.
Start by installing the hand railing on top of the deck. The manufacturer should have included installation instructions specific to your railing. Leave a section about a couple of feet wide for access.
For the ladder, you may consider attaching a rope ladder to your treehouse. Or, you can use a tilt or an extension ladder as a sturdier solution.
Treehouses do damage trees. Stepping foot in your treehouse will compress the soil, which is bad for your tree’s roots. Weighing down the branches can also stress the roots. Additionally, fasteners can cause infection in trees. Most trees can survive moderate damage, but you might want to take extra steps to ensure your tree’s health.
Minimizing Tree Damage
- Use one or two supports to take the stress off the tree.
- Make as few punctures as necessary to safely support the tree.
- Don’t place fasteners too near each other.
- Avoid slinging ropes and cables over tree branches.
The process of building your own treehouse can be tedious. But with the guide we’ve laid out above, you’ll have a tree fort up and ready in no time. Perfect for an afternoon with the kids.
Next step to enjoy the outdoors time in your own garden could be Building a Backyard Fire Pit.