Building a backyard treehouse with the help of your kids is an exciting and rewarding experience for the entire family. This outdoor project offers a chance to spend quality time together, stimulate innovation and creativity, and give your youngsters an unforgettable childhood memory. In this blog post, we discuss the best ways for families to construct a safe and fun backyard treehouse.
1. Benefits of Building a Treehouse with Kids
Building a backyard treehouse with kids can provide them with a safe, fun and creative outdoor activity. Here are the top benefits you and your kids can experience:
- Aesthetic Enjoyment: Kids can experiment with shapes, colors, and design elements. They can create the perfect pirate’s den, fairy house, or modern tower using their own imagination.
- Physical Activity: Building a treehouse is a great way to bring out the active side in your kids, through heavy lifting, hammering or climbing. It allows them to stay physically active while having fun.
- Teamwork: Children will develop their interpersonal skills as they work collaboratively towards the common goal of building their treehouse. They will learn to share responsibilities, communicate, listen, respect and take ownership for their own actions.
- Long-Term Memories: Building a treehouse creates unique and lasting memories for kids and parents, and is something your family will cherish forever.
2. Understanding the Safety Considerations
Before starting your project, it is essential to analyze all the potential risks of building a treehouse for your children to use.
- Falling hazards: Falling out of the treehouse, an uneven ladder, slippery surfaces, as well as, termites, or other roaming pests that can cause surface deterioration.
- Choking hazards: Bolts, screws, nails, and other materials used in the construction of the treehouse and the items you put in it.
Be sure you use proper tools, practices, and safety measures when constructing your treehouse. Inspect and replace worn out screws, nails or hinges that could harm your children. Some helpful tips when constructing your treehouse is to provide handrails with more than one sturdy balcony floor. To further ensure that your treehouse is safe, make sure to create a barricaded landing area to provide a safety net.
Make sure you check your plan and carefully inspect the treehouse following the construction process. Moreover, it is important to include safety reminders to your children. Remind them not to climb up or down the treehouse with wet or muddy shoes, especially during rainy weather. Finally, remember, that the deck, railings, and stairs should be built with durable materials.
3. Choosing the Right Tree and Building Site
- Pick a Safe, Durable Tree – When selecting the right tree for your treehouse project, look for something strong, such as an oak or maple, with good anchoring points. Pick one with plenty of branches and thick trunk, as well as good clearance—it should be 12 to 15 feet away from power lines. If needed, hire an arborist to help find a healthy and strong tree.
- Find a Good Building Site – Keep in mind that the site should not only support the construction of the house, it should also be one that can handle the lot of activity for years to come. Make sure that the chosen space gets enough sunlight, and is well-drained—if not, you could have issues with moisture, mildew, insects, and other problems.
- Design Considerations – Before beginning construction, make sure you plan and design how you’ll get people to and in the treehouse. This should take into consideration access and ground clearance. You’ll also want to determine if you need a ladder or a staircase for getting up to the treehouse, and the height and circumference of the tree.
- Building the Treehouse – Before building your treehouse, make sure to get permission and make sure you’ll be adhering to codes and regulations. Depending on your design, you may need to rent a scaffold or a lift. Be sure to prepare and seal the wood before building, and choose the right screws, nails, and bolts in order for the treehouse to be safe and secure.
4. Gather Tools and Materials
- Impact driver
- Measuring tape
- Nails and screws
- Stain or sealer
- Sturdy rope
- Rope ladder
- Wooden planking for floor
- Plywood for walls and roof
For your backyard treehouse for your kids, you will need the appropriate tools and materials. This may include a drill, impact driver, screwdriver, hammer, saw, and measuring tape. Furthermore, you will need lumber, nails and screws, stain or sealer, sturdy rope, a rope ladder, wooden planking for the floor, and plywood for the walls and roof.
5. Constructing the Treehouse: Step by Step
Having the idea of building a treehouse for your kids and don’t know where to start? Building a treehouse with kids can be great fun and can be achieved with a few simple steps. Here are five steps to help you create a backyard treehouse for your kids:
- Step 1: Designing the Treehouse. Discuss with your children and decide on what type of design they’d like to go for. Research designs together online and make a drawing so you have an idea of what it should look like.
- Step 2: Gather Materials. Treehouses require strong and sturdy wood, nails, screws and strong bolts for construction. Additionally, you’ll need sturdy and safe ladders to access the treehouse. You’ll also need paint, rope and other items to make the treehouse more inviting.
- Step 3: Building the Base Frame. The base frame of the treehouse is the most important part, so it’s wise to build it using better lumber. Nail the boards together, screw them and check for levelness.
- Step 4: Putting on the Slats. Use 16 inch 2×6 cedar slats to attach the roof of the treehouse. Don’t forget to use strong and secure nails for a sturdier structure.
- Step 5: Painting and Accessorizing. Give a personalized touch to your treehouse by applying a few coats of paint. You can also add items such as swings, ladders, benches, etc. to make it look great.
Following these five steps you can have a backyard treehouse ready in no time. Involve your kids in this process to make it a fun and memorable experience.
6. Decorating and Final Touches
After you’ve finally built your backyard treehouse with help from the kids, it’s time for some fun–time to decorate the treehouse. Many people underestimate the importance of decorating but in the words of Joanna Gaines, “Style is never a mistake”, so take the below tips into account when deciding on the decoration.
- Be Appropriate: Choose playing-friendly, kid-oriented decorations such as hand-made art from the kids or outdoor-friendly paint colors. Avoid sharp decorations and small decorations that could be choking hazards.
- Be Sensible: Make sure that the decorations you pick are weather-proof and won’t take away from the durability of the treehouse.
- Be Safe: Things like Christmas lights can be a great addition, but make sure the wiring and lights are kept safely aside to prevent the risk of electrical fires.
Adding touches to the treehouse like plants, window decorations, outdoor games, and other playful elements can make it a more fun, homey place for the kids. Don’t forget to add your own personal touches and items that make the treehouse special for your family.
When adding the finer touches to the treehouse, remember to get the kids involved. Inviting them to help can help make them feel special by giving them a sense of ownership over their new play space.
Building a backyard treehouse with your kids is one of the most rewarding and treasured memories you can share with them. It’s a great way to get your family and friends involved to create an amazing experience. With the right instructions and plenty of patience and enthusiasm, you and your children will have the ultimate treehouse in no time at all. And when summer comes, you’ll have a cozy place to kick back and relax!