Using Access Hardware to Build a Treehouse

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According to Real Screen, Animal Planet cable network has just signed on to show another season of Treehouse Masters. The popular show features a crew of craftsmen as they build treetop homes around the country. In this upcoming season, they will build the highest treehouse in the world.

Unlike the premise of many reality shows, treehouses are not unattainable for the average person. In fact, once you understand the basics, building a treehouse doesn’t have to be difficult at all. Here’s an easy, three step outline for creating your own miniature home in the canopies.

1. Scavenge for Materials

A treehouse doesn’t need to be an expensive project– many of the materials can be gathered from the scraps of other, larger building projects without adding to your budget. Windows, wooden planks, and tarps, for example, can be fairly easily obtained. Every treehouse is unique, and you can let the found building materials direct your project. If you find 10 Plexiglas windows at your local salvage yard, why not make a roof out of them?

2. The Platform

The foundation of your treehouse will, naturally, be the platform. You’ll want to either build from the ground, or from a sturdy tree (or trees). If you are building the treehouse for small children, keeping it lower to the ground– five feet or so– is a good idea. Make sure the platform is level, and use diagonal bracing for more strength. Don’t use ungalvanized nails or cap nuts- these encourage tree rot. Stainless steel cable ties and rope can sometimes be used in place of nails, to reduce tree damage.

3. How to Get Into the Treehouse

There are several options for entering the treehouse that are largely dependent on how the treehouse has been configured. For treehouses closer to the ground, and for builders with more experience, a suspended walkway is an option. These walkways typically feature stainless steel cable ties and cables strung between two points, with hand cables made of rope suspended and catching under a wooden foot bridge. Vertical wooden and rope ladders are also possibilities, though nailed steps and walkways tend to be more safe.

Do you have general tips for building a treehouse? Let us know in the comments. More on this:

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