How to build a tree house for your kids with your kids?
Having a tree house in the house yard will always be one of the best memories your kids are going to cherish. What’s even better – you can even include your kids in the process, making them feel excited even before the tree house is done, and having one more great memory for them to cherish.
Why include your kids?
Besides spending time together, here are three things your kids will learn and improve:
Following instructions – this makes children pay attention in order to do something, but it also shows them it’s okay to ask questions if there is something they don’t understand.
Improving skills – it helps them improve their cognitive abilities to do complicated tasks with their hands – they improve their coordination.
Being creative – they enjoy when being allowed to give suggestions and come up with ideas in order to decorate and modify the tree house.
1. The type of the tree matters
Tree house building depends on the tree you have in your yard. You can try to model it on something you saw online, but ultimately, your tree will differ from it in some way, whether it will be thicker, weaker or further apart. This means you will design things as you go. It’s also important to listen to your kids’ wishes – after all, they are going to spend their time in the tree house, enjoying the nature.
2. Deal with beams first
You will need a 3/4 diameter x 10″ lag screw. Use it to lag two sets of beams, where the top set will serve as the floor height. It’s important that you drill the pilot holes as straight as you can. The perimeter beams should be installed on the top set and squared them according to the 3,4,5 rule – your kids can help you with measuring. When the frame is done, it’s time to install the floor joist.
3. Leveling the platform
Try to get the floor level and mount 2×4 on one corner, then move on to the next corner and level the beam there. Next, install another 2×4 – the longer the level is, the better the construction is. So, one of the four perimeter beams is level, you can move on to do the same on the rest of the sides, using the 2x4s.
4. Knee braces
In order for the tree house to be stable, knee braces are the next step. Use two 2x6s that are screwed together and make a 45-degree angle while cutting.
This is the point where your kids get to stand on the platform once you’re done (just not alone yet, of course). You’ll need a circular saw for this. Installation of the deck boards should start at one end, allowing the boards to hang over the edge significantly, so it gets easier for you to cut the end with the saw. In order to space the boards, the simplest way is to use a carpenter’s pencil.
6. Framing walls and the roof
The walls should be framed while still on the ground. Again, let your kids help while measuring. Don’t forget to take the thickness of the siding into consideration. Important thing: two wall sidings need to overlap the ends of the walls they are touching. When the walls are framed, install a pulley so that you can pull up the walls. This is not a job to be doing with the kids, you’ll need grown-ups’ help.
When it comes to framing the roof, first decide on how much of a slope you want. Next, calculate how high you need the roof rafters to be – they’ll put up the center roof beam, holding it temporarily, while you’re installing the rafters. When the rafters are installed, it’s important to lay down the plywood, creating a 2.5″ space around the tree. This way, the wind won’t make it hit the roof while swaying.
7. Providing access
The last thing for you to do is to install the door and put up the ladders. These are pretty simple tasks, so include your kids – it will make them exhilarated about the last step before they enter the tree house. Make sure the steps are 10″ apart so that your kids’ little legs are able to climb the ladder.
If you’re feeling up to the challenge, here’s two things you could do:
If you have a swimming pool near the tree house, a slide added to connect the two is one of the coolest things you could do for your kids. Yes, it’s a bit complex to build, but once you’re done, a hose pipe and bubble bath will be all you need to create a water park in your yard.
Secondly, a multiple-story tree house is the next level. This ensures lots of fun for the kids, as they can let their imagination go wild while spending time in their own tree mansion, having a birthday party or just enjoying their afternoon.
All in all
Once the work is done and all of you had great fun – it’s time you test the tree house together with the kids and enjoy! Let your kids realize how fun it is to build something with your own hands, learn something in the process and then have a great time.