Building a tree house for children is a great way to spend quality time together and can even teach children flexible woodworking skills.

Let’s see how to create a basic platform and sturdy handrails.

With the help of found tools that are readily available everywhere, this can be done in a matter of days.

First select the tree in which you plan to install the cabin. It is not necessarily a huge tree, but it must provide height and shade. If you are lucky enough to have a tree with a good three-way fork to hold a platform, you are a bit ahead but it is not mandatory. The platform of a children’s playroom should be about six feet above the ground.

Using pressure treated wood, you should form a square platform base around the tree trunk (s). You do not want to attach the platform to the tree as drilling, bolting and the like can damage the tree itself. The platform will float using the branches of the trees for help.

Most often, additional leg supports must be added to adequately support the weight of the platform and children. The correct size lumber to use is 2 inches by 6 inches of planks for the floor joists. I strongly suggest using galvanized wood screws to join the ground because the screws will take the movement of the tree and will stress much better than nails. Building the floor is usually not as simple as the sixteen inches on the typical center frame, as tree trunks will dictate where the floor beams can be placed. Using good framing techniques in the use of headers, hanging clips, etc., a safe and solid floor can be assembled. Once the floor is in place, the ladder is next to it. A prefabricated ladder is the simplest but a ladder can be formed of two by four and a few screws.

Turning the two by four at the edge, one by three pieces on ten-inch centers at the edges of the two by four. These are the steps or the bars.

When finished, make sure the ladder extends three feet higher beyond the platform floor for added security. Now install a few short lines vertically on the flat between the horizontal steps. This will help support the steps or steps. The ladder must be securely attached to the support to prevent tipping. Do not screw the ladder to the ground as the platform is constantly moving with the trees. Handrails should be strong enough that a 150-pound lateral load pushed against them will not break railings. Wood four inches by four inches is the best support. Do not install them more than four feet in the center and they must be screwed or bolted through the floor framing.

Make the full railing at least 34 inches tall. Depending on the age of the children using the tree house, the exact enclosure may not be more than a two-by-four as a center rail or full trellis if real cubs are playing in it. A floor six feet by ten feet can also easily accommodate a small house. Instead of cutting the four by four to 34 inches, let them extend up to 48 inches above the platform and they can become two of the corner supports for the house.

If you are inclined and the budget allows, a waterproof roof, paint, a small door or window, or even a bench or two will offer children their own space in the cabin to play. A must-have idea today is to place plastic wood shavings at least six inches deep around the treehouse and especially at the bottom of the ladder if it slips or falls.

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