-Treehouse#1 - lvl 1
Treehouse Level 1: The Build Of

This level of my treehouse is more of a tree-deck than a treehouse, as it won't have any type of roof. It is a good viewing point, or a stopping location for people who are afraid to go any higher to the next level. =)

I had two adjustable ladders, each one could go up to about 25 feet. This current level is about 18 feet off the ground. I rigged up 2 pulleys on 2 different limbs to raise my boards up. Each pulley had a rope going thru it, with an end of each rope tied to an end of a board. I then raised each end of the board seperatly little by little.

Once the board was level and about where I wanted it, I used a few ratchet straps to hold it in place (I did this for every board). Since I am doing this alone it seemed like the easiest way. Thankfully by this point I was able to barrow some scaffolding which made things much much easier. If I had to keep using only the ladders it would have taken quite a bit longer.

The first board up was a 2"x6"x12' (first pic). I also used another board of the same length on the opposite side. But I soon realized I was going to be just a couple feet short. So I went and bought a 16 footer instead. I left the second board extended about 3 feet away from the trunk. This is where the entrance is going to be.

Once all the boards were level with each other, I used 1/2" x 8" lag bolts into the trunk. The ends of the board that attached to the limb, I made some movable joints (pics 5 and 6) so the structure could move freely if it needed, and keep strain off of the tree. These brackets were bolted with 1/2" by 6 1/2" lag bolts into the limb. A brace was added to help support the load of the second board being away from the trunk (pic 4).

Since the boards were now secure, I added the crossbeams for support. Using 2"x4" 's and 2"x6" 's where necassery. For the 2"x6" crossbeams I first put them up with a nail gun, and went back and added 3/8" lag bolts.

For flooring I couldn't decide if I wanted to use plywood or, do it more like a deck, and use single pieces of wood. I don't know which way holds up better over time, or which would have been cheaper (I never did the math). But I decided on using 1"x4" single boards going across. Mainly because I think it looks better, but it sure required alot of screws.

I painted the wood for 2 reasons. One, to protect it from weather; and two, to make it blend in a little better with it's surroundings, and I don't want the treehouse to standout to much. I used a porch and patio paint, so it designed to withstand foot traffic without wearing thin.

The overall structure comfortably has room for 4 people. The picture of the pond is the view from this level.

I put the railing off for awhile, it wasnt until after the 2nd level was finished that I came back to complete this. I chose to do a rope railing for this level,as it would not obstruct the view when sitting down, as much as wood railing might.

Go to: Level 1 Entrance, Level 2, Solar Power