Popularity of Treehouses
Since its debut in 2013, The Treehouse Masters reality television series has been the inspiration for countless Do-It-Yourselfers to design and build their own treehouses.
Whether you like sleeping under the stars, telling ghost stories or enjoying the sounds of nature, the popular Treehouse Masters have convinced us that a backyard treehouse is the perfect place to make these memories. But before you grab your hammer and a bucket of nails, there are a few basics you should know.
The ABC’s of Building a Treehouse
The first rule of treehouse building is to find a good tree.
You might want to hire an arborist to check out the tree’s health and make sure it will last. St. Petersburg’s has several companies you can call ….. Robert Ellis-Arboriculture, Lee Claxton, ISA Certified Arborist Tree Service and Yutzy Tree Service, to name a few. Be sure to ask which pests are associated with the tree you choose.
Assess how much weight your tree can handle.
Once you know, decide if you can suspend your structure or if you need additional supports. Some of the factors used to determine how much of a load a limb can support are:
- Species: Fast growing species have weaker limbs in a given size compared to those that grow slower. e.g., willow vs. oak.
- Limbs – size, form, attachment, and flexibility: Arborists will usually look at limbs of no less than 4″ in slow growth species. Assess the form for even taper along the length with a branching occurring from the interior out to the tips. Some species have more flex in the branch.
- Defects and decay: Look for fungal fruiting bodies along the branch and especially near the trunk.
Know your building and planning code regulations.
Make sure you are within the square-footage limit outlined in the City’s building code. Sometimes the structure can’t exceed the height of the main residence. (www.stpete.org)
Be a good neighbor.
If your treehouse is going to overlook your neighbors’ backyard, they will likely have something to say about it. It’s better to be open and communicative with your neighbors before starting the project. Common courtesy and respect is the name of the game.
Consider buying a treehouse kit.
You can make the construction phase easier by purchasing special treehouse hardware or even a prefab treehouse kit which typically cost thousands less than a custom design. Check out your local Home Depot or shop around online for the best kit to suit your needs.
Adding to Your Property Value
While kids love the excitement of a full-featured treehouse, it’s the improvement in home value that appeals to adults. If you are interested in learning more about homes in St. Petersburg that would support your desire to build a treehouse, contact Estelia today at: 727.686.2859; Estelia@estelia.com
Black & Decker – The Complete Guide to Treehouses, 2nd edition: Design & Build Your Kids a Treehouse by Philip Schmidt
Treehouses & Playhouses You Can Build, by David Stiles and Jeanie Stiles
Tree House Books & Links – TreeHouse Supplies – https://www.treehousesupplies.com