Taking to the Trees: Everything You Need to Know About Adding a Treehouse to Your Property
When Building a Treehouse, Make Sure It’s Safety First
A treehouse in the backyard is a common fixture among families with children. After all, treehouses have long been magical places for children to escape to and let their imagination soar. But, if you want to ensure you build a safe, strong treehouse for your child, then you should know there’s more to it than just nailing some boards into a tree. Here’s what you’re going to want to know before you put hammer to nails when adding a treehouse to your property.
Check Your Local Building Codes and Regulations
Before you promise your child a treehouse, you should check your local building codes and regulations to make sure you are even allowed to build one on your property. Many townships don’t allow them, and many others have special requirements that need to be met. This could include considerations such as the treehouse’s height limitations, and its proximity to power lines or to your neighbor’s property.
Choosing the Right Tree
Not every tree is treehouse-worthy, and the tree you select needs to be healthy and sturdy. You don’t want to choose a young tree because young trees grow faster, and this could compromise the structure over time. To ensure that the tree you have in mind is suitable, you should have an arborist check the tree for signs of sickness or weakness. The arborist will also be able to help you find a better alternative if there’s anything wrong with the tree you have in mind.
Consider Hiring a Contractor
If you’re not familiar with carpentry work or you’re just not that handy with tools, then you should consider hiring a contractor to build your child’s treehouse. Because traditional treehouses are located above the ground, you want to ensure that the treehouse is structurally sound and safe. It also needs to be able to safely handle the weight of your children and some of their friends.
Call Your Insurance Agent
You should also call your home insurance agent to find out how a treehouse will impact your home’s policy. Depending on your current policy, you may need to increase your coverage, which will increase your payment.
Have the Finished Product Inspected
Once the treehouse is complete, you should arrange to have a building inspector inspect it. This will confirm that the treehouse is safe and ready to be used.
Setting Rules for Use
Before the treehouse is finished being built, you should sit down with your children and discuss any rules you want them to follow regarding how the treehouse is to be used. For instance, you may want your children out of the treehouse in the event of a storm or high winds. You should also place a restriction on how many kids can be in the treehouse at any one time. Giving your children the rules early will allow them to be absorbed, so they will be more mindful to follow them once they can use the treehouse.
When the treehouse is not in use, you should block access to it to prevent other kids (or people) from entering it.
The key to building a fun treehouse is to prepare, to focus on safety, and to lay out a solid set of usage rules. With these tasks complete, your children will be able to enjoy their new escape safely while you enjoy greater peace of mind.