Sunday, February 11, 2018

Treehouse Roof

We spent the morning and part of the afternoon cutting the curved rafters for the roof of the treehouse. The rafters are about six feet long and have an 18 foot diameter circle curve on the outside, and a similar curve on the lower side only on the exterior and on the eaves.  We have now installed about 25% of them on the treehouse.  We should install the remaining ones tomorrow along with the facia boards and the plywood.

Today, we installed the remaining rafters, installed 1/2" plywood over most of the rafters, and a fascia board on one side only.

Monday, February 5, 2018

More Progress on the Treehouse

We have finally completed the framing of the entire treehouse, including the alcove and the crow's nest deck above and behind the house.  What has not been completed yet are the roof rafters for the main section of the house, wrapping the house with siding, intalling the shingles, and installing the windows in the frames.

We had to level the deck for the treehouse for the third time.  The weight of the structure is causing some branches to move a little.  To maintain the deck level we had to drop one corner about 2".  I am somewhat concerned with the total amount of weight we have brought up into the tree.  I am going to be installing more metal support brackets shortly in key locations.

I have now read up on building curved rafters. This should be very interesting as I have never tried to build a curved roof before.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Finally, We start building the Actual Treehouse

At long last, we actually starting building the house.  The main section will be 7' x 6' with the sleeping alcove section being 5' x 6'. There will be four windows and one door in the main section, and three windows in the alcove section.  I had some multi-pane double hung windows hanging around for the last 20 years. I finally get to use them.  I did not have any frames for them, however.  We spent yesterday morning building new frames for six of the windows.  As you can see in the image above by yesterday afternoon we had built one wall of the main section.  By this evening we have completed framing out the other three walls of the main section.

I dropped my tape off the deck and I could hear it rolling down the hill.  When I got down there it had rolled quite some distance away from the tree, all the way to the fence.  While climbing back up the hill I notice the treehouse from a different angle than I had seen it from before and I thought it might be a good shot for the blog.  Judge for yourself below.

Here are a few shots from the deck:

We spent a good amount of time this afternoon releveling the alcove section.  I am learning that even without adding more material weight to a section, many times just the passage of time is causing portions of the deck to become unleveled.  I don't have a good answer to this problem yet.  I don't even know if the deck has stabilized yet. Only time will tell.

Next is building out the alcove with the crow's nest on top of it.  We did add one small section to the deck for a stairway to go from the main deck to the crow's nest.  I still have to build the stairway to get up there and cut into the railing so that it will be accessible. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Adding a little more space for the treehouse and crow's nest

This is a better shot of the treehouse from the West late in the afternoon with the sun on it.
I have now added an alcove onto the main deck so that I can enlarge the treehouse to about twice the size I had originally planned on.  This is so that sleeping space will be ample inside the house.
I have now incorporated two new branches on the south side to support this addition. It is 5' x 6' in size.  I will build the treehouse into this alcove, but I will put a flat roof on that section so that I can put the crow's nest above.  This will make the house about 6' x 11' in size and yet leave a sizable veranda on the main deck.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Finishing the Railings

We ran out of struts for the railing last weekend.  Bought more to finish up the job today.  I have decided to add a small section to the rear of the deck away from the stairway for what you might call a crow's nest.  It will be a small area higher than the deck. Sort of like an observation deck, as if we weren't up high enough yet.  With any luck we will start the building of the actual treehouse tomorrow.

Saturday, January 13, 2018


More progress this week. Worked on the rails for the stairways, passageway, landing, and deck. It sure feels a lot safer up there.  I tied a rope from the deck to the large pine tree and pulled it taught in order to see if I could dampen some of the swaying.  I think that the rope has too much give to it. I'll try a stainless steel cable next.

The image below is as far as we got. Most of the railing is put together now.  Ran out of uprights. I'll buy some more tomorrow.

Below is a view from the deck.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Finishing the Stairway and the Stairway Railing

This week I have finished up the stairway to the deck where the treehouse will be constructed.
I had already built the passageway about half way up to the deck starting from the cover on my water storage tanks.  From the water storage tank cover to the passageway I built a stairway.  I have also added a stairway from the passageway up to the deck.  In order to accomplish this second part I had to add a landing cantilevered from the deck as a place for the stairway to connect to the deck.

I have added posts and railings on the passageway, the stairways, and the landing,  It will be easier to get the materials up there now and, also, it will be safer.  I am using the 4" fence posts (4 ft.) for the upright posts for the railing and 2 1/2" fence posts for the cross railings.

An interesting detail on the landing platform for the upper stairs was building it so that it was cantilevered off the deck.  I decided to use 2"x10" hangers on the inside and outside of one of the main beams holding up the deck.  I know that this is overkill, but I am not going to take a chance with this platform 24' up in the air.

I noticed that the more we built out the project, and, hence, the more weight, the more off-level the deck was becoming.  Consequently, we decided to rebalance the deck by moving where one lag bolt was connected to the tree by about three inches.  This turned out to be a lot more complicated that I originally envisioned.

After removing the bolt the deck dropped a full 6" in that section.  After careful consideration we decided to use a very long post (4"x4") to jack up the deck until it was level (about 4").  This technique, while taking a considerable amount of time, was well worth the effort.

Next, we will install the railing on the deck itself.