Here is how to build a treehouse without hurting a tree.
Trees offer all sorts of benefits including flood prevention, prevention of soil erosion, drought prevention, boosting soil fertility, and cooling down hot cities among others.
Apart from many obvious benefits, trees are also modified for recreational purposes such as the building of a treehouse.
DIY Treehouse Without A Tree
The name (treehouse) alone suggests the need for a tree to make such a building possible.
However, you can actually build a treehouse without a tree? So, will that be called a treehouse too?
Well, you decide what to call it, but first, let’s show you how to build one.
About A Treehouse
Basically, a treehouse is a structure that’s built on tree branches for kids to play in. Unlike a real building, a treehouse is much smaller and adequately sized to ensure it isn’t too heavy for the tree branch.
In other words, a treehouse is built in proportion to the strength of the tree branch.
Treeless Treehouse Options
Sometimes, trees found around your home may be young and unable to support the weight of a treehouse. At other times, the branches may not be suitable enough to construct a treehouse.
Still, trees may be absent (not a good idea) around a home.
It becomes necessary to adapt to your environment if you must build a treehouse without a tree. However, you cannot do without a form of support. Poles are great alternatives for constructing a treehouse.
Such poles must be sturdy enough to support the weight of the treehouse.
Examples are telephone poles or pressure-treated wooden posts. If you’ll be using the latter, it must be well-positioned and buried deep enough.
Also, it must have been treated for ground contact to help prevent termite action.
Will This Qualify As A Treehouse?
Returning to the question of whether a treeless treehouse can still be considered as a treehouse, the answer is yes! It all depends on the perspective it’s seen.
You can build a treehouse without having to mount structures on a tree. Simply use the canopy of an existing tree to build your structure under.
This is mostly the case when trees are very tall. Such a treehouse will still feel like the real deal as it offers the same feeling as an actual treehouse.
Constructing A Treehouse Without A Tree
Building a treehouse without a tree tends to be much easier when using poles or other vertical structures. The simple reasons include the absence of a confined space such as what’s obtainable when building on a tree.
Building on poles allows you greater flexibility in terms of imagining, planning and layout. Trees will present extra obstacles to deal with when constructing a treehouse.
With poles, you have the freedom to design your treehouse according to a particular pattern, shape, or style.
Treehouse On Poles
To build a treehouse without a tree, you’ll first need to figure out what poles to use for construction. You’ll need to make your pick from among three-pole categories.
These are considered the best for projects such as treehouse construction due to their durability.
They include ground contact pressure treated posts, telephone poles, and metal posts. So, how do you go about building a treehouse on each pole type?
Let’s take a further dive by looking at each of the listed pole categories.
Ground Contact Pressure-Treated Posts
This isn’t a strange concept at all especially for readers who have seen or built a deck off the ground. Pressure-treated posts are readily available at local hardware stores and vary in width and length.
Now, to pick the right size for this project, we recommend you go for those measuring around 6”x6” in thickness.
It’s not enough to purchase these poles and proceed to erect them at your preferred location. You’ll need to first have them ground contact-treated. In other words, pressure-treated posts are only weather treated.
Have these posts treated by sealing exposed portions using any protective sealer of your choice? One secret to doing this right is finding out the life expectancy of the protective sealer being used.
This is important as it will require resealing or recoat the posts when it’s due.
Another way to treat the pole is to tar the portion to be buried. A protective layer of tar will help prevent damage to the wood. About 36” of post length should be buried.
Still yet, you can have your post encapsulated in concrete as a protective layer. To do this, dig up the hole to around the depth you want the poles buried. Now, go a bit further by digging an additional 6” to 12.”
The extra depth of 6” to 12” is filled with compaction rock and stamped to create a solid base.
With this completed, you’ll need a concrete tube form placed inside the hole. Now, dirt should be packed around the tube to hold it in place.
Your post should go into the tube and stand directly on the rock.
At this point, concrete is poured and worked down. Allow this to sit overnight before removing temporary bracing.
As mentioned earlier, telephone poles can also be used as posts for building a treehouse in place of trees. It’s best to use round telephone poles for such projects rather than square poles.
Getting round-shaped poles can be challenging as new ones are most difficult to find.
You may have to make do with used poles. Such can be obtained from sources such as Craiglist, local Electric Co-ops, or farm stores.
Metal posts require a great deal of work to mount.
You may have to enlist the help of a technician or handyman to have these erected. This is arguably the most expensive of the three largely due to its durability and work involved.
It poses a bit of a challenge for DIY’ers to install on their property. If this seems like too much work for you, we recommend you go with the other options.
Here, we’ve seen that building a treehouse without a tree is possible. However, you’ll need to get the right structures such as the posts listed above.