I’ve been wanting to build a playset for the kids. I’ve had thoughts to incorporate it into our tree. I made the mistake of telling Layla my plans and she’s been hounding me about it ever since. Here’s how I did it.
After buying the materials, I bolted 2 – 2×8’s to the tree using 10″ Lag Bolts. Since I was alone, I temporarily nailed on supports to the tree to hold up the beams while I was bolting them in.
I predrilled the headers and attached 2 of the inner joists to it. Then I hoisted them up on to the base beams (not easy when you’re doing it by yourself).
From there, I attached the other joists to the header and then attached the back header. This made an 8ft x 8ft deck frame.
Next I nailed hurricane ties which attached the deck to the base. Every point where a joist touches the base, I added a hurricane tie.
Next I used pavers and some paver gravel to make level footings for the base of the swing portion of the playset, the base of the slide, and the base of the ladder.
Once that was set, I installed the beams in place. Although the base attached to the tree gives pretty good stability, I wanted some extra security, so I added these support beams. Also, I needed beams in these locations anyway to support the swing/ladder/slide.
Next I added the decking. This consisted of pre-drilling pilot holes to avoid splitting the wood, and then driving in decking screws from the deck into each joist found below. I used a wooden spacer between each deck board to allow for water to flow through the deck and to also give space for the deck to swell and shrink with the weather.
I also created a support frame for the slide using 2×6’s. The slide would have been fine without the support frame, but I just wanted the extra strength in case I wanted to slide down as well! In addition to that, I built a support beam (in the shape of an “I”) to place under the slide to give the deck a little more stability in that area.
Sheena and the kids came back from India before I could “officially” finish the tree-house, but it was still playable.
The kids seem to really like it! Just as a frame of reference, this is essentially how it looks now:
Here’s a professional mock up of what is planned:
Hopefully in the near future I can knock this out. Overall a pretty fun but laborious project! Wanna see how it all came together? Check out the movie below!
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