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How to build a treehouse

Building a treehouse is a great project the whole family can enjoy. Doing it together means you can get it built a whole lot quicker, all ready for the fun adventures ahead.

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Tree Selection

Choosing the right tree is important. It needs to be strong, healthy and mature. Check that the roots are deep and well established, and that there's no sign of disease or parasites.

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Get Approval

Before you build it, check with your local government to find out about local regulations, such as any height or size restrictions. Also talk to your neighbours about your plans, especially if the treehouse will overlook their house.

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Choose Your Design

It's important to work out your treehouse design before you start. There are many designs available to download online or you can create your own. Make sure you allow enough space around the trunk of the tree for it to grow. And keep it close to the ground, around 1.5 metres.

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Supports

There are three main methods for supporting a treehouse: Using posts sunk into the ground close to the tree. Bolting the support beams or floor platform directly into the tree. Suspending the treehouse from strong, high branches using cables, ropes or chains.

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Easy Access

The way in and out of the treehouse should be safe and sturdy. Here are the most common methods: A ladder, you can buy or build yourself. A rope ladder, hung from the treehouse platform. A wooden staircase, with a handrail for safety.

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Buying the Materials

Before buying everything you need to build your treehouse, write out a list. Check that your drill is working and that your saw blades are sharp. It's also a good idea to have more nails, screws, nuts and bolts than you probably need so that you don't have to rush off midway to get some more, and you can fasten the treehouse securely.

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Teamwork

Working as a team means that you can divide up the jobs and give everyone something to do. When building the platform and adding the floor and walls, it's easier if one person is in the tree and someone is on the ground, measuring, cutting and passing the wood up. To reduce the amount of work done in the tree, fit the walls, doors and windows on the ground and then lift it up into the tree.

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Maintenance and Repairs

Once you've built your treehouse, check the floors, decks and railings regularly for rot or weaknesses and make sure that there are no nails or screws sticking out of the wood. Also, inspect steps and ladders, and repair any damage. And if your treehouse is painted or stained, recoat it regularly to protect the wood.

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