DIY

Family Built Their Dream Treehouse and It Exceeds Expectations.

Are you ready to see a mind blowing treehouse that was built after a small conversation at a family get together? A burgeoning architect paired up with his cousin in order to craft their dream treehouse. Of course, the build was ostensibly for the cousin’s children but our architect had always dreamed of having his own little getaway. So, combining ideas the pair ended up building what you are about to see. Follow along as we go through their epic construction journey!

1. The Dream

Every kid dreams of having their own secret getaway. When our architect was a kid he had always wanted to build his own treehouse. How cool would that be? However, he never got the chance as a kid. Now, grown up, he was ready to put his skills to the test to bring his dream to fruition.

2. The Beginning

All great things start from something small. Finding the perfect spot for the treehouse was difficult. Eventually, the group settled on this clearing.

3. Sketching Begins

Preliminary sketching begins. Here we see a rough outline of what the duo wanted to end up with. A wrap around deck is discussed as being the focal point of the build.

4. AutoCAD Clarity

Our sketch turns into something a little more refined as it is ported into a designing program called AutoCAD.

5. Plans are Complete

After over 130 hours of work in AutoCAD, the plans are finalized. Are you ready to see the physical labor begin?

6. April 1st – Breaking Ground

The calendar flips to April and construction begins. The building crew decides to dig into the ground in order to place the base of the structure.

7. Concrete Pour

In order to solidify the base we have to have concrete poured into the footings. Over 5,000 lbs of concrete were poured in only a couple of hours.

8. Posts are Placed

The concrete is poured and by next weekend the crew is ready to install their 6 x 6 wooden posts. The posts are kept steady thanks to threaded rod anchor bolts which sit 8″ into the ground.

9. Close Ups

Here we see a nice close-up shot of the base of the posts.

10. Floor Plan

Despite only working on the weekend it appears that our crew is making great progress. Here the floor plan begins to take shape. These are 2 x 10 pressure treated joists.

11. Security is Key

Building a treehouse requires many safety features you wouldn’t expect. Here we see the joists are secured with zinc coated hurricane ties. These ties allow for the transfer of power and energy into the beams.

12. Post Caps

Our designer notes that these post cap attachments are critical to the structure’s security. They provide uplift capacity in relation to the wind.

13. Blocking Installed

The joists and blocking are all set in place. You can already start to see how the treehouse is going to end up when it is finished.

14. Pac is on the Job

The puppy was there every day of construction. He tried to help in his own way.

15. Railing Posts Installed

You’ll notice that two of the posts are taller than the rest. Initially, they had planned on making a suspended bridge. This idea was later scrapped and the posts were sawed down.

16. Time for Flooring

Now it was time to start working on the deck. The group decides to install this gorgeous 2×6 redwood decking.  What makes redwood so special is that it is rot resistant.

17. Wraparound Deck

In the blink of an eye, the deck is complete and a smaller bridge is created in lieu of the suspension bridge. Here our architect notes that laying down the deck was the most miserable portion of the build.

18. Natural Decorations

They decide to incorporate the tree coming up through the deck as a centerpiece.

19. Time for Walls

What kind of treehouse doesn’t have walls? Next, up they decide to start framing the walls using the plans developed in AutoCAD. This is a breeze.

20. The Front Wall

Porting construction details from AutoCAD to real life makes this job incredibly simple.

21. Walls Come Up

Excitement grows among the group as the walls begin to come up. Things are going incredibly smoothly thus far.

22. Adjusting the Door

They decide to adjust the framing of the walls in order to line it up with the door. This ends up being a great move.

23. Loft Joists

With the walls in place, it is time to start building the ceiling. The crew installs their loft beams and joists. They choose purposely oversized beams as an aesthetic choice.

24. 2 x 6

The lofted beams are the exact same size as the primary beams: 2 x 6.

25. Gable Walls

An inspired design choice leads the team to installed gable walls in order to create these peaked roof designs. When you see the finished design you’ll be wowed at how great these look.

26. Beautiful View

If you look out the back of the treehouse you will see the incredible view on display. Of course, if you look out the front door you will see the backyard of the main house. Still, it’s a pretty sight.

27. Here Come the Ridge Beams

They use a concealed flange hanger in order to attach one ridge beam off of the other. This is a physically demanding job and our crew is mopped with sweat by the end of it.

28. Second Layer of Plywood

Before the finalized flooring can be thrown down the crew decides to do another layer of plywood overtop of the floor. The plywood offers strength and durability to the construction.

29. A Loft Appears

How many treehouses have their own private loft? With ceiling rafters in place the crew locks down some 1/2″ plywood for the loft. This is going to be a great place to get away for the kids.

30. And It’s Raining

Pac is less than enthused about being in the rain but construction continues. Here we see the final days of framing. Can you taste the end coming? We’re sure that Pac can.

31. Exciting Progress

Apparently installing the rafters was the most fun that the construction crew had during the build. They loved how the treehouse took shape right before their eyes. The work was simple and fun.

32. Welcome to the Neighborhood

Does this make the treehouse official? Squirrels stop by to see just what all of the noise is about.

33. Pac Continues to ‘Help’

Pac is fascinated by all of the noise and he loves when the squirrels come to visit. Of course, he’s also rubbish when it comes time to install the wall sheathing. The crew uses 15/32″ OSB and a jig saw to get this done.

34. Bonus: Bench!

With extra materials and ideas flowing the crew decides to throw in a little bench for the kids to use. Here is the rough outline of the bench.

35. Coming Together

Our architect again gives a nod to CAD: sheathing is made easy thanks to the prolific piece of software. Here you see the roof starting to come together.

36. Dormer Window

A classy touch takes shape once the Dormer window is framed out. There are houses that look less impressive than this.

37. Another Dormer Window View

Here is another look at the window from a different angle. Can you imagine chilling up there and reading comic books as a kid?

38. Sheathing is Done

We are now nearing the end of the construction phase. The sheathing is finished and the treehouse stands as a nearly finished structure.

39. Time for a Chimney

The crew decides to throw in a nonfunctioning chimney just for looks. You’ll also notice that felt paper now adorns all of the exterior walls.

40. Time to Finish

The gang decides to use heat treated cedar siding on the exterior of the treehouse. Cedar is resistant to rot and it makes for a fantastic aesthetic finish. The crew pays roughly a dollar per linear foot.

41. Dirt Nap Time

Pac easily leads the whole crew in dirt naps taken.  It isn’t easy being a hard working dog.

42. Glorious Deck

We love how the team designed the wraparound deck. Look at how they used natural branches in order to dress up the railings.

43. View From Below

They notice that the deck sways just a tiny bit so the decision is made to implement interior knee braces. These braces help to keep the structure more stable. The braces were installed with 8″ timber screws.

44. Roofing Details

The team decides to cut down their cedar siding into 17″ long cedar boards. These boards become the roof shakes and boy do they come out well. This is done quickly and it saves a bit of money in the end.

45. Finished Roof

Detail work on the exterior of the treehouse is now complete. Look at how the cedar roof shakes bring the look of the building together. This looks like something you’d see in a Swedish magazine.

46. Interior Loft

While work plunged on outside the team wasted no time in polishing off the interior. Suddenly our treehouse looks like a polished work of art. Look at the window framing and the smooth finish on the walls. Not too shabby.

47. Inside to Outside

Here we can see the deck from inside of the treehouse. Also, notice how the bench came together? A few pillows for decoration make the room feel even cozier.

48. Sliding Storm Doors

When the kids aren’t using the treehouse the family likes to be able to lock it down and keep it secure. Sliding storm doors look great and they provide a ton of security for their suddenly luxurious treehouse.

49. Treehouse Slide

No treehouse can be considered complete without an awesome slide. This is the icing on top of the cake and one of the final signifiers that the treehouse is done.

50. Final Interior Shot

With a deft touch, we are able to see just how sleek a treehouse can look. They initially wanted to build the treehouse for the children but they also wanted it to be usable for adults. We can easily see a group getting together here for a few games and drinks.

51. Grand Finale

With work complete they decide to string up some lights for decoration. The treehouse warming party is about to begin.

52. Dream Treehouse

Through the trees we can see the finished product. A lot of work, money, and time went into crafting this dream treehouse. It’s easy to see that the team got everything they wanted.

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