Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Want to start this series at the beginning? The Treehouse

When I was looking for plans for this project, I found a great book with lots of diagrams online. The problem is that Amazon only lets you view a few pages, because (naturally!) you're supposed to buy the book. I didn't want to spend the money, since I wasn't sure how much this project was going to cost me. So I looked at the pages on the Amazon link, and sketched the diagrams for future reference (you can't print them either, those smart people at Amazon. grr!)

Once I had my diagram I could tweak it as I went. A note about planning ahead: I never do. There were some surprises (mostly cost-related, boo hiss), and I didn't know how I was going to finish it when I started. I had no idea if I was going to build a roof over it, or maybe build a second story -- turns out I was so exhausted halfway through that a quick-and-dirty roof was all I could manage.

The first step was the floor base. If I had to do this over again I would have made it slightly smaller, as the quaint little treehouse I had in my mind turned into the Hindenburg. These are 2x6's in 8 foot lengths, that I cut down to 7 ft using my mitre saw. (Or "chop saw", as I like to call it.) They were very heavy, so I used a sawhorse to prop up one end while I held the other, and then sank a screw somewhere in the middle to anchor it to the tree trunk. Once it was dangling by a couple of screws, I could use my level and properly anchor it with lag bolts.

 Note on lag bolts/screws:  For you novices, you need drill bits and a ratchet set to fasten these, and you have to use lag bolts whenever you're building something that needs to bear weight. It was very hard to sink these into the tree using a ratchet by hand, since I used all my body weight to apply the torque and still couldn't sink them. My neighbor is a contractor and he gave me a ratchet that fits on the end of a drill, and that did the trick!!

Go to: Building the Treehouse, Part II
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Welcome to my three ring circus. Cake? Tequila? Pardon me while I cut this lumber and yell at my kids for the 100th time --

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For many years I was a mechanical engineer by day, a house renovator by night, and a single mom. I previously built a tiny house on Tybee Island that I sold in 2015. Then I lost my day job, met Prince Charming, and now work full time demolishing (fixing) his lake house. ;) Stop by for the house stuff, stay for the never-ending disasters, pianos falling out of the sky, floods, threats of financial ruin, & panic attacks. It's like house flipping meets the zombie apocalypse! with lots of kids!

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