8 Tips for Building Your Own Backyard Treehouse

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Treehouse designed by O2 Treehouse
O2 Treehouse via ZillowPlay with different patterns and textures.
By Catherine Sherman

Whether it's sleeping under the stars, telling ghost stories or simply enjoying the great outdoors - treehouses are where summer memories are made. Now is a perfect time to build your own backyard treehouse just in time for summer. But before grabbing a hammer and nails, there's a few things you should consider to ensure that your treehouse is built to last.

Check out these eight tips from treehouse pros at California-based O2 Treehouse and Nelson Treehouse and Supply from Fall City, Washington.

1. Make sure you have a good tree. Consider hiring an arborist to check the health of the tree to make sure it's going to last. Find out which pests are associated with that type of tree.

2. Assess how much weight your tree can handle and whether your structure can be suspended or will need additional supports.

3. Do your homework with regard to regulations. Make sure you are within the square-footage limit outlined in your area's building code. Sometimes the structure can't exceed the height of the main residence.

4. Talk to your neighbors. If your treehouse is going to overlook your neighbors' backyard, they'll likely have something to say about it. It's better to be open and communicative with your neighbors because often that respect is all they want.

5. Consider buying treehouse hardware or even a pre-fab treehouse kit (they typically cost thousands less than a custom design) to make the construction phase easier.

6. For the interior, imagine you are designing a boat that is always moving. If, for example, you are hanging a picture on the wall, make sure it will actually stay there.

7. Use flexible and multi-functional furniture. For example, a sectional sofa that can be carried up in pieces and assembled in the treehouse is ideal.

8. Play with different patterns and textures. Things that are flat and 2D can have a big impact in a tree and they're easy to transport.
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