Considering a Tree House for Your Backyard? What You Need to Know
A tree house can be a fun getaway for kids. But just the idea of it may make some parents a little nervous. Here are a few things to consider before getting a tree house built in your backyard:
Do Your Homework
Installing a solid and safe tree house takes a lot more than a few boards, some nails and a ladder. You’ll need wood, tools, bolts, screws and a whole lot of know-how. Be prepared for a technical process. If you’re not very handy, you may want to consider hiring someone to do the job. Talk to friends or neighbors to see if they have any recommendations for a builder. You can also research online for builders in your area.
According to Zillow, it’s a good idea to make sure you have a tree that is sturdy and healthy enough for a tree house. Consult an arborist to help you confirm that the tree you’re choosing to use is sufficient.
You’ll also want to consult your area’s regulations to see if you’re clear to even build a tree house on your property, adds Zillow. Your area may have restrictions on where it can be located in proximity to your neighbor’s property as well as other structures like power lines. There may also be limits to the height the tree house can be off the ground.
And don’t forget to also check with your insurance agent, too. It’s possible that adding a tree house to your property may impact your homeowners insurance coverage as well.
Once the tree house is finished, it may be a good idea to get an inspector to help confirm it is ready for use, says the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI).
Set Some Ground Rules for Playtime
Before you let your kids start playing in their new tree house, you may want to consider the following safety tips from InterNACHI:
- Come up with a list of safety rules for your children to follow.
- Try and restrict the number of children playing in the tree house at one time.
- Never allow any children in the tree house during bad weather.
- Block access into the tree house when it’s not in use.
With some planning and preparation, your kids can start enjoying their new tree house a little more safely.
Originally published June 3, 2011.