Build Your Dream Treehouse

Childhood will never be the same when one tree housegets the privilege of having his/her own treehouse. The limitless fun a child could have in this magical place is priceless. It takes a lot of imagination and hard work to make a dream treehouse come true. Treeforts are not limited for children alone, it could also be a fun place for any adult, especially those who wants to take a relaxing break and get a closer encounter with nature.

If only everyone could, I guess everybody would build a treehouse in their yard. Who wouldn’t want to have a simple sanctuary that will allow them to escape the hustle and bustle of our daily routine? Well, before you start making your own treehouse, allow me to point out some important tips on how to start things right in building you treehouse.

First and foremost, we have to consider some laws that govern treehouse construction. Here in Fairfax county, an online local government website shares this useful information:

Tree Houses

Under the Zoning Ordinance, a tree house is an accessory structure and subject to the following regulations.

A tree house is not permitted in a required front yard, and in general, a tree house may be located in any part of any side or rear yard—if it doesn’t exceed seven feet in height.

If the tree house exceeds seven feet in height, it must be setback at a distance equal to its height from the rear lot line and a distance equal to the side yard setback from the side lot line.

(As an example, a 15-foot tall tree house that’s located on a property with a 12-foot minimum required side yard must be setback at least 15 feet from the rear lot line and at least 12 feet from the side lot line.)  

The height of the tree house is measured from the highest point of the house to the lowest point of the finished ground adjacent to the tree house.

Building permits are not required for tree houses or other playground equipment, but the Zoning Ordinance limits the size of tree houses and other types of children’s playhouses to 100 square feet in area.

Right from the start, it’s better to be sure that you’re not breaking any law because it would be heart-breaking if you impulsively build a treehouse only to be forced by authorities to shut it down because it did not confine with the regulations.

If your “blueprint” parallels that of the local government’s specifications, then the next step you need would be to study this step-by-step guide in building your treehouse. Of course, as predicted, the first step would be to choose a tree fitted to take on the role in being your fort’s foundation.

It would take a healthy tree to make a good treehouse. A professional arborist can be hired to help you choose a suitable tree that is healthy enough to take on the role. In turn, the tree you chose must be kept in good condition to give a good support of your treehouse. Always remember: Don’t Restrict Tree Growth. Building treehouses should never cause any harm to the tree it is built in. Always make sure that your tree(s) is/are well-taken cared of to ensure that your treehouse will be safe for your children to climb and play around with.

Whatever the size or the shape of your dream treehouse(s) is/are, you have to keep this Treehouse Guide in mind:

Whatever your reason for building a treehouse, it must be strong and safe. You need the right tree and capable materials. The house must respect the tree, allowing it to move in the wind and to grow with minimal restriction.

This video below shares a family’s first-hand experience on how they built their dream treehouse on a summer break:


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