how to build a treeless tree house - corrugated polycarbonate panels
This is a relatively simple elevated backyard fort I built for my kids.
I have a very small yard with no trees.
But we wanted a tree house or some sort of fortress so I came up with this one.
It was loosely inspired by the Culvin fort in the comics Calvin and Hobbs.
The design is deliberately simple and a bit generic, making it a pirate ship, haunted house, rocket ship or anything else.
The game house is just a game house.
All you want is a fortress!
In order to simplify the design and maximize the use of the purchased material, I try to make the basic straightfrom-the-
Store wood size as much as possible.
For example, the floor is 4-foot by 8-
Material, pillars 8 feet high, roof 10 feet wide, etc.
All the common sizes so I have more money and waste very little.
Our goal is to make a solid, good
A tree house/backyard fortress that looks a bit tree-free and will last for many years.
If you are interested in doing something similar, hope I have provided enough information here to help you.
Good luck, thank you for your attention!
Here are the basic supplies I use for this project: for the walls, I mainly use pine planks taken out of the old shipping crates (
Like a big wooden box on a tray).
These are the places where I used to work.
I had to buy longer decorations around the walls.
I also used some of the miscellaneous wood I lay down.
Buy more basic 2x4 s if any.
You need extra things if you make any mistakes, but whether it's this project or something else, they will inevitably be used!
I started using the actual floor as a template for laying the location of the excavation and placement of the post.
I marked it on OSB's paper, considering the external floor beams that would pass outside the pillar.
According to the measurements recorded in the photo above, these areas are cut out with a clamp saw. (
These photos are a re-creation of this step because I didn't take any photos at first. )
I placed the floor where I wanted the fort to stand in the yard and painted it in the crop area to mark the position of each post.
As the floor moves outward, I draw the extra Center line that extends to each mark to help me Center the column block after digging the holes for each mark.
Every hole was dug a few inches.
There are sizes around in order to make some adjustments from the inaccurate layout due to a slight tilt of the ground.
Each block is placed on a layer of sand and leveled with all the other corresponding blocks using 2x4 and horizontal.
There are a lot of measurements, adjustments and readjustments at this point to make sure everything is at the right level and position.
The open space around the block didn't come back-
It was not until later that it was full of dirt.
It took almost a whole day for this step.
It is worth it, however, as it allows for smooth sailing on the remaining roads.
With these pieces, I screwed all the pillars in place with 3 external screws.
For the screws closest to the end of the post, I pre-
Drill a hole of 1/8 for the screw to avoid splitting the post.
Make sure the screws you use are rated for treated wood.
A pillar in a corner is anchored to the ground, so it is very vertical and locked in the appropriate position.
This is done with 2 x 4S, it is screwed to about half of the pillars, tilted 90 degrees to each other, and screwed to the stakes on the ground.
Other posts are in place for the time being when I proceed to the next step without any trouble.
If today is a windy day, I must fix them too.
Working from the Plumb, I added pressure handling 2x6 s to the outside of the post to create the frame for the floor.
These plates are connected with 3 external screws and 5 screws are inserted into each column through each plate. Holes were pre-
Drill through 2x6 s and drill using a 3/16 cone-shaped sink bit.
Starting with the anchored pillars, these floor frame boards are connected, so the bottom edge is up 24 "from the bottom of the column ".
A level is used to ensure that all plates are horizontal and pull each individual post into A lead hammer.
Due to the nature of my obsessive-compulsive disorder, the measurement of 24 "has always maintained a very consistent state, while adjusting the height of cement blocks in their respective holes.
However, when the height of each other is close to perfection, some columns/block assemblies must be tapped a few centimeters in one way or another with a rubber mallet, so that the columns are vertical and match the correct position with the floor frame plate.
After the outer box is in place, all the remaining support beams are added.
See the chart for other tips and measurements.
I originally designed a trap door to come up from the floor.
About a month after the completion of the fort, before adding the slides, the trap door is the only way to do it except to climb the wall.
It was fun though, but I was always worried that the trap door was just waiting for a few broken fingers that happened.
I finally decided to close it permanently for security reasons.
At this point, the floor has just slipped into place on the floor frame.
It fell without any problems, I am very happy (
Reading: Surprise shock)
How good it is!
I used 1 5/8 external screw via pre-
Drill holes and countersunk holes.
The first step in creating a wall is to place a 2x4 frame around the post, as I did when building the floor.
From the bottom edge of the floor frame, the top is exactly 36 ".
So far I still have a post fixed to the ground and the position is very vertical with a pair of 2x4 s.
When I put the floor together, all the other pillars were pulled into the position aligned with this, but when the plates were removed, the structure needed some interior square and stable
To do this, a tilt clip of 2x4 was added around each corresponding post connected, as shown in the first photo.
These are just screwed to the post through their faces.
No matter which direction they are tilted, everything is square as long as they are installed.
These internal components are the secret to make the whole structure strong and keep it square.
With these, all external brackets are removed.
I then started adding loose strips from the shipping crates around to close the walls.
These are through pre-
Drill holes with external 1 5/8 "screws.
I keep the screws in about 3 "from the plate end, so they are hidden by the decoration that was added last time.
I went back after the wall was finished.
Fill all the open space around the cement block and firm the soil.
I thought about how the roof was made for a few days.
I ended up choosing a simple, angled roof with corrugated recycled plastic plates on it.
I trimmed 3 from the post at the back to get the desired angle. Two 10-
Feet 2x4 beams are mounted in the center of the top of the front and back pillars.
These are screwed from top to bottom with 3 "external screws to the top of the post.
Each adds 2x4 feet, both as an additional support to prevent sagging and as a decorative touch.
These ends are slightly tapered along the bottom edge seen in the first photo.
At the top of the beam, I added 2x4 raf sons of 82 "long, 16" in the center.
This length is chosen for good looking.
Although I can use 8-
Feet raf, they will hang a lot, just look at the top-heavy.
Each rafter is notch on the band saw to accommodate its slight angle of connection to the beam and they are all screwed in place from the underside of the beam.
At the top of the raf sub, I added 1 1/2 "1 1/2" strap to which the roof panel is attached.
These are made with any 2 x 4S and 2x4 scrap left on this point, and I tear the scrap in half on the table saw.
The roof panel is a corrugated foam polycarbonate panel from Home Depot's "Suntop" brand.
Each panel is 26 "by 8 ".
The advantage of these panels is that the width of five of them is 10 feet (
Each two corresponding panels overlap with each other 2 ").
I trimmed 14 "from each length and installed these with roof screws (
The kind of built-in
I painted the floor of the fort with the Rustoleum "deck and concrete recovery 4X deck covering" shown in the photo.
It is very thick and is said to create a hard and durable waterproof barrier.
Over time, we will see how it supports it.
I wore two thick coats.
On the rest of the bare wood, I brushed a basic waterproof coating.
I like the wood being protected but still aging naturally.
As I mentioned earlier, the slides, although late, welcomed the addition of the fort.
We bought it for a few dollars and it was perfect for the side of the fort.
To install the slides, I added a few 2x4 s to the top track as support and gave me some bolts.
I dug 2 inch of the grass and dirt on the ground and leveled the area with sand.
On top of that, I added three large paving stones to support the bottom of the slide.
Recently, my children have asked to hang a pirate flag on their fort, just like the flag that Calvin and Hobbs often display in Fort tree.
We drew a skull and crossbones on some of the discarded canvases and nailed it in place.
If you do something like that, I 'd love to hear what's going on with it.
Be sure to include some photos!
Thank you again for your attention.