A Treehouse of One’s Own

Hello down there! Now that the greenhouse is (mostly) done on the Better Farm property, one of the next alt-housing projects will be a treehouse. Now whether or not the house will actually be in a tree or just on stilts next to/in the general vicinity of a tree remains to be seen. I do know we won’t be suspending it 30 ft up on steel cables like in the photo above. That method would require us to have two treehouse-eligible trees near each other…and we barely have one as it is. But as my ex-employer Ms. Lippe used to say “That’s your challenge.”

Even the simplest in-tree design can require seriously engineered plans, since not only do you have to properly support the house through all-weather conditions, but take into account how the tree itself may grow and shift over time. In the end, a freestanding option will probably be best, if only for liability (!) reasons. I’m envisioning a design that still incorporates the tree, either by allowing it to grow straight up through the floor or to serve as a section of the wall… Here are some more examples currently inspiring me:

The view from the top:

Hey, Fab Pants, didn’t you stay in one like this?

I imagine a pointy-eared 4 ft tall granny living here, constantly baking:

Like a bird on a wire:

Hey biggest fans – recognize any of these photos?

There was a crooked man…

For those who really do want to attempt a tree-supported treehouse here are some helpful links:
Popular Mechanics: Extreme Treehouses
Ron Hazelton’s House Calls: How to Build a Tree House or Tree Fort
The Treehouse Guide
Treehouse Guides (with down-loadable plans)
Treehugger: Flat Pack Treehouse is a Dutch Treat

And don’t forget to use salvaged materials whenever possible!

All photos (except the last one, which is from the Popular Mechanics article) are from Zegarkusamazingly comprehensive list of international treehouses.

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