Sidebar: The Treehouse
Long before starting the house, as I was taking a friend on a tour of the property, we ventured up to the northwest corner, and my friend blurted out, "You need to build a treehouse!" I didn't give it much thought, but the notion sat in the back of my mind for several months. Then one day, frustrated at being unable to start building the house, I decided to take my friend's advice. (Truth be told, it's something I'd always wanted to do, and why it hadn't occurred to me remains a mystery.)
The highest point on the property, so I'm told by a neighbor, also happens to be the highest point in the county, although I've no idea if this is true. At any rate, there were two trees perched there that seemed ideally suited for a treehouse.
Having never built a treehouse before, I just made stuff up as I went along. I began by mounting two pressure-treated 4 by 6 posts side-by-side between the trees, which I did by clamping them in place with four large bolts; this allowed me to adjust them until they were level.
Across the two beams I mounted floor joists, and topped them with plywood flooring. Then I began to frame out the little house just as one might a regular house, albeit more lightly. The only problem I had was that I'm terrified of heights, and working 12 feet above the ground left me more than a little nervous.
I left the side facing the Deep Ravine open to take in the views. At 7 by 7 feet, it can comfortably accommodate four people. It will also be electrified so that it can be used at night. On windy days, the treehouse does sway a little, which can be a bit disconcerting.
Before I could finish the exterior, I started work on my home, which is obviously a higher priority. I'll return to wrap it up someday; in the meantime, it's home to a family of squirrels.
Some visitors mistake it for a hunting blind, which it most assuredly is not. I cherish the wildlife on my property, and wish I could put up signs along the perimeter that animals could read so they knew they were safe here, particularly as the area is populated by entirely too many hunters who evidently cannot read the signs meant for them.