Sidebar: Bobby's Treehouse
Not long after buying the property, I was taking a friend on a tour, and as we ventured up to the northwest corner, 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 ever since. Then in November 2015, frustrated at being unable to start building my 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 until his visit remains a mystery.)
The highest point on the property, according to a neighbor, also happens to be the highest point in Burlington 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 with two pressure-treated 4x6 posts side-by-side between the trees, which I clamped 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 the little house just as one might a regular house, albeit more lightly.
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.
The only problem I had building it was that I'm terrified of heights, and working 12 feet above the ground left me more than a little nervous. But 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. Oh, and it's named for the friend who suggested it.
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.
Update: Sadly the treehouse may be coming down owing to an acute case of indecision.