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Old 02-09-2011, 03:32 PM   #1
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Building a treehouse and safety of fasteners


Hello, my husband and I are in the process of building a treehouse. I'm a little concerned about the safety of the house so far. The treehouse is designed to be fully supported by a utility pole. Please see this photostream for details on the supports in question and let me know if you'd be comfortable allowing your 4 year old to play on this thing when finished. Thanks so much!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/42712907@N08/5431181339/

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Old 02-09-2011, 04:05 PM   #2
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Building a treehouse and safety of fasteners


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Originally Posted by hoddys View Post
Hello, my husband and I are in the process of building a treehouse. I'm a little concerned about the safety of the house so far. The treehouse is designed to be fully supported by a utility pole. Please see this photostream for details on the supports in question and let me know if you'd be comfortable allowing your 4 year old to play on this thing when finished. Thanks so much!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/42712907@N08/5431181339/
The fasteners you used are not adequate for the structure. One metal bracket on each pole support isn't enough. The pole should have been notched more to carry the support beam. I would have used 4x6's in that location and supported 1 1/2" on each side.
Where the braces hit the corners seems questionable, support wise. local pressure will want to open the corners.
What support structure is on the top side, in the building?
Ron


Last edited by Ron6519; 02-10-2011 at 04:21 PM. Reason: Keep our "G" rating
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:17 PM   #3
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Building a treehouse and safety of fasteners


The top of knee braces is probably alright with minimal screws, assuming the corner holds together. The bottoms, however, may slip - those brackets are not fit for that application. You have nothing to worry about by adding 2 galvanized lag screws, 1/2" diameter, right through the bottom of the knee braces into the pole. The pole will be fine. That kind of pole, if sunk deeper and perhaps guyed, would hold 10 treehouses that size.

I agree with Ron6519 - I would have notched the pole more for the 4x6s, but I think what you did is 100% safe - I've seen this done with no notching at all on live trees, although there are much better ways to attach to live trees - see tree top builders.

Most of that 700lbs dead load and live loads will be carried by the lag bolts on the center pole, and the braces just keep it from tipping - so if anything, you'll notice it settle on the back half where the dead load from the house is greater than the porch side load. If you sure up the knee brace bottoms, you should be fine.
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:01 PM   #4
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Building a treehouse and safety of fasteners


Thank you both for the feedback. We really appreciate it. Again I've been very nervous about this whole thing.

As suggested, we are going to put in an additional 1/2" lag screw to better secure the knee braces into the utility pole.

We are going to add a few heavy items to the deck area to help even out the weight distribution (Tunnel slide, climbing wall, and stairwell). The roof is going to cover the deck as well so that the weight is again not so back heavy.
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