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Old 08-11-2009, 07:27 AM   #1
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Wobbly Tree House

I have built a freestanding tree house (a glamourous shed on stilts!). The four corner posts are 3m tall, 10cm x 10cm posts. The structure has a very slight wobble front to back and left to right. The posts are currently screwed into lateral cross beams at the top and half-height with 10cm coaching screws. I want to eradicate the wobble and ensure it is wholly safe for kids. I intend to use wire and straining bolts to tension the structure. However, I am not sure how and where I should apply these. Should I apply them front to back and left to right at the top and middle of the structure (marked A to B on attached plan) or on a diagonal (marked A to A and B to B on the plan).

Help urgently required!

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File Type: pdf Tree house plan.PDF (94.5 KB, 319 views)


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Old 08-11-2009, 01:33 PM   #2
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Just put in some diagonal cross braces. See pic here:http://www.decks.com/article82.aspx

That's what it's missing for stability.


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Old 08-11-2009, 02:09 PM   #3
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Jogr is right, I believe. The cross wires you show in your plans seem like they will do little to address the lateral stability of the posts. You could still push the structure down... although it might well remain somewhat square even after it hits the ground.

A recommendation: At that height, 15cm posts would have been a better choice. They have about twice the resistance to swaying as the 10cm you used. The coaching screws were a good decision. Much better than nails.
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Last edited by Willie T; 08-11-2009 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:22 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Willie T View Post
although it might well remain somewhat square even after it hits the ground.
too funny....

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Old 08-11-2009, 04:59 PM   #5
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Thank you all. I also laughed at the falling down comment.... let's hope that isnt tested!

For the diagonal braces is there an issue on how I fix these? for simplicity, I would intend to fix them with two coaching screws at each end and a flush join. It would be too difficult to try and chisel out an inset joint now that the structure is up.

If I use pieces of 4x4 for the bracing, would it be ok with 4 inch coaching screws?

Last edited by DDF; 08-11-2009 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:36 PM   #6
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Wobbly Tree house

Hi!. You have braced the house in the horizontal plane, which helps to avoid the crushing effect of wind forces. You must also brace it in the vertical plane on all sides to stop horizontal sway. The most effective, strongest and least obtrusive way , as well as the simplist, is to use a stainless steel tension system of diagonal bracing to the lower part of the main posts. About 6" above grade, drill 3/8' hole through centre of post. Install SS 3/8" eyelet bolt through post with the eyelet towards the inside. Countersink post for washer and nut on exposed face for safety and appearance attach 3/8" SS tunbuckle to eyelet. Attach 5/16" thick SS woven SS wire rope used in rigging or for shade sails to turnbuckle at one end and straight to eyelet at other end, this eyelet being the opposite fixing point as high as you can place it on each post. Criss-cross the wires diagonally, two wires per face. Obviously place each eyelet just above each other at each corner, or they'll hit inside the post. Tension the wires using the turnbuckle, and rotate each buckle four or five turns, then the opposite buckle in sequence. Dont tension one wire fully at a time, or you will distort the frame. SS fittings are available to easily attach the ends of the rope and prevent the rope biting into the buckle. After tensioning, and the wires twang like a guitar string, give ithe house a solid shove and note if there is any movement. Tighten more if so, but I don't think this will be necessary. Cheers From OZ.


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