»  Treehouse — Phase 4


The objective of Phase 4 is to build the treehouse roof.

First roof beams Raise high the roof beams! Now it's time to put a roof on the structure. The first thing we need is some beams. Here you see three of my four beams (from inside the house, looking south).

Note the Simpson ties making this very easy. Simpson rules!
The structure with roof beams in place, seen from below to the west. Roof beams in place
First roof panel from inside Now the first roof panel goes on at the east side. It's just a single sheet of 4ft × 8ft ½-inch ply, with one cut to shape it round that tree trunk, nailed down from the top with 1½-inch galvanized nails.
The structure with that first roof panel in place, seen from below to the southeast.

Now it's starting to look like a tree house.
First roof panel from outside
Roof panel closed The other, west, panel of the roof presented some issues. It's just another 4'×8' sheet of ½-inch ply; but because a tree part goes right up through it, I had to do the template trick and cut it into two pieces.

Furthermore, I needed to be able to actually get up on the roof to nail this second panel down. My ladder won't reach, and I was not about to buy a new ladder just for this.

So I made a virtue of necessity and turned the second, smaller section of this roof panel into a hinged trapdoor I could climb out through.

In this picture you see the trapdoor closed. (The picture is taken from above, me standing on the roof to shoot it.)
Here is the same part of the roof, but with the trapdoor open. Notice the hinges and the wee brass handle. No point doing things by halves.

I have created another problem for myself with this trapdoor. It is irresistible to the bolder sort of little boy, a category into which Daniel Oliver Derbyshire falls. (Let's hope that's the only thing he falls into.) So now, after all that work making a nice safe walled box for the boys to play in, I have them skidding about on an unprotected slanting roof, covered with wet and slippery fallen-from-tree things, 20 feet above the ground. Memo to self: buy padlock.
Roof panel open
Roof from inside As always when you've laid down large sheets of ply, the need for extra supports soon shows up. Here you see the roof from below. I might run a bead of sealant tar along the join between the two main panels. Then again, I might not. As I keep telling the kids: "A tree house isn't supposed to be rainproof."
Just for the sake of completeness, here's the north part of the roof, from above. Roof north from above
Completed structure from north With the roof in place and a couple more wall half-panels up, the main structure is now complete. Here you see it from the north …
… from the south … Completed structure from south
Completed structure from east … from the east …
… and from the west.

At this point, the heavy lifting has all been done. Everything else is small stuff: I need a rope ladder and an access trapdoor, some patches to the walls here and there, a couple of touches to further strengthen and secure the underpinning, a flagpole of course …

I shall make that all a separate, final phase. So this is the …

End of Phase 4.

Continue to Phase 5.
Completed structure from west