»  Treehouse — Phase 7


Here I have just logged (four years on, in the spring of 2008) some changes and improvements. There haven't been many. The treehouse is still very robust. I spend a lot of time up there — way more than the kids. Sometimes I sleep up there. The changes have been mainly small things for comfort and convenience.

Workspace The treehouse is within range of my wireless router (a thing to check beforehand if you want to use treehouse as workspace) so I can work up here on my laptop. A spare patio chair; a waterproof seat cushion (birthday present from my kids); a $10 folding table from Wal-Mart, and I'm all set up … until I need to consult a book.
You need shelving, of course, and hooks to hang things from. Sheves & hooks
King of the treehouse A glass of iced coffee, and you're all set up.
The south wall overlooks a neighbor's back yard, so I want to respect their privacy. I have, though, made a little windown in that wall that I can open when they're not around. It lets in more light and air. Also rain and leaves in bad weather, so I have to remember to shut the window when I leave. Window
Stowage Because I sometimes sleep up here, I need a place to stow bedding and a pillow. From considerations of dampness and insects, this storage needs to be as open to the air as possible. Solution: a wee net that I can pull across the ceiling at the southeast corner.

That round blob in the foreground up there is a hammock.
I got an excellent hammock from Eagles Nest Outfitters — this one. It's made from parachute material, very thin but very strong. Hammock
Hammock support I sling the hammock from corner to corner, which is ten feet. It's a nine-foot hammock, so this works nicely. To support it, I cut a length of 4×4 diagonally, to make two lengths with isosceles-right-triangle cross-sections. I fixed one of these in each corner, using two eye bolts. This gives two heights you can sling the hammock at, one for kids, one for adults.
The hammock fabric is truly amazing. You can stuff it back into its bag with no difficulty, ending up with a packed hammock no bigger than a pomelo. Hammock packed
Waiter So that I can take my breakfast up here, I made a dumb waiter. Some offcuts of wood, paint, lacquer, eye-screws, four bits of string. I haul it up using the pulley.
I got a little carried away making the dumb waiter, I'll admit. Painted the Chinese characters zaofan ("breakfast") on before lacquering. To make the characters, I just printed them off from my computer, pricked through the outlines onto the tray, and painted in. A nice elegant flowing style of calligraphy would of course have been better, but … I don't have one. Zaofan
Maintenance The only regular maintenance I do is to go over the structure each year in early spring, checking for (a) any bolts that have worked loose, (b) threats to the structure from tree growth. The latter I solve by just cutting away structure as needed.

The spaces left between tree and floor (or celing) as a result of this cutting away have an added benefit: squirrels can run right up and down the tree trunk and through the structure. They generally pause for a moment if they see me sitting there, as if to say: "What the heck …?" before proceeding on up, or down.
Here's a view from the treehouse looking northeast, over the garage roof and down the driveway. My house is on the left. View NE
View N The view north. Not much to see but leaves. You can just make out the back of our house, and the sliding door to our deck.
The view west, showing my woodpile and the southwest corner of my back yard. The rectangular patch outlined with pebbles is Boris's grave. View W