A tree house is like a child’s first apartment: A place to hang out, to invite friends up for games, to spend seasons among the birds and sunshine. Hours of hard work building a bamboo tree house leads to hours of fun for kids!
Here’s what you need to make your bamboo tree house:
- 20 bamboo poles, 6 ft x 3 in.
- 100 bamboo poles, 10 ft x 1 in
- 40 bamboo poles, 6 ft x 2 in
- Manual Saw
- Lashing cord
- Grass matting for the roof
Here’s how to make your bamboo tree house:
- It all starts with the tree. Make sure to find one with flat, sturdy limbs that can support the weight of an occupied tree house.
- Create the frame of the floor by laying the 3-inch wide bamboo poles across the tree limbs in whichever shape makes the most sense for the tree you are using (i.e – square, rectangle, pentagon, etc). Trim the poles if needed using your level to ensure the floor is as level as you can manage. If you can’t reach high enough to position the floor, climb a ladder instead of the tree itself. This will help avoid bending the limbs of the tree unevenly.
- Once the poles are adjusted to your satisfaction, use the lashing to secure them together. Now you have a floor for your tree house! When lashing bamboo poles together, make sure to wrap the lashing around the poles from all possible directions and pull the lashing as tight as possible. (If the poles are slack, they can come apart under the weight of tiny footsteps.) Make sure to lash the floor frame to the tree itself for greater stability and safety.
- If you’re building the tree house around the main trunk of a tree, you’ll have to build an inner frame for the floor of the tree house around the trunk. Do this the same way you built the outer frame. The inner frame should have roughly the same shape as the outer frame, though some variation is acceptable to accommodate the shape of the trunk. Try to keep the inner frame as close to the trunk as possible but leave enough room to lash the floor poles to the frame. You will need six or eight inches of clearance between the inner frame and the tree trunk.
- To form the floor of the tree house, use the 1-inch wide bamboo poles. Trim the poles so they overhang your floor frame by two inches on either side. Lay the poles side by side across the floor frame and lash them into place. Each pole should be lashed to the floor frame on both ends. Also lash each pole to the pole on either side of it. End poles should be lashed to the frame at all possible locations. If you’re building around the trunk of the tree, you will have to lash the poles located closer to the center to the inner frame as well.
- Now it’s on to the roof! Decide where you want to place the support poles. You can have as few as four support poles or as many as eight around the floor frame. If you’re building around the tree trunk, you’ll need the same number of poles around the inner floor frame. Lash all poles in their proper places. There should not be more than 6 feet between poles that are next to each other. The vertical poles should end up secured to the floor frame vertically. Don’t worry if they go slightly askew because you’ll fix that problem in a moment.
- Lash 2-inch wide poles horizontally between the tops of the support poles. Each support pole should be connected to the support pole next to it with a horizontal pole. These horizontal poles are the roofing poles. If you’re building around the trunk of the tree, you should also connect each support pole to the corresponding support pole along the inner floor frame using a horizontal roofing pole. Trim all poles to size before lashing them in place as it will be difficult to do this later.
- Keep the tree house safe by creating guard rails around the exterior. Lash 2-inch wide poles to the support poles around the outer edge of the tree house. These poles should be about three feet off the floor of the tree house. You may also lash additional guard rails in place one and a half feet off the floor of the tree house. This is especially useful if younger children will be using the tree house. Leave a gap of about one foot to accommodate a ladder.
- Build the roof of your tree house by lashing the grass mats over the horizontal roofing poles.