As he is something of a DIY enthusiast, one Imgur user was pretty excited when his cousin approached him at a family party and asked for help making something awesome for her three kids. He wouldn’t be getting paid for his work, but his cousin would pay for all the materials and he’d get to practice his DIY skills creating something extremely cool.
So, what can you give three kids aged between eight and 12 that will provide them with equal and endless amounts of pleasure for years to come? Well, that was the challenge the guy and his cousin’s husband faced when they stepped out into this rubble-filled backyard. And, at first glance, it looked like they only had stones and dirt to work with.
But with the help of the Imgur user’s dog Pac, the pair came up with an amazing idea that the kids would go completely nuts over. As a result, the man went to work on the plans for his project – and he didn’t cut any corners. In fact, he spent roughly 130 hours drawing diagrams, exploring the best construction options and evaluating the expenses.
And so, on April 1, 2016, with winter at an end, work began – but it was no April Fools’ joke. Holes needed to be dug and huge boulders needed to be wedged out of the ground, after all. What’s more, a dog needed to be moved – probably the most challenging part of all – as Pac liked to nap in the way of proceedings. And this was all accomplished in the Imgur user’s and his cousin’s husband’s free time.
Then came the concrete. Rather than buying bags and mixing their own, however, they found a local company that sold them the concrete mix in a trailer. They were then able to link the trailer to their vehicle and drive it to the site at a cost of $175. Next, they spent nearly two hours flooding 5,000 lbs of 3,000 psi concrete into four “footings.”
With the concrete in place, then, they went on to attach four posts to the footings and chop them down to the required height. And finally, it was time for the flooring to be put in place. The wood, however, had to be chosen carefully: to weather the outdoor conditions, it would have to be pressure treated in order to prevent rot. Knee braces then had to be placed between posts and beams to prevent the construction from toppling during stormy conditions.
Furthermore, once the base of the decking was ready, the rail posts had to be secured to the outer joists. It was a good job Pac was around to help. At the same time as the rail posts, meanwhile, two longer posts were initially installed on one side with the intention of building a suspension bridge. This idea, however, was later scrapped in favor of building a regular bridge. But was the design really going to work?
There was only one way to find out. And so the pair forged ahead, placing the decking over the base beams. This was made of 2 x 6 pieces of beautiful redwood – but as the planks were naturally rot-resistant, they didn’t come cheap. Luckily, however, they managed to obtain a 10 percent discount, bringing the total cost of the redwood to $1,200.
Installing the redwood, however, proved pretty tedious. “Placing the decking and railing was probably my least favorite part of the project,” the Imgur user explained. “Screwing in the decking was incredibly tedious and this was during the miserable heat of summer.” Furthermore, he also came up with the idea of using branches as spindles in between the redwood rails, which gave him the treehouse look he was hoping for. And, best of all, the branches were absolutely free.
The constructor didn’t stop there, however. He then started work on the internal walls and decided that a door would be perfect at the end of his little bridge. Finally, his structure was really taking shape. And if you hadn’t guessed already, he was working on the type of treehouse that was going to completely blow the kids’ minds.
Next, the roof shape began to take form. The pair used half-inch plywood in the loft, and with the rafters all in place the framing was nearly finished. At this point, the Imgur user was getting really excited. His treehouse was finally starting to come together, and he could now imagine what the finished product would look like.
Once the wall sheathing was complete, then, the pair got to work on the roof sheathing. Additionally, they installed some “flashing” around the windows and then added a decorative chimney and a little bench inside, too. They also covered the walls with 30 lb of felt paper. But while the end was clearly in sight, there was still quite a bit to do.
All that was left to do now, however, was add some finishing touches. Heat-treated, naturally rot-resistant cedar siding went up on the outer walls, and the same cedar wood was chopped up into 18-inch-long ‘shakes’ that were painstakingly attached to the roof. Cedar was also used to make the door.
Not content with making the most awesome treehouse ever, though, the constructor then decided that a slide from the treehouse to the ground would be an essential feature. And it’s no surprise that the kids absolutely loved it. In fact, no doubt the grown-ups did too. The Imgur user connected the slide to the railing and voila – who needs steps?
And while using the smoother side of the same cedar boards that were used for the rest of the build, he also kitted out the interior with a bench and stairs leading up to the loft space. He admitted that building the stairs, however, was “much trickier than I thought it would be.” Finally, redwood in the rafters created a stunning finish to the beautiful interior craftsmanship.
But it wouldn’t be complete without a deer head at the back. Placed just above the barn doors, the deer watches over the place and give it a real cabin feel. The piece was made at work by another of the treehouse creator’s relatives and is one of his favorite features.
Another cool feature is the deck. This is where the adults hang out – well, there had to be something special for the big kids to enjoy. And the ropes you can see behind the railings are a little feature that the kids love, too. They’re attached to a bucket so that they can send stuff up and down to each other. Furthermore, as you can see, the view from the deck is fabulous.
Lights strung through the trees around the cabin, meanwhile, add to the magical effect that this amazing little fairytale house has, especially when it starts to get dark. All in all, then, the project cost under $8,000, with under 500 hours of work spread out over seven and a half months – but it was undoubtedly worth every cent and every minute.
And viewers of the Imgur user’s post concurred. “Wish I had a Dad as cool as you. Also I wish I was as cool as you,” one said. Another added, “I still don’t believe it’s real. It’s far too amazing.” And yet another commenter agreed, “This is literally the coolest thing I’ve seen all day – amazing job!”
Clearly happy with the end result, the Imgur user also said alongside his post, “I love building stuff and I also consider it an investment in my career. I’m hoping something comes of this.” Well, he should probably get ready for some new commissions. After all, every kid in the U.S. is gonna want one of these – and probably a few big kids, too.