----------- Fine Homebuilding Magazine, July 1998 issue (back cover) -----------
Tree House with a Big View
Ever want to build a tree house? Bill Compher of Ashford, Washington, always did, then went ahead and actually built one near the southwest corner of Mount Rainier National Park. By himself.
This is not a backyard affair. The 16-ft. sq. house sits 50 ft. off the ground, halfway up a big western red cedar. After first building a 2x4 ladder up the trunk of the elected tree, Compher hauled up the lumber with a single pulley, one piece at a time, a Sisyphean process he doesn't recommend. He lag-bolted two 4x8x16 beams to slight notches in the trunk, then ran 2x8 joists perpendicular to the beams for the deck. Eight 4x6 knee braces support the deck. He also braced the tree with stainless steel cable to stop the tree from blowing over, securing the trunk at four points above and four points below the structure.
Compher lived in the house for a couple of years. Having two young children, though, forced him to rethink his arboreal life, and he built a more rooted house a short distance away. In the meantime, Compher added the firetower-like staircase to ease the climb. Compher says it's still a great spot to enjoy the views, and he hopes to turn the place into a bed and breakfast in the near future. -- Charles Bickford, Fine Homebuilding magazine, July 1998.
Cedar Creek Treehouse, P.O. Box 204, Ashford, WA 98304