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Treehouses & Playhouses You Can Build Paperback – Sep 1 2006


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Frequently Bought Together

  • Treehouses & Playhouses You Can Build
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  • Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Treehouses, 2nd edition: Design & Build Your Kids a Treehouse
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  • Be in a Treehouse: Design / Construction / Inspiration
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Gibbs Smith; 1 edition (Sept. 1 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586857800
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586857806
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1 x 27.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #126,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Inside Flap

Treehouses& Playhouses YOU CAN BUILD

David & Jeanie Stiles

Nails, screws, lumber and some elbow grease are about all that's needed to create the magic and adventure of a private hand-made wooden kids' club in the treetops. Build an imagination inspiring Hobbit Treehouse, a Pirate Ship Playhouse with working water cannons, or any of 40 unique projects by following simple steps in Treehouses & Playhouses You Can Build.

Detailed step-by-step instructions and beautiful hand-drawn illustrations make these backyard-construction activities as much fun to craft as they will be to use. Parents and children can spend time together sculpting in the sky and learning woodworking skills just by setting aside a few weekends to go outdoors and build. Kids and adults alike will have a beautiful, wild space to call their own for hours of creative play or relaxation.

Treehouses & Playhouses shows the average "do-it-yourself" family how to easily and affordably bring such structures to life by their own hands in their own backyards. Build a treehouse or playhouse on a budget, using basic tools and minimal building experience. Choose from different projects including a Victorian Playhouse or Treeless Treehouse, a zip line, a crow's nest, an escape hatch, a secret lock box, a hidden message board, pulleys, lifts, lofts, skylights, ladders, bridges and swings. Use the skills you learn from the detailed projects to build "fantasy" structures such as a Climb & Slide Mountain, Delta Wing Space Vehicle, Dragon House, Giant Glasses, Jet Racer, Meditation Hut, Suspended Monster Playhouse or Swinging Treehouse.

For regular dads and moms or weekend carpenters, this book offers a layperson's manual to bring the dream of an exciting and personal spot for the kids into reality.

Author David Stiles, a designer/builder who has built several houses in the East Hampton area, is also an illustrator who specializes in writing "how-to" books. In the past, David worked as an architectural renderer for most of the leading architectural ?rms in New York City, and received two awards from the NYC Planning Commission for his playground design for handicapped children.

From the Back Cover

"Jeanie and David Stiles are recreation experts," says Matt Laurer of NBC's The Today Show, when the Stiles built a "treeless" treehouse in only three hours at Rockefeller Center in New York City.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa6159c9c) out of 5 stars 45 reviews
51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa368fa8c) out of 5 stars Perfect for the young builder Feb. 20 2008
By Steve in Maine - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the latest installment in a long string of wonderful books from David and Jeanie Stiles. Inside you won't find glossy, double page spreads of extravagant treehouses ... this is not a coffee table book. Rather, it is a how-to book, and the best one available for those that want to build their own whimsical play structure. Inside you will find excellent line drawings and readable explanations of intelligent, creative, and well though-out designs.

David starts with the basics: tools. From there you follow a complete and logical progression to completed treehouse. In between you'll get solid building advice. David has built his designs. He knows how to make life easier for you by using common materials and minimizing cuts. The building advice is spot on throughout.

The huge, huge, huge problem with this book is the 20 or so options David gives you for connecting lumber to tree. They are almost all bad. Never girdle a growing limb with rope or cable. Never use nails. This leaves you with only lag bolting. To be sure, there are other ways. But the only safe and tree-friendly way presented in this book (and any of his other works) is to use lags.

This is the by far the best book to give to a young builder and is probably a treasure to any 8 or 9 year old lucky enough to have a copy. It will get their mind working. The crazy schemes they come up with will amaze you.

The ideas inside this book are great. Fun, imaginative, unique. If you know a young boy (or girl) with a tree, get him this book. And when it comes time to actually build their creation, call an arborist and he'll set you straight about properly attaching it to a tree.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa368fc00) out of 5 stars Great Treehouse Book! March 8 2007
By Kat in Austin, TX - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a wonderful how-to book for those who need all the help they can get on building a treehouse. The plans are great and we are building the basic treehouse which is perfect for our 8 and 5 year old kids. Lots of ideas on everything from picking trees, buying lumber, safety tips, to flexible extras. We bought all three of David Stiles treehouse books and this was by far the best and we could have just bought this one and been happy but are glad to have them all. Would highly recommend to parents contemplating building a treehouse or for kids who want to dream of one.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa36a61a4) out of 5 stars Exceptional Book Dec 13 2010
By Matthew D. Copley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought three different books on building tree houses. I have absolutely ZERO experience in building anything. I simple used the plans in this book for a basic tree house and just modified it a little bit. If I had only bought the other two books I would have probably given up on the idea. This book made it so easy that now my kids have the coolest tree house in the neighborhood. In fact, if I took a picture of this thing and sent it to the author he would probably include the picture in the next edition. The only advice I can give you is, buy this book and plan on spending double whatever you are planning to spend and you will be the coolest dad in the world.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3802048) out of 5 stars Structural advice in this book is potentially fatal. May 23 2015
By Austin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This review is one star for bad structural advice. Let me provide one example. In the section about chain, page 57: "5/16 inch chain (actually 5/8 inch when you add the other side of the link) has a working load of only 1,900 pounds, whereas 5/8 inch Dacron rope has a breaking strength of 8,910 pounds, more than four times the strength of chain."
NO! WRONG!
5/16 inch chain has a cross sectional area of .153 inches squared. (Each side of the link has a cross sectional area of .0767 inches squared). 5/8 inch rope has a cross sectional area of 0.306 inches squared. That is twice as much area as the chain.
Second, they compare WORKING load of chain to BREAKING strength of rope. That is incorrect. 5/8 Dacron rope has a WORKING load of 1100 pounds. (http://www.boatsafe.com/marlinespike/safeload.htm). Thus one can see that the chain is stronger. In basic terms, the difference between working load and breaking strength is a factor of safety. Do not confuse them. Someone may die.
Finally, not all 5/16 chain has a working load of 1,900 pounds. Chain is available in various grades. The grade is a measure of the strength of the steel. Grade 30 5/16 chain is commonly available with a working load of 1,900 pounds; however, it is also readily available in higher strengths (e.g. grade 43 has a working load of 3,900 pounds).
In another entry in the book, they mention 3/4" Dacron rope has a breaking strength of 11,000 pounds. A safe working load might actually be as low as 1375 pounds.
These are just two examples of incorrect use of capacities. There are a lot of good ideas in the book and I appreciate the authors' efforts to economize. I am usually not an alarmist. However, their knowledge of material strengths leaves enough room for error that this review had to be posted before someone gets hurt. Please do your own calculations after sufficient research to understand what you are actually calculating or hire a competent professional if you are uncomfortable doing them yourself. At a minimum, never use breaking strength for your calculations-- when the load approaches or meets the breaking load, someone will get hurt.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa36a62ac) out of 5 stars The Ideas are great...BUT the instructions are NOT! July 23 2012
By thejamiv - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I choose the easiest project out of this book for my first..the treeless tree house, the materials list is outdated and you will not find the plywood at HD, Lowes or Lumber 86..they can substitute for you though. The instructions are great right up until it leaves out that little bit of knowledge you as a first time builder require. What angle here? How do I measure it accurately? And by cut the 2 x 8 's you mean cut them here, not here where you talk about them later. And things like, remember that when you are moving this heavy frame for the deck that it is only attached by nails and WILL come apart if not handled very carefully. I DO NOT RECOMMEND this book for newer builders, it is only useful for ideas...Not at all what I was expecting to receive, it forces you to double check the authors on things you know little about. I am halfway through my project, the pie rat ship was to be next.....but I have to reconsider, because this 'easy' project was too much wasted and repeated effort.


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