Don and Anne Simmons … Lawrenceburg, Anderson County

The Simmons family built a free-standing, two-story treehouse around a big Ash tree. “We live in a Lawrenceburg neighborhood of 1 and 2 acre lots,” Simmons says, “and the tree house is in a grove of trees in the back corner of our yard, with a 400 acre farm adjoining us. Although in a neighborhood it has a lot of room to roam next to it. In the fall, when hickory nuts are falling off nearby trees, it sounds like gunshots when they hit the tin roof.”
Instead of attaching to the tree itself, Simmons used four 24-foot cedar logs harvested from his dad’s farm, sinking them into concrete, 4 feet into the ground. A good example of using recycled, salvaged and material on-hand to reduce costs, Simmons says, “The tin roof came from my in-laws farm, the majority of smaller wood, used in the porch, trim and climbing steps is from recycled pallets, the second-story slats came from a back porch addition on our own home, and surplus wood from a house that a work colleague had built.” The only purchased material was plywood for the walls, plus nails and bolts.
Simmons’ sons Ben and David enjoy the treehouse. The treehouse was Ben’s idea. He also made a few rope chairs, which hang from the second story floor joists. The first story has a trap door entry, and there is a zip line from the second story, about 16 feet off the ground, which is especially popular and great entertainment for visitors. For new users, a trampoline is placed under the take-off spot, just as a safety precaution..

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