How Will a Treehouse Affect Your Property?
Posted on January 20, 2013
Many people consider allowing their children to build a tree house in their yard or building one for themselves. However, for people who see themselves selling in the future, a tree house may be a sticking point. Some people worry about potential buyers seeing it as a possible detractor from their house’s value. There is also the issue of neighbor complaints and zoning regulations. However, if one is willing to put in some time, effort and money, a tree house can be built that can add to property values and your home’s appeal.
While neighbor opinion and zoning regulations won’t affect your home’s value, being slapped with a fine for having a structure that is not permitted by zoning will relieve you of cash, either through paying the fine or fighting it in court. Finding out how the law applies to your tree house and consulting with your neighbors may well save you time and money in the long run.
Visit the neighbors and ask them what they think if the tree house will be within their sight. Many people won’t care at all what you do in your own yard, but will appreciate the gesture. If they do object, see what you can do to alleviate their concerns or the problems that they have. If you have a plan for an attractive, planned structure, it will be a lot easier to pass by the neighbors than a haphazard collection of boards and nails.
Find out if there are any zoning regulations you must abide by or permits you must get in order to build the structure. Many communities don’t have tree house-specific regulations, but if someone complains, the city may attempt to define a tree house by another definition, such as an “accessory building”. When in doubt, getting the permit is usually the best strategy.
Many people think fondly back to a motley collection of 2x4s, scrap plywood and scavenged nails that formed their childhood getaway. Despite the nostalgic appeal, this is not what you want in your tree(s). There are many designs available on the Internet that have the advantage of outlining the construction of attractive and safe load-bearing structures. These can be anything from the standard platform-with-rail to a palatial Tudor-style home complete with electric outlets. One recommendation is that the ladder/stairs be designed so that most people can get to the tree house without too much trouble.
One easy way to make your tree house form an attractive part of your property is to design and paint it to match your home. The matching trim and colors can create a well-rounded look. A bit of paint and decor can go a long way to making your tree house a design element of your property. This can result in a universal appeal. Buyers with children will see it as a place for their children to play. Buyers who don’t have children may see it (if large enough) as a place for relaxing or entertaining. There have been cases where a tree house built for adults has been a prime motivator for the sale of a home.
A well-designed tree house can be an attractive addition to a property if it is constructed under local zoning regulations and is made to be attractive in its own right. With careful construction and design, a tree house can boost your property values and provide an additional incentive for prospective buyers.
Written By: Lesa Parham