Having designed and built hundreds of one-of-a-kind treehouses over the last 20 years, I enjoyed your cover story “Out on a limb” (July 19). I take issue, however, with Frank Hyman’s advice: “Keep the ceiling at kid height. If an adult can stand up inside, the proportion will be off.” He’s making a common error of many treehouse builders: designing for (only) the short-term. Those cute 4- and 7-year-olds pictured on your cover will need an outdoor space of their own every bit as much when they’re 14 and 17. They and their parents will thank you for thinking ahead a few years.
Adult-sized treehouses, if designed properly, are safe for tots, make for family harmony in the teen years, and leave mom and dad a great outdoor retreat when the kids have traded in their roots for wings. And let’s not forget our elders: One of our clients had her 65th birthday party–complete with champagne, caviar and chocolate–in a treehouse she designed.
With childhood obesity and “nature-deficit disorder” on the rise, many parents need all the help they can get to entice their children outdoors. Thanks for highlighting the many advantages of treehouses.