How to Build a Treehouse

Treehouse Plans and Advice

Learning how to build a tree house requires a little more knowledge then pounding some nails into a tree. Discover the secrets to building a tree house that are safe for your family and for the tree!

Free Shed Plans

Build a Tree House!

Build a Tree House Today

Summer cabin tree house

Building a tree house can be fun for the whole family!

Someone told me I was immature. Guess who’s not allowed in my tree house now???

So you have the perfect tree to build a tree house in…

Now what? There are many things to take into consideration before you get started building your first tree house. This website is dedicated to getting you all the information needed to get your tree house off the ground and to have an amazing place for your children to play, an amazing place for you to put a home office, all the way to building a tree house big enough to live in.

Build a Tree House: Step 1

What are the best trees for tree houses?The Tree for your tree house

By far the most important consideration when you build your new tree house is the tree you are starting with. Weak, sick, or rotting trees might be a real danger to you and your family, so it’s important to really inspect your tree before you begin.

How old is your tree? Is it the kind of tree with a deep enough root system that can handle all the extra added weight? Is there at least one sturdy branch that will help anchor your tree house to the tree? Will you be able to spread out the weight throughout the tree to make your tree house more solid.

Other important factors for the tree you build a tree house on:

  • What kind of soil the tree lives in
  • Weather factors: do you live in an area with high winds?
  • How close your tree house is to other buildings on your property
  • How thick the tree’s trunk is
  • Will you build a tree house across multiple trees?
  • How high can you build?
  • How will people get in and out of your tree house?
  • Is soil erosion a factor in your location?
  • How much weight will the tree house need to handle?

It is crucial to start with the perfect tree before you get into the essentials of how to build a tree house…

Start with a Basic Tree House Design

Most of the time, you have to make do with the trees you already have on your property. So now that we have determined you have the prefect tree to build a tree house on, it’s time to start out with some basic tree house designs. Start with the structure first and then figure out how elaborate you plan to go with your tree house.

One of the easiest ways to figure out how to build a tree house is to take photographs of the of the tree from many angles. After this, you will need to print out pictures of your tree and then make some black and white or color copies of your photos. You can print them on your home computer or have your tree pictures blown up at a photolab or drugstore. Make a few copies of each photo.

Now you can sketch out a few rough ideas of what your finished tree house is going to look like. You’ll thank me later for suggesting to make many copies of each angle! You can figure out what the basic look of your tree house from the said angled shots of the tree and your pictures shot from below will help you to figure out the tree house floor plan.

It is crucial that all tree house designs include how people will be able to get in and out of your tree house. Will you be using stairs or a ladder or both? Will you nail boards to the tree for a ladder or will it be a free standing ladder? Will your tree house plan include rope access or even a fireman’s pole for easy exit? The more thought you put into getting in and out of your treehouse, the more fun it becomes for everyone who enjoys it. Making your tree house easy to use will ensure that it will get used more. If you make it too hard (or too dangerous) to get in and out of, no one will use it!

The Features of your tree house

The more features you add to your tree house, the better it becomes and the more likely that you are creating something that adds value to your house when it’s time to sell it.

The next step in how to build a tree house is to consider what it’s going to look like beyond the basic structure. Will it have windows? What will the roof look like? Will it have a conventional door or a trap door? If you live where it’s always cold outside, will you be insulating your tree house? Can it be locked? If it’s being built as a playhouse for children, are there tons of features that inspire the imagination?

It really doesn’t matter what you sketch out right now because you can always add to your tree house design later as you dream up improved design functions and as your budget to build a tree house increases.

The Sky’s the Limit… Literally!

Building a tree house probably doesn’t require a building permit (unless you are building a house-sized tree house). This means you can pretty much do anything your imagination can think of. Keep in mind that all trees have a limit to how much weight they can hold and how they will withstand high winds with your tree house creating a bigger surface area. If you plan on going big, you may have to run supports down to the ground to take some burden off the tree and make a more solid tree house.

Other than that, your only other limitations are your tree house building budget and your imagination.

Now would be a great time to check out some books on how to build a tree house to get a solid idea on what you are about to design and how to handle some of the common problems you will face when building a tree house.

Designing a tree house can be a lot of fun. It can also be a pain if you don’t have the proper design before starting. Anyone with a saw, a drill and some hammers can build a tree house, but as with most things in life, if you don’t have a decent guidebook giving you some standard building designs, you might very easily get discouraged and have yet another unfinished project for people to nag you about.

You can build a tree house quicker than you think!

All you need is a tree, some building supplies and some tools and tree house building plan and you can be lounging in your new tree house after a few weekend’s worth of work. Start smart and work smart and you can build a tree house like a pro in no time at all!


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