Build a Treehouse

They are whimsical, they are cool, they are on every child’s – big or small - wish list. That’s right, they are treehouses. Can you honestly say that you never wanted to have a cool treehouse or that you didn’t try to build one at some point in your life?

No matter how old you are the wish to have your very own treehouse never goes away. That’s why we did our best to showcase you how to build a treehouse in 7 easy steps.

Step 1: Find a good tree(s)

It goes without saying that for a treehouse you need…well, a tree. That’s why you ought to start with scouting your property and the area where you’d like your house to be. The tree you choose should be healthy, sturdy and living. That being said, you’ll need this tree to have well-established and deep roots, as well as good load-bearing branches. 

Usually, trees ideal for house building includes oak, maple, fir, apple, hemlock and other similar types of trees. If possible you can use two or three trees for a larger house.

Step 2: Design

After the perfectly unperfect tree has been found, you can move on to creating a design for your treehouse. Brainstorm ideas and then sketch them either on paper or do it by using a computer program. The design of your house may be simple, minimal and overall inexpensive. However, you can go all out and design a super complex, luxurious and intricate treehouse. 

Ultimately, it all comes down to how much you want to spend on a treehouse, and of course, if your tree can take such a construction.

Step 3: Materials and tools

What follows is gathering and purchasing all the necessary material for building this house. Oh, and let’s not forget the tools, you’ll need the tools. 

You’ll need beams, lumber, screws, bolts, nails, and fasteners. Make sure that you leave room for the tree to continue to grow and to move. In order to do this, you’ll need large bolts and spacers between the beams and the tree -this way the tree will be able to move freely.

When it comes to tools, you’ll need power tools such as drills and jigsaws and hand tools like hammer, wrench, tape measure, level and so on. In order to store and have handy all these tools, it would be nice to have a cool and handy undertray toolbox that you can carry around with you. You’ll be climbing a tree a lot, so having all your tools at hand reach can be super convenient. 

Step 4: Installing beams and decking

Now onto the more exciting part, which is actually treehouse building. You’ll need to mount the beams onto the tree in order to build the platform. This platform will need to be as close to the tree trunk as possible and it will need to be leveled. For additional support of your treehouse, you may need to install knee braces. In case you have more than one tree it will be ideal if you could spread the wight among those trees.

Once the platform has been installed, you can move on to decking it. Put the floorboards down cut them so that they fit around the tree and screw them into place. This is the part where you need to think about the growth and movement of the tree. Cut the floorboards around each tree trunk. Leave at least 2 inches between the boards and the tree. 

And voila, you are now standing on what will be the floor of your treehouse!

Step 5: Putting up walls

When it comes to the walls of your soon to be a treehouse, the best thing you can do is frame them on the ground and then slowly pull up the frames using a pulley system. This part is best done with the help of your friends. 

Once the frames are up, you can install them and screw them together and then add the sheathing of your choice. This is how you’ll add windows in the end as well.

Step 6: Roof

The slope of the roof is important. You wouldn’t want your roof to be too steep as you won’t be able to stand on it in order to install the shingles. 

Once you established the roof slope you can move on to installing the rafters and gable overhangs. Once everything is laid down, you’ll need to put the plywood down and to finish everything off, put down the shingles or metal roof. 

Step 7: Install stairs or ladder as well as railing

As a final step, you can add and make the steps or ladder of your choice. You can choose from wooden steps to the rope ladder, anything you desire really. 

Last, but not least is the railing. The railing is important for safety reasons. And just like with steps or ladder, you can make the railing whichever style you want. 

And there you have it, your dream treehouse done! Now you can work on decorating and putting your personal stamp on it. Don’t forget to make the house safe and sound – both for your sake and the sake of those who visit it. Plus, don’t forget to think about the tree when making the house. If you do, the treehouse will last even longer, and thus your house as well!