Plans from Treehouse Guides

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Projects for beginners, with or without trees

Treehouse Guides
Plans for beginners


World treehouse list - No location given


Tom Friend
12 November 2007

We started building our treehouse this June. The outside is nearing completion as the winter is setting in.

22 October 2007

In about 2000 my dad found a Y of a tree and constructed a plywood deck, it was soon forgotten and rotted. However in about 2006 I started drawing plans thinking nothing of it because all my designs used crotches that didn't appear anywhere on our property. Weeks later I uncovered a old handyman book that showed a couple tree house designs, GOLD! It used 2 trees (straighter the better) stretching 2 beams between the trees sitting a deck on top! So that's just what we're doing.

Progress? Plans are done materials are on the way. It has 105' Sq. The stories are so cool. Hope to post as soon as we get it done. Thanks.

16 September 2007

Had an opportunity to "recycle" a play structure that has now been at 3 different backyards over the last 6 years.

We took it apart in late '05 put it in 2 pickup trucks and drove it to our house, started rebuilding/assembling last summer '06.

Basically the original structure was 5' x 5' x 12' with the tube and slide, I added the rope ladder, canvas roofs x 2, A-Frame on the side with swing and the deck on the 2nd floor, etc, etc.

My son (12yrs) and I have re-assembled the structure since last summer and basically finished a couple of weeks ago. I figure the entire Fort is 96%+ recycled/reused. The siding was fencing that was in our yard and most of the lumber was either from old redwood decks or left overs. This was one of the first times he really worked with a hammer, power screwdriver, handsaw, etc and provided the labor to move, assemble all the pieces and follow through to the end!!

Adam Marquez
11 July 2007

It took me and my best friend about 2 years to make our tree house. And still working on it, it has two bedrooms a restroom three hallways and a water proof roof and a balcony over looking the city.

Michael Herot
7 July 2007

I built this treehouse for my son this spring. Not one nail in the tree too. Includes a tube slide, fireman's pole, and a deck too. Total material costs were about $650.

Matt Crossman
2 June 2007

My friends and I are currently working on a tree fort that involves NO wood, NO nails, NO tools, and NO penetration or breaking of the tree in any way. This environmentally safe fort consists of cheap, nylon cords and ropes, and some strong waterproof string. The final plan will consist of a spider-web like main section about 30 feet up, smaller side chairs lower and higher up in the tree, with ladders to most of them. Then, a rope bridge to another, taller, less bushy tree about 25 feet away. This tree will have a smaller web about 35 feet up, which will seat just 2-3 people safely. There is another half to the tree which contains all outward facing, slightly droopy branches. With supports, we will hang hammocks of my own teardrop design in mid air, half way between the ground and the holding branch. there are several smaller chairs scattered throughout the tree as well. The entire project will use at least 1000 feet of rope/cord, and somewhere in the range of 5000 feet of string.

Jake Stucki
27 May 2007

We (me my little brother and friends) started this tree house/ fort a little while ago with no large intentions. We built one flimsy floor and let it be for about two months. One day in the summer we got started on it again and now it has flourished and grown to a mansion. It is pretty nice (for us at least being just kids built it) and it is coming along great. It has a secret little tool room. three seperate floors and we are still expanding. Thanks. Jake and Friends.

Ken Godfrey
13 April 2007

You can see our treehouse and the details of it's building at the website (listed above).

Dan Morsete

16 January 2007

Morsete thumbnail  Morsete thumbnail

I built my treehouse in the summer of 2000. My son was 5, and my step daughter was 10. I had told my son about the tree house I built as a kid, and he wanted one too. The problem was we lived in town and I only had one tree that was mature enough for a treehouse. I owned my own construction business, and had alot of left over materials laying around, so one afternoon, with no real plan, I climbed the tree and began to build the deck. I let the tree and the lumber dictate the shape. Keeping in mind how we built the one we had as kids, lumber was scavenged and cutting it to length was seldom done. The deck ended up being a maple leaf shape, and about 200 sqft. I didn't want a lot of supports going to the ground to mow around, so it is supported with steel cables and turnbuckles extending up into the tree from the deck posts that are half lapped around the deck framing. I used the branches that were removed to form the railings. The house itself was constructed with a 2x2 frame, and ¼" plywood glued and screwed to form rigid wall panels, the rafters were also made of 2x2s. The Dutch hip style, mimics the main house. The cedar shakes were found in a dumpster, they were in great shape and there were just enough to cover the roof. The cedar siding and hardware were the only things I had to purchase. I used solar powered landscape lights to illuminate the deck, and wire undercabinet halogen hockey puck size lights in the house. The chimney is a lookout, covered in z-brick. There are two benches/beds, a fold down table to allow for two sleeping bags on the floor. Sleeps 4 kids. There are three windows with stained glass panes, a window box for flowers, and a Dutch door. It also features a Jacob's rope ladder, fireman's pole, secret storage spot, two swings, trapeze bar, cargo net, and baseball batter's practice ball.

During the building process it met with a lot of opposition from the neighborhood, put once completed, it has become a new landmark in town. It attracts every kid, young and old. People are always stopping by to take pictures and check it out. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more, the kids or me. One of the pictures shows my son and his Kindergarden class on a field trip to the house the last day of school.

[Some questions were asked about build permissions by The Treehouse Guide - response below]

As I mentioned, I was a contractor at the time. I called the local building inspector one day to ask him a question about a fence I was building, he answered my question and then said "about that treehouse you are building, I've taken 18 calls about it, the last call I told 'em, I don't climb trees and hung up the phone." He and I both knew that it didn't require a building permit because of a few exemptions, it was not attached, (i.e. no foundation), it was less than 200 sq/ft (by 2 sq/ft), and is considered play ground equipment. Besides we share our inspector with a larger near by city, and only get him one day a week, and he has bigger things to worry about. I think the neighbors were concerned about an eyesore, which as you can see, it is anything but.

The solar lighting (you can see a couple of them, one by the door, and one on either side of the landing by the ladder), there was a total of six used, one was set atop a 4x4 with a house number post to mimic a yard post light. The units are self contained, inexpensive pathway lights, available at any home improvement store. They charge during the day and last almost all night. The interior lights were hard wired with the transformer hidden in the attic.

Look forward to seeing my baby on your site. My son will get a kick out of it.

I enjoy your site, and glad to see, I am not the only one who gets a little carried away when building something he loves. I had to stop building on mine before my wife at the time, threatened to divorce me if I spent anymore time on it. I should have divorced her then and there and kept building. LOL.


Sigrid Little

30 December 2006

I have always loved the magic of tree-houses! My husband and I built one for our 4 grandchildren (and us) in our backyard. It's 12x12 with a deck on the front. We built it on posts among the trees for ease of construction. My husband is screening in the area underneath for another gathering area. It has electricity and a phone!

Olivia Fox

25 October 2006

Years ago my older son got a book from his aunt for Christmas, "Housebuilding for Children". He drew houses until spring. Using his ideas we built a house on stilts out of mostly salvaged lumber.

When his little brother got older we added a cantilevered extension, a "2nd floor" lookout platform, and a trap door. It's only about four feet off the ground but still high enough to dream in.

Patrick Power

23 October 2006

I am building a treehouse for my 6 & 3 yr old boys. It is approx 8ft x 16ft. 8ft high. Appreciate any tips.

Calum Suggett, aged 12
6 September 2006

Hi, one morning I logged on to your site and was really inspired by all your stories and pictures. Me and my dad built a treehouse up in an old willow tree using simply a round table and a pair of tree cloppers. I was really impressed by your site and think you might like to know that you really inspired me to make it.

Ezra Idlet
25 May 2006

I bought the book Treehouses: The Art and Craft of Living Out on a Limb back in 1997. It was like a gong going off in my head. I was inspired on so many levels. Just to see the images of the treehouses was thrilling. The real capper was to see the diagrams of how one might go about building their own treehouse. I couldn't get it out of my mind. Building a treehouse seemed doable even for a musician. I talked with my wife about getting started and she pointed out that I had no real building skills and there were already a whole bunch of projects that needed attention and where were we going to get the money? So we shelved the idea for a while. Still the thought of spending time in a treehouse reverberated in my head. When things weigh that heavy on my mind, they usually come out in song and my songwriting partner and I wrote a song called Dreaming that spoke of the dream of building a treehouse.

Fast forward three years. I'm talking with a neighbor who wants to buy a couple of horses from me. He's a professional home builder. I suggest that instead of paying me for the horses, he trades his expertise and experience to help me build a treehouse. With his assurance that he'd help and my brother in law's assurance that he'd help, my wife finally caved in and the project began. That was six years ago. We are on the home stretch building the treehouse now. What remains is building the staircase to the loft and the railing for the loft. Kitchen cabinets need to be constructed and installed then we'll be finished! The treehouse is 18'x20'. It's supported by three red oak trees and six 2" steel poles. At the tallest point, from the floor to the ceiling is 19' tall. We have a woodstove and a composting toilet.

The supporting oak trees come through a deck that goes around the entire treehouse. There are some special details in the treehouse that have been provide by friends. In front of the woodstove is a mosaic done by my friend Denise. There is a chandelier that holds four Aladdin oil lamps that was built by my friend Greg. Over the front door is a beautiful stained glass piece that was built by my friend Ginger. Go to the web site to see a slide show of the treehouse. The NY Times also did an article on it and you could find that article there as well. Thanks Pete Nelson for writing your book. The whole process of building the treehouse has been a joy.


Erik Goddard

29 November 2005

I am a builder of model treehouses (1/12 scale) based on versions of my actual full-scale treehouses in the past. Looking for thoughts on showing a wider public some photos and to hook up with anyone who might want to buy or find out more about the models. These models are not simple sticks and planks, but elaborate works of art. Thanks!


11 November 2005

I recently built my own tree house and found it very helpful to use a hammock as a platform to work from when starting the build.

Jeremy Hall

21 October 2005

Use a garage door open to lower a ladder, rope, rope ladder etc... I used this, and I never had a problem... I had the remote :)


Gary Johnston
28 September 2004

Gary Johnston treehouse

Just built this summer. This construction allowed me to build this with no help at all and no hoists. Just a pair of ladders and lots and lots of hours. 8' X 8' platform is 12' up. Side walls are 6' with embedded 1/16" stranded safety wire every 8". Pyramid Cedar roof with an 8' peak and a 30" triangular skylight. All Cedar construction on platform and side walls. Matching Green Vinyl Flaps drop down and snap in place all around for cold/wet weather. Construction techniques utilize 4" X 4" X 12-24" blocks nailed into tree with 8" galvanized barn spikes. (I started with big Lag bolts but these spikes are a lot easier and you CANNOT get them out once they are in.)

4" X 4" floor beams sit on top of these blocks and are also nailed into tree with single spike with 1" left out to allow for movement. Additionally, 3/8" steel rod is used along with ½" eyebolts for additional support. Finally a center support beam is spiked into one main branch and rides free on a stump 12' high at the other end providing additional support for the entire structure.

All this allows the house to float and twist inside the tree in high winds without snapping lumber (knock on wood). The mounting blocks never move. Have watched it in pretty strong winds and it moves around maybe 4-6" at the top of the side walls. Maybe half that at the base with no damage to the structure.

20 September 2004

This tree house is about 26 feet high. It is phase one. I plan on building a lower level deck and then another crows nest type area on another tree, and then connect the two.