How to Build a Tree House

If you have a house with a lovely garden and many trees, a tree house is what your kids will look for. It is like a small playhouse on top of a tree. Your kids can have their small parties and night outs with their friends in their little tree house. Building a tree house is not an easy task and it could be a lot of fun if the whole family participates in building it. It is creative and you can select from a number of designs and use your imagination to the maximum. But, it is necessary to keep the safety issues in mind. You can choose from different methods of building a tree house and one of them is given below. Read on.

Complexity Level: Moderate

Time Required: 2-7 days

Resources Required:

  1. A ladder
  2. A hammer or an electric drill
  3. A saw
  4. Seven or more 2x6x8 boards
  5. Galvanized nails
  6. Rope
  7. Exterior plywood sheets
  8. 2x2x8 boards
  9. A water resistant tarp
  10. A staple gun
  11. Wood waterproofing treatment


1. Choosing the perfect tree for your tree house: The first thing that you will have to do is to search for the perfect tree to build your tree house on. It has to be a healthy tree having a diameter of minimum 16″. The branches of the tree have to be strong enough to support the load of the tree house. The ideal height for the tree should be around 10 to 14 feet off the ground. The tree has to be of hard wood and not a softer variety like pine.

2. Building a sturdy platform: Using the 2×6 boards, build the platform near the trunk of the tree and take the support of any additional branches available. If there are no branches available, then then use the diagonal bracing method to keep the platform balanced and at a perfect level. Fix it in place using the rope. Galvanized nails too can be used for this purpose.

3. Adding the floor with exterior plywood: Using the exterior plywood, you can add the floor to the platform. Use the remaining 2×6 boards, placing them 16″ apart and parallel to the frame. Then, fix them using nails to form floor joists. Cut the remaining boards perpendicular to these joists.

4. Building the roof of the tree house: The 2×2 boards can be used for this purpose. Attach these boards vertically to each corner. Then join them with horizontal boards to form a rectangular frame. Form a gable at each end by attaching two more boards. Then the two gables can be joined by attaching a vertical gable to them. The complete frame must then be covered by the waterproof tarp. It can then be fixed in place.

5. Adding the doors, windows and access to the house: Once the basic walls and flooring is done, you can add doors and windows to your tree house. You can use your imagination to create lovely shapes but try to use materials that will provide ample light to the tree house. Ladders are a great way to build an access to the tree house. Make them sturdy enough so that they do not go with the wind.

6. Waterproofing against the wet weather: Once the tree house is built, waterproofing has to be done to prevent damage due to rain and other climatic factors.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Do I need a planning permission to build a tree house?

Yes, this is absolutely essential as the State rules say that any raised structure above 30cm cannot be built without planning permission. For this you will require to submit an application form, pay a fee and submit some documents that will be needed to complete the application process.

2. How long can a tree house stay intact?

A tree house can stay intact for a period of 10 to 25 years. But for this you have to use the best quality materials while constructing one. The method of construction too determines its shelf life. Also it requires regular maintenance and repairs to last longer.

Quick Tips:

  • While constructing the tree house, be sure that the ladder is fixed firmly. This could prevent an injury. Have a first aid kit nearby in case of an accident or injury.
  • Get the tree checked from experts. They will help determine the quality and the strength of the tree. Only then begin the construction.

Things To Watch Out For:

  • Get a complete know-how on the safety rules and regulations. Be sure that your methods of constructing the tree house are not violating any laws.
  • Complete all the necessary formalities and documentation before beginning the construction of the tree house. This will prevent any legal hassles and will save embarrassment.

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