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The Steps to Building a DIY Treehouse

A treehouse might stir up fun childhood memories from days gone by.  You may have had a treehouse or knew someone who did.  In a day and age of advancing technology, there is still something very special about a treehouse.  If you have a sturdy tree, it might be worth considering to erect a treehouse of your own.  I'm going to go over all that you need to know to build your very own treehouse.

Supplies Needed

The supplies that you'll need to make a DIY treehouse will depend on which design you decide to build.  I've included a list of treehouse plans later in this article, so they should give you an idea for what is needed.  As of now, here is a list of common supplies needed:

  • Wood (the size of the wood will depend on the design you're using)
  • A tree
  • Fasteners
  • Paint/stain
  • Bolts
  • A saw (to cut the wood if needed)
  • Tin for the roof (other roofing material could be used)
  • Ladder
  • Backhoe (if you build the treehouse on the ground and need to lift it up)
  • Treehouse kit (optional)
  • Fun accessories

Things to Consider

Wouldn't it be lovely if you could just build a treehouse as soon as the idea comes into your head? Although that may seem possible, in reality this is certainly not true.  There are many steps you must take before you begin building.  Not only must you consider what design you want, but you must also consider if you are allowed to build a treehouse where you live, and if it will bother your neighbors.  I'm going to go over some considerations and steps you must take before you get building, so that you can build the perfect treehouse for your yard.

Check Your Local Planning Department

By checking your local regulations and rules, you will be able to find out how tall to build your treehouse and if you can build one at all.  You may need a permit in order for you to build.  If you have protected trees on your property, you may not be allowed to build one.

Talk with Your Neighbors

Good fences make good neighbors, or maybe in this case it's good treehouses that make good neighbors.  In other words, it would be kind to discuss your plans with your neighbor.  Ask your neighbor if a treehouse will bother him and ruin his view.  This is especially important to ask if the treehouse will be visible to your neighbor at all times.  By simply having a conversation, you can prevent future complaints.   Make sure to consider any suggestions given by your neighbor, such as building the treehouse a little smaller or in a different tree.

Is Your Treehouse Covered by Insurance?

Call your insurance agent to find out if a treehouse is covered by insurance.  If it is not, any damage done to your treehouse won't be covered by insurance.

Decide What Design You Want

There are so many treehouse designs to choose from.  From sided treehouses, to decks, to forts, it may seem a bit overwhelming (and exciting) to think of all these houses at once.  That's why you should consider what design you want to use beforehand, instead of building while you decide. To help you decide, below I'm going to go over some treehouse plans you may want to use.  Once you decide what design will work for you, you may want to tell your neighbor.  That way they will know what it will look like, and can prepare for the new view.

Treehouse Plans

Now that we've gone over some things to consider, it's time to start looking at treehouse plans.  When you think of treehouse plans, treehouse blueprints may be what comes to your mind.  I'll be going over some treehouse blueprints, but there are also many other treehouse plans.  Some are very detailed, while others are easy to build.  Below I've included 5 different treehouse plans for you to look over.  The choice is up to you!  Enjoy!

Basic Treehouse

This treehouse is pretty basic.  It is not incredibly huge, yet it is not too small.  With the deck and windows, this treehouse is going to feel like a real home to your child.  Click here to learn how to make this treehouse.

Photo Credit: Instructables

A-Frame Treehouse

Once again, this treehouse is simple to make.  It has a large deck, which gives your children plenty of room to run around and explore.  It can also make a great reading area for adults.  Find out how to make this treehouse by clicking here.

Photo Credit: Outdoor Life

Convert a Playset To a Treehouse

Do you happen to have a swing set that you'd rather build into a treehouse?  Go right ahead.  This site shows you how to easily convert a play set to a tree house. With the slide being the only entrance, this playhouse will bring hours of fun and adventure.

Photo Credit: Imgur

Treehouse with a Slide and Swing Set

A swing set can bring hours of fun.  So can a slide.  That is why Build Easy made a treehouse with both a swing set and a slide.  With the large deck, children can enjoy playing with toys or reading a book up there, yet they can also at any time play on the swing set and slide.  This construction plan comes in the form of a blueprint.  It is very detailed, and shows you exactly how to build it.  Click here to find out how to build it.

Photo Credit: Build Easy

Simple Treehouse

This blueprint is easy to follow, and the treehouse is easy to make.  As you can see, there are no sides to this treehouse.  Yet the roof and deck can make it feel like a real house to your child.  Click here to see how to make this treehouse.

Photo Credit: Area Guides

Tips For Building a Treehouse

Leave a Gap Between the Tree and Wood

Make sure you do not restrict tree growth while building your treehouse.  So when you make your deck/floor, make sure to leave a gap around the tree.  Also make sure to not tie tight ropes around the branches, as this can strangle the tree.

Build the Treehouse First, Then Lift It to the Tree

It is much easier to build the treehouse on the ground than it is to build it up high.  That's why you may want to build the house on the ground, and then lift it up with a backhoe.

Make Sure the Floor Is Level

A level floor will prevent future structure problems.  Even if your children don't mind the floor being uneven, it is important to build it right.  If possible, you may want to have lots of trees support the treehouse, instead of one tree.

Great Accessories to Buy

There are so many different accessories you may want to include in the treehouse.  Here is a list of accessories you may want to include:

  • Zip lines
  • Rope swings
  • Bridges
  • Speaking tube
  • Pirates’ treasure chest
  • Flag
  • Binoculars
  • Water cannon
  • Fire pole
  • Slide
  • Swingset
  • Trap door
  • Solar-powered lights or lanterns
  • Fold-down benches and tables

Photo Credit: Imgur

How to Decorate Your Treehouse

Once you have built your treehouse, it is time to decorate it.  Decorations can make your treehouse look adorable, both inside and out.  I'm going to go over a few ways you can easily decorate your treehouse.

Wind Chime

A wind chime can add a cute look to your treehouse, as well as a pretty sound.  If you want to be creative, you could make your own wind chime out of recycled items.

Signs

Signs can add a cute look to a treehouse.  Signs such as "Keep Out", or "No Trespassing" can add a cute and creative look.

Carpet

Carpet can add a cozy look to a treehouse, as well as comfort for your feet.  With the hard, wooden floor, carpet can add a soft, comfortable feeling to the floor.  You could also use rugs as an alternative.

Curtains

Curtains always adds an adorable look to small houses.  It can also make your treehouse look more like a home.  Up in your treehouse, the curtains can be closed if it gets too sunny, and opened again when you need more light.

Paint

Painting your treehouse may be what your treehouse needed.  It can also prevent the wood from rotting.  If you want the treehouse to blend in with its surroundings, you will want to paint it a natural color, such as brown or black.  If you want your treehouse to stand out, a bright color is a good option.  Or maybe you want to paint the treehouse so it matches your house.

Conclusion

So there you have it.  The only thing that might slow you down from building your own treehouse is the absence of a tree.  I've gone over all that you need to know to build your very own treehouse, including supplies needed, things to consider, plans, tips, accessories to buy, and how to decorate your treehouse.  I hope that I've helped to motivate you and equip you with the knowledge needed to make your own treehouse.  Memories are waiting to be made.

Mariann Foster

I am one of our content writers for Everything Backyard. I am a mother and business owner of Big Horn Mountain Alpacas in Wyoming. I love farm life, cutting my own firewood in the mountains, and participating in local trail run races.

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