How to Build a Treehouse

There are probably as many treehouse designs as there are trees. This guide on how to build a treehouse requires only basic knowledge of building and carpentry tools.

Required Tools and Materials

1/2-inch PVC pipes with joiners
Plastic sheeting
Self-starting wood screws
Screw gun
Galvanized steel nails, 3 1/2 inch
Hammer
Power drill
1/2-inch lag bolts, 6 inches long
2-foot carpenter’s level
Arsenic-treated 2-by-4 pine lumber
Pencil
Graph paper
Tape measure

Step 1

Choose a tree with strong branches. This will be needed to support the flooring.

Step 2

Draw a sketch of the treehouse. You will use this as a guide, so make sure it is detailed. The structure should have safety railings.

Step 3

Begin to build a treehouse by connecting the boards on the floor frame. Use lag bolts to attach it. Sink the bolt 2 inches in the tree. Put some diagonal wood pieces to fortify it. Use the level to make sure the measurements are correct.

Step 4

Make the flooring with the 2 x 4s. Line them up, but put a bit of space between them. Nail the wood pieces together. Use galvanized nails, not iron nails.

Step 5

Connect the railing uprights using the self starting screws and the screw gun. Place a couple of screws in the floorboards. Ensure the upright spacing is such that a kid’s head will not get between it. Set aside an opening for the ladder.

Step 6

Connect the ceilings on the uprights. Use the nails to attach them. Each upright should have at least two nails.

Step 7

Join short pieces of pine on the trunk using the lag bolts. This will be the ladder. Make certain they are level. If you have sufficient number of boards, you can create a spiral staircase.

Step 8

For the roof, use tarpaulin and plastic sheeting. When putting up the roof, make certain that it is slanted. This will allow rainwater to run off. Position the roof so it will shield the kids from the heat.

Tips and Warnings

The treehouse height should be based on the child’s height. If the child is under 10 years old, the treehouse must be no shorter than five feet. The width should be based on how many children will be staying there. Do not tie the ropes too tightly on the tree; this may injure the branch.

You can build a treehouse by yourself, but you can also get others to work with you. If the treehouse is large, consider getting someone to help you.

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