The Ultimate Guide To Building Your Own Tree House

The Ultimate Guide To Building Your Own Tree House

July 11, 2014 0 By Adam Kirby

Tree houses are coming back into style. Those who have a large tree in their back garden are lucky indeed. The elevated structures can be as quirky as you like. Take a look at the one in the image, it screams fun.

Spencer Wright

You must be careful when building the tree house because your actions may harm the tree. But if you go about it in the right way there is no reason your family cannot enjoy the new structure for many years to come.

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If you are thinking about building one of your own, here is how to go about it. Every tree is different, so you can only use this as a general guide, but the basics are here.

The Design

Not every garden plays host to such a magnificent tree as in the image. Sometimes it cannot be used to bear whole weight of the house. Many tree houses stand on stilts, so don’t worry of your tree isn’t up to the job. You can still build a house around it.


You must build a platform for the house first. Here are a few ways to go about it.

  • If the tree is sturdy, Fix the framework for the floor using bolts that will not rust.

  • If you are building the house between two or more trees, use treehouse brackets. Fix them to the trees with bolts, and slide the timbers into them. As the trees sway, they allow the beams to move. If you didn’t use these brackets, the trees would pull the house apart.

  • If the house is going on stilts, use concrete to hold them in the ground. Then build the framework across them.

  • Use good quality plywood to cover the framework for the floor and to create a hatch for access. Remember to leave a suitable gap around the tree trunk so that you do not hinder its growth. You can fill the gap with rope to stop any draughts.

Start building the walls. Unless you have many helpers, it is best to build them in situ. Some people prefer to take measurements and construct the sections on the ground before lifting them into place. That sometimes works, but it is difficult to raise the pieces, and they often do not fit properly when you come to assemble them.

Buy some rough sawn wood from your local timber merchant and build a framework for the walls. Working at height is dangerous so use a safety harness at all times. Clad the framework with the material of your choice. You could use reclaimed floorboards or shiplap cladding, both work well here. The roof may need to be a strange shape, but that is fine. Tree houses are meant to look odd it is all part of their character.

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Well, if you have got this far your project is nearly complete. You must paint or varnish the structure to protect it against the elements and make it look attractive. Safety is the most important thing, especially where there are children. Make sure the ladder is sturdy, or better still build a staircase.

I hope you enjoy your tree house. It is one of the most enjoyable projects you will ever take on.