Introduction: Building a Treehouse

Picture of Building a Treehouse

Step 1: Installing the Beams

Picture of Installing the Beams

Lag two sets of beams to the tree using a 3/4 diameter x 10" lag screw. The top set of beams will be the floor height of your treehouse. Try to to drill the pilot holes as straight and level as possible. Next install the perimeter beams to the top set o beams and square them up using the 3,4,5 rule. Once the frame is square install your floor joist.

Step 2: Level the Platform

Picture of Level the Platform

Level your platform by getting the floor somewhat level then mount a long 2x4 on one corner and go to the next corner and level that beam and install another 2x4. The longer the level the better. Now one of the four perimeter beams is level and continue to work your way around all the sides, temporarily installing the 2x4's.

Step 3: Install the Knee Braces

Picture of Install the Knee Braces

Once the platform is level you are ready to install the permanent braces that will support the treehouse. I used two 2x6's screwed together and cut at 45 degree angles. You can pick up some "hold down" brackets to mount to the tree with another 3/4" lag.

Step 4: Install the Decking

Picture of Install the Decking

This is the best part of the project because you will be able to stand on the platform when this step is complete. To install the deck boards start at one end and let the boards hang over the edge long ways so you can make a clean cut with a circular saw at the end. Use a carpenters pencil for spacing your boards. When you get to the tree, use a compass with a pencil spaced about two inches out so to give room for the tree to grow and move in the wind.

Step 5: Frame and Install the Walls

Picture of Frame and Install the Walls

Frame your walls on the ground. Account for the thickness of your siding when taking measurements for the walls. Install your siding on the ground at this time as well. Make sure two of your wall siding will overlap the ends of the walls they will be touching. When you are ready to put your walls up, rig a pully high in the tree to pull the walls up to the platform. Get some friends over to help you at this point. The walls will be heavy.

Step 6: Frame the Roof

Picture of Frame the Roof

To get the roof started determine how much of a slope you want on your roof. I used a 4:12 for the rise and run and this was a good slope to stand on while doing the shingles. is a great web site for figuring roof rafters and gable overhangs. Once you get the height of the rafters you can put up the center roof beam by making a temporary support to hold it in place until you get the rafters on. When your rafters are all on lay down the plywood for the roof an leave a good 2 and 1/2" space around the tree so it can sway in the wind without hitting the roof. I used shingles cut in half to seal around the tree and shingled the rest of the roof like normal.

Step 7: Add Access Ladder and Doors

Picture of Add Access Ladder and Doors

I made the door out of t&g; pine. For the ladder I used treated wood since it is in contact with the soil. The steps are spaced 10" apart to make it easier for little legs to climb it.

Step 8: Install Railing and Enjoy

Picture of Install Railing and Enjoy

The railing is 36" high and the balusters are 4" apart. I made a jig out of a scrap piece of wood cut to 4" to speed up the installing process and to make sure they are all spaced evenly. Start in the middle and just screw in all the tops of the balusters using your jig for proper spacing. Then go back and level out the middle piece and screw it in then you can use the jig off of that for all the bottoms.


136ZFG (author)2016-09-23

Knee braces for the corners.

HaroldH15 (author)136ZFG2017-07-08

It appears you used a single 2x6 and not a double mentioned in the plans. How has this worked out for you?

Is that a standard hanger or something stronger?

Are all your supports 45 degrees?

I need to know how to cut the top side where the brace connects to the floor joists. Did you make a compound cut? How do you do that?

Harold Hawken

Wanttobuilt (author)2017-03-30

I just found this website a few months ago and I loved the tree house. It inspired me to built one for my kids.
Thanks a bunch!!!!

136ZFG made it! (author)2016-09-01

More pictures to follow. Such an awesome treehouse plan.

beano8 (author)2016-07-11

This is fantastic. Would you be able to describe how you attached the knee braces to the corners of the inside corners of the platform? That would be a huge help.


136ZFG (author)beano82016-09-01

I'm in the middle of building a treehouse with this as the base for my blueprint. Here is the key piece for the brace. I put one 2x6 on the slot with two more on either side for added structural support. I'm not a doctor but so far so good.

chiltonj. (author)beano82016-08-29

I have exactly the same question in addition to where do I find the knee brace hold down brackets? The kind that will bolt to the tree and will hold two 2x8's together. Thanks.

Gooli5 (author)2016-04-30

This is Great!

One question: what are the sizes of the wood used for the railing? (both vertical posts and horizontal long beams)?


Tinker_001 made it! (author)2016-04-02

This is a great Instructable I hope to be able to build one for a nephew someday. I know this treehouse has been posted for awhile but I was wondering how those smaller steps were working out? This is a "clubhouse" my dad build with me and friends over a summer in the middle eighties. He decided to use smaller step spacing forthe kids and all I can ever remember was falling both up and down the steps because even as kids we were used to normal steps in the house. (and everywhere else too) This picture is the only surviving one I could find, My family wasn't very good at taking tons of pics back then.

focalpointmedia (author)2015-03-24

First off... Fantastic work!

I'm curious what the dimensions (thickness/width/length) are of the lumber you used, specifically for the beams and the platform. We'd like to build an exact replica of your treehouse as it seems to be an ideal size.

Thank you for sharing!

phillius.thomas (author)2015-02-12

I absolutely love tree houses! Whether it is real solid wood in real life, or virtual wood in a game. If I ever get a tree big/strong enough to build a tree house such as this, I would! Thanks for the tutorial!

bloomie972 (author)2014-07-11

Thanks for all the feedback and compliments.

Victor805 (author)2013-08-12

It looks incredible, great job!

vincent7520 (author)2013-08-10

Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice !!!…

You make me want to live on a tree !…

Thanks for posting.

MohawkMarine (author)2013-07-26

Amazing job.

stevedawg (author)2013-07-26

I've been wanting a treehouse for a long time really cool thanks for sharing

bloomie972 (author)2013-07-19

@ratmax @stefwill
You could always use an old utility pole. It would be easier to work on for one thing. :-)

stefwill (author)2013-07-18

Fantastic! Now all I need is a tree!

dirtrider94 (author)2013-07-17

That is awesome!

rozenbaum96 (author)2013-07-17


ReyKay (author)2013-07-17

Best work I've seen.

coco luva (author)2013-07-17

Good job

ratmax00 (author)2013-07-17

Nice work! Now to get the skimpy trees outside to grow faster so I can build one.

bloomie972 (author)2013-07-16

Thank you. I got the brackets at a lumber and building supply store called Stock Lumber. I had to shave off about a 1/4 of an inch on each side of the knee brace to get it to fit and I mounted them with galvanized washers to get them straight up and down and a 4" long 3/4 lag screw.

thawk (author)2013-07-16

@bloomie972 love the tree house.. I'm in the middle of building one my self. i was wanting to know where did you get your knee brace brackets?

Lforador (author)2013-07-15

That is the coolest treehouse ever
Best first instructable

bloomie972 (author)2013-06-30

I understand where you are coming from. But there is no sheer strength in lashing. In other words, you could make your lashing as tight as possible but with all the weight of a treehouse, let alone people in it, how are you going to keep it from sliding down the tree? Believe me, when your kids and all their cousins and friends are up there, you want to know that you built the treehouse as solid and sturdy as possible. The tree will heal around the lag screws and this won't hinder the growth of the tree if done properly. If I knew this was going to damage the tree I would not have built it. This tree makes our backyard and provides invaluable shade as well.

dr.mbogo (author)2013-06-30

Looks like I have some problems replying to comments. Well, never mind that.

Rope is good. Rope of natural materials is better. Anything that has some give in it and does not puncture the tree. I would even go so far as to put some padding between the tree and the frame, something like a piece of carpet or thick piece of leather to keep the bark from rubbing off.

My point about trees being living things is that driving a nail into a tree is about the same as stabbing people, lashing with a steel wire would be analogous to strangling.

suhyun (author)2013-06-30

Cool :-)

dr.mbogo (author)2013-06-29

Please lash the treehouse onto the tree. Using nails or screws is something trees do not like, they are living things, after all.

oldmicah (author)dr.mbogo2013-06-29

How do you lash it? Rope?

bstanfield1 (author)2013-06-29

That is one epic treehouse!

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