The following is a list of step I used in building a tree house or fort at least for this summer.  I took upon this endeavor because my son saw tree houses in some of his favorite cartoons.  I used the following sources for design and information:
1) Mike Swenson - friend who works with my wife
2) Makendo
3) Eztreehousplanse
4) Tree Houses and Play Houses

Step 1:

Select an appropriate location

Nice job, Kurt, this is a great looking treefort. The one I built is 4 years old now and I will be taking it down this fall and rebuilding it in the spring, because the growth of the tree needs accommodating. I will be needing some 3/4" lag screws - what sort of place is Nutty Co.? I couldn't find these at any big box stores and they're $$$$ online.
It is a small local store in Derby CT that specializes in bolts. I paid about $8.00 per screw and they have a website and ship anywhere in the U.S. (http://www.nutty.com/). <br>Good Luck...
Could you have built this without screwing your frame to the trees? You have such beautiful mature trees.
I was looking into that but root system was very extensive. After doing much research on tree health, I used only one screw per support beam to secure it. It is better for the tree to use one big screw rather than several small screws.
How much did you spent?
Probably around $500. The most expensive wood was the 5/4 deck boards for the floor.

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