Introduction: Treehouse

Picture of Treehouse

A big old-growth redwood stump had steps carved into it when we bought the place. Visions of a fabulous tree deck danced in our heads...

Step 1: Build the Framework

Picture of Build the Framework

We used the trees around the stump (the fairy ring) as the main supports for the very sturdy framing. Our research showed that drilling ALL the way through each tree was the best way to not injure them permanently.

Step 2: Spider Web Supports

Picture of Spider Web Supports

My uncle's a building designer and he made sure this treehouse was up to code; estimates indicate we could build a 2-story house on top of the platform...

Step 3: Railing of Copper Pipes and Salvaged Bed Posts

Picture of Railing of Copper Pipes and Salvaged Bed Posts

We used copper pipes for the railing as well as some old bedposts. All the decking (not the rails) are salvaged boards cut and sanded to fit. A big copper pipe became the fireman's pole, we bought a big cargo net, a local company donated rebar to secure the net in the ground, and we got a captain's wheel when we were in New Zealand.

Step 4: About 6 Months Well Spent

Picture of About 6 Months Well Spent

Three years later and we still need to finish the steps (we want to refine the nailed down 2x4s) and one tiny board is missing because my aunt is crafting a woodburned heart with the names of the all the contributors.


tsturtevant (author)2015-03-17

Nice looking structure for good times.

Been studying design, engineering and safety for a planned project. One of the topics that continues to come up is not bolting your truss beams or any wood directly to the tree. Wood to wood holds moisture and can invite insects that will damage the tree. There are several types of attachment bolts or limbs that prevent this.

I can't tell from your photos if you incorporated this method.

A few links to consider.

Again great job

-NINJA- (author)2014-03-05

just watch out for creepy crawlies :(|

doctressjulia (author)2006-11-26

I made a treehouse almost exactly like this when I was about 9... in the woods in Connecticut... I saw 3 trees close together and thought, "triangle shape frame and platform! It was so cool all the kids thought I was cool after that. ;)

Legend (author)doctressjulia2006-12-08

Aww :-)

doctressjulia (author)Legend2011-11-13


doctressjulia (author)2011-07-21

Well, it's me again... I still love this treehouse; may I move in? ;)

Broncobogger (author)2011-07-06


Broncobogger (author)2011-07-06

thats a cool and pretty simple tree house if you would rise the tree house a liitle higher and made more you could connect them.

ferbettes (author)2011-05-26

stuck in that treehouse for 6 months.

ferbettes (author)2011-05-26

hang like a spider in that spider web support.

ddarkeststar (author)2011-03-06

Very cool.

Ghost Wolf (author)2011-01-31

Nice place to chill put a BBQ up there and and lawn chair and it would be cool!

Dr. Pepper (author)2011-01-15


legomman200 (author)2010-11-21

That is awesome!!!!:):):):):)

kahunagrande (author)2010-04-24

Hi Shawn, Do you get any stress on the bolts or hardware when the trees sway in the wind? How did you account for this in your design? We live in an area with Redwoods (Northern California) and have similar groupings of trees. I've been thinking about building a similar structure but have not yet to figure out if the wind will cause problems, snap boards or bolts. 

pjp15 (author)2010-02-16

what are the dimensions of the wood you used for the frame work.

DannytheGreat (author)2010-01-21

on search brian's treehouse

chazman2 (author)2009-10-25

my tree house is way better that that its at the very top of a sicmore tree and you can live into

killer wasp (author)2009-08-26

hello oh and the id i messed up it is did not id

killer wasp (author)2009-08-26

but i live in hawaii can you post a ezer 1 plz. o and make it have a trap door an rope you know you can snow bord in hawaii,yes you can,on our extinct volcaneo,Manua Kea.

Tom Buckey (author)2009-08-25

does it get slippy when its wet?

shawnconna (author)Tom Buckey2009-08-25

No, because the flooring is old salvaged redwood planks, which are a little rough to begin with.

Tom Buckey (author)shawnconna2009-08-25

oh becuase im building one with the same flooring as decking and it gets slippy so do you know what i do to stop this?

geekazoid (author)2009-05-28

very nice. Love the idea of using the stump as steps, Cheers GEEkazoid

SoapyHollow (author)2009-05-23

This is so fantastic! I wish I lived somewhere with trees where we could do that. I'm so jealous!

grantylala (author)2009-05-23

This is cool

Branman (author)2009-04-11

Beautiful! Now all u need is some walls and a roof and, presto, u have a second home. lol

shawnconna (author)Branman2009-04-11

It's built to code so that it will hold up a 2-story house. We've definitely thought about adding walls and a roof as an extra room!

xander86 (author)2009-04-11

This is a marvelous blend of green architecture, and organic design. I love this.

20fredie (author)2008-08-18

what size of screws did u use to go all the way though them?

shawnconna (author)20fredie2008-08-27

probably 3/4" but maybe 7/8" or 1" - not larger than 1" and not smaller than 3/4".

berserk (author)2008-08-18

Where does the cargo net come in?

shawnconna (author)berserk2008-08-18

It's on the back side, directly behind the pole in this picture. The kids climb up and down it as they wish, and it's plenty strong enough to hold large grown-ups as well. On that side, it's only about 5 or 6 feet off the ground, so not too dangerous if someone fell while climbing. But it would still sting!

Mr.Devious (author)2007-01-02

Here's a good idea, what if your house was made where it looked down a hill right? Not a too steap one, but steap enough to make it awesome. Then have a group of trees exactly like that, and build a treehouse similar to that, but roofed and weather sealed. Then, say it was about 10 feet or so away from your deck coming out the backside of the house (this is just imaginary) then build a rope or wire bridge with rails of course that went from the deck into the weather proof tree house. This would be very very cool as you could sit out there on a rainy day and read a book without getting wet, but still enjoy the atmospehere. When I get out in the world and looking for a place, and I see something like this or a similar setup, as far as a house and having trees right behind it, I'm gonna buy it. ;-)

AndyHope (author)Mr.Devious2007-12-29

sounds like the tree house from "home alone" except it was just a zip line running from his attic to the tree house

ILikeScience (author)Mr.Devious2007-03-30

No wonder you call yourself Mr.Devious, lol.

kickslop (author)2005-12-12

It doesn't look like you treated the wood at all. Is that true? If so, was there a reason for it? Neat.

SWV1787 (author)kickslop2007-11-30

Do you think the banasters would be strong enough to support a couple people in a hammock? I have forty acers of woods up north that might just need something like this

howboutitbru (author)SWV17872007-12-21

if you want a hammock just screw two hooks into the trees and attach the chain or wahtever from the hammock to that

threecheersfornick (author)2007-08-08

If only I had a few trees...

pachanka (author)2007-05-07

im now going to make the ultimate tree house instead of buying a car.

robonut625 (author)2007-01-24

Sweet! I wish I had one of those when I was a kid!

rocketbat (author)robonut6252007-04-12

KID!? who says you need to be a kid lol!

happydog (author)2007-02-04

ok dude, whats with the drowning cars?

trebuchet03 (author)happydog2007-02-19

Looks like a retaining wall to me ;)

J-Fly (author)2007-01-26

i like the drowning cars in the background

Leroy (author)2006-12-19

Nice design, Oblongata. Thanks for sharing. What kind of sliding beams are they - steel I beams? Did you design and build the sliding brackets or did you buy them?

Leroy (author)2006-12-19

Very nice work, shawnconna.
What diameter bolts did you use to secure the beam ends to the trees? How did you drill holes the whole way through the trees?

Oblongata (author)2006-11-30

To allow for tree sway (with a 3 tree design), you can construct it so that the platform is only rigidly attached to one tree and rests on a beam that is attached between the other two trees. This beam in turn is rigidly attached to one of the remaining trees and slides in a c-shaped bracket attached to the other tree, thus allowing for all trees to move independently and the platform to stay in one piece! As far as I know, my dad invented this and has built a few of them when we were younger, one about 20 ft up on some rather thin cedars that swayed like crazy in high winds, really friggin cool to be in the fort then!

zofo300 (author)2006-10-11

man that is sick me want one!

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