Building a Treehouse

420,361

967

47

Introduction: Building a Treehouse

Step 1: 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

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

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

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

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

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. Blocklayer.com 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

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

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.

Great Outdoors Contest

Participated in the
Great Outdoors Contest

9 People Made This Project!

Recommendations

  • Puzzles Speed Challenge

    Puzzles Speed Challenge
  • CNC Contest 2020

    CNC Contest 2020
  • Secret Compartment Challenge

    Secret Compartment Challenge

47 Discussions

0
amhawk78
amhawk78

Question 6 weeks ago on Step 1

How far apart are the floor joists?

0
LousRose
LousRose

Question 1 year ago on Introduction

Hi,my first time building a treehouse. I decided to try the 8 step treehouse and it talks about the 3,4,5 rule?

0
bcarpenter228
bcarpenter228

Answer 11 months ago

The 3-4-5 in construction is the pythagorean theorum (a²+b²=c²)

0
Erikssonbuilders
Erikssonbuilders

Reply 2 months ago

It is a quick way to square something. Measure and mark 3' from a corner along a side, measure and mark 4' along the adjacent side. The diagonal should be 5' from mark to mark, if not you are out of square. The math is (3x3)+(4x4)=(5x5) or 9+16=25, a right triangle. You can also use 6-8-10 for larger areas.

0
Ksyankee
Ksyankee

3 months ago

Really enjoyed your project! I am new to the treehouse building world, and this has helped me as I have no real framing experience. One of the better and visually instructive posts, thanks so much! If I could, I would respectfully like to comment on one thing I have found in researching mounting options, and that is how you have attached the supports to the tree. Bolting directly is not recommended as the bolts will eventually pull through the boards or pull out (loosen) as the tree continues to grow outward. Here is a vid of a project I used also for ideas, but he was good enough to post how it faired after just 4 years..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7D9vMdTuuE&feature=youtu.be @ 2:12. There are devices called, "Treehouse Attachment Bolts" that are available, or you can (as I did) make your own, thanks to a post by Wranglestar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57c-Tdn-22E&t=125s The braces attachment devices are also available, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2maDFMvrHQ. I built my own also.. Thanks again for your post, it has given me the info I needed to complete my own treehouse...Take care, Jim

3
jacobdeli
jacobdeli

Question 4 months ago on Introduction

Is there a list of materials if not could you please give me one I want to build this with my family for me and my sister. and we want to know all the materials before we build it.

0
spursy18
spursy18

Question 4 months ago on Step 3

What hold down bracket did you use? Most brackets I find online are ones that can only hold the width of one 2x6.

0
aidan.simister
aidan.simister

4 months ago

What kind of wood did you use?
Thanks

5
Susanjane222
Susanjane222

Question 1 year ago on Introduction

Hi! Is there a downloadable file with a parts supplies list? I have no idea so need complete instructions :/ thanks!

0
JoffW2
JoffW2

Answer 8 months ago

You talk about lag screws / bolts and I can see a bracket to hold the knee braces, are these standard items from a specialist supplier, please can you send details.
thank you.Joff

0
Papastree
Papastree

Question 2 years ago on Step 1

Can you tell me the outside dimensions of this tree house?

0
lincolnjbrown
lincolnjbrown

2 years ago

Great treehouse!

But how much did this cost? I'm thinking about building this but I am worried about the cost.

0
Taylor3000
Taylor3000

Question 2 years ago on Step 3

This is a big help. One question though: Do you only use one holdown bracket for the knee braces and then tie the two 2x6s together?

0
bloomie972
bloomie972

6 years ago

Thanks for all the feedback and compliments.

0
KeithD2
KeithD2

Reply 2 years ago

I am in the middle of building my tree house in a similar manner as yours. How is yours doing after 5 years? Did you leave any space between the floor joists that are lagged and the tree? I made some steel hangers to keep my joists and knee braces 3 inches from the tree to allow room for the tree to grow. I am curious how much actual growth I can expect (the internet indicates about .1 inches of diameter per year for a Hickory) and would be interested in seeing what your attachment points look like 5 years later.

Framing.jpg
0
136ZFG
136ZFG

3 years ago

Knee braces for the corners.

IMG_5349.JPGIMG_5354.JPGIMG_5355.JPGIMG_5356.JPGIMG_5357.JPG
0
HaroldH15
HaroldH15

Reply 3 years ago

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