It was made over the course of several weekends using new, pressure-treated wood for the support structure and floor and an old fence was recycled for the sides. The roof is a how to construct a building step by step pdf-pattern tarp. It’s not weather-proof, but it stays pretty dry inside: a three-season treehouse, but best for summer! It was made with my 4, 6 and 8-year old children in mind, but has been a hit with visitors of all ages.
Note: this treehouse was built in summer 2009, taken down due to tree growth in fall 2013, and rebuilt in spring 2014. I made, but there are a mix of old and new photos throughout. There are definite advantages in using more than one tree for your treehouse – the treehouse can be bigger, and you have to use less bracing. This means the design has been based on one for a closely spaced pair of trees, rather than for a group of three. A solid gnarly collection of old trunks, each about 1′ in diameter at 9 ft up.
Start by figuring out how high you want the treehouse. 9′ is exciting for kids but not scary. You can of course go higher, but you’ll have to take more account of tree movement. The first photo is of my plan, which was sketched on a cereal box. The design changed as I was building it – I didn’t end up adding the braces drawn in the bottom left elevation, and I built an entrance platform that I hadn’t originally planned. The 3D modelled picture gives a better indication of the layout of the main structure around the trunks. 250 from the nearby Home Depot, except for the lag screws and washers which I got online.
4″ ones I replaced them with. 1 ft higher than your head! Get it perfectly horizontal with the help of a level and nail the other end to the other tree. 8″ holes straight into the tree just above the strip of wood.
Do the same on the other side of the trees, this time taking the extra precaution of first ensuring the new strip is not only horizontal but also level with the strip on the other side of the tree. Now, take down the strips and measure the exact distance between the holes. 4″ hole in the middle of the board. Make another mark using the between-the-holes measurement . 4″ holes, each 1-2″ either side of your mark and both in the middle of the board. Get a jigsaw and make two cuts between the holes to make a 2-4″ long slot.