How to Build a Tree House for your Children

Today we'll show you how to make your children's dream of having a tree house come true.
How to Build a Tree House for your Children

Last update: 10 November, 2018

Every child’s dream is to have their very own tree house. There’s something so special about them – they seem more like something you’d find in a film than in real life. We’ve all watched TV shows where kids play in tree houses and seen just how amazing they look.

Well, today we’re going to show you that it’s possible for your kids to have a tree house of their very own. In this article, we’re going to tell you how to build a tree house for your children. And the best bit? If you have the right tools and equipment, you can do it all yourself.

If you’re lucky enough to have a house with a garden and a decent-sized tree, a little tree house will be the perfect addition. Your children will remember just how much fun they had in their tree house for the rest of their lives. But brace yourself, because all their friends are going to want to come and play too.

Safety – the number one priority

The first thing we have to make clear is that you’ll have to have some basic knowledge of woodwork and experience with similar construction projects in order to build a tree house. Don’t forget, it’s going to be up off the ground, and your children have to be safe.

So, you should only try to build a tree house if you’re sure that it will be safe for your children.

Once you’ve decided to build a tree house, you have to make sure that the tree in question is safe. It should be large and sturdy enough to support the weight of both the house itself and the children.

Plus, the tree should also be wide enough to hold the base of your tree house. If the trunk is very short, or it has a lot of branches it will be difficult to build a platform.

A tree house can have a flat or a sloped roof.

Designing your tree house

So, it’s time to start building your children’s tree house. Planning is the first and most important stage. Make sketches, take all the measurements and choose your materials. Take all the time you need to do this step properly. Good planning at the beginning will save you time later and will mean there are no nasty surprises.

At this stage you’ll need to decide on:

  • How to access your tree house: this might be via a ladder attached directly to the tree trunk, or via a knotted rope the children will have to climb up. If you’re looking for a safer option, you could even make a more conventional staircase.
  • Size of the house: this will be determined by the size of the tree.
  • Design: decide on the shape of the roof and where the windows will be.
The safest tree house design has four supporting pillars.

Starting the construction

You should only start building your children’s tree house once you have all the necessary materials, tools and detailed plans with all the measurements.

The first step is to build a platform that will support your tree house. The safest design is a platform with four supporting poles dug into the ground. If your tree has a wide trunk, you can attach your tree house directly to it. The platform is the base of the whole structure, so you need to make sure it’s safe and secure.

Use the branches of your tree to create a stronger structure, and don’t be afraid to use as many nails and fixtures as you need.

Constructing the walls and floor

Once you’ve got the base of your structure in the tree, cover it with wooden boards to make the floor. The next step is to build pillars to support the walls and roof. It’s important to make sure that they’re securely attached to ensure that they can take the weight.

You can make your walls by attaching horizontal wooden planks to the pillars, or they can be made of paneling or a similar cladding material. You could even use netting and line it with fabric, or tarpaulin.

When building your walls, you’ll also have to remember to leave a gap for the windows, if you want them. Once you’ve constructed the walls, you’ve already done most of the work. It’s now time to attach the stairs.

A staircase is the safest way to access a tree house.

The final step: the roof

All that’s left to do now is add the roof. Some tree houses don’t have a roof, so this is an optional element. The type of roof you have will depend on the design you’ve gone for.

The simplest type of roof is a flat roof. All you need is a few planks of wood nailed to the top of your house. However, if you have a flat roof, the walls will need to be relatively high, as your roof won’t add any height to your house.

A sloped roof is more complicated. This type of roof will be more difficult to build and attach. How high or low you make the roof will depend on the height of the tree.

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