Want to build a treehouse? Here’s everything you’ll need

Gear

Depending on whether the build is commercial or residential, planning permission will be needed for most treehouses.

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What you need to build a treehouse

A lot of work and equipment goes into building the perfect treehouse, but anyone can do it with the right instructions. A treehouse should feel like an outdoor oasis with the comfort of being indoors. This cozy space up in the trees is perfect for people of all ages and is worth the complex build. What starts out as pieces of wood can turn into a lifetime full of memories for generations to come. When building a treehouse, consider the materials that you will need to make it, the tools that you will use and the time that it will take to build. 

What to know before building a treehouse

Materials 

Purchasing fixed plywood or bamboo from an online retailer will save you time in the process of building a treehouse. Plywood is dependable for wet weather. However, its thickness prevents drainage and ventilation. That being said, this material is best suited for the floor of the treehouse rather than the walls. Separated plywood boards will allow ventilation for the walls and an authentic look, builders can spend extra time weaving branches throughout.

The roof of the treehouse should angle 30-50 degrees depending on the amount of snow and rainfall in your area. Apply cedarwood on top of plywood to allow rain to run off the roof effectively. Though glass windows are clearer and scratch-proof, plastic windows will not shatter and are a safe alternative, especially if children are expected in the treehouse. 

Tools

Due to the number of various materials that require assembly, there are many different tools that go into building a treehouse. Before building a treehouse, consider investing in safety goggles and gloves, as there will be the use of saws and drills during the building process. To ensure that your measurements and angles remain accurate, it is vital to purchase a level and a speed square. Making sure that all of the measurements are accurate will save you time in the long run.

Aside from inexpensive measuring tools, you will need heavy-duty equipment, such as a circular saw, a drill and a drill bit. Among other small items you will need to purchase a couple of folding sawhorses as a sturdy table to saw the wood. 

Time

The time it takes to build a treehouse will depend on the complexity of the blueprint. A simple backyard treehouse mounted high up in a tree could take anywhere from two to six weeks. If you are planning to take on a bigger project and build a larger commercial treehouse, it could take anywhere from six months to a year and may require a permit. 

How much you can expect to spend on a treehouse

The money that it takes to build a treehouse will vary depending on the quality of the material, where it is shipped from and which tools are needed. A small treehouse with basic materials will cost anywhere from $400-$600 while a commercially built treehouse can cost anywhere from $2,000-$4,000. 

Tips for building a treehouse

  • Allow gaps around parts of the tree with branches to accommodate growth over time. 
  • Add spacers between the floor beams to allow for movement of the branches.
  • Craft the walls with plywood boards to allow for ventilation. 

Building a treehouse FAQ

What is the best type of tree to build in? 

A. The best tree to build a treehouse in will be a deciduous tree. The types of trees that will provide enough support for a treehouse include oak, ash, cedar, beech and maple. Make sure the tree that you build in, no matter the type, is healthy and mature. 

How will my treehouse be affected by tree growth over time? 

A. Trees expand in layers. As the tree grows layers, the bolts of the treehouse will be absorbed into the tree. Depending on the growth rate of the tree, the bolts should hold and can be supported by adding metal pipes throughout the gaps when needed. 

Products that you will need to build a treehouse

Swanson 7 Inch Speed Square

Swanson 7 Inch Speed Square

This speed square features a pocket-sized Swanson Blue Book to help users make the correct cuts and mark exact angles. It includes five different measuring tools in one, making it necessary in every tradesman’s workshop. It is designed with ¼-inch scribing notches inside of a diamond cutout and popular stud widths.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Prexiso Laser Measure and Torpedo Level

Prexiso Laser Measure and Torpedo Level

This two-in-one laser measure and torpedo level features a 65-foot laser measure and a torpedo level that helps with distance accuracy. This tool features two modes in which to calculate distance in real time. The laser turns off automatically for convenience, and it is best used indoors. It is portable and able to fit inside of your pocket for on-the-go measuring as well as featuring a heavy-duty aluminum alloy frame for durability.

Sold by Amazon

Hitachi 18 Volt Cordless Lithium-Ion Compact Drill 

Hitachi 18 Volt Cordless Lithium-Ion Compact Drill 

This compact drill is covered by a lifetime warranty and features lithium-ion battery technology for less weight and fade-free power. It features 400 pounds of torque perfect for use in tight spaces. It is designed with two speed gear settings to match the user’s desired speed as well as the ability to cover 400 inches.

Sold by Amazon

Bosch 18 Volt Compact Drill Kit

Bosch 18 Volt Compact Drill Kit

This drill kit provides an enhanced torque rating with the ability to deliver 480 inches per pound of torque for productivity. It features a compact lightweight design and comes with 20+1 clutch settings. The keyless ratcheting half-inch chuck with auto-lock enables easier bit changes.

Sold by Amazon

Bosch Amp Circular Saw

Bosch Amp Circular Saw

This circular saw features a powerful 15-amp motor for fast, smooth cuts and an adjustable bevel and depth levers for a variety of cut angles. It features unobstructed cut-line visibility for precision accuracy and a high-strength composite footplate for safety and durability. This product provides fast and easy blade changes.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Cali Bamboo Treehouse Tread Molding

Cali Bamboo Treehouse Tread Molding

These solid bamboo stair treads measure 48 inches in length and are the appropriate thickness for a stable floor and ventilated walls. They can be installed over plywood and are designed for superior durability in commercial and residential spaces. They are easy to clean with a dry mop and are naturally water-resistant. The pieces are shielded by a protective scratch-resistant wear layer.

Sold by Home Depot

 

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