How to Safely Build a Treehouse

by TLC Real Estate 08/30/2022

Treehouses give kids a fun place to play, read books or hang out with friends. With a treehouse, kids can spend more time outside enjoying fresh air. If you’re thinking of building a treehouse in your yard, it’s important to keep a few factors in mind, such as where to put it and how big it should be. The following tips can help you build a treehouse that’s both safe and exciting for your kids.

Choosing the Right Tree

Treehouses should be built in trees that are healthy and large enough to provide support. Look for a hardwood tree in your yard that has plenty of load-bearing branches to support your treehouse. If you have to use a softwood tree, the diameter of the branches should be more than 8 inches for enough support. You should choose a tree that is high enough to prevent anyone from bumping into the treehouse once it’s built. However, you don’t need to choose a tree with branches that are way up high if you want your kids to be lower to the ground for safety.

Ensuring Stability and Support

When coming up with the design for your treehouse, consider stability and weight. The platform of your treehouse should be placed close to the trunk and include diagonal bracing, which provides more even support. The load of your treehouse should be placed over the tree’s base rather than on one side. If your area gets high winds frequently, make sure you build your treehouse lower down. Putting it higher up can add too much strain to your tree during high winds.

Allowing Tree Growth

When building a treehouse, avoid restricting tree growth. You can make sure the tree can continue growing by leaving gaps around it and around any branches you’re using for the treehouse. You should leave a gap of a couple inches in the treehouse's floor around the tree. If the tree goes through the roof of the treehouse, leave a gap of a few inches.

Starting From the Ground

Treehouses shouldn’t be built in the tree. Instead, build your treehouse one section at a time on the ground. You can then lift the pieces up and put them together as you go. Building your treehouse on the ground is much safer than trying to construct it in the tree.

Adding Treehouse Accessories

You can add fun accessories to your treehouse to make it even more exciting for your kids. Solar-powered lights can provide illumination, so your kids can use your treehouse at night. A slide can offer a fun way to get out of the treehouse instead of using a ladder or steps. Your treehouse can also include a water cannon for cooling off in summer or fold-down tables and benches, so your kids can play board games and have snacks.