An experience journal by Ken Godfrey
Treehouses. They are the stuff of childhood dreams and adult memories. Really, everybody has thought about having one at one time or another.
We bought a house a few years ago that had a little woods in the backyard. The woods were overgrown and we thought of them pretty much as just a privacy buffer. Our treehouse adventure started while the kids and I were having a catch one afternoon. I mused that it would be kinda cool to build a treehouse in the woods. The kids loved the idea and we immediately looked over the little fence to see which tree we could use.
I went to the Web to find the information I needed to build a treehouse. There were lots of Web sites about treehouses, many helpful, but none had all the information I needed to create a plan, including an idea of the budget it would require. Many sites wanted to sell me plans, but that's not what I wanted either. I've tried to provide as much of that information as possible here on our Treehouse reference links page. I think you'll find these links helpful.
UNFORTUNATE BUT NECESSARY LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Treehouses can be dangerous. No matter how well designed, if someone falls out of one, they may well be seriously injured or killed. Do not build a treehouse unless you are willing to supervise children using it. What follows here is a plan for OUR treehouse. While it can be an inspiration for yours, it cannot be considered a plan for yours. You must consult an experienced carpenter or engineer on your plan. This Web site assumes no responsibility for injuries that occur due to poorly designed or pooly executed treehouses or for any treehouse-related injuries incurred by anyone.
Keep in mind that there can't be a standard plan for a multiple-tree treehouse because each set of trees is different. You'll have to think through and draw up your plan yourself. But the idea of a large platform floating on top of main supports may be adapted to many sets of trees. This design cantilevers (extends) almost 2 feet of platform beyond the supports on either side. But it has more than 4 feet of platform span between the supports. The weight is evenly distributed and it's supported solidly by its own weight (about 700 lbs.) so the weight of a number of people standing on a cantilevered edge won't tip the platform. You need to be careful that you don't cantilever or span too much.
NOTE: By clicking any link on this page you certify that you have read the legal disclaimer above and agree to its terms.