I’ve been thinking about building the kids a tree house for some time now. We only have one tree in our yard, and it’s a large pine tree.
My kids are 3, 6, and 10. I want to make it about 10-12′ off the ground without any supports to the ground.
My tree house design:
Right now, the tree house design I’m toying with is for four main supports (2×8′s) to be lag bolted into the tree. The end of the support closest to the tree will also be lag bolted to the adjacent support board at a 90º angle.
The ends of the supports boards in this tree house design are the corners of the tree house platform. Then I plan on using 2×6′s for the cross member supports.
Originally I planned on using plywood decking on this tree house platform. What I think I’ve decided on is using 2×6′s instead. I figure they will last longer, and water can drain through more easily. This tree house design will be a platform with a railing pretty much.
I plan on having a hinged door so the entire platform can be walked on safely by even my 3 year old. A good tree house design should consider as many details as possible before going into the construction phase. The swinging door will open by a pulley from the ground so you don’t have children trying to open the door from the ladder. To achieve this, I’m thinking the rope will feed through a pulley with a stopper like you might see on a small boat for the anchor.
Thoughts on other tree house design details:
I haven’t yet decided on the tree house railing design or a roof, if needed.
Since I’m building this in a pine tree, the rain will not get through to the platform much, but I think a roof may be needed simply because of the needles, sap and pine tar.
With the large 2×8 supports, I’m thinking about seeing how sturdy it will be without any angled supports beneath before adding any at all. I’d love the clean look of a tree house without large supports beneath. Someone let me know if you’ve seen any completed tree house designs without a lot of visible supports below.
If you have any comments, or suggestions, let me know below!