Building A Tree House

By Robert Robillard on How To

Use the Right Materials

The framing of the treehouse needs to be treated the same as any exterior deck or structure. Use treated framing material, utilize structural plywood where you can and chose cladding that will keep water out and protect the structure from rot.

Support the Tree House

Prior to building your tree house frame and tree attachment, there are two things to consider with tree houses are:

  1. Tree grow
  2. Trees move in the wind [sway]

Trees Grow

The tree you are using will NOT stay the same forever. The trunks and branches will continue to grow.

Trees Move

Don’t bolt beams directly between thick trunks. Tree trunkscan generate immense pressure near the ground when the wind moves the branches higher up.  When a tree moves thousands of pounds of force is generated and can easily shear nails, screws or bolts.  If you bolt a treehouse support beam between two trees, you’ll run the risk of the bolts snapping in strong wind.

We were curious to see how much our trees moved in the wind. Prior to building we held a 16-foot straight edge and level at the base of the tree on a very windy day.

At 8-feet up the tree moved ½” and at 16-feet it swayed 1-inch plus.  The funny part was this movement was invisibly to the naked eye.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob If you have a building or remodeling question you can have rob respond to your answer via video. Click here for more information. Invite code: x22r2

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