How to Safely Build a Treehouse

by Nancy Brenseke 10/30/2022

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.

About the Author

Nancy Brenseke

I love the ocean, sand and sunshine! That's why I call Hilton Head Island/Bluffton my home! I relocated to Hilton Head Island over 20 years ago from North Carolina after graduating from East Carolina University - Go Pirates! I continue to be successful in real estate for the past 13 Years and with my experience working with top resorts and gated communities, I have cultivated attention to detail, understand the importance of listening first and have the positive "Can Do" attitude in all situations. I offer my sellers and buyers the BEST advice to achieve their real estate goals. I enjoy spending time with my family boating on the May River, attending festivals along Old Town Bluffton and building sandcastles on HHI beaches.  

"Nancy Brenseke is the type of realtor that everyone should contract to sell their property. She is very knowledgeable and gave us valuable information when listing the townhome. The whole process went smoothly and Nancy was responsible for that. She always communicated with us which kept us confident that all aspects of the closing were under control and on track. I highly recommend Nancy Brenseke." ~ Deb Bluffton, SC

"I would highly recommend using Nancy for your real estate needs. She is extremely knowledgeable and responsive. Nancy's representation is top-notch." ~ Jill - Nashville, TN

"Nancy went the extra mile on everything around selling the condo. I would use her again and would recommend her to anyone I come in contact with. Our condo sold in 1 day! She was excellent and hardworker. She helped in all aspects of selling, from marketing with great number of pictures, to home inspection with helping us find contractors to fix the inspection issue so were were able to close." Eric - Cumming, GA