People around the world live in, play in and enjoy tree houses. Although commonly viewed as a retreat for children, adults are turning to the trees for a little solitude, too. This Web guide helps you find the inspiration and know-how for constructing a tree house for kids or adults. (And you don’t have to be the Swiss Family Robinson to do it.)
Studying photographs or looking at tree house designs can help you and your kids be more creative in developing your own tree house, and save time in deciding what to build. The Web sites in this section have plenty of photos and sketches to get you started.
- If you’re planning to construct a tree house yourself, think about the type of tree you’ll be building around. Not all designs will accommodate all types of trees. Some of the Web sites in the “Building a Tree House” section address tree selection.
For photos of children’s tree houses …
showcases creative tree houses that are sure to get children excited about what their own tree house could look like.
maintains a beautiful portfolio of tree houses for kids, tree house additions, tree house getaways and a “special projects” section full of more creative tree houses.
To buy tree house kits or plans …
sells plans for a variety of tree houses, based on the number of trees they require. There are plans for a freestanding tree house, too. Buy the plans online to download them in PDF format or purchase a printed guide.
sells several books and designs for building tree houses, play houses, forts and more.
Daniels Wood Land
supplies unique tree house kits and the trees to go with them. Browse the kits, hunt for special chainsaw carvings to add to a tree house or take a look at the tree house price list
There are some finer points to building a tree house, such as making sure you’ve chosen a tree that can safely support a tree house and the children in it. Learn how to construct the various elements of a tree house using the Web sites recommended below.
- If you’re not sure whether the tree you want to use for your tree house is sturdy enough to support the weight of the house, an arborist may be able to tell you for certain. Yellowpages.com can help you search for an arborist in your area.
- Children’s tree houses are generally minor enough that they don’t require a building permit, but it’s often worth checking into just to be sure. Download the International Code Council PDF brochure to learn why building permits are important and the general process that must be followed as you apply for a permit.
For instructions on building a tree house …
provides some specific characteristics you should look for in a tree that could support a tree house, and also shares some opinions on whether tree house kits are worth what you’ll pay for them.
The Treehouse Guide
has a section filled with short, practical tutorials about several aspects of building a tree house, from choosing a tree to helpful hints that can make construction easier.
also offers step-by-step instructions (with photos) for constructing a tree house. Use these valuable directions to learn how to elevate the tree house, build a roof and make sure the structure is sturdy.
Woodworking Plan Finder
is a directory of links to hundreds of free woodworking plans. If you’re looking to add some finer details to your tree house, such as homemade shelves or chairs, this is the place to look.
To add playground equipment …
lets you customize the look of playground equipment to add to your tree house. Buy swings for the tree, or other fun accessories like a telescope, binoculars or a rope ladder.
Forever Young Treehouses
is a nonprofit organization that plans to build a universally accessible tree house in every state. Learn about the group’s projects, see photos of the tree houses or find out more about the services
offered by Forever Young Treehouses.
Tree houses aren’t just for children anymore. For many adults, they’re a trendy way to obtain a little peace and quiet outside the home, or even entertain guests. If you’re wondering whether a tree house is right for you, the Web sites in this section may help.
- Many tree house builders are also experts in turning visions of tree houses into reality. A simple search for “tree house builders” in your favorite search engine may turn up someone who can help you create your perfect outdoor retreat.
To understand the appeal of adult tree houses …
tells the story of a couple who moved to Alaska and built a tree house as their primary residence.
The Los Angeles Times
features several people who use a tree house as a home office, library or even a guesthouse. If you don’t want to build your own, look for links at the end of the article to tree houses available for rent around the country.
For photos of adult tree houses …
features gorgeous photos of unique tree house retreats. Browse the portfolio to find some inspiration for your tree house.
is sure to amaze with the “extreme treehouses” featured in this article.
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