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Whether you couldn’t stop reading Swiss Family Robinson, or deeply admired the homes of the Ewoks, tree houses were probably part of your childhood. If you were lucky enough to have one, you probably played games in it with your friends, went out to stargaze, or had picnics up high. Now, you want to build one in your current backyard. Whether your goal is to create a play space for your kids, or to live in a treehouse, your treehouse journey starts here.

Design Your Treehouse

The first step in creating your treehouse will be the design. Do you want a simple stargazing platform? Do you want a playhouse suspended in the trees, complete with green shutters on the windows? Do you want a small home, one that you could actually spend the night in? Your goals will determine the cost and the effort your treehouse takes. If you want something simple, you can probably build the treehouse yourself. Platforms are relatively simple as long as you have existing carpentry skills. As you build your treehouse, you should also keep in mind the tree’s well-being. Improper building can cause damage to the tree, which not only disrespects nature, but can affect your treehouse’s safety over time. As you plan, find ways to install a treehouse that doesn’t damage the tree. Once you know your goal, and you’ve done some serious math, you can start building.

Building Your Treehouse

Keeping in mind some tree-safety tips, you can start work on your treehouse. Start with the base, and safely affix the beams to the trunk. Once the beams are in place, you can install the supports. Most supports will reach to the ground to provide extra stability. From there, you’ll install the deck, the sides, and the roof. You can use residential metal roofing for easy, long-lasting protection. If you’re not a skilled carpenter, or your treehouse vision is complex, you’ll want to hire someone to build your treehouse for you. A live-in treehouse will require extra considerations like insulation and maintenance-free siding, so be prepared for added costs and extra time. If you are able to spend the night in the trees, however, you’ll likely find the extra time and money worth it.

No matter what you treehouse goals are, a treehouse can be a great way to bring your family together. Older children can work with you on the construction, and the hours you spend creating this project could turn into fantastic family time. Even younger children will have a blast as the treehouse goes up, watching it transform in the backyard. For years after its finished, your treehouse will provide fun and a good reason to be outside. You probably won’t join in every game of Pirates, but you’ll enjoy seeing your kids up there. If your treehouse is more advanced, and built for you as well as your family, you can all enjoy some Swiss Family Robinson evenings, sharing dinner ten feet off the ground.