How to build an easy tree house

Written by ryn gargulinski
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How to build an easy tree house
Building your own tree house doesn't have to be complicated. (Getty Creative)

Most kids, and even some adults, dream of having their very own tree house. The tree house doesn't have to be anything elaborate, fancy or something that takes several construction crews to create.

Things you need

  • Wood
  • Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Nails and hammer
  • Wood glue
  • Paint, varnish or shellac
  • Quick dry cement

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  1. 1

    Pick your tree. Select a thick, sturdy, well-rooted tree that has an area tall enough where you can use the tree as one of your platform legs.

  2. 2

    Take your measurements. Measure the length needed for the three other legs of your tree house, the width and length of your platform and the size of boards needed to cover the platform.

  3. 3

    Get your wood. Trek to the lumberyard or hardware store and get three two-by-fours at least 30 to 60 cm (1 to 2 feet) longer than the length of the legs you'll need, four 50-by-100-mm (2-by-4-inch) to create the platform and enough other wood, of any variety that works well as floor covering, to cover your platform. If wood is not in the length you need, go longer and saw it to size when you get home.

  4. 4

    Install the legs. Dig three skinny holes 30 to 60 cm (1 to 2 feet) deep where your legs will be anchored. Fill the holes with quick dry cement. Allow to dry into place, usually overnight.

  5. 5

    Frame your platform. Nail together three sides of your platform, leaving the fourth side open to position around the part of the tree that is acting as your leg. Nail it into place when it's properly positioned.

  6. 6

    Cover the platform with slats. Nail your slats on top of your platform, sawing off the boards to accommodate the tree trunk acting as one of the legs.

  7. 7

    Seal. Sand any rough edges. Use paint, varnish, shellac or another wood sealer to finish off your tree house and keep it safe from the elements. Use brushes rather than spray unless you want to get your sealer and paint all over the tree.

Tips and warnings

  • You can get extra wood while you're at the lumber yard to create a ladder that leads to the tree house. Use two 50-by-100-mm (2-by-4-inch) boards as the ladder's base and shorter pieces for the slats.
  • You can also buy a ladder, either a regular standing ladder or the rope ones used to escape from a fire. Rope ladders are good because they can be rolled up from the tree house preventing others from coming up.

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