BASE: A treehouse is as solid as its base (the platform). Choose the right type and dimension of wood. A slight tilt and spaces between the parts lets the rainwater run off. There’s nothing worst for your construction than decay.
BRACES: Connecting the platform and the tree, they reduce the span and thereby the deflection of your crossbeams. In your walls, they brace the structure against wind pressure and also reduce spans.
BRANCHES: Branches and especially branch forks offer a great opportunity to attach a supporting structure to the tree without additional tools.
BUILDING PERMIT: If you need one depends on different factors. Get good information so can enjoy your treehouse for a long time. Of course we’re happy to support you getting a building permit.
CAMBIUM: The cambium is the living layer of the trees trunk. Cut this layer just half way through and the tree will die. Especially ropes, laid out the wrong way and lots of screws and/or nails over too short distances are conceived by the tree as wounds and it’ll die off at this part. Better use fewer, larger stainless-steel screws and weight distributing materials between ropes/cables and the tree.
CLIMBING: Climbing is a favorite pastime for kids. Try to satisfy this need with your construction, always keeping in mind everybody’s safety. Plan your climbing route before entering the host tree. Cut off dead branches before you’re tempted to hold on to it. Secure yourself with a rope and a climbing harness. There are special tree-climbing outfitters nowadays, fulfilling all your dreams.
CLIMBING HARNESS: We strongly recommend only to work in the trees while being roped up in one.
CROSSBEAMS: Make sure, like with all other structural parts, that you’re using the right dimensions. Especially the vertical size is essential for the right dimensioning.
GARNIER LIMB (also known as TAB): The state of the art version! It enables you to attach your supporting beams and structure in a very sturdy and tree-friendly way. They have a max. load capacity of 2.7 metric tons.
HEIGHT: The higher you go with your treehouse, the more it’ll be exposed to winds and the trees swaying. Even if a greater height promises greater views – most people sense the feeling of freedom already after climbing up the ladder a few steps… Should you be aiming high anyway, get advice by an expert!
INDEPENDENCY: All of us, especially kids, need a place which belongs only to them. Treehouses offer an ideal place of retreat away from daily routine or the grumbling grown-ups.
INSULATION: If you also want to use your treehouse during the cold months, we advise you to insulate it. There are natural materials available like wooden fibreboards or hemp, wool or the like which are more expensive but environment-friendly and thereby meeting the idea of a treehouse.
INTERIORS: There are no limitations to your fantasy, but keep the weight in mind. You can do electric installations (if you can). That way you can put in an electric heater and switch on the lights.
LADDERS: Always set up your ladder at a safe place, make sure it won’t slip away.
LARCH: Larch wood is, because of its weather resistance and also its looks, the first choice in our latitudes. If freshly sawn, it’s popular because of its reddish color, which you can save using a varnish. It’ll get a matchless patina if untreated.
LIGHT: Keep in mind the cardinal points while drafting. If you’re a sunny person, your deck should point southwards. If you’re more into the evening sun, turn it westwards.
MATERIAL: Use lightweight materials for the interiors. Of course wood is the preferred building material. Also possible are membrane constructions: awnings or other fabrics, etc. For windows you should use real glass, insulated if the rest of your treehouse is as well, or acrylic glass. All exterior metal parts should be stainless.
MODULES: Instead of hauling every single part up the tree, you can prefabricate modules on the ground so you just have to join them once up the deck. Use a block and tackle!
PLATFORM: The platform is the base for your treehouse. Not every anchoring must be immovably fixed. We often recommend a flexible attachment, allowing your gem to sway to a certain extent. A good example for flexible attachments are suspensions and dynamic uplift arrestors for your beams.
PRUNING: If there are smaller branches in your way during the construction, you can remove them. You should place the cut at the place where the branch meets the trunk. (Tip: don’t cut the branch you’re sitting on…)
PULLEY: It’s a must for every treehouse, visitors, building materials or snacks can easily be delivered that way.
RAILINGS: An indispensable component of your deck. The average parapet height is around 35 inches. Please keep in mind the smaller visitors and make sure the little ones can’t slip through. Also you should install vertical rods (distance between each rod: <5 inches), so they can’t use the railing as a ladder and climb over it. Rope railings are an attractive alternative.
RAMP: You can build a slightly ascending ramp and maybe a draw bridge from the ground to your treehouse for a special way to access the platform. It might even be wheelchair-accessible that way!
RESPONSIBILITY: During the build of a treehouse and while playing in one, kids learn how to deal with the environment in a responsible way. Away from any second-hand experience (TV, Playstation, etc.) to shared first-hand experiences in the outdoors.
ROOF: The roof should definitely be pitched, so water and snow can’t do any damage. Better use natural materials for your roofing, like wood-shingles. A low-cost alternative is roofing felt you find at any hardware store. Metal sheeting is another option but you might be better off leaving that to a professional. Corrugated sheets are easier to apply. It’s lighter and doesn’t cost much.
ROPES: Are an excellent and flexible way to attach something. They are often used as railings and/or handrails.
TIPS: on how to build treehouses you can find in following books: “Be In A Treehouse: Design/Construction/Inspiration“ by Pete Nelson, „How to Build Treehouses, Huts and Forts“ by David Stiles.
TOOLS: Good tools save a lot of work. Essential tools are: cordless drill, hammer, saw, level, tape measure, screwdriver. Kids should use those tools under supervision.
TREES: Only healthy trees with a minimum diameter of 8 inches are worth considering. Trees with low canopies are especially well suited for treehouses without posts. But you can also build treehouses in conifers. Of course you can set up your daydream without trees, just use stilts! You’ll find long-lasting treehouses in oaks, ashes, beeches, maples and willows.
TREEHOUSEHOTEL: By now, we’ve built some treehouse hotels in Germany – the baumbarons are proud of having attended these projects.
WATER SUPPLY: Is possible without difficulty. Just guide a water hose up and along the trunk to a water tab inside your treehouse. The drainage is imaginable simple.
WIND: Strong winds can damage your treehouse. Don’t rise too high and allow the treehouse to sway and move.
WINDOWS: Make sure there is plenty of ventilation and daylight. Treehouses often suffer from little light and moisture. Window shutters can be very appealing on your treehouse.
WOOD: The right choice is a crucial factor for the lifespan of your treehouse. For weatherproof and sustainability reasons you should use domestic woods like larch, cedar or oak (expensive) on the outside. Don’t use cheap softwood (spruce), otherwise it won’t last long. Pressure-treated woods are sturdy but also treated with chemicals.
XYLOGRAPHER: Is a professional title. A xylographers occupation is the artistic woodcut. If there’s nothing more to do on your treehouse, you can utilize the remaining wood. Don’t cut the host tree though.