How to Make the Perfect Small Tree House

A tree house often brings about dreams of childhood adventure and fantasy. Building a tree house in your backyard is an excellent way to bring out the kid in all of us. A tree house is not a difficult project, and a basic tree house can be built with just a few simple tools. With a few materials and the right plans, anyone can build a small tree house right in their backyard. In this article, we will show you how to make the perfect simple backyard tree house.

man in black leather jacket standing beside brown wooden house during daytime
Photo by Ali Zbeeb

Materials Needed

When it comes to simple backyard tree house projects, the materials needed will depend on the type of tree house being constructed. Tools such as drills, saws, or hammers may be needed, as well as supplies like wood, screws, nails, window glass, and paint. Other materials that may be needed include rope or chain to secure it to the tree, and some type of tarp or waterproofing material for the roof if desired. Additionally, safety and security considerations such as stable ladders or restraining systems for kids should be taken into account. For a simple tree house, the materials should be easy to find and obtain from a local hardware store.

small tree house
Photo by Eugen Str

Tools for Building a Small Tree House

Building a small tree house in the backyard is an exciting project but requires careful planning and the right tools. Tools such as saws, drills, hammers, and screwdrivers, will be needed to create an effective frame. Additionally, rope, nails, screws and a level are important materials needed to erect the tree house. Wood, paint, windows and door knobs are also necessary components, as the supplies will assist in constructing the tree house. Make sure all of the components are at hand to properly create the tree house. With the right assembly of supplies and tools, the small tree house will be ready to give you and your family years of fun.

Supplies for Building a Small Tree House

Building a backyard tree house requires some thoughtful planning and the right supplies to make the process smooth and enjoyable. Before taking the plunge, it is important to decide what type of tree house you plan to build. Plan ahead to decide whether you will build a stand-alone tree house—or simply use the trees to help support the structure. With either option, you will need some basic supplies, such as lumber and nails, as well as any additional supplies needed depending on the specific design. Other useful items include roofing material, siding material, interior finishing materials, and hardware to attach it all. Good planning can help make sure you have everything you need before you begin the job.

Lastly, you should also consider hiring a structural engineer to assess your design and advise you on any elements of your tree house you need to be aware of before you begin. With the right supplies and careful considerations, you can create the perfect tree house for your backyard.

Planning the Building Process

When it comes to planning the building process of a simple backyard tree house, the first step is determining the ideal location. This requires some thought, as the tree house must be both in an area of the garden that has the right amount of space, and in a tree sturdy enough to support it. After the location is decided, it is recommended to draw up a design before beginning the build. This design can include materials and layouts, and help determine what supplies are necessary for construction. Furthermore, any safety and security concerns should also be addressed in the design. Finally, considerations for maintenance should also be taken into account, as any tree house will require regular upkeep.

Selecting the Location

When it comes to selecting the perfect location for building a simple backyard tree house, it is important to take into account several factors such as the size of the tree, the proximity to potential hazards, and the conditions of the soil. Make sure that the chosen tree is large and sturdy enough to bear the weight of the structure while being reasonably close to the house. Check the proximity to power lines or garages that might be potential hazards, and confirm that the soil is well-drained, level and free of obstacles. Once all these factors have been taken into consideration, it’s time to assign the area for the tree house build.

Drawing up a Design

When drawing up a design for a simple backyard tree house, it is important to consider both aesthetics and practicality. Think about the kind of layout you want and what features you would like to include. You may also want to consider the landscape of the area and where the best location for your tree house would be, taking into consideration any important trees you would want to use to construct the tree house.

Additionally, you will need to consider the weight capacity of the tree and if the tree can support the structure you have in mind. Finally, it is a good idea to draw up a scale diagram on paper, laying out the design and structure of your tree house before beginning the construction process.

Constructing the Small Tree House

Constructing a small tree house can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. When done correctly, the tree house will stay secure and safe. To start, you will need to set a foundation in order to make the tree house sturdy. This can include stilts, footings, or posts set into the ground. A frame is then constructed and raised to the desired height. Next, the roof is shingled or you can use a pre-made roofing option. Finally, you can customize your small tree house with a paint job, fencing, or shrubs.

Be sure to take all necessary precautions when constructing your tree house and consult with a professional if needed. With the right supplies, a well-thought plan, and a bit of effort you can create the perfect small tree house.

Setting Foundations

Building the foundations of your tree house is an important first step when constructing a backyard tree house. As the base of your structure, you will want to ensure these foundations are strong and secure. To do this, select an existing tree or identify an appropriate support structure for the tree house. If the tree is too small, consider using poles or posts that are sunk into the ground. Dig deep holes and fill them with concrete, allowing the cement to set before continuing with the construction. Ensure the levels are accurate when setting the foundations, as this will make the following steps easier and the tree house sturdier in the long run.

Assembling the Frame

When assembling the frame of a small tree house the most important step is to ensure that the frame is sturdy. The use of angled struts or cross-braces will help keep the frame secure and provide additional support to the structure. It is important to use screws instead of nails for the frame assembly as it improves primary stability. Before assembling the entire frame, it is important to pre-assemble each component such as the side walls, roof rafters and posts, to check that all dimensions are correct. After the frame is assembled the trusses should be securely attached with the use of metal plates, heavy-duty nails and braces.

Finally, the frame should be inspected for stability and any weak points should be reinforced with additional struts or cross-braces. With the frame of the small tree house securely assembled, the roof and walls can be fitted and the construction process can move to the next stage.

Fitting the Roof

Fitting the roof of the tree house is a matter of accuracy and attention to detail. Depending on the type of roof that you have decided to put on your tree house, you will need to use the right supports and measurements. Once the supports are in place, the shingles should be nailed down to the inner rafters and plywood sheeting placed on top for waterproofing. While laying the sheeting, use proper overlapping techniques to ensure seams are tight and waterproof. Once the sheeting is in place, finish the roof with specially designed treehouse roofing cap or ridge roll to ensure your tree house is properly sealed.

Finally, install gutter and downspouts to provide adaptability for changing weather patterns.

Finishing Touches

Finishing touches are the most important part of building a simple backyard tree house. When everything is in place, it is essential to ensure it is built to last. Depending on the type of tree house, finding ways to make it weatherproof and waterproof is important. Additionally, using pressure-treated wood or cedar is recommended. Filling in any gaps and ensuring a good seal will make sure the tree house is able to withstand the elements. To make it child-friendly, adding a few security features like handrail or railings along the sides is important.

Finally, a fresh coat of paint or staining the wood will make it look beautiful and give it a finishing touch. With the right materials and the right steps, your tree house will be the envy of the neighborhood.

Final Tips

Building a simple backyard tree house is a fun, engaging, and relatively easy task that can be completed in a weekend. The final tips for a successful tree house build include safety and security considerations. Installing safety barriers and anchoring the tree house to the ground are important considerations. When designing the tree house, leave room for an exit ladder and window that allows easy and safe entry and exit. Additionally, inspect the tree house regularly and make necessary repairs to ensure the structure is sound and secure.

brown wooden house in the middle of green trees
Photo by Floris Bronkhorst

Furthermore, maintenance of the tree house is important. Inspecting the tree and making sure it is healthy is essential and checking that none of the components of the tree house are rotting or rusting is key. Finally, add fun touches to your tree house like paint jobs, furniture and accessories to make it a place for kids and adults alike to enjoy.

Safety and Security Considerations

When constructing a backyard tree house, it is important to take safety and security into consideration. Think about the location and height of the treehouse to ensure it is both secure and will not endanger the tree. Additionally, make sure the footings and supports are stable and the roof is securely fastened to protect from bad weather. When installing a door, use strong hinges and a secure locking mechanism for extra security. Whether the tree house will be used mostly by children or adults, it’s always a good idea to anchor the structure to the tree with cables or bolts to prevent swaying or falling.

Taking the extra time to carefully install safety features such as railings and adding other features such as roof skylights will ensure that the tree house is a safe and secure place for years to come.

Maintenance Tips

Proper maintenance is an important aspect of having a safe and enjoyable backyard tree house. It’s important to keep your tree house tidy and well looked after so that it can provide years of fun and entertainment. Firstly, you should make sure there is no water damage to any surfaces of the tree house. Regularly check that the roof, walls and floor are all sound, and if needed treat any damaged parts with moisture-resistant paint or sealer. Secondly, it’s a good idea to check the structural integrity of your tree house regularly. Look for any splits in the wood, make sure all nails and screws are still tight and replace any rotting parts.

Finally, regularly coat the tree house in a good UV-resistant paint to prevent the wood from fading or splitting. With these prevention measures in place, your backyard tree house will be able to provide a safe haven for many years to come.


In conclusion, building a simple backyard tree house can bring loads of family fun and enjoyment. With the right tools and supplies, planning, and creativity, it is easy to build your own unique treehouse. By following the steps laid out in this article, you will be able to build the perfect treehouse for your family to enjoy for years to come. Don’t forget the importance of safety and security when building a treehouse, and keep in mind that regular maintenance is a must. A backyard tree house can be more than just another outdoor activity, it can be a focal point of your family home and bring your family closer together. So don’t hesitate, get started today!

Want to design a small pond in your backyard? Check out our step by step guide on “Design a small pond” and start creating your own beautiful pond today!

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