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Deluxe Tree House Plans

Give your kids plenty of outdoor fun with this free tree house plan! Every kid would love a backyard tree house, so you get to be the hero!
This particular wood plan shows you how to building a tree house for your backyard. Please enjoy this nice set of free wood plans! Please make sure you check out our custom shed plans in our shed plans package before you leave our site and see if they meet your needs as well. Our shed plans package has thousands of wood plans just like this, not just shed plans! We also have a great set of Jungle Gym plans for your backyard. If you don't want to build a tree house, how about a kids Jungle Gym? They are all available for immediate download!

Do your kids want to live it up? Heres how to get your tree house project off the ground!
When I was kid, growing up in the wilds just outside of North Bay, we always had a treehouse rather rickety affairs that we built ourselves. We spent endless hours in them; it gave us a sense of independence and adventure, elevated as we were above the world (even if it was just a few meters up). Back then, we didnt think our treehouses might damage living trees and, like all children, we didnt worry much about our own safety. But I designed this project with safety, stability, and tree health in mind. The treehouse is freestanding, so you can build it anywhere, even where there are no suitable trees. Its supported by a triangular framework, a versatile and inherently stable structure. In fact, theres no need to sink the posts into the ground; I could have located the treehouse on top of good old Canadian Shield granite. If youve already built our outhouse plans, youll recognize many of the techniques here. This is a bigger project, but its fun, especially if you get the kids involved in planning and customizing it. And for me, theres nothing as rewarding as kudos from Douglas (pictured playing chess), one of the treehouses satisfied tenants along with his sister Leah, below. Wow, this is so cool, he said as he inspected the finished product. This must be the best treehouse on the lake.
Materials For a shopping list you can take to the lumberyard, see the table on the right. PT Pressure-treated spruce UT Untreated spruce SPS Spruce strapping T&G #4 pine tongue-and-groove Support-structure hardware QTY. #8 x 2" deck screws 312 lbs #8 x 3" deck screws 4 lbs Dock-style corner brackets 4 (Kwikdox model KD90-CN) 516" x 4" lag bolts 16 38" x 4" carriage bolts 30 Newer pressure-treated wood corrodes and 38" x 6" carriage bolts 15 weakens some metals. Always use hardware (hot- 38" x 8" carriage bolts 4 dipped galvanized or stainless steel) intended for 12" x 14" carriage bolt 1 contact with it. 516" washers 16 38" washers and nuts 49 Support structure and deck 12" washers and nuts 1 MATERIAL CUT TO QTY. 2 x 8 joist hangers 8 Centre post 4 x 4 PT 8' 1 Joist hanger nails 34 lb Front legs 4 x 4 PT 12' 2 512" zinc-plated door pulls 2 Back legs 4 x 4 PT 8' 2 Clothesline reel 1 Leg crossbars 4 x 4 PT 12' 2 Safety snap 1 Header joists 2 x 8 PT 8' 2 Threaded 38" hook 1 Deck joists 2 x 8 PT 9'9" 6 Small dock cleat 1 Pulley arm 4 x 4 PT 24" 1 14" rope 25' Pulley brace 4 x 4 PT 18" 1 Railing posts 2 x 4 PT 43" 8 Side cross braces 2 x 6 PT 12' 4 Back cross braces 2 x 4 PT 10' 2 Deck boards 54 x 6 PT 8' 25 Bridging 2 x 8 PT 171116 6 Ladder stringers 2 x 4 PT 8' 2 Ladder rungs 2 x 6 PT 2' x 234" 6 Handrails 2 x 4 PT 34" 2 2 x 4 PT 8'4" 2 Balusters PT precut 42" 4012" 40 Lumber shopping list With careful layout and cutting, this is enough wood to build the treehouse. SIZE LENGTH QTY. Pressure Treated 2 x4 8' Spruce 2 x4 10' 2 x4 2 x6 2 x6 2x8 2 x8 4 x4 4 x4 12' 8' 12' 8' 10' 8' 12'

6 2 2 1 4 2 7 2 5 25 40 25 8 4 2 1 4 2

54 x 6 8' Pressure Treated 2 x2 42" Precut balusters Untreated Spruce 2 x3 8' 2 x4 10' Spruce strapping 1 x3 10' Pine 1 x2 8' 1 x2 1 x3 1 x3 10' 8' 10'

1 x4 1 x4 1 x6

10' 12' 8'

1 1 1

1 x6 10' 5 Pine cove 1 x6 300' Pine tongue and 1 x6 10' 2 groove Pine door stop 12' #4 roof boards 1x 10 150' 14" G1S plywood 4' x 8' 1 14" G1S plywood 4' x 4' 1 1/2" spruce plywood 4' x 8' 1 House MATERIAL QTY. Side walls Top and 2 x 3 UT bottom plates Studs 2 x 3 UT Window sills 2 x 3 UT and headers Temporary brace 1 x 3 SPS Back wall Top and bottom plates Studs Temporary brace Front wall Bottom plates Studs Girts Header Temporary brace Cladding Siding pine cove Corner trim Flooring pces 2 x 3 UT 2 x 3 UT 1 x 3 SPS CUT TO 90" 45" 1612" 8' 61" 45" 8' Roof MATERIAL CUT TO CUT TO Bases 61" x QTY. Rafters 2 x 4 UT 57" 16 4 Ridge board 1 x 6 pine 8'4" 1 Back gable 2 x 3 UT 30" 1 12 studs 2 x 3 UT 16" 2 4 Front gable 2 x 3 UT 24" 1 stud 2 Roof boards 1 x 10 #4 pine 150' Side fascia 1 x 6 pine 8'6" 2 2 End fascia 1 x 6 pine 58" 4 Collar ties 2 x 3 pine 32" 2 3 Window frames 1 Top and bottom 1 x 3 pine 1612" 4 Sides 1 x 3 pine 1212" 4 2 Window side trim 1 x 3 pine 1212" 4 2 Window 1 x 4 pine 21" 2 4 bottom trim 1 Window top trim 1 x 6 pine 22" 2 1 Door frame Side jambs 1 x 4 pine 54" 2 Head jamb 1 x 4 pine 2512" 1 Door side trim 1 x 3 pine 54" 2 Door top trim 1 x 6 pine 31" 1 4 Door stop pine trim 12' 4 Door 112 Outer frame rails 1 x 3 pine 1812" 4 Outer frame stiles 1 x 3 pine 2634" 4 Inner frame rails 1 x 2 pine 2312" 4 Inner frame stiles 1 x 2 pine 2334" 4 Door panel pieces 1 x 6 T&G 2334" 8 Owl door rails 1 x 3 pine 1238"x 1" 4 and stiles Owl door panels 1 x 6 T&G 12" 2 Bunk beds MATERIAL QTY. 12" 2 plywood 2 x 3 UT 2 x 3 UT 1 x 4 pine 1 x 2 pine 2 x 3 UT 2 x 3 UT

2 x 3 UT 1734" 2 x 3 UT 5314" 2 x 3 UT 1834" 2 x 3 UT 62"* 1 x 3 SPS 8' 1 x 6 300' 1 x 2 pine 1 x 3 pine 14" G1S plywood 48" 54"

24" Side ledgers 2534" 4 Back ledgers 58" 2 Rails 61" 2 Support strips 61" 2 Ladder stringers 4' 2 Ladder rungs 12" 4 House hardware

QTY. Shingles 3 bundles 7 8" roofing nails 34 lb 114" ring nails 34 lb #8 x 114" wood screws 100 2" finishing nails 2 lbs 4" strap hinges 2 3" butt hinges 2 2" butt hinges 4 Spring hinges 2 212" barrel bolt 1 434" door pulls 3 Screen door catch 1 Foam weatherstripping 12' Door sweep 1 Fibreglass screening 3' x 3' Outdoor glue

The Support Framework

1. The spreading triangular frames, front and back, give the treehouse a large, stable footprint and help prevent racking. Start with the front assembly, bolting the centre post to the middle of one header joist, using two 38" x 6" carriage bolts in predrilled 38" holes. As you work, check regularly that your assembly is square. Tip: Sight down any structural pieces that arent vertical including crossbars, legs, joists, and rafters and look for any crown, or curve. Position pieces so the hump of the curve points up; gravity will work to straighten it out. 2] Cut one end of each front leg at a 30 angle, as in Figure 4. Working flat on the ground, clamp the legs to the header joist and, with a few 3" screws, temporarily secure their angled ends to the centre post. Chamfer the crossbar ends: Mark a line 1" from the ends on all four sides, and with a circular saw blade set to a 45 angle, bevel the edges. Lay the crossbar on top of the legs. Clamp in place. Drill 38" holes where shown (six in all for the header and crossbar) and secure with 6" and 8" bolts, just finger-tight for now. Tip: Prevent scrapes and barked shins by rounding off any sharp, pointy ends. Cut bolt ends off and file smooth; soften protruding wood corners by chamfering or rounding. Strategically placed foam, such as camping pads and foam pipe wrap, can also help avoid bumps and bruises.

3] Drill a 12" hole through the legs and centre post, near the thickest part of this joint, for the 12" x 14" bolt (substitute threaded rod if you cant find a long bolt). Youll be drilling through about 12" of wood, so youll need an extra-long bit or a bit extender. Chisel a neat pocket at both ends of the hole for the bolt head, washer, and nut. Tighten all bolts and cut and file all exposed threaded ends. 4] Assemble the back frame. It mirrors the front assembly, with three differences: Theres no centre post, the legs dont extend above the header joist, and the back legs are stiffened with two diagonal cross braces, which youll add later. 5] Cut the deck joists (six 9'9" joists). 6] Now let the fun begin! Youll need a helper or two for a few hours to get the frame assembly up, level, plumb, square, and the correct height above the ground. The deck surface cannot be higher than 71" above grade, or the railing must be 42" high instead of 36" (according to the most local building codes, you should check yours). To get the deck to the right height, youll likely have to dig in, or trim, one or more legs. Work carefully, because youll have several heavy pieces propped up with temporary braces. A fairly level site will make this job easier. On the ground, mark a 12' x 10'8" rectangle. This will show approximately where the ends of the legs sit. Measure diagonals to check your layout is square; if both diagonal corner-to-corner

measurements are the same, its square. 7] Youll need to determine which of the four leg positions is lowest. You can do this with a long straight board and a carpenters level, a line level, or a water level. 8] Starting at this lowest leg, stand the corresponding assembly up, in position, and brace it so it is more or less plumb. Check that the header joist is level and the right height from the ground (71" less the thickness of the deck boards). If not, trim or dig in the legs to suit.

9] Once thats done, stand the other frame assembly up, in position, and brace again for plumb. Place a straight board from one header joist to the other, check for level, then trim or dig in the second assembly. 10] Screw two deck joists (with 3" deck screws) between the front and back header joists, one at each end. Double-check that everything is square, plumb, level, and to the correct height. After a few more adjustments, and perhaps a few expletives, the basic supports will be in place. 11] Attach the diagonal side cross braces to the legs to help strengthen and stabilize them (see Figure 4). Clamp them in position to mark the excess, remove and trim, and then tack back in place with 3" screws. Drill two 516" holes through each end of the braces and about 1" into each leg. Hammer a 4" lag bolt, with washer, into each hole and tighten. Drill two 38" holes where the braces intersect and secure with 4" carriage bolts. Tip: Newer pressure-treated

wood, called Alkaline Copper Quaternary (ACQ) and Copper Azole (CA), is more corrosive to metal, so you must use hot-dipped galvanized or stainless- teel hardware, or fasteners recommended by the manufacturer, or the hardware could fail prematurely. Check labels when you buy. Electroplated or Grade 2 steel just wont do.

Free Tree House Wood Plans (Right Click on Image, and Select View as Image or Save As to See the FULL SIZE Picture)

Filling in the deck

1] Now reinforce each deck corner with a metal bracket, the kind commonly used in dock building, bolted to the inside face (see Figure 3). For extra strength, five of the railing posts are bolted with the headers or joists through these brackets. Making sure the posts are plumb, drill 38" holes and install with the 38" x 4" carriage bolts. 2] Use joist hanger nails, not deck screws, to attach joist hangers to the front and rear header joists at 19-316" on centre (o.c.). Slide the deck joists down into the hangers, screw through the header joists into the deck joists with 3" deck screws, and nail the hangers. 3] Cut the deck boards to 96". Temporarily screw one across the middle of the deck framework to hold each joist in place. Starting at the back, nail or screw (with 2" hardware) the first deck board flush to the edge. The next three boards need to be cut to leave a space for the trap door (see Figure 5), which is 19316" wide. Mark these cuts to line up with the joist centers, so when the trap door is closed, both sides will be supported. Likewise, cut the eighth, ninth, and tenth boards to leave an opening for the secret hidey-hole. Tip: For screws going into the ends of the deck boards, drill clearance holes first to prevent splitting.

4] When you reach halfway, remove the temporary brace. At this point, cut the 2 x 8 bridging pieces to fit between the joists; note that a piece of bridging forms the front of the box for the hidey-hole, and an extra bridging piece forms the back. Screw pieces of 2 x 2 around the inside bottom edges of the hidey-hole to make a ledge; then screw down 12" plywood for the bottom. Secure the remaining deck boards to the joists; you will likely have to rip the last one to fit. 5] Attach the 2 x 4 cross braces to the back legs, trimming off any excess length. Secure the braces with 38" x 4" carriage bolts at their intersection, at bottom through the legs, and at top through the header joist. One brace has its end bolted through the 2 x 4 railing post as well as the header joist, requiring a 6" bolt. Add the ladder and pulley 1] For the ladder rungs, I ripped pressure treated 2 x 6s in half to 2-34". Screw two rungs to the stringers to square the ladder up. Position it at the same angle as the legs, fitting between the two railing posts (see Figures 15 and 16). Screw the ladder stringers into the deck joist. Starting from the top, screw the first rung to the stringers with four 3" screws. Ensure its top edge is flush with the deck surface to avoid a tripping hazard. Add the other rungs 24" apart. You can adjust this distance so the last rung is high enough to help keep very young children off the structure. On the right side of the ladder, screw through the railing post into the stringer; on the left side, cut the stringer flush with the railing post; again, this minimizes the trip factor. Two door pulls, attached to the railing posts, make climbing easier. 2] Cut the pieces for the optional pulley structure and drill 516" holes for the bolts. Use two 516" x 8" lag bolts to secure the horizontal piece to the centre post and four 516" x 4" lag bolts to attach the support piece. Add a 38" threaded hook, a clothesline pulley, about 25' of rope with a snap, and a cleat to tie the rope off.

The wee house To give myself room to work on the deck, I installed the handrails and balusters after I finished building and shingling the house. For safety, temporarily clamp some boards in place as railings, and watch your step. The untreated 2 x 3 lumber that frames the house is usually sold only in 8' lengths, so it requires some careful layout work to minimize waste. 1] On the ground, assemble the side wall framing as shown in Figure 8. Temporarily attach a piece of 1 x 3 spruce strapping as a diagonal brace across the inside of each wall to keep it square. Bring one wall up and screw the bottom plate to the deck, flush to the outside and back edges. If its windy, you might have to brace it to the floor. 2] Assemble the back wall, which consists of a top and bottom plate and three inside studs. Youll note there arent studs on the ends of this wall; the front and back wall share corner studs with the sides. Carry the back wall assembly up onto the deck and screw the bottom plate to the deck, flush to the back edge and tight to the bottom plate of the side wall. Bring up the other side wall and screw it to the deck, being careful to keep it parallel to the other side wall. Toenail

(or screw) the back wall top plate to the top plates of the side walls. Attach a temporary brace to the inside of the back wall to keep the side walls plumb. Dont worry about any gable studs for now. 3] The front is assembled without the header or the gable stud (both will be added once the rafters are in place). Cut studs, girts, and bottom plates to length, notching the outside ends of the horizontal girts to wrap around the side-wall studs (see Figure 8). Screw the pieces together and carry both halves of the wall up onto the deck and screw in place. Add braces to the inside so that the two front studs are plumb and aligned, and the wall is stable. 4] I selected 1 x 6 pine cove siding for the walls. Start at the bottom of the back wall and work up until you are one piece short of the top plates (use 2" finishing nails). 5] Proceed in the same manner with the side walls, leaving openings for the windows. The last course of siding on each side is notched to accept the rafters (see Figure 9). Tack this course in place to mark the notches; their sides line up with the side-wall studs and the bottoms align with the top plates. Remove, cut, and tack them up again, since youll need to rip them to match the height of the rafters. 6] Cut the rafters as in Figure 7; 12 have birds mouth notches while four, for the gable ends, dont. These notches include extra width so they fit over the siding. This unusual detail makes it easier to nestle the siding in tight to the roof and keep out bugs. Position one of the rafters in a siding notch. Mark the siding at the top edge of the rafters, remove and rip the last course of siding. With this cut, the roof boards will seal snugly with the siding. Nail this last course of siding in place. 7] Lay out the locations for the rafters on the ridge board. Position each rafter in a notch cut in the siding and over a sidewall stud; secure each with a 3" screw through the narrowest part of the birds mouth, into the top plate. Slide the ridge board up between the rafters; position the rafters on one side and screw or nail in from the opposite side (naturally, youll have to shift one set of rafters out of the way). Move the remaining rafters into place and toenail from the opposite side. Check that the rafters are plumb and attach a brace across one side of the roof to stabilize it. Finish fastening the rafters to the top plate with two additional screws for each rafter. 8] Add 2 x 3 studs to fill in the gable end of the back wall as in Figure 8. To avoid complex notching to fit them around the rafters, I turned the two short studs 90 so theyre flush with the back of the building. Finish siding the back wall. 9] Notch the front wall header to fit around the rafters. Screw it to both the door frame studs and to the rafters. Add the gable stud and finish siding the front. Remove all the braces. 10] Beginning at the roof s leading edge, nail or screw 1 x 10 rough-sawn pine boards to the rafters. The roof is 8'6" long, so lay the boards out carefully to minimize waste. Youll have to rip the top course on each side to butt over the ridge. 11] Screw the remaining four rafters, the ones with no birds mouth, to the ends of the roof boards and to the ridge board. 12] Cut the side fascia boards and nail to the rafter tails. Cut the four end fascia pieces at 45 and temporarily nail in place; mark where the side fascia meets the end fascia. Remove the end fascia and cut to length, at the same time trimming the sharp bottom corner flush with the side fascia. To avoid scraped scalps when kids are tearing around the corner of the deck, round off that corner of the fascia. 13] Shingle the roof. I didnt use metal eave starter because I was concerned that the sharp edges might prove to be a hazard. I also used 78" roofing nails because they dont stick through the roof boards. Remember to round the corner of the shingle near the ladder. 14] The door jamb is 1 x 4 pine nail the pieces to the door studs and header, shimming if necessary so the jamb is plumb and level. The door trim is 1 x 3, except for the piece above the door, which is fashioned out of a piece of 1 x 6.

15] Install window frames as you did the door jambs, although its not critical that theyre plumb and level. Staple screens to the frames and add trim. 16] Add corner trim to the house (1 x 3s on the front and back; 1 x 2s on the sides).

Railings 1] Screw the handrails to the railing posts, notching as needed to fit around the front leg assembly and the corners of the house. The measurements in the cutting list are approximate; final measurements will depend on whether you choose to miter or butt the corners. Round any sharp exposed corners, especially those on either side of the ladder. 2] For convenience I used precut deck balusters, cutting off one angled end to butt to the handrails; screw or nail to the joist face and the bottom of the handrails. Code dictates that the balusters cannot be more than 4" apart, a distance that prevents kids heads getting stuck between. 3] Now install some simple safety features. Door pulls on the two railing posts above the ladder will give kids something to grab as theyre climbing up or down. A safety chain with a snap, hooked in to eye bolts and positioned across these railing posts will help prevent falls. Remember that kids will lean against the chain, so be sure its strong and secure. Tip: Dont skimp on hardware or use undersized lumber. Kids are the ultimate product testers; theyll jump, swing, hang, and pound on everything, so it needs to be strong. Inside the house 1] Inside the building, I installed 14 " plywood (with 114 " ring nails ) over the deck boards to keep the darned bugs out. Cut holes for the trap door and the hidey hole. Screw two 1 x 2 scraps to the bottom of the three short pieces of deck board that make up the lids. Nail the plywood pieces on top. The trap door is fastened with 4" strap hinges to the floor; add a door pull to ease opening. Since kids dont want just anyone accessing their secrets, I decided not to give away the hidey-holes location with a pull for its lid. It needs small, persistent fingers, or something similar, to pry it open. 2] I built two bunks inside, but you could easily install a table, benches, shelves, or whatever suits your kids. The bunks are really just 24"-deep shelves of 12" plywood, installed 20" and 40"

above the floor. Theyre supported on the sides and back with 2 x 3 ledgers, and finished on the front with a simple lip (see Figure 10). A short ladder, built of 2 x 3s, provides support and access. Position the ladder near the centre of the bunk so its stringers also act as a safety barrier (if small children sleep up top, add a full-length guardrail). The bunks help stabilize the walls, so if you leave them out, add a collar tie or two. The door 1] I opted for a dutch door for the playhouse more fun, but also more complicated to construct than a full door. The outer frame of both halves consists of 1 x 3, with 1 x 2 inner frames glued and screwed to them (114 " screws). If you prefer, you can use other joinery options here, such as biscuits or pocket-hole joints. 2] With the last tongue planed off, four 1 x 6 tongue-and-groove pieces fit almost perfectly in these frames. Fasten with 114" ring nails. Enlarge the owl template (Figure 11) to 11" high with a photocopier, or by hand. Centre the owl on the upper half and cut out with your jigsaw. 3] Make the frame for the owl doors, as in Figure 14, so the inside of the frame measures 1238" x 1038". I ripped some leftover trim pieces to a width of 1" for this. Remember to staple some screening under the frame before you secure it. 4] Two 12" pieces of 1 x 6 tongue-and-groove tongues planed off serve well as inside owl doors. Drill two 1" holes eyes for the owl, peepholes for the kids and mount these doors to the frame with four 2" hinges. A scrap of wood screwed to the frame forms a simple pivoting latch. 5] Attach spring hinges surface mounted to the bottom half of the door. Locate this half in the door opening and screw the spring hinges in place, using one screw each for now (I substituted #8 x 114" screws for the dinky ones in the package). Position the 3" butt hinges on the top half. This can get tricky, because all four hinge pins, top and bottom, must align or the door wont close smoothly. I mortised the butt hinges into the doors edge. Locate the top half in the opening and attach the hinges (again, one screw for now). A helper is a definite asset here. Be sure both doors swing properly. Add a barrel bolt to the doors and check the doors operation again. If everything works, finish screwing the hinges to the frames. 6] Nail doorstop to the jamb so the door closes flush with the trim. For extra bug proofing, I added foam weather stripping and a door sweep. Screw 434" door pulls to both the inside and outside of the top half of the door. Add a spring-loaded screen door catch and youre done! Done, that is, until the kids start asking for a lookout tower. If you like this free set of wood plans, you should check out the plans we charge for! Please make sure you check out ourshed plans in our shed plans package before you leave our site and see if they meet your needs! Our shed plans package has thousands of plans like this included in an easy to print PDF format.