treetop treehouse

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Project by Arthouse posted 1188 days ago 2689 views 3 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I designed and built this 1,200 sq ft. treehouse fourteen feet high for a ranch family who had alot of grandchildren. The owners concerns were not to put one screw or bolt in the existing hundred year old live oak trees. I had to go cut down my own cedar trees off their property leaving the tops on to make the treehouse look like it is built in a cluster of tree. I learned in Texas that if one looks near a creek on the north face of a hill you can find trees grow straight fourty feet tall and this is where we cut our structural support trees. The trees were so tall and massive we had to use a reach fork to stand them up to set them level. Since the span was twenty feet I used 4’‘x12’‘x 24’’ for all the structural joists and timberframed the corners with large threaded rods in the 4’‘x 12’‘notching into the cedar trees. I then used wol. deck boards to finish the floors. The deck also had a walkway going toward other trees with zip lines coming off. The last picture is of my audience a red stag buck who watched us through the whole project. We named him “stinky” because he was always smelling the air.

-- "The hand is the cutting edge of the mind but the wind and sun are the healing factors of the heart

11 comments so far

View Stephen Mines's profile

Stephen Mines

224 posts in 1295 days

#1 posted 1188 days ago

Hi Dan,

I think you must have a very unique perspective…which is probably obvious to your prospective clients/customers…and I would guess that you must be thumping your tub pretty loud to attract such sensational and exotic situations of work (or maybe the situaltions are mundane until you get ahold of the projects?) and once you are known as the go-to guy for the wild and impossible you’re in the cat-bird seat. My hat’s off to you, you’re good…and must have a pretty good team to draw from. Keep ‘em coming, especiially the photos…they tell a lot of the story.


-- Stephen Mines (

View Ken90712's profile


14847 posts in 1793 days

#2 posted 1188 days ago

Amazing work! What cool grandparents having one of these! We could probaly NEVER make one here in California without the county’s office sticking there nose into it.

I love it! You have some great vision.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 1527 days

#3 posted 1188 days ago

did you mean 120 sq ft or did I miss something? Nice job,kids (adults) will have a good time.

-- Life is good.

View jim1953's profile


2665 posts in 2446 days

#4 posted 1187 days ago

Great Lookin Job

-- Jim, Kentucky

View Bluepine38's profile


2876 posts in 1690 days

#5 posted 1187 days ago

Wonderful playground, makes me want to move south. Montana is great, but we are having too much late
fall weather in the springtime lately to be real enjoyable. If one of my numberous hunting grandsons saw
your buck, he would be a nice trophy mount the next hunting season. Once again thank you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 75 yr young apprentice carpenter

View mafe's profile


9456 posts in 1693 days

#6 posted 1187 days ago

Thats a wonderful tree platform, you have to love that.
Beautiful picture of Stinky.
Best thoughts,

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View lewis62's profile


73 posts in 1243 days

#7 posted 1187 days ago

Looks great, BUT, from what I see that span of about 22 ft for front beam with 2 ,you did say timber frame, notches in it for the cross beams now becomes not 4” x 12” but is only 6 ” you are sure it can carry its own weight yet the weight of a lot of people on top of it.? the span between joists looks like about 7 feet with deck boards ,? 1 inch thick, they are meant to be on 16” centers maybe 24”. Will they carry the weight of all those grand kids safely. I dont see any angle braces to stop side to side movement, kids on top bouncing around causing movement in structure to possible lean and collapse from swaying.Maybe a couple more posts under the center beams,joists, would be a little safety to avoid collapse.

View miles125's profile


2179 posts in 2610 days

#8 posted 1187 days ago

A treehouse isn’t complete unless it has an element of danger to it. Which explains why 10 year olds sneaking daddy’s tools seem to build the best ones.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

508 posts in 1661 days

#9 posted 1187 days ago

I like it, but I don’t think I’ll show it to my daughter.

-- Glen

View JCantin's profile


130 posts in 2016 days

#10 posted 1186 days ago

x2 on the racking concern

View Bertha's profile


12951 posts in 1297 days

#11 posted 1186 days ago

That deer’s expression is priceless. Raised eyebrow, as if to say, “what the….?”

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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