treetop treehouse

  • Advertise with us
Project by Arthouse posted 04-30-2011 07:43 PM 3387 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

226 posts in 2689 days

#1 posted 04-30-2011 08:49 PM

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


17556 posts in 3187 days

#2 posted 04-30-2011 09:02 PM

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 2921 days

#3 posted 04-30-2011 09:57 PM

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


2735 posts in 3840 days

#4 posted 05-01-2011 05:28 AM

Great Lookin Job

-- Jim, Kentucky

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3083 days

#5 posted 05-01-2011 08:22 AM

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 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View mafe's profile


11725 posts in 3087 days

#6 posted 05-01-2011 10:30 AM

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 2637 days

#7 posted 05-01-2011 01:35 PM

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


2180 posts in 4004 days

#8 posted 05-01-2011 01:59 PM

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

556 posts in 3054 days

#9 posted 05-01-2011 03:24 PM

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

-- Glen

View JCantin's profile


179 posts in 3410 days

#10 posted 05-02-2011 03:02 PM

x2 on the racking concern

View Bertha's profile


13528 posts in 2691 days

#11 posted 05-02-2011 03:03 PM

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

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics