Treehouses can either be really simple or very complicated, it all depends on you. Is your treehouse going to be more of a permanent structure which will need to be able to cope with tree growth, or something that you'll probably pull down in a couple of years? Will the tree be affected detrimentally by having a structure and a bunch of screaming kids sitting on it? And how are you going to attach the treehouse to the tree without damaging it, or do you not really care about these things?

At risk of being flooded with complaints from greenies, I must admit I'm of the opinion that most trees can cope with quite a bit- trees have had thousands of years of evolving to cope with stress. A treehouse and children can't possibly be anywhere near as stressful as a Brontosaurus eating your leaves and branches. Actually......hmmmm..

treehouse

For this project I decided I'd just build a very basic platform and use up some spare bits of timber I had lying around.

treehouse

Luckily our designated tree had a number of trunks and the perfect gap to build the platform. Start with a couple of good strong 4x2's or similar and figure out the best location for them so that they both can be attached to the tree level and at the same height. These 2 pieces act as the bearers which have to be able to handle all the weight of the platform plus any children jumping up and down.

treehouse

As well as using some nice long nails to attach the 2 bearers, I also took advantage of a couple of nice 'V's in the trunks which happened to be at the perfect height and location. These 'V's will make my platform nice and strong.

treehouse

Once your bearers are securely in place, nail a couple more lengths of timber perpendicular to the bearers- these are the joists, and will help tie the 2 bearers together.

For the floor I used some rough cut fence pailings which work perfectly.

treehouse

Yes I know this is a very basic platform, but my kids still have a huge amount of fun using it. Send us photos of your own treehouses either via email and we'll attach them below, or post them to our Facebook page. We'd sure like to see them.

Ok, a bit of an update- I've managed to get a bit carried away this summer and have built another higher platform in our tree much to the delight of our kids. I was a bit fortunate in that one of our neighbours was throwing out a wooden post, and it conveniently was the perfect length and girth to fit up through the branches and act as a support.

treehouse

In case you were wondering, I managed to score a rather long length of shipping rope at a garage sale which must have been the best buy I've ever made- $20 and the kids have spent hours and hours dangling off it and climbing it. It is a very very long rope, so instead of cutting it I just wrapped it around our two backyard trees a number of times. I think our yard looks pretty close to a monkey enclosure now- perfect.

treehouse

Oh, and that long length of metal is a spare ceiling hanger which makes a perfect matchbox car daredevil jump ramp

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