Common Treehouse-Building Mistakes to Avoid

Most of us fantasized about living in a treehouse as kids. So why did we stop thinking about it when we grew up? Unlike what society makes us believe, loving treehouses don’t make us childish.

Building a treehouse is a great project to start while we’re still in a pandemic. Since we’d likely continue staying at home for the rest of the year, we might as well extend our living quarters outside. In a treehouse, it’s safe, peaceful, and close to nature, which we’re missing badly since 2020.

What’s awesome about a treehouse is that building takes only a short time. You can finish it over the weekend! If you have kids, you can enlist their help and make their treehouse fantasies come true at a young age. They’ll be so much luckier than you, but seeing the smiles on their faces will definitely be worth it.

But before starting, take note of these treehouse-building mistakes that you should avoid:

1. Not Having a Plan

A treehouse may look nothing more than a playpen, but it’s actually capable of being no different from home. Depending on the tree you’ll build it on, it can be made from sturdy structural materials, and be as spacious as an average small house.

Don’t make the mistake of building a treehouse on a whim. Instead, make a plan before starting. Pick a location, measure the tree layout on grid paper, and make several copies of the tree diagram. You’ll have to use those for making multiple designs and layout options for your treehouse.

2. Skipping the Deck

A deck is an essential feature of a treehouse, so don’t forget it in your layout and design. Make the deck as spacious as possible. That will be your lounge space on starry nights and windy afternoons.

3. Going Too Short or Too Tall

Don’t go lower than eight feet, or higher than 18 feet. Going too short or too tall may affect the simplicity and safety of the construction. Just make the height similar to your home or a little shorter. You should be able to stand upright without feeling like your head will touch the ceiling.

4. Foregoing a Theme

Consider creating a theme for your treehouse, too. Many treehouse owners incorporate their passions into their treehouse’s aesthetics. For example, a sailor may build a nautical-themed treehouse, while a hiker may build a log-cabin-esque treehouse. You can also make it a kiddie type if your children will use it the most.

It’s not necessarily wrong to skip the theme, but still, creating one will give your treehouse more character. It can remind you of your carefree and youthful side.

5. Executing Your Ideas Impulsively

We get it; you’re too excited and want your idea to come to life immediately. But executing your ideas on impulse can be the same as skipping the planning stage. So sleep on your ideas for a few nights to ensure that your visions are doable.

6. Using a Flat Roof

Flat roofs may be trendy nowadays, but on a treehouse, they might create a disaster. The ideal roof for a treehouse is one that’s impervious to water but will also shed the water fast. A flat roof doesn’t possess those qualities.

If your design calls for a flat roof, make it sloped by about 3-5° when you install it. That will avoid standing water. For a pitched roof, make the slope 30-45°. If you get harsh winters and thick snowfall, go for a steep pitch to prevent ice buildup on the roof.

7. Making the Supports Too Wide

Most treehouse supports are wide and go beyond the roof’s overhang. This causes the supports to get too much water in rainy or snowy weather. Over time, the supports may develop molds or rot.

Install gutters to prevent water from accessing the supports. But since you can’t entirely stop the supports from getting wet, apply a wood preserver to keep rotting and molds at bay.

8. Not Insulating the Treehouse


A treehouse is like a shed, so it can be extremely cold in the winter and extremely hot in the summer. Don’t forget your insulation to keep the temperatures comfortable. You can choose a spray foam insulator from reputable brands such as Lange Spray Foam. Insulation will also prevent molding.

9. Limiting a Treehouse’s Function

Again, a treehouse is capable of being no different from home. As such, it can also have furniture, storage, appliances, and electronics. Although you don’t need to live in your treehouse, at least destroy the idea that treehouses are just for hiding and playing. If you’re a bookworm, the space can be your secluded library.

If you’re working from home, it can be your home office. The point is, don’t limit your creativity. A treehouse can serve you better than you think.

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