Tree house Building: The Books

(Note: You can see other posts in this series by going here.)

Now that we’ve finished our tree house, I wanted to share some of the resources that I found useful. There are several books by David & Jeanie Stiles are written directly to those interested in building a tree house, play house or other similar structure. Apparently he does this for a living, because searching on Amazon, he has quite a few more books on the topic.

Luckily, our library had three of these books, which we referred to extensively during the building process:

1. Treehouses & Playhouses You Can Build

2. Tree Houses You Can Actually Build: A Weekend Project Book

3. How to Build Treehouses, Huts and Forts

The information in each of the books overlapped somewhat, but each of the books had their certain focus.

The books talk about:

  • What types of tools that you need

  • What type of lumber to use

  • What type of hardware to use

  • Useful knots

  • How to attach the tree house to the tree without hurting the tree.

  • How to make a solid support on which to build the tree house

  • How to build a tree house in different types of trees

  • How to build a tree in 1, 2, 3 or 4 trees, on a stump, or without a tree at all

  • How to build ladders and stairs

  • How to make all sorts of tree house accessories (sky lights, trap doors, windows, roofs, etc.)

All of the books have lots of pictures and diagrams to help visualize the process.

In some cases Stiles gives step by step instructions for building a specific tree house, however, he mostly lays out general principles and guidelines to use. This make sense because each tree house has to be customized somewhat to the specific tree in which it is built.

I found myself trying to figure out how to solve specific problems (i.e. how to build a level platform in the tree), and then gleaned the appropriate information from the books as I needed it.

The first 2 books listed above have glossy picture sections where you can see dozens of tree houses that people have actually built (some are quite elaborate). These sections were also helpful in visualizing what the final structure might look like.

If I were to pick one book that I liked the best it would be Treehouses & Playhouses You Can Build. This book had all the basics of tree house building that were mostly repeated in the other books, and was focused primarily on tree houses.

It walked you through the process of building from the planning the tree house, choosing the tree, building the platforms in different tree types, and building a basic tree house.

There were also a section with 4 specific designs and step-by-step instructions.

I guess also, I liked this book the best because I found that the information was most appropriate for our particular tree house.

If you are thinking of building a tree house, or just want to dream about it, these books will help to ignite your imagination.

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