First. Go to Lowe’s.
Second. Buy a ton of wood.
Third. Start Hammering. Don’t stop until you build a monstrosity that everyone in the neighborhood wants to play on.
Let me show you:
The Tree House from Each Side:
The first part built was the base. We built it around the tree and actually bolted it into the tree. This was probably the most difficult part and required some people with a little expertise. After the base was formed, Ray began construction on the frame corners and the beams overhead to make the tree house stable. He decided to put in stairs on one side and a “ladder” on the other side. From this view you can see- from left to right: Swings / A bucket with a pulley to lower and lift things, a fireman’s pole, and stairs to climb up to the tree house. We contacted a neighbor who cut down a tree and got all the tree limbs for railing – FREE!
This angle shows the fireman’s pole, stairs, “ladder” (made from tree limbs), Alexander’s swing, and the slide. We also have one of those small play areas in the blurred areas. (I blurred it because our neighbor’s house is behind the fence. He will thank me for that. )
From this angle you can see that we left the small play area for Alexander and smaller children. We also built a rock wall (more on that later.) You can see that we have a Pirate Theme in the tree house and … notice the PVC pipe above the slide? That connects to our hose to create a waterslide.
Here is where Ray started just going a little crazy. He built (from left to right) balance beams at different levels, the rock wall monkey bars, and a horizontal bar for the kids to hang from. The swing sets are at the far right. It was on this side that I convinced Ray that maybe the tree house had enough “things.” You can also notice the chairs up on the actual platform. The kids now have lunch up there…
The kids also love the space under the tree house. They have their workbench under there and they use their digging trucks to create dirt piles and mud towers. Andrew loves to build things and “fix” just like Daddy does.
We used logs to build a ladder for the kids to climb. The slide is actually a bit high off the ground – notice the log under it – to make the slide sit level on the ground. You can see PVC piping around the top of the slide – on hot days … this wild ride becomes a water slide! (A tip for your slide – go to a local playground equipment place and see if they have any “gently damaged” pieces. Our slide had a TINY crack that we filled in the bottom corner. We purchased this slide for less than $50)
We used a 3 inch wide piece of PVC pipe to create a fireman’s pole for the tree house.
Of course – Alexander has his own swing.
A balance beam was easy to install. In fact – a level is your best friend when making a tree house.
Ray made the rock wall from hand. He found rocks around river beds and from friends who wanted to get rid of rocks and used concrete from Lowe’s. A few small pavers give good foot support and a rope helps the kids have extra support while climbing. We bought the digger online for about $60.
And THAT is how we built a tree house for less than $700.
What would you put in a tree house? Anything we forgot? Because… Ray might be convinced to add it?
I’m linking up with Tip Junkie – because she is the Queen of How To’s!