Project: Tree House (Post #1)

I’ve always had a dream of creating a really awesome tree house for my kids. Well, it’s time I turn that dream into a reality. I certainly have other more important projects I need to get done around the house, but come on… this one will be much more fun.

I’ll be blogging my progress with the design using Autodesk Inventor as well as the actual construction. I’m also going to try using my Kindle Fire with AutoCAD WS to review the plans as I build. (a paperless build). We’ll see how that goes.

So the first thing to discuss is location of the tree house and how it affected my choice for the design. Last year I had a plan on building it attached to two very tall Sweet Gum trees in the backyard. Unfortunately, Hurricane Irene had other plans for these trees and damaged them so bad they had to come down.

Now being without any decent trees to use, I decided on a tree-less tree house. Living less than 1/4 mile (.4 KM) from the intercoastal waterway and living in North Carolina, a prime hurricane zone. I’ve decided that building a tree house attached to any kind of tree may not be the smartest decision.

So this tree house will be elevated using 4, 6X6 treated posts sunk into the ground with concrete. Building it directly adjacent to a 40′ tall Sweet Gum with overhanging branches will still give the feel of being built within a tree without actually being attached to the tree. This also eliminates any complicated tree growth and sway design issues.

The tree adjacent

Here’s an image of what the design in Inventor looks like currently. In my next blog post, I’ll being reviewing the actual design details. Thanks for following my project. It certainly will be a fun summer project for me (and maybe the kids too).


Work in progress



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  1. What a lot of fun to have 🙂

    Have you considered using ‘post shoes’ (I.e. Metal brackets that hold the posts) instead of concreting the posts in directly?

    When the posts rot, post shoes will make the posts much easier to replace. I’m not sure how they hold up under hurricane conditions! I look forward to seeing your stress analysis tests 😉


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    1. Good suggestion Paul. I thought about those, especially to get a little extra height out of the posts.

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      1. For greater stability I have also used the ones shaped like massive spikes (That are meant to go straight into the ground) and concreted them in instead…

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  2. …or you could build little brick pillars to stand it on – Lol! So much fun 🙂

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