16 Easy DIY Tree House Ideas With Free Plans Included

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Whether having a treehouse was your childhood dream or you want your kids to experience the fun and joy you had with a backyard tree fort, these DIY tree house ideas will give you inspiration!

It covers many different styles, including a pirate ship-inspired design to a simple and classic treehouse like a tree deck. All of these tree house ideas come with a free tree house plan so you can start building ASAP.

Handmade Hideaway Treehouse

Handmade Hideaway Tree house idea
Photo courtesy: The Handmade Home

Don’t have a tree in your backyard? Don’t sweat it. This cool tree house from Handmade Home doesn’t have one, but they’ve managed to create the perfect hideout for their children! Don’t forget t

  1. Start with the deck by making a simple box measuring 2x8x8 and 2x8x8x10 joined with lag screws.
  2. Add joists on the shorter side of the box and two feet from the end.
  3. Install four posts in each corner and a fifth one in the middle of the deck.
  4. Next, build the walls and remember to frame out the windows.
  5. Add the siding from the bottom of the house’s frame to the top using nails.
  6. Build the rails and attach them tightly to the 4×4 posts.
  7. Lastly, install the shutters and the roof.

Need more details on the materials and procedure to complete this project? You can check out the treehouse plan here

Dornob Modern Treehouse

Tree house idea from Dornob
Photo courtesy: Dornob

Do you consider yourself a skilled builder? You can put your skills to the test with the Dornob Modern Treehouse – a next level treehouse style that your neighbors (and their kids) will envy! Here’s how you can build this backyard treehouse: 

  1. Use the standard-size beams to build the entire framework on the ground, including the stilt supports and the cross-braces.
  2. The next step is to erect the prefabricated framework.
  3. Use easy to pour concrete footings and steel anchors to hold the structure firmly to the ground.
  4. Construct a frame between the cross beams using standard sheets and boards and include small openings on the sides.

You can go through the detailed procedure here on how to build a Dornob Modern treehouse.

Epic Tree House

Picture of Epic Tree House design
Photo courtesy: ibeme78

This treehouse project is a bit challenging, but it is worthwhile, especially if you also want it to be adult-friendly. 

  1. Select two trees about 13 feet apart and design the treehouse that fits within the space.
  2. Install attachment bolts on the tree that will host your house.
  3. Place the joists and fascia boards to create a strong frame for the floor and deck.
  4. Install a plywood floor using liquid nails and screws, then install the rails and posts.
  5. Secure every post to a joist using nuts, washers, and galvanized bolts for more stability.
  6. Next, install the deck boards and a ladder.
  7. You can now build the house part just like a small wooden structure or shed with a roof on top.

If you need more information on how to build an epic treehouse, go through the detailed plan here.

Ultimate Kid’s Treehouse

Ultimate Kid's Treehouse
Photo courtesy: btm

This is a simple tree house that you can start and complete even with basic building skills. Here is an overview of what you will need to do: 

  1. Find two trees in close proximity where you can anchor your deck and a third post at the back to make a triangle.
  2. Build a 4×8 rectangular structure that slopes to four feet at the back.
  3. Build the walls on the ground and hoist them into place.
  4. Install the rafters and attach about ½ plywood to them.
  5. Install the roof using grade D cedar shingles
  6. Finish by installing railings, a door, and a window.

Get the detailed plan here.

Recycled Treehouse

Recycled Treehouse
Photo courtesy: ctstarkdesigns

Building a treehouse doesn’t mean you have to purchase new materials! You source free lumber and other materials on Craigslist and repurpose them for your DIY treehouse project. And oh, this is the only one in our tree house ideas list that is multi-level! Here’s what you have to do: 

  1. Attach four posts to the ground with the tree in the middle.
  2. Build a stable platform by securing the main part between two trunks.
  3. Next, frame the treehouse and add railings for the kid’s safety.
  4. Add sidings to the frame to act as the walls and cut out the door and window openings.
  5. Look for scrap pieces that can make a flat roof and attach it to the joists.

Need more help building this treehouse? Feel free to go through the detailed process here 

Yea Dads Home Platform Tree House

Yea Dads Home Platform Tree House
Photo courtesy: Yea Dads Home

This tree house from Yea Dads is a free-standing treehouse design – yes, you don’t need a tree! Here’s how to make this platform tree house: 

  1. Layout a block where you want the feet of your treehouse to rest. You can use eight-foot and 12-foot boards to set the blocks and ensure they are at a similar level.
  2. Build the legs, ensuring they end at the same level as the treehouse.
  3. Set the legs on top of each other and screw the boards together.
  4. Place the broader ends on the ground with additional side supports and joists.
  5. You can now set the deck boards, secure them with screws, then add railings to the treehouse.

Would you like more instruction on how to build this Yea Dads treehouse? Here are more details to guide you.

The Classic Archives Treehouse

The Classic Archives Treehouse
Photo courtesy: The Classic Archives

You can build this Classic Archives Treehouse if your kids want to live it up in your backyard.

  1. Start by constructing the support framework by spreading triangular frames on the back and the front.
  2. Build the deck using a stable footprint that can withstand your children’s weight and the objects you intend to keep in the treehouse.
  3. Add a ladder at the same position as the treehouse legs.
  4. Install handrails to the railing posts around the corners and front leg assembly.
  5. Finish by installing the shelves, benches, a table, and other things that suit your kids.

Do you need more detailed instructions or a list of materials? You can get the complete plan here.

Makendo Two-Three Treehouse

Makendo Two Three Treehouse
Photo courtesy: makendo

Want to build a treehouse that has a pulley with a basket? This treehouse plan from Makendo is perfect for you and your kids! To construct a Makendo two-three treehouse: 

  1. Choose two or three trees or heavy branches close to each other.
  2. Design a treehouse that can fit within the available space.
  3. Mount the main supports horizontally at least one foot higher than your head.
  4. Next, layout the platform leaving gaps for drainage.
  5. Build the platform and attach it to the supports.
  6. Brace the platform to prevent wobbling.
  7. Lay the deck and railings, then finish with the roof.

If these instructions are still unclear, click here for more details about this project.

Made With Happy Treehouse Playhouse

Made With Happy Treehouse Playhouse
Photo courtesy: Made with Happy

A happy playhouse in your backyard creates a perfect place for your kids to play during the summer.

  1. Make a platform and frame using premeasured lengths that fit your space.
  2. Add cross floor pieces on the base and ensure it’s low to the ground than an average treehouse.
  3. Use fence pickets as the flooring, then add wall paneling on the sides and window shutters.
  4. Frame the roof and add it to the treehouse using nails.
  5. Paint the interior cherry yellow, add a sturdy table and chairs, and hang blue striped curtains on the entrance.

Go through this plan here for a detailed procedure on how to build this treehouse.

Outdoor Life A-Frame Treehouse

Outdoor Life A Frame Treehouse
Photo courtesy: Outdoor Life

You can build this A-frame treehouse as a free-standing structure or on a tree with a deck around it. You also need two or four posts for support and 4×8 plywood sheets.

  1. Start by digging four holes where you’ll place the posts.
  2. Build a platform and attach it to the posts using lag screws.
  3. Cover the floor with exterior plywood and use deck boards at the front deck.
  4. Build stairs with strong supports on each step and attach them with diameter pegs to the house.
  5. Use a dutch door at the entrance of your A-frame treehouse.

Here is a more detailed guide to help you successfully build this treehouse.

Ron Hazelton Tree Fort

If you prefer building a tree fort, check out this design from Ron Hazelton. 

  1. Use a tree as part of the support posts, then straddle a wall to provide access.
  2. Next, place a 2×8 pressure-treated frame board on the tree’s crotch, where you’ll position the platform.
  3. Position the next frame board and mark the site for the initial post hole.
  4. Pour about 3-inch of gravel into the first 4×4 post and clamp it to the frame board.
  5. Add two frame boards and complete the treehouse on all four sides.
  6. Construct treehouse ladders and attach them to the house.
  7. Lay deck planks, attach them to the joists, and frame the treehouse walls.

Go through these instructions here for more details on how to complete a Ron Hazelton tree fort.

Pirate Hideout Treehouse

Pirate Hideout Treehouse
Photo courtesy: johnkry19

Do your children love playing outside while imagining they are in a different place? The pirate hideout treehouse can be the perfect project. If your child is not a pirate fan, you can swap decor with his favorite superhero or cartoon character. It’s definitely one of the best tree house ideas that your kid will fall in love with!

  1. Attach wood boards from a tree and onto 4×4 posts on the other end.
  2. Use decking boards to build the deck.
  3. Next, install the framing and windows, leaving a space of about two feet for the ladder and porch.
  4. On the outer walls, use treated wood and plywood on the inside, then install a flat roof.
  5. Decorate tree house with things like a ship wheel, skull, flag, and lantern.

Here is a more detailed guide to help you build a pirate hideout treehouse, including the time and costs.

Popular Mechanics Treehouse

Popular Mechanics' tree house idea
Photo courtesy: Popular Mechanics

The Popular Mechanics treehouse is another simple design you can build for your children.

  1. Suspend floor joists on a tree with two trunks.
  2. Use pressure-treated boards to make the floor joists and attach them about 10 feet from the ground.
  3. Support the joists on the outer ends with four 4×4 posts and clamp them.
  4. Add diagonal struts for extra support and fasten the base.
  5. Add railings on the floorboard ends and around the structure.

You can check out more instructions here to help you complete building the mechanics treehouse.

Apartment Therapy Simple Treehouse

Apartment Therapy Simple Treehouse
Photo courtesy: Apartment Theraphy

If you want to make a simple treehouse for your kids, this can be the perfect project to build. With a few branches and scrap wood, you are good to go. Plus, it’s one of the simplest tree house ideas on our list!

  1. Choose a tree with branches that start higher up and attach the foundation with two pieces on either side of the flattest tree part.
  2. Insert cross brace pieces and screw them together with the foundation pieces.
  3. Lay the deck using screws, then use small logs to install the staircase up to the treehouse.
  4. Decorate tree house with throw rugs covering the deck.

Click here for a more detailed guide on constructing an Apartment Therapy Treehouse.

Buildeazy Treehouse With a Slide and Swing Set

Have you always wanted to build a treehouse with a slide and swing set? Here’s your chance! Keep in mind that it is one of the hardest tree house ideas to build since you need concrete.

  1. Start by nailing boundary joists around a tree.
  2. Temporarily raise the joists to the desired height and dig footing holes below every corner.
  3. Clamp 4×4 posts to the joists and pour concrete into each hole to strengthen the structure.
  4. Construct the deck frame using intermediate beams, and make a stair landing.
  5. Next, lay the deck boards and attach the slide.
  6. Place the stairs on the landing extension, then make the handrail and fix it to the joists.
  7. Make the swing set by positioning beam-ends between two solid branches, then hang the swings from the beam.

Do you need more information to help you build this treehouse? Here are the materials and in-depth processes you should follow.

Kristen Duke Treehouse

The Kristen duke treehouse is another simple structure you can construct in your backyard.

  1. Choose one tree that you can build the treehouse around.
  2. Start digging four holes around the tree and fill them with concrete and rocks to secure the posts for the foundation.
  3. Use 4×4 posts that can hold the treehouse and bear the weight of anyone on the structure.
  4. Build the platform using joists and frame boards, securing them with nails and screws.
  5. Attach the railings around the treehouse and attach the staircase.

Although this is a simple project, you can still check the detailed guide here for more clarity.


With the above tree house ideas, you can build a place for you and your kids to play and relax, especially during the summer. These treehouses have different designs, from minimalist hideaways, tree forts, to futuristic builds with a swing set and slide. Choose one that can suit your kids and the available backyard space, and start your dream project.

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