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HOW TO: Build
1. Costs for attachment
The key to the wonderful world of tree houses is the right fastening technique.
The following table provides a rough overview:
|Mounting Method||Single Parts||Costs / Pcs.|
|Embedded Support||Wooden support + post shoe + concrete||70 – 200 €|
|Rope Suspension||Tree loop + steel cable + shroud tensioner + ring nut||100 – 300 €|
|Cuff||Steel ring (custom-made by locksmith)||200 – 500 €|
|Special Treehouse Screw||Tree house screw + support||200 – 400 €|
Depending on how many fixing points your tree house has, these costs have to be added, e.g.
a solid tree house fixed in two trees with four screws:
4 x 350 € = 1400 € just for professional fixation with tree screws
2. Other material costs – new or second hand?
A charming adventure treehouse for children can be very low budget:
- you take used materials such as old wood, windows and doors from renovation or demolition work, screws and nails from grandpa’s workshop box
- you borrow the necessary tools at friends
- you season the whole thing with creativity and improvisation talent
Minimum material costs for a bchildrens tree house: 700 – 1.500€
Our tip: Search on online platforms like “ebay”, “Quoka” or “shpock”; or post on social networks that you are looking for building material for your tree house… You will be surprised how many beautiful things you can find there!
But you will need a lot of time and patience.
If you want to buy new building material, there are as always no upper price limits.
Here are some prices for quality goods (in Germany):
- Small wooden window (double glazed by carpenter): > 250 €
- Wooden door with high-quality fittings: > 350 €
- Roof windows to open: > 400 €
- Shingle roof, three-ply, with battens, approx. 10 m²: > 800 €
- Wooden planed boards, larch, 1 m³: > 500 € + 10-20 % waste!
- Spiral staircase, 180°: > 1500 €
There’s also a lot of small stuff:
Stainless steel screws, ropes, strips, foils, tape, lamps, cables, fittings, insect protection, interior fittings, …
Plus tools and wear:
Abrasive paper, saw blades, bits, measuring instruments, equipment maintenance, …
These hidden extra costs can also quickly become > 400 €.
A normal, habitable DIY tree house with new materials can be quickly extended to 7.000 – 15.000 € (pure material costs, without working time)
3. Build it yourself or have it built by professionals?
Do It Yourself!
Before my training as a carpenter I built my first own stilt house. In this project I had taught and worked out everything myself: from the planning and handling of the machines to the elaboration of details, this was new territory for me.
Since I have always liked to do handicrafts, I was totally absorbed in this house building project. Family, friends and neighbours helped me with words and deeds, and after about 5 months the completely furnished house stood in the garden.
- Costs stilts house DIY: 20 m², 2/3 new building material, second hand windows: 3.500 €
- Construction time of stilts house DIY: 5 months relaxed and fun work
Have it built by professionals:
Since over 5 years I work as a trained tree house builder at Germanys Baumbaron GmbH: we have all imaginable tools, precise machines and large material stocks, we work with 3D plans and are an absolutely well-rehearsed team. As professional tree climbers we can reach heights that are difficult to reach without special tools.
Craftsmanship and quality have their price, but you save a lot of time and get a dream tree house just the way you want it!
- Costs for the same stilt house by Professionals: with new windows, sliding door, isolation: 20.000 – 30.000 €
- Construction time by Professionals: plan & prefab 2-3 weeks, set up 2-5 days
My personal recommendation:
If you can take your time, are skilled and have some nice helpers, I recommend you to build the treehouse yourself. It is an incredibly beautiful and satisfying experience to build your own small house with your hands – to create a very personal oasis of peace, completely according to your own wishes… no matter how long it takes.
4. How long does a tree house last?
The life of a treehouse depends on several factors:
- Construction quality (quality of the materials used, detailed design, roof construction,…)
- Roof pitch, – overhang and – covering
- Tree (vital vs. rotten)
- Exposure and climate (plenty of shade, precipitation, humidity, storms, …)
- Use and maintenance
A well built treehouse can be compared to a mountain hut or a boathouse. Properly assembled and under normal circumstances, tree houses last at least 20 years! Then small things must be repaired possibly, e.g. roof covering (shingles) or individual strongly weathered floor boards.
What if the tree becomes old and lazy?
Should the tree weaken for any reason, you can put the existing tree house on stilts at any time – so the tree can grow old in peace, and the house remains standing for all eternity.
5. Further practical examples – Costs and construction time
For a better estimation of costs and construction time, we present three treehouse projects from our carpentry Baumbaron GmbH, based in Germany:
Children’s playhouse 10 m²:
- Bitumen shingles
- New wood
- Plexiglass window
- 2-3 weeks
- ca. 10.000 – 20.000 €
“Witch House” 15 m²:
- Stilt house
- Fully insulated
- Quality window
- Spiral staircase
- Round terrace
- Old wooden formwork
- Cedar shingles
- 3-4 weeks
- ca. 23000 – 35.000€
Two-story luxury tree house 40 m²
- “Real” tree house
- Made in Germany
- Fully insulated
- New high-tech windows
- Old wooden formwork
- 2 floors
- 2 platforms
- Spiral staircase
- Suspension bridge
- Fireman’s pole
- Stainless steel slide
- Climbing net
- Flying Fox
- 6-8 weeks
- ca. 75.000 – 200.000€