Costs & Prices
Build it yourself or have it built by a professional?
Together with the German company ‘baumbaron GmbH‘, we have already built over 250 treehouses throughout Europe – so we can tell you exactly what costs are involved in building a treehouse and where you can save money.
Using 6 treehouse examples, we show you the material costs and the time you will need for do-it-yourself construction:
- Small children’s treehouse
- Simple treehouse to play in
- Treehouse for spending the night in summer
- Treehouse for spending the night in winter
- Treehouse to live in
- Large luxury treehouse to live in
How expensive your treehouse will be depends largely on how you use it. A simple children’s tree house for hiding and playing, which is only used on warm summer days, can be built very cheaply with used materials (from 1000 €). A heated treehouse for living, which is also to be used in cold winter months and over several decades, costs at least 6000 €.
1. Example material costs of different DIY treehouse types
Here you can see the pure material costs of different treehouse types (without working time, without tools, without wear and tear, without expensive interiors). The price from a professional treehouse carpentry would be about 3 times as high. (The prices are valid for Southern Germany and should be adjusted according to the country – just compare the DIY store prices for 1 m³ spruce construction timber and 500 Spax screws to get a feeling for how expensive building in Southern Germany is;)
Small children’s backyard treehouse (hideaway)
- 4 – 6 m²
- very simple construction
- single-shell walls
- roof covering of bitumen shingles or similar
- uninsulated for summer
- DIY plexiglass windows
- partly used materials
Material costs: 1000 – 2500€
DIY construction time: 1 – 2 months
Simple children’s playhouse
- 6 – 10 m²
- uninsulated construction for summer
- simple windows and doors
- bitumen or corrugated iron roofing
- small terrace
- play elements: slide, swing, climbing wall
- partly used materials
Material costs: 2000 – 4000 €
DIY construction time: 2 – 3 months
Treehouse to spend the night in summer
- 10 – 15 m²
- solid construction for spring to autumn
- used windows and doors
- small terrace
- simple interior (bed, table, chair)
- for several people to hang out
- play elements (slide, swing, climbing)
- for occasional overnight stays
Material costs: 4000 – 6000 €
DIY construction time: 3 – 4 months
Insulated treehouse for sleeping in winter
- 10 – 15 m²
- insulated for cold winter months
- used double-glazed windows and tight door
- new timber
- electrical installations
- solid interior: bed, table, chair, lamps, shelves
- for occasional overnight stays
Material costs: 6000 – 10000 €
DIY construction time: 3 – 5 months
Treehouse for living
- 15 – 25 m²
- insulated / ventilated for cold winter months
- extended living space for sleeping / working / relaxing / renting out
- high quality building materials
- double glazed windows / skylights
- high quality interior
- for several adult persons
Material costs: 9000 – 20000 €
DIY construction time: 4 – 5 months
Large luxury treehouse for living
- 25 – 40 m²
- for permanent living and renting
- for adults
- thick wall construction insulated, rear-ventilated
- modern interior (TV, infrared heating)
- high-quality materials
- double glazed windows
- heating & sanitary connections
- high quality roofing (shingle or tin roof)
Material costs: 25000 – 40000 €
DIY construction time: 5 – 7 months
The stated “DIY construction time” applies to “ordinary people” with previous craftsmanship skills who spend 2-3 days a week working on the treehouse with their family or a few friends.
Be careful, gentlemen – a few factors can make the construction time incredibly long;)
- This is the first wooden house you build
- You are a perfectionist
- You want to build crazy creative details a’la Daniel Düsentrieb
- The treehouse is higher than 3 m (10 ft) off the ground (then you need climbing gear, etc.)
2. Costs for tree house attachment
A treehouse floats above the ground – the key to the wonderful world of treehouses is the right fastening technique.
You have to reckon with the following costs / unit:
Depending on how many fastening points your treehouse has, the costs/unit have to be added, e.g.:
your hybrid treehouse is to be supported by a tree and 2 posts, then you usually need 2 Treehouse Screws & 2 supports:
2 x 350 € + 2 x 110 € = 920 € for the professional mounting of your treehouse.
3. Build it yourself or have it built by a professional?
Take the above-mentioned material costs x 3 and you are approximately at the price for a professional treehouse from a reputable craftsman. A dream house from DMX treehouse professional “Pete Nelson”, for example, costs $200,000 upwards! The waiting time for a professional treehouse with a normal order situation is > 6 months.
Advantages of “having it built by a professional”:
- everything works 😉
- years of practical experience, elaborate details, top quality
- your treehouse is safer and will last longer (> 20 years)
- short construction time (assembly time on site only 1 – 3 weeks)
- more extreme projects at greater heights possible – professional tree climbers
Advantages of DIY “Build your own treehouse”:
- lower costs (approx. 1/2 to 1/3)
- the feeling of having created everything yourself – your children will be proud of you!
- Fun for the whole family – community project
- you gain handicraft experience that will serve you for a lifetime
- Unique project!
4. My personal experience – Just do it yourself!
“For me, building a treehouse is the perfect mix of freedom, creativity and craftsmanship! An adventure for those who are looking for a challenge and never want to grow up completely. Definitely a project that will inspire everyone!
Vitus Wahlländer – Founder of TheTreehouse.Shop
“Before my apprenticeship as a carpenter, in 2015 I built my first own house on stilts. For this project, I had taught and worked out everything myself: from planning, to handling the machines, to working out details, it was new territory for me. My machines were a cordless drill, a hand-held circular saw, a router and a sander.
Since I have always been an enthusiastic tinkerer, I totally thrived on this treehouse project. Family, friends and neighbours helped me with words and deeds, and so after about 5 months the finished house was standing in the garden.
The summer I spent in my treehouse was one of the best times I can remember. Now the treehouse is used by the whole family: Grandma and Grandpa like to read and relax there in the shade of the leafy tree, and for our children it is of course the purest adventure playground. The cost and months of work were worth every cent!”
The path to becoming a treehouse professional…
“The experience of having my own treehouse has stuck with me and in the meantime, I have been working as a professional treehouse builder at Baumbaron GmbH for more than 5 years; we have all kind of tools, precise machines and large material storages, we work with 3D plans and are an absolutely well-coordinated team. As professional tree climbers, we can reach heights that are difficult to reach without special tools. I love this job!”
My recommendation to you:
“If you can take your time, are handy and have a few nice helpers, I urge you: build your treehouse yourself! It is an incredibly beautiful and satisfying experience to build a little house with your hands – to create your own personal oasis of peace, according to your own wishes and dreams… take your time, no matter how long it takes.”
5. Where can I save money? New or used?
New building material:
If you want to buy new building material, there are no upper limits to the price, as always.
Here are some prices for quality goods:
- Small wooden window (double-glazed by a carpenter): > 250 €
- Wooden door with high-quality fittings: > 350 €
- Opening skylight: > 400 €
- Shingle roof, three-ply, with battens, approx. 10 m²: > 800 €
- Wooden boards, planed, larch, 1 m³: > 500 € + 10-20 % waste!
- Spiral staircase, 180°: > 1.500 €
A charming adventure treehouse/board shed can be very cheap:
- You use used materials, such as scrap wood, windows and doors from renovation or demolition work, screws and nails from grandpa’s workshop box.
- You already have a well-stocked workshop and borrow the missing tools from friends.
- You spice it up with creativity and a talent for improvisation.
Minimum material costs for a “Pippi Longstocking tree house”: 700 – 1,500€.
Our savings tip: Search on online platforms like “ebay Kleinanzeigen”, “Quoka” or “shpock”; or post on social networks that you need building materials for your tree house… you’ll be surprised how many nice things you can find there!
“The small things”:
+ don’t underestimate the cost of small stuff:
Stainless steel screws, ropes, battens, foils, tape, lamps, cables, fittings, insect protection, interior furnishings, slide, swing, play tower, …
+ Tools, wear and tear, waste:
Sandpaper, saw blades, bits, measuring devices, equipment maintenance, wood waste …
These hidden additional costs can also quickly become > 400 €.
A normal, liveable DIY treehouse with new materials quickly adds up to 7,000 – 15,000 € (pure material costs, without working time).
6. How long does a treehouse last?
The lifespan of a treehouse depends on several factors:
- Construction quality (quality of the materials used, detailing, roof structure, …)
- Roof pitch, – overhang and – covering
- Tree (vital vs. rotten)
- Exposure and climate (much shade, precipitation, humidity, storms, …)
- Use and maintenance
A well-built tree house is comparable to a mountain hut or a boathouse. Properly assembled and under normal circumstances, treehouses will last at least 20 years! Then small things may need to be touched up, e.g. roofing (shingles) or individual floor boards that are exposed to strong weather.
What if the tree dies?
If for some reason the tree should weaken, you can always put the existing treehouse on stilts – so the tree can grow old in peace and the house will stand for all eternity.