Our DIY Tree House! Minus a tree lol!
After HUNTING all over Pinterest and google for some good DIY tree house/play house/club house ideas I gave up.
So far I have built a few small DIY Projects, a Coffee Table & a Dinning Table Bench.
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These projects did not give me the confidence to tackle a large clubhouse project for my boys. YET I wanted them to have a large slide in the yard that could be used in the summer to slide into a pool.
This is me projecting my own childhood joys onto my boys. lol!
My Inspirational Tree House is this adorable Little Cedar 6 x 6 Playhouse:
SO after seeing the scope of these projects along with the COST I nearly gave up completely.
UNTIL our friends offered us their old playhouse….with a catch. They were moving and needed it out of their yard asap! So off I went to disassemble it hoping I would remember how to put it back together again.
Its a beauty right!?!? You would laugh at the positive attitude I had going in!
As I started to pull this thing apart I realized it was infested with ants and the main frame was rotten. BUT I had said I wanted it and I promised to get it out of my friends yard so I kept at it.
(My inner voice just kept telling me that those slides cost money and I could have it for free if I got the whole tree house outta their yard lol!)
Can’t get a free slide? This one is the one I used: Cool Wave Slide in Green and it’s not a bad price. Or you can go fancy and use this Side Winder Slide slide!
This whole thing turned into a learning lesson on how I could build my own DIY tree house. I saw the structure and took notes. Most of my friends playhouse ended up at the dump but I did manage to use some of the planks as the spindles on my new and improved playhouse.
In the end this is what I came up with and I must say I am in LOVE with this tree house! It’s perfect for my boys.
We call it a tree house as the title playhouse wasn’t very “cool” lol.
Here is the progress of my DIY Tree House:
First my husband and I needed to make the frame. Knowing it was not going to be anchored into the ground made this build a lot less intimidating.
We used 4 very long pressure treated fence posts (as a reference the fence is 6 ft tall behind it) as well as pressure treated boards to create the frame. This was our way of avoiding the ant infestation that the original tree house had. Also, it was free scrap lumber and I like the sound of free.
We had measured the garden space so we could build this frame to fit the space. The deck frame was made to be the correct height for the slide that we would attach later.
Once this frame was built I was on my own until the roof. That’s what I get for being a stay at home mom. I have the daylight hours to work on stuff like this and I drag my husband (Mark) in to help on the weekends 🙂
Mark had these very large crates at work that had come with some equipment they had ordered. So one Saturday we went there and pried off all the boards so we could have more free lumber! We used these boards for the floor and walls of the tree house. After putting them through a planer they were good as new!
This is the Before planer pic…forgot to take an after:
Once all the boards were put onto the frame I added some rails for safety of course. Then stained everything.
Because I had to put the boards onto the frame from the back I moved this diy tree house forwards for a bit.
BUT it became too heavy for me to move back into place so I just kept working until I could get all my brother in laws over to help move this thing back 🙂
The next step took some hard work as I hadn’t measured how high I wanted the roof until after I was this far on the build. Had I measured first I could have cut my four posts to the correct height ahead of time. Oops.
However I did want to get my oldest son to stand on the deck first so I could make sure he would have enough head room. Sooooooo I guess complicated was bound to happen. We ended up using a hand saw to cut the posts down to the right heights. And when I say WE I mean my husband got dragged out to help with this part.
Notice the back posts are shorter then the front ones? That was to make sure I could have a sloped roof.
The only wood that came from the old tree house was the planks from the deck as they had been protected. I cut them down and used them for the adorable blue spindles you see before you!
After this I had to pause for a while as rain showed up for a full week. I couldn’t stop working on the playhouse though so I decided to work from the indoors by making the boys their very own clubhouse sign. They hadn’t seen the movie The Little Rascals yet so when they saw what I had named it they were surprisingly offended!
I probably should have asked them what they wanted to name it….
Once the rain stopped it was time to tackle the ladder and the roof. I never thought to take pictures of this part…oops, sorry.
But I DID remember to take a few selfies for Instagram he he! You can see the roof coming together in the background.
I needed to make a frame first so I did that according to the instructions the roof material required. I also painted it ahead of time. I didn’t want to paint it white but the directions from the plastic roofing I was using said it would warp if I didn’t. So I listened and in the end I am happy with it.
Here you can see the frame is on and the new ladder is built, laying in the grass. If you don’t want to build a ladder try this rope ladder:
Also, my brother in laws were over for a Sunday lunch and I nicely asked for them to move this monster diy tree house into place. They thankfully obliged!
We put the framed posts onto bricks to give the tree house some stability and level it out.
Now to add the plastic roofing. It is meant for green houses mostly but it worked great for this as well! I asked for Marks help again with this part. But I want to say that I was the one in the dangerous position! I stood on the fence behind the tree house to screw the roof into the frame. Probably not safe but I am alive to tell the tale.
Tada! A gal who was afraid to build a diy tree house managed to do the “impossible”! Eeeeek! I can’t believe this is in my yard!
This pic is before the roof so you can see it without a slide in the way:
Oh, and one more thing. I put the slide on a removable wooden “hook” I created by cutting a 2×4 down the center on an angle. I attached one side to the slide and the other side to the deck.
I did this so it was easy to remove the slide when we needed to mow the lawn or put the slide into a pool easily.
My boys are THRILLED with this diy tree house! Sliding into a pool is now officially their own childhood memory as well as mine!
Of course with them being boys they upped the anti and added boogie boards to the equation….