DIY Platform Tree House

When you were a kid did you ever wish for a fort, a play house, or how about a tree house? I remember the days of creating my own make-believe tree house in the woods behind my childhood home. My sister and I would spend countless hours in those woods creating memories and enjoying the outdoors. Those were the good old days, right?

DIY platform Tree house

I won’t reminisce any more down memory lane, so let’s get right to it. All I have to say is, my kids are some kind of lucky (and I’ll make sure they know it!).

We decided soon after we moved into our rustic beach cottage that we wouldn’t be buying a cheap play set. My kids are 7 and 4, and up until now we still haven’t been able to fork over $500-$1200 on a play set that will only last a few years (cheap wood doesn’t last long in our humid climate).

We decided to spend our money hiring a friend to build an awesome tree house that would last for years.

Ironically, our tree house cost about the same as a decent sized playhouse (and those don’t even come assembled!).

Full disclosure: I did not build this. A carpenter friend build it. I told him exactly what I wanted and he built it!

I did, however, create some awesome build plans WITH a materials list AND step out instructions if you want to recreate your own Platform play house.

Let me also share that this is more of a platform play house built around a tree, not necessarily a tree house. That being said, you can build this platform play structure anywhere (no tree necessary!).

Lance our carpenter has given me permission to share step by step instructions on how they built our platform tree house.

Ready to see the tree BEFORE the tree house?

tree before the tree house

One thing we love about our backyard is the big old oak trees. I wanted to maximize play space around these trees. I have fond memories as a child of climbing trees and I wanted my kids to have the same experiences.

How to build a DIY Platform Tree House

  • After you find a good tree, decide how big of a platform you want to build around it. We decided on the dimensions 8′ by 10′. Mark the corners and use a post hole digger to dig four holes about 2′ deep.
Placing a 4″ by 6″ in the ground with cement
  • Lance did have some issues digging the exact dimensions due to the enormous tree trunk he dug into. He altered the dimensions just a tad and it still looks great.
  • Use a decent sized post to sit in the holes to support the tree house. He used 4″ by 6″ posts.
  • Find a way to stabilize and level the posts and then pour concrete in the hole around the post.
  • Let the concrete sit overnight to dry and cure.
  • Decide how high you want the platform to sit. We decided on 4′ because most slides you purchase are for a 4′ tall platform.
  • Add four boards around the posts for the outside frame. These will be the base of the platform. They used 2″ by 10″ boards for the front and back and 2″ by 8″ for the sides.
  • Lance used nails and structural lags to screw into the posts.
  • He ran a smaller board at the bottom of the outer four boards that the inside frame would sit on. The view below is looking down from the corner of two of the outside boards.
  • Once the outside frame was installed, he installed the inside frame with 2″ by 8″ boards running mainly perpendicular to the outside boards.
  • After the floor frame was done, they added the floor boards!
  • They used 1″ by 6″ boards on top of the frame to complete the “platform.”
  • As far as framing around the tree, they cut the boards as close as they could and worked around them.
  • Time to install the railing! – He did this with 2″ by 6″s and nailed them into the posts. We decided on two sets of rails.
  • Now that the “platform” was complete, he added the “staircase.”
  • He angled four 2″ by 4″s into the ground and then laid six 1″ by 6″s on top to create “stairs.” See pictures below for details.
  • We decided to leave a little room in between the boards so the kids could have room to fit their feet through. I think it works perfectly.
  • Last on the list was to install all the accessories.

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I added a few finishing touches to the platform tree house with accessories I purchased below.

Like I said earlier, this post is a simple run down of how to create your own DIY platform play house.

Below is a sample of the entire build plans with a materials list and more detailed measurements. Check out how to get your own platform play house or platform tree house build plans!

Ready to see it?

DIY tree house
DIY tree house
DIY platform tree house
Tree house
tree house
DIY tree house
DIY tree house
Tree house
DIY tree house

Since this post was written I’ve created a sheet tent above our platform tree house. It’s as close as I can get to creating a “roof” above the tree house.

I even added a little chandelier! Isn’t it cute!

DIY platform tree house
platform tree house

I hope this post has been a help to some of you wanting to create your own outdoor play set!

It’s time to get outside and play.


32 thoughts on “DIY Platform Tree House

    1. Loved this idea! We didn’t have a tree in our yard however we still decided to make a platform for the kids during the qurantine. We are still waiting for a few more accessories but none the less we finished today! Thank you the the inspiration 😊

  1. How fun! No littles in my house anymore, but who wouldn’t love this. I’d put a few chairs up there for myself…lol

      1. I’m very confused reading this. Do you mean 2” x 10” on the boards for the side or 2’ x 10’. I’m not sure if inches would be large enough? Maybe I’m just reading it wrong but ‘ means foot and “ inches and it’s not making sense to me.

        1. Hey Kris, so sorry to confuse you. So when I say 2″ by 10″ I mean that the thickness of the board is 2″ (inches) and the width of the board is 10″ (inches).The length of the board will depend on the size of your platform tree house. Does this make sense? I might need to specify this more clearly in my post.

  2. Keep in mind you will need to continuously cut around the trees. They don’t stop growing. Maybe every few years or so depending on species. Probably soon for the first trim as the gap is very tight already.

  3. What is the total height to the top of the top railing?
    And PLEASE put together a materials list!!!

      1. It’s just what I want for my grandchildren. Do you mean from the ground to the top is 80 inches? Also, did you complete list of materials? If so could you send it to me. Thanks so much!

        1. Hi there, I’m working on making complete build plans and a materials list. I’m hiring it out so it might still be a month or so. And yes from the ground to the top rain on the tree house is 80″.

  4. Thank you for this – simple and totally doable. Kids will LOVE it! And yes please, a materials list would be AWESOME!!!

  5. We have almost completed our treehouse platform. Thank you for the idea. Our slide will be here on Wednesday!

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