Tree houses provide a wonderful place that children can call their own. Whether the design is simple or complex, special consideration and care must be taken when creating the floor plan for your tree house so that it can be as safe and legal a structure as possible. A proper floor plan should be made before any wood is cut. This way you can work out any glitches before you begin, and the building process can run more smoothly.
Locate your building site. Choose one or more trees that can support your house. Analyze each tree's structural grounding, core integrity, and health to ensure it can properly support your structure. Consider asking a professional arborist for help. An arborist can inspect a tree in preparation for construction and give you design and construction advice to minimize tree damage.
Take photos of the site from every angle for quick reference.
Trace the tree(s) from the photo onto tracing paper and draw the tree house as you imagine it. (See Resources for help with this task.)
Design your platform structure. Keep in mind that a square platform will be easiest when it comes to making cuts. Use fixed joint systems between trees that do not move and flexible joints for those that do. Draw a detailed view of the platform's support system, including all joists, posts, and braces.
Climb the tree and take measurements for your platform structure. Mark these measurement's on your platform drawing.
Pencil in the width of each board that will be used on the deck so that you will be able to figure out just how many you need.
Draw a front view of the structure, adding in the dimensions of the wall frames and walls, railings, roof, and/or windows.
Draw a side view that details the support structure and includes the steps or ladder.
Draw up a list of materials, including lumber, galvanized bolts, and washers.