Tree Fort

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Project by LarryJoe701 posted 11-28-2017 02:46 PM 1655 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Every kid deserves a tree fort. I’ve got 3 (soon 4) kids, so I had to do things a little bigger.

I worked on this project for a number of months in my spare time, just wrapping it up last week. I didn’t really start with any plans, just figured things out as I went, accommodating the equipment I got.

The frame is 16’x8’ and about 8’ from the front ground to the top. I wanted it high enough that I could easily walk underneath it (the back is just under 7’ from the ground); it feels even higher because there’s a 2.5’ terrace wall a few feet out in front. It’s supported by a 3/4” bolt in the front left corner, hanging from 3/4” eye bolts in the front right and rear left corners, and bolted to a 4”x6” post in the rear right. I plan to add a zip line off the top of the post in the future.

The deck covers about 12 of the 16 feet, with three steps down to the two straight slides and ladder. I hadn’t planned it this way, but I found it very difficult to get slides for anything beyond a ~5’ deck. The wavy slide came from a used play set I bought from a neighbor (much of the wood was rotting) and the chute slide and ladder sections given to me by another neighbor. With those slides in hand, a lower landing was about the only solution I could come up with. Plus, the lower height makes it a little less intimidating for the younger kids.

The twisty slide I found on Craigslist for $100 (retailing for around $2,000)! It’s quite heavy and has a steel pole going up through the center. I wanted to leave enough room for the kids to run around the back, so the slide needed to stay close to the frame, however the deck was still a little too high for it there. I ended up spacing it out with a 4”x4” about 7” lower than the deck. That makes it a little more challenging for me to enter, but hasn’t slowed the kids down. Even my 97 year old grandfather gave it a go!

The ramp is 16’ long, at around a 30 degree angle. It’s steep and I may have to put tread on it, but right now the kids are having too much fun using it as a slide. It consists of 2”x4” side rails and 3 2”x6” boards. It had quite a bit of fun bounce until I added the 4”x4” posts to support it; now it’s rock solid.

Rather than using spindles around the railing, I got a free, used tennis net in good condition; far cheaper than the equivalent from treehouse specialty stores.

It has a little sway in it near the steps because only the largest tree is firmly attached, and the post is attached to a cement pad but isn’t sunk in. I may add a diagonal to stabilize it. So far we’ve had 6 adults and 5 kids all up there together and it did great! I expect to be able to enjoy it with my kids for years to come.

-- Larry Joe in Georgia

6 comments so far

View pottz's profile


18821 posts in 2146 days

#1 posted 11-28-2017 04:02 PM

i agree every kid needs his man cave no matter how young.i made my first one when i was 9 out of the saw horses my dad used to put his camper on when not in use,well you can guess how long before the fort need a did a nice job on this they should love it.welcome to lumber jocks larry joe.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4029 days

#2 posted 11-28-2017 06:23 PM

This is nice and the kids will love it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View robscastle's profile


8118 posts in 3366 days

#3 posted 11-29-2017 02:55 AM

Ah I see Larry and Charles have beaten me to it.

Anyway as above and, ... load testing Pased !!.... now about your ”Even my 97 year old grandfather gave it a go!”
did you mean you kids grandfather?.

A bit mean on the pictures, and a hint some pictures of the load testing and acceptance test being conducted could be added here!

Awaiting your next exciting activity.

-- Regards Rob

View woodify's profile


348 posts in 3234 days

#4 posted 11-29-2017 02:56 AM

Awesome tree house. I’m sure the kids will have tons of fun playing in, on and under it! Good idea using a tennis net.

-- Woodify ~~

View LarryJoe701's profile


15 posts in 1347 days

#5 posted 11-29-2017 10:55 AM

now about your ”Even my 97 year old grandfather gave it a go!”
did you mean you kids grandfather?.

- robscastle

Nope, I meant my grandfather. My father and father-in-law are in their 70s and helped me build the whole thing. My paternal grandfather was visiting (he gets around really well for a 97 year old) and went for a slide. He’s amazing: plays golf, walks, plays bridge, drives himself to church!

-- Larry Joe in Georgia

View johnstoneb's profile


3168 posts in 3335 days

#6 posted 11-29-2017 12:25 PM

Looks great. Kid will really enjoy it. I helped my SIL in building won for my grandson. The whole neighbor hood is over there now. You can see it in my projects.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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