The magic and allure of treehouses has been making a comeback in recent years—and they aren’t just for kids anymore! The eco-friendly little gems can be custom built and painted to suit your location and desires, and can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. Sometimes the trees you have to work with will determine the layout of your treehouse, so the first thing you’ll need to do is scope out your location. What you’ll be looking for is a group of closely growing trees that are at least 30cm in diameter at the height you’ll be placing your treehouse’s floor. In this example, we’ll be discussing a fairly simple treehouse such as the type that would be appropriate for children, rather than the super pro monster in the photo. This treehouse was built by Will Giles Norwich, Norfolk.

Best case scenario you’ll find two or three trees growing closely together that are thick and sturdy enough to hold up your base plus the added weight of the kids who’ll be enjoying the finished product. When deciding on height, take into account the diameter of the trees higher up, the mode you’ll be using to access the treehouse, and the propensity of trees to sway and move at higher elevations. For most children, a floor height of around 3 meters high is enough to be exciting, but not too scary.

Depending on the layout of your trees, you may only have one option for layout or you may have a few. Draw up plans before purchasing any materials. Don’t forget braces, deck, railing and, if desired, a roof. You could always have an open air treehouse or use a tarp instead of actually building a roof. Once you’ve got your design drawn up, go buy your materials and gather your tools. Pressure treated wood will best be able to handle the elements.

Finally, mount your supports and build away! Your design may change as actual building takes place, and that’s fine. When you’re finished, you’ll want to stain or paint your creation with an organic natural product that won’t harm the environment in which it’s been built. You could paint it with Auro 250 Natural gloss paint to match your home with faux shutters and all, or you could use a natural wood stain to blend in with the surrounding tree trunks. Be creative and have fun with it!