Living In A Treehouse – Pros, Cons, Construction And Legal Requirements

Is it possible to live in a treehouse? Yes, but let’s find out if there are pros and cons.

As the name implies, treehouses are built atop trees and mostly meant for kids to play in. Such miniature houses can be built next to, among tree trunks, or around the trees.

While this structure is built for kids, it’s mostly meant for temporary occupation. In other words, kids will have to get back to their actual home when they’re done playing.

Treehouse Living: Considerations And Guide

Now, a lot of questions have been asked about treehouses. One of the most asked questions is whether treehouses can be lived in. In other words, can one live in a treehouse?

Structures are built to serve different purposes.

In this article, we’ll find out if the use of the treehouse extends beyond the need to have fun.

Treehouses Have Become A Trend

There’s a steady rise in the number of people building treehouses. A lot of times, such homes are built for purposes of relaxation and as a secondary home to unwind.

An increase in the number of treehouses continues to spark interest for most people.

This is especially true for persons having a property with a tree. So, is a treehouse a good idea? Does it have any negative effect on trees? How do you go about building one?

More important to us is the topic being discussed; whether or not one can live in a treehouse.

You’ll need to stick around for details on these and more.

Is Living In A Treehouse Possible?

Treehouses may look smaller than most homes but the fact remains that it’s habitable. In other words, a treehouse can be constructed in such a way that it meets your living requirements.

  • Can you legally live in a treehouse?

While this is true, your answer to certain questions will determine whether treehouse living applies to you or not.

There are basically two scenarios when it comes to treehouse living. You either own the land or you have an agreement with the owner. Basically, the questions raised are; does the treehouse sit on your property (land)?

If it isn’t yours, do you have an agreement with the treehouse owner?

With a treehouse available for occupation, you can easily take up residence after having an agreement with the owner. If the treehouse was built by you, you’ll need permission from no one to move in.

Sometimes, there may be local building approvals.

Such approvals may include those for occupying the structure.

Are Legal Requirements Needed to Live in a Treehouse?

Can you build a treehouse without planning permission?

Depending on where you live, there could be legal permissions that need to be obtained to move into, or live in a treehouse. In other words, you need to find out what legal parameters apply to your locality.

Ignoring this aspect of treehouse occupation might lead to future eviction.

You may also be fined for illegal occupation.

By researching on applicable rules to treehouse occupation, you save yourself the stress of making mistakes that would have been avoidable.

  • Being More Specific…

So far, our discussion on legal requirements has been quite vague. To make things clearer, certain local building codes will have to be adhered to.

Without such codes, you’ll be building a treehouse that doesn’t meet set standards. This might result in damage to trees in addition to erecting a faulty structure.

One way to ensure all building codes among other permissions are obtained and adhere to is by visiting your local government office.

Here, everything regarding tree structures is clearly discussed and necessary information on permits and codes are covered.

Building A Treehouse To Live In Can Be Tricky

For a treehouse to be habitable, it must be built properly.

Proper treehouse construction requires understanding who to contact and having an implementable design. Now, not all builders are skilled in treehouse construction.

You must have a bias for those with proven experience in this area.

This isn’t to say that a builder who hasn’t built a treehouse before won’t be able to get the job done. Such builders can be hired.

However, the builder should be well experienced in his craft and be very detailed with engineering projects.

Steps For Building A Livable Treehouse

Having cleared the air on the use of treehouse as actual human dwellings, it’s important to provide information on the steps involved in building one. This isn’t a job for the inexperienced person.

In other words, it isn’t a DIY project and should only be left to experienced builders.

The only exception would be for homeowners with significant building-related technical skills. The steps involved include checking local codes, selecting the tree(s), having a blueprint, and getting the tools necessary.

Other steps include building the platform, placement of braces or posts, and building the floor.

From the floor, add walls and the needed attachments, followed by the roof the construction of steps or ladders.

Finishing touches will be necessary. Let’s have a rundown of these steps as follows;

  • Checking Local codes

As discussed earlier, your treehouse will need to follow local building codes.

You’ll need to get these from your local authority in addition to applicable permits.

  • Selecting the Tree(s)

Not every tree is suitable for treehouse construction.

As a structure you’ll live in, your treehouse needs to be mounted on a sturdy tree(s). Most times, additional supports need to be made to support the structure.

Do you know you can build a treehouse without a tree?

  • Develop a Treehouse Plan That You Can Live In

This simply refers to your plan. You cannot build blindly without having a plan on how the design will unfold. As such, have this carefully drafted before the work proper.

  • Get the Tools Needed

When it comes to treehouse building, an array of tools will need to be obtained. You’ll have to research on tools you need for such job and ensure you’re well equipped before embarking on the project.

  • Build the Platform

Before the floor is laid or constructed, there needs to be a framework or platform in place. Have this constructed based on your plant with braces attached to make it sturdy.

  • Build the Floor

At this point the floor is laid on the platform or framework before other forms of construction are mounted on it. Because you want to live in it, ensure it’s durable enough to support your weight and any furniture to be added.

  • Add Walls and Attachments

Construction of walls and attachments such as windows, entrances and railings etch should follow.

  • Roof and Ladders

The roof and steps should be added to the structure.

With this completed, you’ll need to build your steps or ladder to climb your new home. Once finishing touches are concluded, you’re ready to move in.


A treehouse can be lived in. This is a growing trend you may want to take advantage of. Treehouses can serve as secondary or primary homes.

Leave a Comment