extreme tree house

My dad has been working on a tree house in his backyard for about 9 months or more.   I started this post several months ago and have been adding pictures/video as he has added tree house square footage.

The initial tree house plans seemed simple enough – a spiral staircase up the tree trunk to a fenced platform.

tree house spiral stairs


Except that isn’t exactly my dad’s style…remember extreme play house?

So he built a spiral staircase and a tree house platform.

tree house with spiral stairs and a platform

And then a zipline.

tree house with zipline

And then a door to open to access the zipline and a fold-out zipline platform to have exactly the right launch height.

tree house platform for zipline

Because if you are going on a zipline, you definitely want to be launched at the correct height from the tree house.

zipline ride from tree house platform

And then a fireman’s pole…and then a fire pole floor cover for the tree house floor.

tree house fire pole

And then tree house walls.

And then a tree house roof.

tree house

Oh, and then a bucket.

The kids were pretty obsessed with the bucket.   Up goes the bucket via the pulley.   Down goes the bucket via gravity.

The bucket was popular from above.

tree house pulley bucket

The bucket was popular from below.

tree house pulley bucket used as a swing

And then a tree house tower which will lead up to a 2nd floor.

tree house with tower that leads to second floor

2nd floor?

Yep,   now he is working on the tree house second floor.   It is now the end of November and he has gotten a lot more done:

tree house with tower and second floor almost completed

The tower now has stairs between the first and second tree house floors.   This is the view from above and you can see that he continued the spiral stair theme.

tree house interior tower spiral stairs to second floor

The second floor will be an open air roof top patio.   He is still working on the railing, but you can already enjoy the view:

view from second floor of tree house

Not a bad place to play.

I shot a quick video tree house tour on Thanksgiving Day when we were visiting. Let me just apologize now for the incorrect aspect ratio – I wasn’t thinking!

He got some of the tree house ideas from the Stiles Design book, Tree Houses You can Actually Build and their website.   He found that the information was really helpful with the spiral stairs and ideas for building structures in a tree without harming the tree.

This appears that it will be a multi-year project, which makes it exciting to see what is new at each visit and I will continue to update.


  1. reminds me of the swiss family tree house at the disney parks!

  2. I have no idea what you meant by “boy heaven” on your FB teaser. That is totally Foolery Heaven. I have a teeny tiny crush on your dad.

  3. As my teenagers would say “your dad is the shizznit*” That is so awesome-I want to live in it!

    *when they use that word, I yell and threaten to wash mouths out with soap~but I kinda like it ;}

  4. A stimulating sensory paradise! 🙂 How cool is all that. Especially love the zip line, of course. But, the spiral staircase with rope reminds me of a ship. Love it!

  5. I wanna play in that! Your boys have the coolest grandfather 🙂

  6. Dang, can he come stop by our house. Our treehouse could use some remodeling.

  7. I want to come play at your house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Let me know when he finishes the veranda and we can have martini parties up there.

  8. Wow…that is pretty impressive. My kids would go ga-ga for that!

  9. 2nd FLOOR!?!?!?! What we can no longer be friends.. b/c then my kids will not only want a tree house with zip line but a tree house with a 2nd floor AND zip line!!!

  10. Your dad? Wicked.Cool. I…I mean, my boys…would LOVE to have a treehouse like that! Sadly, we have no trees big enough anywhere in a ten mile radius. Ah, new home development, you make me weep. 😉

  11. WOW!!! That tree house is so awesome! Your dad needs to come to Indiana and make one in our tree…LOL. Lucky kids!!!

  12. Are you kidding me with this?! Can I go back in time to when I was 9, run away from home, and be adopted by your dad? My dad is full of awesomeness but holy crap. That is a bon-diggety tree house!!

  13. This is the most amazing thing I have ever seen in real life building (as opposed to the stuff done by professionals for magazine shoots or something). I am so impressed with how beautiful it is, in addition to functional. That gorgeous woven rope railing? Amazing. His work reminds me of my grandfather’s meticulous carpentry. Your children must be in heaven.

  14. That is, by far, the most awesome tree house evah! Kudos to your dad, he did a great job, and I can’t wait to see the second floor.

  15. AWESOME! So cool. Your kids are lucky to get to play in a great tree house like that. I’m jealous.

  16. I want to move in! Your kids are so lucky…as is grandpa! Can’t wait to read more stories. I can imagine the adventures your family will have with such a cool treehouse.

  17. WOW! Grandpa did an amazing job on the kids tree house. It looks great! It looks like your kids are loving it. I sell custom made tree houses for a living and I am VERY impressed with his work.

  18. I have no words! Okay I do but all all I can say is this is completely and totally amazing! What boy wouldn’t want to grow up playing and dreaming in that! Hope your Dad lives close! And keep the pictures coming! Please.

  19. Can I borrower your father? My kids will NEVER see this….they’d be so jealous! How fun and how lucky are your boys?!

  20. Holly – i have an awesome Christmas gift idea for your Dad: me! Extra daughters are always nice – and it’d be a great deal for you too. I promise to never show you up. In fact I’ll make you look good by routinely forgetting birthdays or anniversaries. Let me know.

  21. So I must have misplaced place your address, because we are coming over to play in the tree house!! That thing is amazing & your dad is very talented!

  22. Okay, this tree house is turning out to be way better than my *actual* house.

    My boys are mourning the impending loss of their tree house when we move next week. It has a rock wall, a fireman pole, a perch up high in the tree, and it HAD a zip line until someone (*cough*theirfather*cough*) broke it. We are taking some of the wood to the new house to build a fort since the trees aren’t big enough to support a tree house.

    Sure wish your dad could help!!

  23. oh my goodness! that is AMAZING! i want to come live in your tree house!

  24. I wonder if my dad will build my kids a tree house like that? THAT THING IS AWESOME!

    And if he built it just for this wonderful blog post (because in my head he did it for that reason alone), tell him thanks! Now I am full of envy.

  25. That is amazing. Wow. I can’t get over how gorgeous it is. Your kids are so effing lucky! The staircase is my favorite part closely followed by the view. Stunning. 🙂

  26. What’s in the Coleman LOL 🙂 I would live in that! <3 So incredibly cool…

  27. Yep, even got vertigo and motion sickness and Extreme Narcissistic Jealousy during that video, so I KNOW it’s awesome. High fives to your dad, and let me just say that now you’ll be needing a maid, and I can help out there, you know.

  28. ok, all five of my boys want to move in at your house!!! is that ok?

    OMGosh your dad is talented!!!!!!

  29. Will you dad adopt me? That’s the coolest thing ever! Shannon’s dad drove from Georgia to visit us so he could bring tools, and if you follow her blog he built an amazing play house for her, albeit on the ground. You’re dad wins the prize for sure, though. So cool.

  30. Wow! That is the BEST TREEHOUSE EVER! How much fun your kids must have! Thanks for sharing all the details! Visiting from Mom Loop.

  31. Your dad is the most amazing grandpa ever! Seeing him on the photo with the boys in the tree house, smiling, made me cry – my dad passed away when my little one was only 6 months old (and mom long time before that), so they will never have a chance to enjoy in each other’s company and love 🙁 …You are so blessed 🙂 Can we borrow your father from time to time? :)))

  32. o K,…that is just fantastic…what a wonderful grandpa those kids have !!!

    – KAT –

  33. Wow!!! That is amazing. What lucky boys you have. What fun memories will come from that tree house. 🙂

  34. OMG… this is the most amazing tree house I’ve ever seen and is exactly what I dreamed of owning as a kid. My husband is a wood worker and I can only imagine one day when we have kids (and a back yard full of trees) him making something this extreme! 🙂

  35. Wow!!!! That’s kid heaven!!!

  36. Chris Bowley says:

    Curious about the fire pole. I’m building a crazy tree house for my sons and want to install a fire pole. Unfortunately, the ready-made ones are all too short for my house. I’ll have to make a custom one that is longer. What did your dad use for the fire pole? It looks like black steel pipe in the photo. Great looking tree house!!!

  37. zip-line to the lake

  38. This is amazing! Would you consider posting an updated picture? I’m dying to have a better look at the underside of the steps so I can try a spiral stair case myself. Thanks in advance for your consideration.

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