How to Build a Treehouse Platform on Top of a Shed

Give your free time creative purpose
Cool treeless treehouse built onto a garden shed
First, warm up those muscles...
Cool treeless treehouse built onto a garden shed
...now, up the knotted rope...
Cool treeless treehouse built onto a garden shed
...along the top platform and past the crane...
Cool treeless treehouse built onto a garden shed
...onto the lower platform and through the trapdoor!

Don’t let lack of trees ruin your treehouse dreams.

It is possible to build a treehouse without using a tree, especially if you have a garden shed.

Yes, that’s right… your unloved, cobwebby, full of garden tools shed, can easily be transformed into an exciting treehouse style adventure. Just like this one, follow me…

What will I learn?

1) A treehouse doesn’t always need a tree, you can build on top of other things in your garden, like a shed.

Don't Forget

Making stuff teaches us more than how to make stuff, it teaches us to improvise, solve problems and have fun.

2) Basing your design on a series of platforms allows you to continually add to your treehouse.

3) Building a ‘treehouse’ to fit your unique situation will exercise your creative muscles.

Step by step guide

The following instructions are not detailed blueprints, but they are full of ideas that will help you build your own ‘treeless’ treehouse.

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Printable artwork

First, let’s take a look at the approach as a whole…

Exploded view
Cool treeless treehouse built onto a garden shed: illustration 1

It’s simple really… one platform attached to the shed roof, the other platform joined to it at right angles and supported by legs.

Platform base
Cool treeless treehouse built onto a garden shed: illustration 2

Each platform is a timber frame covered by planks or sheet timber… I used tongue and groove planks, but marine plywood would be better.

If you want saftety walls you’ll need to add vertical posts, where possible just extend the support legs above the platform.

Rope railing
Cool treeless treehouse built onto a garden shed: illustration 4

Pre-prepare some wooden slats from flat timber (A), around (T)21mm x (W)46mm x (L)450mm (I used two between each post).

Drill 2 holes (large enough to fit the rope) 35cm apart in each post. Do the same for the wooden slats.

Tie a knot at the end of the nylon rope and feed it through the top hole of the first post (B)… then through 2 wooden slats… the next post… more slats… and so on, until the rope has been fed through the last post (C).

Pull the rope as taught as you can, and feed it back through the remaining hole in each post and slat. With the rope poking out of the first post (D), tie a knot about 7cms from the hole.

Make a wooden clamp, a block of wood with a notch (E), and with the rope pulled super taught, screw the clamp above the knot (F).

Cool treeless treehouse built onto a garden shed: illustration 4

Finally, space the slats evenly and fix them in position with screws.

Wooden railing
Cool treeless treehouse built onto a garden shed: illustration 5

For a more rigid railing connect the top of the posts with a horizontal length of timber and attach vertical slats at regular intervals.

Rope climb
Cool treeless treehouse built onto a garden shed: illustration 6

To create a challenging rope climb, create a triangular timber overhang.

Be sure to strengthen it with jointing plates and corner brace brackets (you don’t want this to break!).

Cool crane
Cool treeless treehouse built onto a garden shed: illustration 3

Accesorize your climbing frame with a ‘friction grip’ crane that uses a simple notch to grip the rope. Please note, you will need to buy one small pulley and two door hinges from your local hardware store. Just follow the illustration.

Trapdoor
Cool treeless treehouse built onto a garden shed: illustration 7

Cut a square hole in the roof felt. Add a diagonal cut to each corner and fold back the felt (A). Use a pencil and ruler to mark out a square. Drill a hole in each corner and use a jig-saw to cut out the square (B).

Cool treeless treehouse built onto a garden shed: illustration 8

Make a wooden frame (slightly bigger than the hole) using the same wood you used to make the slats for the railing. Screw it onto the roof. Let the felt flaps overlap the edges of the frame and seal with roofing bitumen (C).

Make another frame big enough to fit over the first. Cover it with wood and seal it with felt and bitumen (D). Attach it to the first frame using hinges.

Ladder & posts
Cool treeless treehouse built onto a garden shed: illustration 9

Make a simple ladder and attach it to the inside of the shed, directly under the trapdoor, you won’t be able to climb up onto the platform without it!

Secure the support legs in the ground using spikes made from straightened angle bracket. This will stop them slipping or moving.

Materials

  • Planking or marine plywood
  • 47mm x 50mm x 2.4m timber
  • 21mm x 46mm x 2.4m timber
  • Nylon rope
  • One Pulley and hinges
  • Roof bitumen
  • Large and small screws
  • Hammer, screwdriver, saw, drill

Give it your own twist

It’s unlikely you’ll have the same shed or garden space as me, so get creative, and have fun coming up with your own rooftop treeless treehouse!

Written by
Photo of Scott Bedford
Scott Bedford

Maker, Illustrator and Author