Tree Platform Day 3

I made it out to the property again - that's 3 days in a row. When I say "day" though, I should be clear - I can't leave until after I've dropped the kids off at school then I have anywhere from 1:15 to 1:45 drive to get there. I usually have about 2 hours to work (including setup) before I have to pack up my stuff and head back to the city to pick the kids up at school. That's 3 hours of driving for 2 hours of work but it's totally worth it.

So, here's where I left off yesterday:

It was another busy day in Silverton. Check out the blog to see today’s progress. #buildsewreap #silverton #build #treehouse #maker #makersgonnamake

In just 2 days, and at most 4 hours, I was able to get two 16-feet long pressure treated 2x6s mounted to the tree with braces and end posts and one of the cross braces for the top platform attached to the tree. It feels like progress is slow at the time but then I realize I'm working alone and I'm not particularly strong so I'm content with how far I've gotten.

Today was another pretty successful day but I did spend a lot of time staring up at the structure wondering how on earth to proceed to the next step. I need several more arms ... strong arms.

I didn't stop to take a lot of pictures as I went along but here's the main challenge I faced and how I tackled it. I got all the cross beams in place then had to attach the 10' long pressure treated 2x6 (estimated 50lbs) to the ends of the boards but I couldn't climb the ladder while holding it and I couldn't hold it up with one hand while screwing it into place. I contemplated my options and then opted to take some measurements to see where I could pre-attach two brackets that the board could hang with.

Day 3 platform build

I attached two of the strong-tie thingies to the side beam, not the ends of the already secured boards. Then I shoved the beam up over the top of the secured boards. Next, I flipped the board braces down and slowly slid it to the end of the secured boards and let it slide over the edge letting the 1.5" lip grab on. Then I veerrrrryyyy carefully descended the ladder, grabbed some nice long screws, and screwed the ends in. Boy, that probably made no sense but there was no way I was going to stop to take pictures, this whole thing was tough enough without stopping to capture it all.

So, in the end, I managed to build almost the entire platform. I ran out of screws though so instead of breaking my brain trying to find a work-around I secured it enough and packed up my stuff.

Then I did take time to grab some photos.

Day 3 platform build

Here's the view up from down in the gulch that never shows up in pictures. The platform is probably at least 12 feet above my head, so 17 feet from the ground on this side. I'm guessing here but it's up there!!

Day 3 platform build

Pretty cool view, huh?

This next picture gives you an idea of how quickly the ground drops off on the gulch side of the structure.

Day 3 platform build

Now to look over the other side, down towards the fire pit:

Day 3 platform build

Again, total lack of perspective. This photo was taken from 10 feet off the ground - I was sitting on a pallet on top of the platform.

Here's another pic but from the bottom. I'm 5'6" and this thing is way over my head.

Day 3 platform build

All packed up and heading out for the day:

Day 3 platform build

I'm still trying to figure out what kind of decking we will use up top there but I'm leaning towards picking up some free pallets for now while we cross our fingers that something cheap or free shows up. The environment out in this forest will consume anything we leave out there unprotected. Our best bet is to use composite decking but I'm pretty sure that would be cost prohibitive so I'm going to mull it over for a bit. I know that attaching pallets won't be a long-term solution but it'll get us up there enjoying it this summer which is a start. Maybe I'll get my hands on some cedar or composite decking before those fall apart.

OOh, guess what else? I grabbed 4 plastic chairs off the side of the road (I confirmed they were free for the taking) about 10 miles from the property. I'm STOKED!!


BTW, it was such a beautiful day out there!!

Day 3 platform build

Thank you for reading,


  1. Composite may be worth the investment. Talk to the guys at Dunn. You may be able to get off cuts, 2nds etc that aren’t necessarily suitable for someone’s perfect deck that would work fine for your tree house.

    1. Good idea!! We ended up doing plywood for the time being but maybe by the time I finish giving them all my money, they'll be willing to work with me on some substandard composite deals.

  2. I couldn't hold it up with one hand while screwing it into place. I contemplated my options and then opted to take some measurements to see where I could pre-attach two brackets that the board could hang with. unit renovation is looking very nice when you renovate your house.


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