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How Much Does It Cost to Build a Treehouse in 2024?


If you have children and the budget to build a treehouse, it can be one of the best additions to your home’s exterior. You’ve probably wondered why the idea didn’t strike you earlier, especially if you have mature hardwood trees near your home.

The reality is that durable treehouses are pretty expensive to build, with the average cost being $11,150. That’s only for a simple, featureless treehouse, including the costs of labor, materials, prep work, design, and permits.

Building a treehouse may be expensive, but it’s a worthwhile investment if you’re willing to splurge. Read more to learn exactly how much it will cost to add this building to your home this year.

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What Does Building a Treehouse Cost?

On the lowest end, building a treehouse can be as affordable as $600 if you opt for a prefab DIY kit. On the high end, you can even expect to pay over $500,000 for a giant custom treehouse to actually live in.

However, the best way to determine a treehouse’s cost is with its size, wood type, customization, and whether or not it’s DIY.

Treehouse Size

The size of the treehouse is one of the easiest ways to estimate its building costs. Naturally, the larger the treehouse, the pricier it will be. Overall, you’ll pay roughly $75 to $200 per square foot.

Typically, the most common size range for more miniature tree houses is 6’ x 6’ or 8’ x 8’, for which you may pay anywhere between $2,700 and $12,800. However, mid-range sizes can cost $6,000 to $12,000.

If you opt for a larger treehouse, you can expect to pay between $9,000 and $29,000. Again, these prices are estimated for a semi-custom treehouse with basic features.

Image Credit: Cassanas Photography, Shutterstock

Treehouse Wood Type

Of course, the type of wood you use to build the treehouse significantly influences its price. Most contractors use naturally rot-resistant wood for treehouses. This is because pressure-treated wood contains harmful chemicals that can shorten the tree’s lifespan. Redwood, cedar, and cypress are the most common woods used to build treehouses.

As redwood costs approximately $9 to $20 per board, you can expect to pay between $10,000 and $25,000 for a 10’ x 10’ redwood treehouse. This wood is rot-resistant and protects against insects, allowing your treehouse to last longer than other woods.

On the other hand, cedar costs $10 to $35 per board, making it $12,000 to $35,000 for a 10’ x 10’ cedar treehouse. Since it resists rot and insect activity effectively, it’s the most popular material used to build treehouses.

Lastly, cypress costs $6 to $9 per board, making it the cheapest wood for building treehouses. You may need to pay between $7,000 and $15,000 for a 10’ x 10’ cypress treehouse, but it doesn’t resist rot and insects, as well as redwood and cedar.

Livable Treehouse

Most treehouses are for children or big enough to accommodate short-term outdoor activities. But surprisingly, you can hire a professional team to build a treehouse you can actually live in for the long run.

Of course, a livable treehouse will cost much more to build than a regular one, with the average price range being $75,000 to $400,000. You can even expect to pay more than it would cost to build a smaller regular house.

It’s worth noting that you can’t build a livable treehouse with the help of a regular carpenter. Instead, you’ll need to hire a professional team of licensed electricians, plumbers, carpenters, painters, HVAC specialists, interior designers, roofers, arborists, and flooring installers.

treehouse in the barn
Image Credit By: Albrecht Fietz, Pixabay

Prefab Treehouse

Prefab treehouse kits may require more labor on your part, but they are generally cheaper and help you save up to 60%. On the low end, you may even find affordable prefab kits for $600, which you can put together without the help of a carpenter.

Larger, feature-studded prefab kits can cost as much as $6,000, but you’ll need to pay separately for the blueprint, lumber, tools, and materials. To ensure safety, it’s also wise to factor in the cost of a local handyperson’s labor.

Custom Treehouse

If you’re hoping for a personalized design in your treehouse, it’s best to hire a specialized treehouse company to do the job for you. While the costs will be much higher, the investment is worthwhile if you want to make your treehouse more functional.

The price range for custom treehouses is typically $25,000 to $100,000, including the materials, custom plans, and installation. However, if you need to remove some trees before installing a treehouse, you’ll need to pay separately for an arborist.

Image Credit: RoongsaK, Shutterstock

What Factors Go into the Cost of Building a Treehouse?

An average of $11,150 may seem like a lot for a treehouse, but it’s important to consider everything that goes into building one. That includes the materials, labor, prep work, and much more, each of which has its fluctuating prices.

The materials for the treehouse are the most significant factor to consider in its overall price, especially since their costs have surged 15% this year.


The main factor that goes into the cost of building a treehouse is the materials. As we mentioned, cypress costs $6 to $9 per board foot, redwood costs $9 to $20, and cedar costs $10 to $35. Other materials used include asphalt shingle roofing and siding.


Unless you’re using a small prefab kit, we’d always recommend hiring a contractor to build a treehouse for you. Different contractors have different labor costs, significantly depending on where you live.

Generally, you can expect to pay $100 to $150 per hour for this type of labor, but that cost can rise if your treehouse is customized. For example, building a small, partially custom treehouse may require 30 to 40 hours of labor, totaling up to $2,000 to $4,500.

carpenter making stair treads
Image Credit: Dzhafarov Eduard, Shutterstock

Prep Work

Most of the time, it’s required to trim or cut down nearby trees before building a treehouse. You’ll need to hire an arborist for this job, who may charge $200 to $760 per tree. However, this price depends on the type of tree, your property’s landscaping, and the treehouse’s size.

If you have nearby bushes and shrubs, you may also need to pay for their trimming and accommodate for equipment costs.


It’s no secret that standard prefab treehouses are much cheaper to build than custom ones. However, the more complex your treehouse’s design is, the higher you’ll pay for the total build. That includes interior features, additional floors, unique structures, electrical, and more.

Double-decker treehouses are one of the most expensive designs to demand, costing an average of $35,000 to $100,000. On the other hand, a simple square treehouse can get done between $6,000 and $15,000.

A-frames are also a popular and versatile design to consider, costing $10,000 to $25,000 on average. Lastly, hexagon and octagonal treehouses may cost between $12,000 and $35,000.

Image Credit: Piqsels


Regardless of your treehouse’s size, design, or customization, contractors will generally charge more the higher your treehouse is from the ground. That is due to the risk involved and the need for extra gear. The standard height for a treehouse is 6 to 10 feet above the ground.


Certain states require a special permit to build a treehouse on your property. Most of the time, your contractor will acquire this permit for an added price. These permits can cost anywhere between $1,200 and $2,000.

Additional Costs to Anticipate

Aside from the cost of building, there are certain extra services that you may need to pay for before or after your treehouse project is complete.

For example, you may need to hire an arborist to ensure the host tree is healthy and robust. Arborists can charge around $150 for a visual tree inspection and $25 per extra drill for Resistograph testing.

You’ll also need to pay for tree trimming and removal, which cost $475 and $635 per tree, respectively. Lastly, landscaping will ensure your treehouse blends in with your property at $33 to $70 per hour.

man cutting tree branch
Image Credit: Piqsels

Does Home Insurance Cover Treehouses?

If you have a homeowner’s insurance policy, it may include coverage for treehouses on your property. Insurance companies do not offer standalone policies for treehouses but may protect them under personal property or liability limits.

It’s worth noting that including a treehouse in your homeowner’s policy can increase your insurance rates, so it’s best to discuss this with your insurer.

Which Tree Is Best for a Treehouse?

It’s best to ensure your host tree is healthy, robust, and mature before installing a treehouse on it. Oak, hemlock, fir, hardwood, and beech trees are some of the most popular treehouse options due to their traditional appearance and shade.

A local contractor or arborist can help you determine whether your tree is healthy, mature, and fit for a treehouse installation. It’s crucial to make sure your host tree’s growth rate has slowed down before the installation.

mexican oak tree
Image Credit: Maclane Parker, Shutterstock

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Nothing about building a treehouse is cheap, but it’s an aesthetic and practical investment if your budget isn’t tight. Now that you’ve learned how much it costs to build a treehouse and what factors go into the number, you can contact a professional carpenter and start your project.

Featured Image Credit: Cassanas Photography, Shutterstock


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