How Much Does a Treehouse Cost?

Typical Range:

$400 - $15,000

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated September 13, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The cost to build a treehouse ranges from $6,075 to $16,200, with an average treehouse cost of $11,150 for a 9-by-9-foot custom structure. On the low end, you can pay as little as $625 for a prefab treehouse kit that you assemble yourself, while high-end custom treehouses that operate as a livable space can cost $500,000 or more.

Treehouse prices vary depending on the size, level of customization, and whether you take on the project yourself or hire a professional.

2022 Notice: Material Prices Are Surging

Demand for wood and other building materials has grown over the past year. And as a result, manufacturers are increasing materials prices. Prices have gone up 10% to 15% this year, and many parts of the country are experiencing long delivery times. If you're planning a building project, we recommend starting as early as possible in the season, preparing for potential price fluctuations, and allowing extra time to order materials.

Average Treehouse Costs

Average Cost High Cost Low Cost
$11,150 $500,000+ $625

Treehouse Costs by Size

Treehouses come in a wide range of sizes and styles, and their costs can vary significantly depending on the material, layout, and who does the work. That said, you can loosely estimate the cost of a treehouse by size: anywhere from $75 to $200 per square foot. This range assumes a semi-custom build with basic features using a local general contractor.

Here’s how that shakes out in common treehouse sizes:

Tree House Dimensions (in Feet) Treehouse Cost Range Estimate
6x6 $2,700 – $7,200
7x7 $3,675 – $9,800
8x8 $4,800 – $12,800
9x9 $6,075 – $16,200
10x10 $7,500 – $20,000
11x11 $9075 – $24,200
12x12 $10,800 – $28,800

Prefab vs. Custom Treehouse Costs

Prefab treehouse kits can cost significantly less than custom designs, sometimes saving up to 60%. With a prefab kit, you might not even need to hire a carpenter to handle the installation if you’re comfortable with heights and have some moderate skills with tools.

Prefab Treehouse Price

You can find prefab treehouses online for as low as $625, but you could pay as high as $6,000 for larger kits with more features. You can also find blueprints for treehouses online at affordable prices (around $50); you’d then just need to buy the lumber, screws, and other materials to build the basic treehouse yourself.

If you contract a local handyperson to assist with assembling the treehouse, you can factor in an additional $3,000 for labor.

Custom Treehouse Cost

You can hire specialized treehouse companies to design a custom treehouse for you at a significant cost, anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000 for custom builds. Their fees include:

  • Custom plans

  • Materials

  • Installation

However, their services do not generally include the cost of tree removal; if you need to have nearby trees removed to accommodate the treehouse, budget for the cost of an arborist separately. Hiring a local landscaping company to oversee a larger project that includes a treehouse could streamline your construction.

Compare Types & Local Costs For Your Treehouse
Compare Estimates

Cost to Build a Treehouse to Live In

To build a treehouse to live in, prices can range from $75,000 to over $400,000. On average, a project of this caliber costs around $240,000. The size of the structure, along with its finishes and features, influences the total. The skill level of the builder, price of permits, and site characteristics also factor into the final price.

For a livable treehouse, you’ll need to budget for several contractors.

Treehouse Cost Factors

More than just the size and level of customization can impact your overall treehouse cost. Treehouse prices can also vary based on local labor rates, lumber costs, the height of the treehouse, and any prep work needed.

Labor Cost to Build a Treehouse

Labor costs for building a treehouse vary significantly depending on where you live and the type of contractor you need to hire. More customized treehouses with partially or fully finished interiors will fetch much higher labor costs.

In general, you should plan to spend between $100 and $150 per hour for labor. A small, prefab or partially custom treehouse might take a local carpenter or another contractor 20 to 30 hours for a labor cost of $2,000 to $4,500

Materials

Lumber costs have gone up significantly in recent years, but your overall treehouse cost can still vary depending on the type of wood you choose. Experts often recommend cypress, redwood, or cedar for treehouses:

Type of Wood Average Cost Range Per Board Foot
Cypress $3 – $7
Redwood $4 – $15
Cedar $10 – $20

Height

While each treehouse build has several variable costs to consider, professionals will typically charge more the further from the ground the treehouse sits. More risk is involved, and they may need to bring in more scaffolding and related gear.

Design Complexity

Basic prefab treehouses cost significantly less than fully customized treehouses. As you add more design complexity to the construction, including multiple levels, unique shapes, or even interior features that require electrical or plumbing, your costs will increase.

Tree Prep Work

To prepare for treehouse construction, you may need to remove nearby trees or pay to have the current tree trimmed. Trimming trees costs about $200 to $760 per tree. Depending on the landscaping of your property and the equipment you need to accommodate, you may also need to budget for the cost of trimming bushes and shrubs or even the cost of clearing land.

Permits

When building a treehouse on your property, you may need to acquire a special permit. Contractors can arrange for this and may build it into their cost, but if you’re DIYing a treehouse, you’ll need to factor in the price of building permits.

Get Estimates From Professional Builders In Your Area
Compare Quotes

DIY vs. Hire Treehouse Builders

Some homeowners with moderate construction skills may consider building a treehouse themselves. When using a prefab kit or doing a basic construction, DIY can make sense. 

However, if you are uncomfortable with heights, aren’t great with tools (or don’t have access to the right tools), or just want to ensure adherence to strict safety protocols for your treehouse, hire a handyperson or, even better, a company that specializes in treehouses. If going the custom route for a medium to large treehouse, it always makes sense to hire professional contractors.

FAQs

Are treehouses legal?

You can legally build a treehouse on your private land in most areas. To do so, you will likely need a building permit from the city. Plus, you must abide by local codes, including setback requirements. Working with a contractor on your treehouse construction can ensure everything is done with safety in mind.

How much does a treehouse cost built by Treehouse Masters?

For a custom build from Treehouse Masters (called Nelson Treehouse), expect to pay $275,000 on average. According to the owner, Pete Nelson, he builds these structures for anywhere from $250,000 to $400,000. These treehouses are not like typical treehouses you might make for children; these are high-quality spaces that could function as homes.

How long does a treehouse last?

A treehouse should last 10 to 25 years if you design and construct it using quality materials. The expected lifespan of a treehouse depends on good building techniques as well; this means allowing enough room for the tree to continue to grow. Regularly inspect your treehouse to ensure it is still safe, and treat the wood to ensure longevity.

What kind of tree is best for a treehouse?

When choosing a tree for your treehouse, look for a healthy tree that is mature (meaning its growth rate has slowed down). Hardwood trees make the safest option for treehouses; good options include oak, maple, beech, fir, and hemlock trees. If you aren’t sure that your tree is a good candidate for a treehouse, a local contractor should be able to advise.