Frequently Asked Questions

Please begin by submitting an inquiry, then sit tight. We will get back to you as soon as we can, but we get a lot of inquiries and it may take a minute. We aim to reply within two weeks. We look forward to hearing from you.

Learn more about our consulting services.

No. We do not perform existing treehouse maintenance and repair work for projects unless they were constructed by Treehouse Workshop or Nelson Treehouse and Supply.

We would love to host you! Book your stay at one of our treehouse retreats:

TreeHouse Point - Fall City, Washington
Established in 2006 in Fall City, Washington, TreeHouse Point is Pete and Judy Nelson's flagship overnight retreat and event center. Nestled in an old-growth forest of Douglas fir, spruce, cedar, and hemlock a half hour east of Seattle and minutes from the world-renowned Snoqualmie Falls, TreeHouse Point exemplifies the breathtaking natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. The verdant grounds are home to six iconic treehouses, a central lodge, a multipurpose event space, and two cedar-lined bathhouses. TreeHouse Point also offers guided tours and hosts weddings and elopements year-round. Plan your stay now.

Treehouse Utopia - Utopia, Texas
Treehouse Utopia in Texas Hill Country is a partnership between Pete Nelson and Laurel Waters, chef and owner of the renowned Laurel Tree Restaurant. With its four rentable, luxury treehouses and natural splendor, this romantic retreat exudes magic. Laurel has personally curated the interiors of all the treehouses, integrating many historic pieces she's collected on her travels through France. Treehouse Utopia truly lives up to its name, with sweeping views of the Sabinal River, colossal trees, and the endless starlit sky that stretches over Hill Country. Plan your stay now.

We are also partners in two more magical treehouse retreats:

The Woods Maine – Norway, Maine.
The Woods Maine celebrates a region of Maine reserved for those seeking an experience beyond a traditional getaway. The treehouse, designed by Pete Nelson and built by Nelson Treehouse & Supply, brings together the best of rustic and refined. Every detail has been thoughtfully selected to create a space you’ll enter and never want to leave—whitewashed barn wood, a full kitchen with luxury appliances, a cozy eating nook, elegant brass fixtures, and expansive views, all in a two-bedroom, two-bathroom house tucked into the trees. Soak in fresh country air from your high-end home. Discover everything you never knew to dream of, a real-life vision of luxury, comfort, and style. All this with private access to Lake Pennesseewassee and set on a privately owned 10 acres. Exhale, you’re home.
Plan your stay now.

Treehouse Grove at Norton Creek Resorts - Gatlinburg, Tennessee
This mountain getaway is a place to relax, recharge, reconnect with nature, and take in views so beautiful they seem impossible. Located on the doorstep of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, eight treehouses await your arrival. Each luxury treehouse is fully equipped with air conditioning, heat, a traditional bathroom, WiFi, refrigerator and even a television set! Treehouse Grove is a place where the stresses and worries of the day fade into distant memory as you enjoy the tranquil scenery that is all around you...Plan your stay now.

The short answer is Yes! We’ve built many treehouses across the country (and one in Norway!) that are open to the public.

The longer answer is, the degree of public “openness” of each of the treehouses varies. Some of our treehouses in public parks offer free visits year-round. Others are at private companies that host tours, overnight stays, or other events for a fee and on a limited basis. Keep in mind that many of these treehouses allow visits by appointment only. Please plan your visit in accordance with each venue’s guidelines.

For a full list of all the Nelson treehouses that offer opportunities for visits, check out this blog post.

We love hearing from our fans! Please email us here or snail-mail us at Nelson Treehouse and Supply, PO Box 1135, Fall City, WA 98024.

We invite you to submit an inquiry and tell us about your treehouse vision. Then sit tight. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can—usually within two weeks—but since we get so many requests and we review them all, it may take us a while to get to yours. If your project is an excellent fit with Nelson Treehouse, we will schedule a site visit. Learn about how we work and what a treehouse costs here.

Yes. Our independent design services range from creating only a conceptual design to producing a full set of permitted architectural drawings in partnership with engineers. In some cases, we can assist with the installation of hardware onsite before leaving the remainder of the build to your construction team to complete.

If you are interested in contracting our design services, please submit an inquiry. Read about the steps to our design and build process here.

We do design and build treehouses that function as full- or part-time residences. Our clients who choose to live full-time in a treehouse are typically committed to leading a semi-rustic, tiny-house lifestyle. Our average treehouses range from 200 to 800 square feet and can include most amenities of a typical "ground" house.

That being said, our treehouses are emblematic of small-scale living—we make an effort to downsize most of the features to fit within the constraints of building in living organisms. Yes, we can integrate a kitchen, bedroom, full bathroom, and living room into your treehouse—but we do not build 1,000+ square-foot, tree-supported structures with expansive floor plans fit for a full family's lifestyle.

Please note that permitting for a full-time residence in the trees is similar to the permitting process for a typical ground house. We recommend contacting local building authorities to understand regulations pertaining to treehouses on your property, but don’t stress: this is one of our areas of expertise, and we are happy to help. Please see the FAQ on permitting for more information.

In order to install amenities like running water and electricity in your treehouse, all necessary infrastructure (e.g., a septic system, water service, and electrical service) must be established at the location of the treehouse before construction begins. The permitting and installation of this infrastructure on the site of the treehouse will be your responsibility and is above and beyond the purview of our design and build services. However, once the necessary infrastructure is installed onsite, Nelson Treehouse and Supply will oversee installation of these amenities within the structure.

During the design stage and prior to building, it's important to research code standards, zoning regulations, and permitting pertaining to treehouses in your local jurisdiction. We recommend beginning this process by visiting your local building department and speaking with a building official.

In most scenarios, obtaining a permit for a treehouse is similar to the process for a ground house. In these cases, it may be necessary to consult an architect and engineer to produce construction documents and drawings. Regulations differ widely per jurisdiction; contact your local building and zoning departments to understand the specifics of your area.

If you plan to rent out your treehouse and/or use your treehouse for any commercial purpose whatsoever, you may be subject to different code standards and zoning regulations than if your treehouse is for private use only.

While you're researching your local regulations, make sure to consider how your project will affect your neighbors. Will your new, lofty view invade their privacy? Will your structure obstruct their existing view? Undoubtedly, you'll want to be conscientious of the impact on your neighbors.

It's also savvy to consider your property options. If you're looking for property with the intention of building a treehouse, you have the luxury of checking the building codes for each area you are considering. This may enable you to buy property where you know you will be allowed to build a treehouse.

Your local building department will dictate what you need for your permitting application, if a permit is required in your area. Before approaching your building department about your project, it may be helpful to prepare responses to the following questions:

• What is the purpose/intended use of the treehouse?
• Will the treehouse have utilities (e.g., heating, plumbing, electricity)?
• What is the square footage of the exterior and interior?
• What is the height from ground to top of roof?
• Where is the treehouse located on the property? (You may need a site plan.)

Although permitting may seem daunting, Nelson Treehouse successfully obtains treehouse permits across the country for all the projects that require it. Despite how it may feel during the permitting process, building codes are not intended to inhibit innovative ideas or technological advances. We have found that the vast majority of jurisdictions support our safe and sustainable science of treehouse-building.

There are many ways to realize your treehouse dreams, and we can help. We offer consultationsspecialized hardwareplans, and other supplies to support you in building your own treehouse. You might also consider contracting only our design services or purchasing our plans and then hiring a local contractor to build the treehouse. We've supported many clients in building their dream treehouses without making use of our full-scale design and build service.

Our costs vary widely depending on the range of services required as well as the location and scope of your treehouse. Our current baseline price for fully designing and building a custom treehouse is around $300,000. Design services account for 10 to 15 percent of the total price. So the price of your treehouse is equal to our design-services fee plus the cost of our fixed-bid construction contract.

Our average treehouses range from 200 to 800 square feet and can include most of the amenities of a typical "ground" house. Learn more about the steps and costs of our design and build process.

Our treehouses are highly site-specific, integrated with the unique layout of your trees and property. Our designers, project managers, and carpenters work closely with you to manifest your vision and bring years of experience in innovative small-space design and build to the process. The following factors (among others) may affect the cost of your treehouse:
• Number of trees you wish to connect to
• Desired amenities (e.g., kitchen, bathroom, water, electricity)
• Site access
• Distance of the treehouse from the ground
• Materials, seasonality of the structure (e.g., all-season, three-season), and desired degree of finish
• Travel and logistics (e.g., crew accommodations, plane tickets, car rentals, freight).
• Time of year (e.g., peak travel season costs, weather)

Here are some additional things to note:

• Customers typically engage Nelson Treehouse to design and build their projects, but either service can be contracted independently. Some customers contract only our design services or purchase our plans and then hire a local contractor to build their treehouse. These moves can prove more economical than a fully designed and built Nelson Treehouse.

Treehouses more than an hour’s drive from our Fall City, Washington, headquarters may be subject to logistical costs of travel and crew accommodations associated with long-distance builds.

If you would like utilities such as water and electricity in your treehouse, it is your responsibility to permit and install the necessary infrastructure (e.g., septic system, water service, electrical service) at the location of the treehouse before construction begins. These costs are above and beyond the costs of our design and build services. Once utilities infrastructure is established at the site of the treehouse, we will oversee the installation of these amenities within the structure.

Adding plumbing to a treehouse can be very expensive, and we encourage you to consider more economical and environmentally friendly options like compostable toilets and gray-water sinks.

Obtaining a building permit in your jurisdiction may be required. Costs associated with this process are similar to those of typical residential construction. We strongly recommend researching the regulations of local building authorities regarding treehouses, as they vary from place to place. Please review our FAQ on permitting for more information.

We can customize our services to fit your goals and budget. We encourage all those interested to submit an inquiry here.

Yes. To be considered for a contribution, you must be a nonprofit organization. Because of the costs and logistics involved in building a custom-designed home in the trees, we do not provide donations of full treehouses.

We strongly believe in and have a long history of supporting the community around us through charitable activities. However, because we are a small, family-owned business, and because of the tremendous number of inquiries we receive, we cannot fulfill every request.

In the continued spirit of goodwill, we have made the decision to support several local organizations with whom we have a special kinship. Recipients of our charitable contributions for 2021 have already been selected.