How to Build a Tree House on a Budget

Learn how to build a tree house on a budget, includes dimensions of the tree house, types of lumber when building, securing the tree house to trees and low-cost tree house building tips.

| December 1997/January 1998

Virtues of the high life. How to build a tree house on a budget using low-cost materials and sensible building tips. 

Gus Guenther has risen above frantic rush hour traffic, busy schedules and frenzied deadlines.


From where he lives, at the end of a dirt road in a small community in South-Central Alaska, Guenther watches the birds perch on his balcony, and the spruce trees blow in the morning breeze, all from inside his one-room tree house abode.

The place is not big, about 12 feet by 16 feet, nor is it luxurious: there's one propane lamp, a wood stove and a propane stove on which to cook, but it is simple, cost-efficient and allows Guenther all the time he wants to pursue more important matters, like mushing his 14 dogs across the snow-packed Caribou Hills that surround his wooded home.

"Why wait until you're 65 to retire when you can live this way all your life?" asks Guenther, who lives off the money he makes as a fisherman in the summers, and runs his dogs in the winter. Because he has no debt, the 28-year-old single man lives with virtually zero expenses, other than the basics, like food for him and his dogs, propane, and gas for his truck. "That's when I feel like I'm getting away with something . . . and I feel guilty," he says. "I can't figure out why other people don't do it."

8/23/2015 8:33:59 PM

It would be cool to buy land in a state or county w/ NO Building Code so we can Build what we need and LIVE FREE - Yes, Have some Freedom, Sadly Alaska may be the Only State aside from a few unincorporated towns in very Rural counties . Anyone Know - Where are these counties? Or how to Go about Locating them ?? . I see Land In Iowa for instance But Government meddling - do what we say or else ... Do as we say not as we do etc.. BS. Even as a retreat or part time Cabin the Government has stupid Code regarding size Like 10x10 Maximum w out a permit. What is the point - Get The Fk out of our Lives... Jeas... I will probably have to purchase a retirement home in Central America (which can be dangerous and unwelcoming to gringos) just to have a little peace and privacy. A nice Place I can Build and work on. Soon making your own garden will be Hyper-regulated and taxed - Good for Montsanto . Dirt Bags Crooks Scum LOL.

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