Do I need an Engineer for my Treehouse?

Nearly all commercial treehouses and most permitted residential treehouse projects will require a licensed P.E. (professional engineer) to certify the structural integrity and safety of the design.  Additionally, because much of the unique hardware and construction techniques involved in treehouse building are not covered by international and local codes, building departments and township permitting offices will often require engineer-sealed drawings, letters and/or other documentation before they will approve even small backyard treehouses. 


Where do I find an engineer for a treehouse?

Our resident Professional Engineer, Joe Salinas, has years of experience working with local building departments to provide them with the information they require to sign off on your project, whether it is a playhouse for your kids, or a 3-bedroom treehouse home or rental property.  He specializes in treehouse-specific technology and is intimately familiar with the capabilities and limitations of industry-standard treehouse hardware and best-practice treehouse construction techniques.  He will work directly with your local building inspector to understand and address all of their concerns about residential and commercial tree- and post-supported structures, from treehouses and tree platforms to ziplines, suspension bridges and aerial adventure parks. 



Industry-leading load test equipment

Where more in-depth analysis is required, TTB uses industry-leading test equipment, designed in collaboration with Penn State University, to generate quantitative performance data on treehouse hardware in specific applications and loading scenarios.  This apparatus is also used to develop and rigorously test new hardware for TTB’s commercial and residential builds which, after successfully making it through the prototyping phase and going into full production, may be purchased directly from


If you require engineering services there are several options, including but not limited to:

  • Review and certification of an existing plan
  • Designing structural supports for a client-provided concept
  • Providing sealed letters certifying design load ratings of our hardware in specific applications
  • Preparation and delivery of full code-compliant construction documents

These services are billed on an hourly basis, and can range from $250-$10,000 or more, depending on the scope of the project.  If your project is in a state where our engineer is not currently licensed, he can either obtain his license in your state, which typically takes between 6-12 weeks, or he can work directly with a local engineer of your choice, to provide them with information and calculations for them to review and certify.  Both of these options will add additional costs to the base engineering services.



Need more information?

Please contact us to request information on how we can help you solve your specific treehouse-related problem or help you get your project through the local approval process!


Our Tree House Portfolio has six styles of treehouse projects to choose from. View some of the fantastic builds we have worked on over the years that might fit what you might be looking for!