Wood tree houses are rarely timeless, built as they are into the ever-changing natural environment and often constructed natural materials such as woods that surround them. The plan is often to make them play places more than permanent homes. Some are created as novelty buildings for rent to the public (such as hotels, inns and other vacation properties) while others are intended to be lofted restaurants, temporary homes or forts for children.

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A shack in the sky is somehow so much more compelling than the same run-down little lodge structure sitting on the ground below, but it also more susceptible to the elements through its exposure. These beautiful-but-shoddy tree houses had to be abandoned as the pictures above show. Though simple, they are still stunning structures in their way.


Lodges, inns, hotels, resorts and other tree house rental properties are often the expected subjects of long-term use and are thus planned and built not only with a tree for support but with other structural frameworks and a sturdy foundation as well to account for change over time. Trees cut down in the process of securing material for a tree home can also open up amazing views to residents of the finished product.


While most of them would never make it past a building inspector, many treehouses are built in rural areas on private property and in personal forests far from the reach of municipal civil servants who might have heart attacks were they to see the plans, materials and construction methods used to execute these do-it-yourself treehouse designs.


For better or worse, not everyone who tries knows how to build a tree house. To be fair, this building appears to be more of a toy or club house than a resort or residence. In short: it looks as if this example is intentionally skewed for playful purposes.


Some people have even gone so far as to build their homes right into the trunks of trees. This might sound like an eccentric luxury to us today but at the time it meant having a pre-built frame within which to carve out spaces with good protection from the elements.