Nick Adams’ $100,000 Treehouse

In the Adams’ Gladwyne backyard, a soaring structure sets the scene for fantastical battles, late-night card games and epic water balloon fights.

Nick Adam's $100,000 treehouse in Gladwyne, PA just outside Philadelphia.

Inspiration: When I was a kid, I climbed a hemlock and built myself a treehouse out of a bunch of wood planks. It was home, but it was also a hazard.

Design: My wife, Dee, and I have three boys and one girl—13, 12, 11 and eight. Each drew their version of a great treehouse, and architects Matt Seip from Chase Building Group and Scott Larkin from Brawer & Hauptman incorporated all their ideas into this design.

Outside in: The structure embraces a huge tulip tree, giving the feeling that it grew out of it. The canopy of leaves serves as the roof.

Amenities: A drawbridge, a trapdoor, a catapult on the top floor for water balloons, and a pulley system that goes all the way to the bottom so you can pull your supplies and ammo up.

Quiet time: At night, we bring out lanterns and play board games here. It’s where the boys learned to play a mean game of Texas Hold ’Em.

Wood: The basic structure is Spanish cedar; the floors and planking are ipe from South America.

What’s inside: A few built-in benches, but it’s pretty much open. You climb la­dders to go from floor to floor, like on a battleship.

Battle zone: There are slits in the walls, like in castles, so you can fire your Nerf guns through them. It’s a perfect place for pitched battles. My daughter loves to picnic here, too—­during periods of peace, of course.

Cost: Just over $100,000. So yes, it was not inexpensive.

  • Renee’ DiPilla

    $100,000.00 for a TREE HOUSE. Are you kidding me? I don’t even know where to begin with this one. I think I would be more embarressed to admit that I actually hired an architect and spent that amount of money on a play area for my kids than wearing a bikini to the local pool at age 47. And yes I still do wear a bikini.

  • Hank Mercaldo

    Beautiful design!

  • Leighann

    Great thing you did for your family and kids!

  • Scott

    And only 180 trees had to be clear cut, resulting in only hundreds of cubic feet of dirt going into public streets and neighbors yards – better in someone else’s yard I guess…

  • Drew

    Anyone know what happened here? No update from what I can tell.

  • barryg

    Yea so, nice countdown timer.

  • PeteQuince

    I hope nobody was holding their breath.

  • QueenB

    Who is the twat that says ‘Just over $100,00. So yes it was not expensive’ at the end of this wee ditty of an article….it’s an obscene amount of money for a tree house…only in North America would such excess be seen as ‘not expensive’…bring on the revolution for affordable housing for all….